T. Jefferson Parker’s love for reading, suspense fostered by The Boxcar Children

Award-winning New York Times bestselling author T. Jefferson Parker joins our guest author blogger series, as The Boxcar Children series fostered his love of reading, mystery and suspense as a child. With the new animated film, “The Boxcar Children,” arriving on retailer stores’ shelves, the buzz about the book series, by Gertrude Chandler Warner, has heightened among book lovers. Parker loved The Boxcar Children books as a child.

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Mrs. Baxter introduced us to them in third grade. I loved the mystery in all the tales, and the fantasy of these kids living together in a boxcar, made credible. There was something foreboding to me in the image of children living in a boxcar.

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It seemed…tantalizingly weird. And that foreboding pulled me through the series. The fact that they took place in the past made them even more alluring. All the books had fair but happy endings, which any 10-year old appreciates. And I loved Watch the dog. I was always a sucker for dogs in books.  I still am!

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T. Jefferson Parker is the author of more than twenty novels. His newest novel, Full Measure, goes on sale October 7th. Visit his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted in Book News

Cookbooks with Kiki! It’s another edition of #FridayReads with AW Staffers!

Today’s #FridayReads post comes from Kiki Schotanus, upstanding member of the Albert Whitman purchasing department!  Take it away Kiki:

Forced against my will to write a bit about books, I have chosen to write about the kinds of books I read the most – cookbooks! I love cookbooks. I love everything from the $10 church cookbooks and treasured classics like Joy of Cooking to cutting edge cookbooks like Chef Homaro Cantu’s The Miracle Berry Diet Cookbook. I have recently created a ‘Cookbook Nook’ in the back of our house where I pared down to 50 of my favorite cookbooks (shared with a bit of our Costco overflow). I go back there for peace & quiet. A feeling of comfort overcomes me when I’m amongst some of my favorite possessions in the world, cookbooks.

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The Nook! (It shares the space with a little Costco overflow…)

Cookbook reading is not limited to The Cookbook Nook, though. I also read cookbooks in bed at night just to read a few more recipes before sleep.

Tonight at our house we will be celebrating our annual ‘Friendsgiving.’ We’ll be enjoying good friends and good food & wine. Of course the evening wouldn’t be complete without Catch Phrase! As for the food, all dishes are composed of seafood so as to not compete with any turkey that will be served the following Thursday. This year we’ll start the evening with Old Fashioneds and an appetizer of Clams in Broth. The first course will be Potato Fennel Soup with Smoked Salmon. The entrée will be Scallops with Apple Pan Sauce served with homemade egg pasta fettuccine and a side of Swiss Chard and Sorrel Gratin. We’re ending the evening with Chocolate Cream Pie and Nespressos.

Here are a few of my favorite cookbooks and favorite recipes:

jpeg-2Ina Garten’s first cookbook The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, check out the Parmesan Chicken – a family favorite.

The Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook from 1985, see Salmon Mousse.

The Pie and Pastry Bible from Rose Levy Beranbaum has the all time best peach pie recipe.

 

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Amy’s Bread has my go to French bread recipe.

Pioneer Woman Cooks is as an entertaining read as it is a great resource for recipes.

Homesick Texan is where a get my TexMex on!

The cookbook I plan to make more use of in the coming months is Ottelenghi’s Plenty, long live eggplant!

When I’m not reading cookbooks, I’m tasked with completing my book club selection. Most recently we chose to read Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Early in the book we learn that Theo, the protagonist, loses his mother when he is 13 years old. It is a riveting novel bringing the reader from Park Avenue to the underworld of illegal black market art selling. Tartt takes her time to develop the characters, an aspect I appreciated. Others found that she could have written this book in half the amount of pages.

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I was looking forward to a lively discussion of this book and its many intriguing themes, but was surprised to find out that I was the only one to completely read all 771 pages. Sadly, good discussions were not to be had. Threatened with disbandment, the book clubbers have agreed to read all book selections going forward.

Posted in #FridayReads | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Author Gary Urey’s Boxcar Children Adventure

Author Gary Urey, a graduate of the America Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, discusses his childhood love for The Boxcar Children. The animated film of “The Boxcar Children,” based on the first book in the series, is now available at local retailers. Urey says The Boxcar Children series captured his imagination as a kid.

