JK Rowling

Happy Birthday JK Rowling

While many of Rowling’s characters are good role models for her readers, she is also a great role model herself. She shows that personal struggles are nothing to be ashamed of, and that they can be overcome – and in fact, you can even go on to help others. It is fortunate that libraries continue to ensure that children have access to books and authors, including Rowling and Harry Potter, that can inspire them even when those books are challenged.

New York Times Obituary photo of Jean Craighead George

Happy Belated Birthday, Jean Craighead George!

George was an adventurer. Born into a family of naturalists, she spent much of her time camping near the Potomac River, observing the local flora and fauna, and learning valuable wilderness skills. Her love of nature and the hours spent exploring the outdoors eventually inspired over 100 books, including 1960 Newberry Honor, My Side of the Mountain, and 1973 Newberry winner Julie of the Wolves.

Portrait of Marquis de Sade (1740-1814) by Charles-Amédée-Philippe van Loo

Happy Birthday to the Marquis De Sade!

The works of Donatien Alphonse François (1740-1814), better known as the Marquis de Sade, were banned nearly-immediately upon publication by both the King of France Louis XVI and Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and remained so for over two centuries. Combined, his books have been banned for nearly 1000 years (more than 200 years apiece). Who was the man alternatively called the “Divine Marquis” and the author of the “most abominable book ever engendered by the most depraved imagination?”

Jodi Picoult

Happy Birthday, Jodi Picoult!

Each time I read one, I asked myself, “What makes her books so compelling?” It could be her writing, with its fast-paced plot lines peppered with thoroughly researched details. It could be the twist endings, which keep me on edge as I read up until the very last page. But mostly, I think it’s the way she fearlessly tackles difficult, hard-to-grasp topics: abortion, teen suicide, faith, rape, euthanasia, racism, school shootings, LGBTQ+ rights.

Unpresidented: a Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough

Moving Post- Post-Truth in a Trump Biography for Young Readers by Martha Brockenbrough

Living in a post-truth political climate can make it difficult for teachers and school librarians to select reading materials while also appearing neutral. Read excerpts of an interview with Martha Brockenbrough, author of Unpresidented: a Biography of Donald Trump, to learn more about how she approached writing a biography on the 45th president for young readers, challenges to herself and the book, and what she hopes young readers will take away after reading.