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Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill by Otfried Preussler

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September is Library Card Sign Up Month, and I hope everyone who reads the Almanac has such a card. I personally owe the Westwood (MA) Public Library an invaluable debt; every book I have written would have been impossible without them. For several years, our book of the day—Krabat & the Sorcerer’s Mill by Otfried […]

History, Religion/Spirituality, World War II
Featured on September 29

Coaltown Jesus by Ron Koertge

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June has been designated Rebuild Your Life Month. In Ron Koertge’s extraordinary book Coaltown Jesus, the protagonist, fourteen-year-old Walker, who lives in Coaltown, Illinois, does indeed need to rebuild his life. Two months ago his brother Noah died at age seventeen, and his mother hasn’t stopped crying. Walker struggles with guilt, believing that he might […]

Poetry, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on June 16

Witches! by Rosalyn Schanzer

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The end of February can be brutal in New England. Certainly more than one inhabitant of the region has felt that powers of darkness have seized the barren land. And during the end of February 1692, the Reverend Samuel Parris and other ministers in Salem, Massachusetts, grilled two children, nine-year-old Betty Parris and her eleven-year-old […]

Award Winning, Colonial America, History, Politics, Religion/Spirituality, Sibert
Featured on February 29

Zen Shorts by Jon J. Muth

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Today Japan celebrates Coming of Age day, a ceremony to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached the age of majority: twenty years old. Well, for those who aren’t twenty, or those who are but like to remain child-like in spirit, our book of the day, John J. Muth’s Zen Shorts, explores the Japanese […]

Animals, Bears, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on January 9

Skellig by David Almond

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July has been designated Make a Difference in the Life of a Child month. The right book for the right child at the right time always has and always will change lives. The book of the day is one that can be very powerful when it gets in a child’s hands at the right moment. […]

Imagination, Magic, Religion/Spirituality, Science
Featured on July 24

Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary Schmidt

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I live in New England. During the month of July many of us in the region, as well as those from far away, seek out the beauty of the Maine coast—canoeing or kayaking in coves, sunlight on the water, baseball games, lobster, and fresh blueberry pie. These are just some of the images we all […]

20th Century, African American, Award Winning, History, Multicultural, Newbery, Printz, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on July 22

The Great Brain by John D. Fitzgerald


Today has been designated Brother’s Day—a celebration of brotherhood for biological brothers, fraternity brothers, and brothers bonded by union affiliation or lifetime experience. As could be predicted, children’s books frequently focus on sibling relationships, both brothers and sisters. After all, in childhood these relationships loom large in our lives. When I think of brothers in […]

20th Century, Family, History, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on May 24

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery


On April 6, 1943, one of the most unusual offerings in the children’s book cannon was published. Whether it was a book for adults or children or more appropriately “all ages” would become part of the ongoing debate about The Little Prince. Certainly some of the early reviewers like P. L. Travers and Anne Carroll […]

Imagination, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on April 6

Like the Willow Tree by Lois Lowry

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In honor of Women’s History Month, the book of the day is a title by veteran writer Lois Lowry, Like the Willow Tree. After a hiatus, the Dear America series, a historical fiction series told in diary formats, has been revitalized with this one of the first volumes. Among its many accomplishments, the book presents […]

20th Century, History, Religion/Spirituality, Women
Featured on March 14

Charles and Emma by Deborah Heiligman

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Today is the birthday of Charles Darwin. He has the distinction of being not only one of the most controversial figures of his era but also someone who still causes discord two hundred years later. Or more accurately, his theories have been controversial—often obscuring Darwin the human being. Around Darwin’s 200th birthday some excellent books began […]

19th century, History, Religion/Spirituality, Science, Zoology
Featured on February 12

The Story of Joan of Arc by Maurice Boutet de Monvel

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On January 6, or close to it, in 1412, a peasant girl destined to become a saint was born in Domrémy-la-Pucelle, France. As a teenager, Joan of Arc experienced visions, heard voices, and set out to save the King of France. She delivered Orleans from a siege during the Hundred Years War and paved the […]

History, Middle Ages, Religion/Spirituality
Featured on January 6

Diamond Willow by Helen Frost


Today marks Alaska’s statehood day, when in 1959 Alaska became the forty-ninth state in the Union. Of the myriad books for children that have been set in Alaska, my favorite, Diamond Willow by Helen Frost, appeared recently in 2008. Frost lived and taught for three years in a small Athabascan community in interior Alaska. Many […]

Adventure, Animals, Dogs, Multicultural, Native American, Religion/Spirituality, Survival
Featured on January 3

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.