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My Boxcar Children journey began with a summer visit to the Mercer Area Library in Mercer, Pennsylvania. The year was 1976. Our country was two hundred years old; I was nine, and one day, I checked out the book, Bicycle Mystery.

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Life hasn’t been the same since.

Unlike the Alden kids’ Bicycle Mystery, my mother never would have allowed me to take a week-long bicycle trip into the countryside all alone. However, living vicariously through the pages of their story was not enough. I needed to LIVE what the Alden kids had experienced in their adventure. I remember cruising the streets of my little town on a brand new Huffy bicycle, fantasizing about being an Alden, and searching for an abandoned house to escape the rain. I packed slices of white bread, hoping to lure a stray dog in need of rescue. Every adult walking down the street was a potential dog-napper.

 Next came the Mystery Behind the Wall. The book convinced me that fabulous treasures were hidden somewhere in the walls of my bedroom. Then there was the Tree House Mystery: A Graphic Novel, my all-time favorite Boxcar Children tale. The story seemed to parallel my own life at the time—my friends and I were trying to build a treehouse (unsuccessfully), and a new family with a kid my age had just moved in a few houses from my own. Unfortunately, we never found a missing spyglass or a mysterious hidden room.

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Stories of the Alden siblings kicked the door open for my love of reading, and that same legacy has now passed to my daughter, Sophie. She is the proud owner of a dozen Boxcar Children books and loves them all. In fact, she begged my wife (a children’s theatre director) to write a stage adaptation of the Boxcar Children and cast her as Violet. When Albert Whitman announced their nation-wide contest to pick a child to voice a part in the movie, she eagerly signed up and was disappointed when she didn’t win. Generation after generation, the Boxcar Children books still have the power to capture a kid’s imagination!

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Gary Urey is the  author of Super Schnoz and the Gates of Smell, which Kirkus called in its starred review “…a winner, especially for reluctant readers.” Urey’s latest book in the Super Schnoz saga, Super Schnoz and the Invasion of the Snore Snatchers, is available now.

Urey puts his professional theatre training to good use every time he sits down to write funny stories for kids. Besides being an actor, Gary spent several years in New York City as a theatre reviewer and script reader. He now lives and writes in Portland, Maine with his wife and two daughters.

Posted in Book News

An Interview with Madame Martine

Sketches and interview by author Sarah Brannen

Madame Martine is a long-time resident of Paris. She and her dog, Max, live in the seventh arrondissement, on Rue du Gros Caillou, near the Eiffel Tower. They try something new every Saturday. We spoke on a recent chilly fall day in a café on Avenue de la Bourdonnais.
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Sarah Brannen: It’s nice to see you again, madame. What new things have you and Max done lately?

Madame Martine: Well, we went to a tennis match last week! We saw Roger Federer play. He is very handsome. And also a good tennis player. In August we went to an opera performed out of doors.

SB: What opera was it?

MM: It was called Aida. We were very disappointed that there were no elephants. We wanted to see elephants. We saw elephants last spring in the circus—it was very exciting!

SB: Have you been back to the Eiffel Tower lately?

MM: Oh no. Dogs are not allowed, you know.

SB: Ah, that’s a good point. Now, madame, please tell me, what was the real reason you had never climbed the Eiffel Tower?

MM: Ouf. Alors. I suppose I must admit it. I am afraid of heights. My grandfather helped to build the tower. He hung on a harness from the highest level. He told me stories when I was a little girl, and I was terrified at the very thought!

SB: Well, you’ve climbed it now! By the way, what was the actual day you followed Max to the top?

MM: November 17. Do you want to know a secret?

SB: Of course! Do tell.

MM: It was my birthday! (Madame Martine got a fit of the giggles at this point and buried her face in Max’s fur.)

SB: What a perfect way to celebrate. Do you have any plans for your birthday this year?

MM: Well, since Max and I do something new every Saturday, we were thinking of picking one of our favorite new things and doing it again. I haven’t decided yet. Perhaps we’ll ride on the carousel again. Would you like that, Max? (Max barks.) Ah, you see, he likes the idea!

SB: Do you mind if I ask Max a few questions?

MM: Suit yourself. He doesn’t talk, you know.

SB: Max, sit! Good dog. What do you like best about living with Madame Martine?

