by Marsha Qualey
Here in the upper Midwest most of us are waiting for the other shoe to drop. We’ve had a hint of winter, and we all suspect the real thing will arrive soon. Meanwhile, the landscape is brown, with the occasional flash of color from holiday trimmings, birds, blaze orange outerwear.
The National Book Awards were bestowed last month at what’s probably the fanciest book event in the U.S. While the book award season is now on hold until January, the end of year “best” or “best bets for gifts” listing is in full swing. These commercial lists have a lot in common with those announced in conjunction with an award: They’re all about the new books.
From its inception, Bookology has not been about new books. Yes, a number of our Bookstorm™ books have been new releases, but month-to-month we aim our focus on and use our platform to herald the vast catalogue of books published in previous years. The perfect book to place in the hand of a young reader might not be the one generating all the current buzz, and that’s why so many titles in our columns and ‘storms and Quirky Book lists have a few miles on them and deserve to be talked about once again.
Our Bookstorm™ book this month is The Firekeeper’s Son by Newbery medalist Linda Sue Park. A picture book set in 19th century Korea, it’s the story of a boy who is suddenly swept away from playtime with his toy soldiers and challenged to “step up” when his father is injured.
We’ll have interviews with both Linda Sue Park and, later this month, the illustrator, Julie Downing. Also coming soon: a Quirky list and an end-of-year slide show honoring the children’s book creators who have died this year. And of course we’ll have the usual columns from the bookologists and authors who show up regularly in Bookology. Today: author Elizabeth Fixmer shares how children’s books deepened her work as a psychotherapist.
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