Isn’t that romantic?

The Minnesota Post recently made a list of best Dynamic Duos–in movies, literature, history, etc.  And on it, much to the pleasure of the Betsy-Tacy Society and other BT fans is Betsy and Joe as “Literary Romantic Couples”–alongside some couples that are definitely not found in children’s literature. And though I certainly adore the factContinue reading “Isn’t that romantic?”

For fans of Gone-Away Lake

Today, while doing incredibly domestic things like reorganizing my kitchen cabinets, I listed again to this episode of This American Life. In “The House on Loon Lake,” a couple of kids find an abandoned house in the woods.  Inside, it’s filled with stuff–from food still  in the cupboard to letters to clothing.  Along the way, theContinue reading “For fans of Gone-Away Lake”

Cold and hot

When thinking about extreme weather, the kidlit fan naturally turns to The Long Winter.  The story of one of the worst winters ever just doesn’t seem to lose its appeal.  I know plenty of people that pick it up and reread whenever they’re snowbound.  Chapter titles like “We’ll Weather the Blast,” “Cold and Dark,” and “NotContinue reading “Cold and hot”

Let me count the ways. . . In love with Calpurnia Tate

As a public historian in Texas, there are certain subjects that you just have to deal with on a regular basis.  The Alamo.  Cowboys.  The frontier.  I have attended conferences where it feels like every single session is pre-1900 history and mostly about the Texas Revolution.  These are all fine topics for historical study, butContinue reading “Let me count the ways. . . In love with Calpurnia Tate”

To be pretty. And grown up.

For me, it was dangly earrings, curly hair and contacts.  For Anne Shirley, it was upswept hair and long skirts.  For Betsy Ray, it was no freckles and curly hair.  And for Mona, it was a bob and red nail polish.  Those beacons to girls of what it might be to be grown up.  AndContinue reading “To be pretty. And grown up.”

More on literary pilgrimages

Just spotted this article: Jo March Was Born Here, all about literary historic sites.  It also includes a slide show (though I was unable to read the complete captions-not sure if that was the website or my computer).  Some favorites of kidlit history are mentioned: Laura Ingalls, Jo March, Anne Shirley (though not in theContinue reading “More on literary pilgrimages”

My new favorite family, the Melendys

There was a time, not so very long ago, when I was not familiar with the Melendy family.  Sure, I had heard them mentioned by friends, and they sounded like a nice enough family.  But my life, I thought, was full.  Ooops. For those that don’t know about the Melendys, they are the center ofContinue reading “My new favorite family, the Melendys”

The Perils of Historical Fiction

It’s not that I don’t like historical fiction for kids.  It’s just that there’s so much bad historical fiction out there–books that probably aren’t going to convert any kids to the history-nerd lifestyle. In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been doing a lot more reading than usual.  Due to the bizarre combination of aContinue reading “The Perils of Historical Fiction”