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SB: What’s your favorite place in Paris?
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SB: Have you promised never to run away again?
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MM: He is a very good dog. He does run away from time to time. He keeps me young! (She laughs.)

SB: May I ask you a rather personal question? Is there a…Monsieur Martine?

MM: Ah, non. Monsieur Martine died many years ago.

SB: My sympathies.

MM: C’est la vie.

SB: As you know, this interview will appear on a blog about children’s books. What was your favorite book when you were a child?

MM: Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans. Also Burt Dow, Deep-Water Man, by your American author Robert McCloskey.

SB: Really?

MM: Mais oui. It is a wonderful book. You should read it.

SB: What’s next for you today? Shopping?

MM: Yes, we go to Rue Cler every day at about this time. I want to buy some cheese. And chicken and some mushrooms. (Max wags his tail.)

SB: Well, I won’t keep you. Thank you for chatting! Let’s do this again soon. Au revoir!

MM: That sounds delightful. À bientôt!

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*Arf

Posted in Authors and Illustrators, Book News | Tagged , , , , , ,

It’s #FridayReads with Editorial Director Kelly Barrales-Saylor!

Thanks for popping in for another installment of #FridayReads with Albert Whitman staffers.  Chime in on our Twitter (@AlbertWhitman) and tell us what you’re reading this Friday.  We’d love to know!

Today’s guest post is from our Editorial Director Kelly Barrales-Saylor:

Reading and editing children’s books as a career is definitely the coolest job I could have ever dreamed of. And having a toddler at home, I read more picture books than I ever thought possible. This is precisely why when I’m not reading The Little Blue Truck I gravitate toward adult nonfiction. My guilty pleasures are celebrity memoirs and big, glossy cookbooks.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I thought I’d write about one of the memoir-ish books I’m reading right now that is full of nuggets of wisdom: What I Know for Sure by Oprah Winfrey. Say what you will about Oprah and her empire, but growing up in Chicagoland, her show was a staple in my house. And in Chicago her show ran at 9am and 11pm so even before DVRs existed, I never missed an episode—probably saw at least a few minutes of every one from the first season until its finale.

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Side story: Oprah and her various shows are a large part of my personal history. Just one example is when my dad was in the Oprah studio audience back in the late 1980s and a very young Jonathon Brandmeier was a guest as part of Oprah’s conversation with “outrageous disc jockeys.” Johnny B (as he was known) pointed to my very tall and burly biker dad sitting in the audience and said, “I’m sorry, sir, but the mass murderer show was last week.” The show was live! They showed my dad on TV! My dad laughed (he was a fan of Johnny’s) and waved him off. After the show, according to my dad, Johnny approached my dad to apologize and then asked my dad to act like his bodyguard so he didn’t get mugged on his way to the car. My dad obliged and had some nice conversations with Johnny on the way. I still have that episode of the Oprah Winfrey Show on tape. After my dad passed away, having this little video with my dad waving and saying “Hi, Johnny!” has been quite comforting.

(OMG. Remember 80's Oprah?)

(OMG. Remember 80’s Oprah?)

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Ok, back to this #FridayReads post (sorry, I’m quite wordy when telling stories).

What I Know for Sure is a collection of essays that originally appeared in Oprah’s magazine. They’re organized by themes such as joy, gratitude, resilience, possibility, awe, etc. Remember that book All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum? Well, this is sort of the Oprah version. The essays are small enough to digest a few at a time or all at once.

I admit that on the weekends you can probably find me wearing my Oprah Winfrey Show T-shirt while drinking out of my Oprah Winfrey Show mug (both of which my husband scored in a swag bag from producers of the show—like I said, I’ve got a few Oprah stories). But I swear this little collection of essays is worth reading for non-Oprah fans too.

It’s the perfect little book to help me reflect and find peace and (especially right now) remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving…before or after I run in and out of five different grocery stores in search of the one ingredient I forgot to buy that everyone is sold out of while my son insists I sing “Itsy Bitsy Spider” over and over. And if you happen to have a meltdown while arm wrestling someone for the last can of pumpkin, just remember what Oprah knows for sure: “no matter where you are, you are a single choice away from a new beginning.”

Posted in #FridayReads, Guest Bloggers | Tagged , , , , , ,

Under the Influence of Books: Obert Skye

As our guest author series continues, we’re delighted to have author Obert Skye join us in our discussion of The Boxcar Children. The featured animated film, which is now on Netflix, is also available at your local retailer.

