Author Archive | Rachel

Discussing Race/Sexuality in Reviews

In the last year or so, Kirkus reviews changed their review policy to try and better identify diverse books for readers. In an article by Vicky Smith from last may, (https://www.kirkusreviews.com/features/unmaking-white-default/) she writes “But as the conversation surrounding diversity in children’s literature has heated up, I’ve felt more and more that naming race and identity is one of the duties of a reviewer.” I understand her point. Covers and plot descriptions of novels are not […]

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The trouble with Hi-Lo

I recently participated in an awards committee for a niche category of children’s books that is often referred to as Hi-Lo or high interest/low vocabulary. The hi/lo category is exactly what it sounds like- they are books written at a lower reading level than the age it would appeal to. This is a great idea for students who struggle with reading or even reluctant readers. It provides them with age-appropriate material at a level that […]

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Books that Shaped Me

The other day I read an article about the top 10 world events that I found enlightening. I know what events I remember most clearly. The Challenger explosion, the Berlin Wall coming down, the transfer of Hong Kong back to China, the dismantling of the U.S.S.R., and the Iraq War and 9/11 to name a few. The article also broke it down by demographic and generation. Not surprisingly, the Kennedy Assassination was high on the […]

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Why I Read

One day this past summer as a friend and I were wandering through various used bookstores around town, I was uncharacteristically impatient to leave and couldn’t seem to focus on anything in particular. After leaving behind the one book I was searching for, my friend asked me an important question- he wondered why I read. Initially, this seemed like a silly question. I read because I like books, I promptly told him. He looked at […]

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Award Bias

It’s time once again for book award season, and as usual, there is much discussion about snubs, surprise nominations, and familiar faces appearing on these lists. As most of us would agree, taste is subjective, and one person’s gem can easily be another person’s flop. I know I’ve definitely questioned the presence/absence of more than one title over the years on the awards circuit, and have been disappointed when a favourite title just doesn’t seem […]

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