Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet


Today marks the birthday of Clara Lemlich, born in 1886 in Ukraine to a Jewish family. Following a pogrom in 1903, Clara and her family immigrated to the United States. She stood a mere five feet tall, but as Brave Girl, our book of the day, tells us, she had grit and was going to […]

20th Century, Clothing, History, Jewish, Multicultural, New York, Women
Featured on March 28

Listening for Madeleine by Leonard S. Marcus

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On November 29 we celebrate the birth date of one of America’s most beloved authors. Madeleine L’Engle was born in 1918 and throughout her life faced many obstacles, including roughly twenty-seven rejections of the book that made her famous, A Wrinkle in Time. Her father was a troubled man—she frequently spoke of him in public […]

Award Winning, Family, New York, Newbery, Women
Featured on November 29

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh


On October 21, 1964, a book appeared that critics consider the beginning of modern fiction for children. Before that day, it had been controversial in its own publishing house, causing disagreement among the members of Harper & Row’s children’s book department. The gatekeepers of children’s books wanted to keep it out of the hands of […]

Family, New York, School
Featured on October 21

The Man Who Walked Between the Towers by Mordicai Gerstein


Born in France on August 13, 1949, Philippe Petit became a high-wire artist best remembered for an event that took place on August 7, 1974. That day he walked on a tightrope between two World Trade Center skyscrapers in New York City. In the air for around an hour, he danced and performed tricks—as New […]

History, New York, Sports
Featured on August 13

Bad Boy by Walter Dean Myers

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Today marks the birthday of a man who calls his autobiography Bad Boy. But for the past forty years the children’s book field has considered Walter Dean Myers a “Good and Great Man.” Possibly that should be the title for the second volume of his autobiography. Myers initially made his mark when he entered the […]

African American, Family, History, Multicultural, New York
Featured on August 12

Tar Beach by Faith Ringgold


July has been designated National Black Family Month, a month for Black Americans “to invest in their families as well as themselves.” The organizers hope that participants will have family reunions, dinners, or network with each other. Today I want to focus on one of the most magical family dinners ever portrayed. Faith Ringgold created […]

African American, Family, Food, Imagination, Multicultural, New York, Seasons, Summer, True Story
Featured on July 25

The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright


July has been designated Make a Difference to Children month. All involved with children’s books celebrate this cause year round. Nothing can make more of a difference than the right book for the right child at the right time.  I’m going to look at two novels this month, one classic and one contemporary, that that […]

Family, New York
Featured on July 14

Stuart Little by E. B. White
Illustrated by Garth Williams


On July 11, 1899, Elwyn Brooks White, known to his friends as Andy and the literary world as E. B., was born in Mount Vernon, New York. He would eventually become a Maine man, where he lived with his wife Katharine. White published his first article in The New Yorker in 1925 and continued to […]

Animals, Family, Humor, Imagination, New York
Featured on July 11

Jenny and the Cat Club by Esther Averill


Today I am thanking all my cat-loving readers, who have had to suffer through endless dog books and dog stories. It isn’t fair, I know! However, June has been designated Adopt a Shelter Cat Month—with the motto “Make Pet Adoption Your First Option.” So to settle the imbalance in the Almanac, I’m going to use […]

Animals, Cats, New York
Featured on June 3

Blizzard by Jim Murphy

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On March 11, 1888, a record blizzard hit the East Coast. Although parts of the country have seen record snow falls this year, most areas have snow-removal equipment and constant weather monitoring to lessen the impact of Mother Nature. But such was not always the case, as Jim Murphy relates in his compelling story about […]

History, New York, Seasons, Winter
Featured on March 11

The New York Philharmonic


On December 7, 1842, the first concert of theNew York Philharmonic, the first symphony orchestra founded in America, was performed. Over the years, the Philharmonic has performed more than 15,000 times and tonight will play a program of Beethoven and Mahler in Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center. Since many families attend formal events involving singing […]

Music, New York
Featured on December 7

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord
Illustrated by Marc Simont


On November 3, 1938, Bette Bao was born in Shanghai, China. By the age of eight she came to the United States with her father and mother and one sister. When Mao Zedong and his Communist party won the Chinese civil war, the Boas were stranded in America. Bette’s youngest sister Sansan had been left […]

Baseball, Family, History, Immigration, New York, Sports
Featured on November 3

The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden
Illustrated by Garth Williams

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More than fifty years ago a down-on-his-luck, New York City playwright who had graduated from Yale wandered into the Times Square subway station late at night and heard a cricket chirp. It reminded him of his childhood in Connecticut when his life had been more optimistic and innocent. Because he knew how to write scenes […]

Animals, Award Winning, Cats, Classical, Insects, Mice, Music, New York, Newbery
Featured on October 30

Daily children’s book recommendations and events from Anita Silvey.

Discover the stories behind the children’s book classics . . .

The new books on their way to becoming classics . . .

And events from the world of children’s books—and the world at large.