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I admit it, I love the Boxcar children—not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact in looking back, I can see so many ways in which they influenced my own writing.

I remember when I read the first volume. It had been loaned to me by a kid named Tony who lived down the street. He always wore T-shirts with movie decals on them, and he read a lot of books. He would study books at recess while the rest of us tried to look like we knew what we were doing by kicking kick balls and chasing girls that were clearly faster than us.

I was at Tony’s house one afternoon and saw a huge pile of books by his Star Wars lamp. I had never seen that many books outside of a library. Tony was super proud of them, and when I asked him which book was his favorite, he carefully pulled out a book from beneath his bed and handed it to me. It was The Boxcar Children. I didn’t know much about the book at the time, but I did like trains and well, boxcars are a part of the train family. I asked Tony about it and he said,

“It’s about four kids, Henry, Jessie, Violet and Benny.”

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I thought it was weird that he knew the character names and that he could list them off as if they were members of his family. I also thought it was weird that he volunteered to let me borrow it, after I had broken one of his Adventure People action figures the week before.

I read it in one weekend and loved every word. I could see why Tony had listed the characters like family. They felt real, and I felt compelled to root for them and worry for them. I loved when the grandfather turned out to be kind. And when the boxcar was moved into the backyard I openly cheered. All was right with the world the day I finished that book.

I suppose that’s what a good book does. It takes you away and then leaves you in a spot you’re now happy to occupy. The Boxcar Children was a good book.

I remember a few years back having a discussion with another author about the Boxcar books. I was surprised by how many influences those stories had on my life and writing. There are almost too many to point out. I will mention one. I don’t know if it was my subconscious or just the way things played out, but I find it interesting that I now have two sons of my own, and one’s named Henry and the other one we call Benny. It’s like the characters literally became family.

Long live the Boxcar Children.

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Obert Skye is the author of the Leven Thumps series and The Creature From My Closet series.

The Creature From My Closet

Get in touch with Obert Skye through Facebook, @Obertskye on Twitter, or his website.

Posted in Children's Books, The Boxcar Children, The Boxcar Children | Tagged , , , ,

#FridayReads with Ellen Kokontis, Albert Whitman’s Art Services Supervisor

Happy Friday!  Today’s installment of #FridayReads comes to us from Albert Whitman’s Art Services Supervisor, Ellen Kokontis.  Take it away, Ellen!

I think that there is a misconception out there that if you were an English major, if you love books, and if you are a girl, that it follows that you are not only part of the cheering squad of 19th century British women authors, but that you internalize their romances and seek them out in your own life. You moon over Heathcliff-ish moody brooders. You are fascinated with the Rochester-esque Byronic hero. You develop a Darcy complex. And while I have known women who fit this description, I am not one of them. Heathcliff is a bully, Rochester is a creep, and Darcy is just plain annoying.

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So when my friend suggested I read a book called The Eyre Affair, I thought, ugh, I’m not in the mood for pale English people suffering on the Heath. But I put some faith in my friend and checked it out from the library. I haven’t been the same since.

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The English world of The Eyre Affair is not the dreary 1800s, but an alternate dimension in the 1980s, in which time travel, cloning, and dangerous cheese smuggling all exist. This world is the home of Thursday Next, Swindon’s crack investigator of SpecOps department 27, the literary detectives tasked with rooting out forgeries and tracking down stolen manuscripts. The Eyre Affair introduces the reader to this world’s many idiosyncrasies, like the Neanderthal rights movement and pet dodos, as well as Thursday’s family, which includes her father, a rogue time-travel agent who constantly pops in and out of Thursday’s life and also has never existed.

Now, I know you are thinking that this sounds absolutely nuts. And it is. But these details work themselves perfectly into the backdrop of the narrative to amuse but never distract.

The real delight of this book is when its characters start hopping into other well-known works of fiction. Acheron Hades, an evil English-professor-turned-master-criminal starts kidnapping characters and threatens to change the endings of beloved novels if his demands are not met. It is a tall order for Thursday to track this villain down, but she soon learns, with the help of Edward Rochester, that she has the ability to read herself into books.

