Author Archive | Rachel

I Don’t like…

As a bookseller, if there’s one phrase I’ve come to hate it’s “I don’t like”. Ironically, this is a phrase I used to use myself quite often, and catch myself still using on occasion. I have eaten bananas. I know I don’t like bananas. Maybe it’s a texture thing or a taste thing, but either way, I know I don’t like them and will politely refuse one if offered to me. I know I am […]

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Should Books Make Us Uncomfortable

It seems like hardly a week goes by where there isn’t some report about a book that has been challenged or banned from use in a school. The reasons vary. Unpopular religious views or opinions, gratuitous violence, sexually explicit, language are some of the more frequent reasons listed by the ALA. Banned Books Top Reason For the most part, I’m sure that most of you reading would never advocate banning a book, but I think […]

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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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