See, within this crazy alternate dimension is another layer of realitythat of the book world, where characters act out their book’s plot in infinite repetition, and they are forced to follow what the author has written, whether they like it or not. But like actors in the wings, they break character when the narrative no longer centers on them. (For example, in later books you find Ms. Havisham drag racing, Marianne Dashwood chain smoking, and Heathcliff—albeit reluctantly—participating in group therapy) So I have come to have my own special affection for Rochesterbut Fforde’s Rochester, not Charlotte Bronte’s. This protagonist is active, kind, helpful, and appreciative of Thursday’s work, and so markedly different from his original form.

I don’t want to give away too much of the plot—or rather I can’t really without going into extensive detail about Thursday’s world. All I can say is that if you like British silliness and have a fondness for language, then you should read this book. And if you like it as much as I did, then you’re in luck, because there are six sequels, with the series’ conclusion to come. The sequels delve deeper into the book world and introduce more hilarious Fforde versions of literary figures.

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Don’t be shy if you haven’t read every Classic—even a cursory knowledge of British literature is enough to understand what’s going on. The true joy of these books is Fforde’s boundless imagination and wit. I’ve made my way through the fourth book, and I can’t wait to keep going.

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I’ll leave you with my favorite quote from The Well of Lost Plots, the third book in the series, which takes place almost exclusively in the book world.

…A knock on the door revealed an untidy man wearing a hat named Wyatt.

“Sorry,” he said sheepishly, apologizing for the misrelating grammatical construction almost immediately, “Wyatt is my name, not the hat’s.”

Posted in #FridayReads | Tagged , ,

#FridayReads with AW Staffers Continues with Jordan Kost, Creative Manager

It’s #FridayReads with Albert Whitman Staffers!  Today, our Creative Manager, Jordan Kost, tells us all about her current spooky reads:  

When the leaves begin to change and a chill starts to creep into the air, I want my apple cider warm, my sweaters cozy, and my stories extra scary. So, you can imagine how pleased I was went I went over to the to read stack on my bookshelf at the beginning of October and found not one, but two novels from one of my favorite supernatural and spooky authors, Neil Gaiman.

The first novel I picked up was The Graveyard Book. The story centers around a boy named Bod who lives in a graveyard. Bod, who is very much alive, is being raised by the graveyard’s residents who are very, very dead.

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Ghosts, ghouls, werewolves, witches, and vampires all play their own part in a story that is magical, surprising, delightful, and creepy.

But not only is this a wonderful story—The Graveyard Book is also illustrated by the fantastic Dave McKean. Gaiman and McKean have teamed up many times before (Coraline, The Wolves in the Walls, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish…the list goes on) and once again, the duo does not disappoint. I had to pause several times while reading The Graveyard Book to dive into Mr. McKean’s wild, scratchy ink illustrations. The endless hidden details contained within each illustration were as complex and beautiful as the story itself. This novel is perfect for both young readers and adults on a dark and stormy night.

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The second novel, The Ocean At the End of the Lane, surprised me. I brought it with me on a recent flight to San Francisco and once I dove in, I could not put it down. I was completely smitten. So very smitten that when my flight arrived, I had to be gently nudged by the flight attendants that it was time to get off the plane because I was completely lost in the story. Once in the airport, I had to sit down in one of the lounges so that I could finish the chapter I was reading before gathering myself and heading into the city.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane is filled to the brim with everything you want in a Halloween read: magic, humor, good versus evil, suspense, mythology, and of course, kittens! Yes, kittens! The scenes that are scary are downright terrifying, and the magical world in this novel is so new and original, it practically knocked me over.

“Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.” ―Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I don’t want to give away a single spoiler. All that I will say is once all of the trick-or-treating is done for the evening, this is the book you should reach for before curling up under a blanket with a sleeping cat on your lap. And, if for some reason you do not happen to have a cat around, I suggest you head out and gather one up the “normal way” just like the Hempstocks do. Want to find out what this normal way is? Then hurry up and read The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Posted in #FridayReads | Tagged , , ,

#Fridayreads and The New Yorker

It’s #FridayReads with Albert Whitman Staffers!  Social Media Coordinator Danielle Perlin discusses her current reads:

For the past few years, I’ve received a new The New Yorker magazine weekly. As a features writer, I absolutely love diving into a new 10-page feature story. I’ve read so many obscure, intimate, upsetting, and electrifying stories from all over the world because of The New Yorker magazine staffers’ amazing work. I thought this week’s magazine cover in particular was extremely relevant to my job at Albert Whitman.

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When I was scrolling through Nook deals from B&N one day, I came across a memoir, The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker. I knew at once that I’d be interested in purchasing it. The memoir, written by Janet Groth, discusses her 21-year tenure at The New Yorker as the receptionist on the eighth floor, beginning in 1957. Using flowery language throughout her memoir, Groth describes her personal relationships with writers, discusses “jealous wives checking on adulterous husbands … and was seduced, two-timed, and proposed to by a few of the magazine’s eccentric luminaries.”

The Receptionist

Although I haven’t finished it yet (I will soon!), I love the way it’s written. There’s so much depth to Groth’s writing, and you have to pay attention to each and every word to understand the full meaning of the sentence, the paragraph, and the chapter. The chapters don’t necessary flow together, but I don’t think they’re meant to, as each one lets the reader peak into Groth’s life and into the world of the late 1950s, the ’60s, and the ’70s.

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My favorite part about Groth’s memoir, so far, is reading about how she took messages at The New Yorker and how people communicated back then. With all the technology we have now, and with peoples’ diminished attention spans, I just have to wonder if technology, and the distraction it causes, keeps us from perfecting our work — in Groth’s case, she challenged herself constantly to be a better writer. Groth’s classy attitude, honesty, and perseverance in attaining her goals is really empowering to me as a woman. Usually, when we hear about a woman in the ’50s, she was a housewife; at least, that’s the general portrayal. But Groth went to college, moved to New York City on her own accord, and eventually became a professor. I’m really looking forward to reading the rest of this memoir, and I’m grateful I decided to buy this book.

Posted in Book News

Bullying Prevention Month: JACOB’S NEW DRESS

My wife, Sarah, and I were preparing to speak at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Berkeley about kids, gender, and our book, Jacob’s New Dress.

Reviewing our materials, we marveled at how far the world had come since our son, now twelve, first asked to wear a dress at age three. In nine years, gender non-conforming kids had gone from being publicly shamed to being featured in magazines, newspapers, and TV talk shows. Supportive feature articles had appeared in both The New York Times and The New Yorker. There were even gender non-conforming characters on mainstream television who weren’t caricatures or the butt of jokes. Change was happening at a pace we’d never imagined, a pace we could see.

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We carried that enthusiasm into our talk. The audience was warm, thoughtful, and appreciative. We learned that the Unitarian Church has a comprehensive sex-ed program where they start teaching about gender diversity in kindergarten. “Look,” we thought, “more change for the good!” We knew there would always be educational work to be done, but sitting in that room, we could see the world had become a better place.

Then one woman spoke up, telling the group that her daughter had just been kicked out of preschool for dressing and acting like a boy. As she spoke, she tried not to cry. This was all new to her, and she didn’t know what to do. Was it true what people said, she asked, that her little girl was like this because she and her husband were too permissive? She’d read our book and decided she had to meet us. Maybe we would know the answer to her questions.

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It was hard to breathe. We were sitting in a progressive church, in the liberal Bay Area, in the year 2014, celebrating incredible social change. And yet we just heard about a little girl who had been kicked out of preschool for…what? Pants? Baseball caps? Short hair?

Maybe the world hadn’t changed as much as we thought.

At home after the event, Sarah and I talked about the pain that woman and her family were going through. A kind of pain so common when a child has a gender difference. Yet it was still true that the world had changed an incredible amount in the last few years. We realized that this is very much the heart of our job: to hold both of these things as true, and to not lose sight of either of them. To remember the pain, because that’s why we wrote our book, and to remember the change, because that’s why we wrote it, too.

Sarah and I would like to thank Albert Whitman & Company for being brave, thoughtful, and forward-thinking–for publishing Jacob’s New Dress. A lot of kids, and a lot of parents, need a story about someone like them. They need to know they are OK being who they are.  And they need to know they are not alone.

-Ian & Sarah Hoffman

Sarah and Ian are the parents of a pink boy and a girl whose favorite color is yellow. Sarah writes for national magazines, newspapers, and radio, and speaks publicly about raising her gender-nonconforming son. Ian writes children’s books. You can find them through their website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Posted in Book News