WELCOME! Once a month, usually on a Thursday evening, a group of writers, illustrators, teachers and librarians meets in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles to discuss children's books. Usually we talk about one picture book and one middle grade or YA novel. After the meeting, Sandy Schuckett, a retired LAUSD librarian, summarizes our discussion. Here are her reports of our thoughts about the books we have read. We'd love to have your comments too!
Thanks to Nancy Hayashi for our wonderful title art! Our group has been meeting since 2007. It was organized under the auspices of the Children's Literature Council of Southern California (CLCSC).

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Picture Book: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Kadir Nelson (We will be comparing this with our January book, Henry's Freedom Box, also illustrated by Nelson.):
Once again we had a quite lively discussion at our meeting on Thursday. On the picture book, we all agreed that the illustrations were absolutely wonderful, and liked that the 'story' gave an insight into what Harriet Tubman was really thinking/feeling as she fled slavery and then led many more people to freedom. We had some discussion about the large presence of God -- both in the visual huge font when 'God spoke to her' and in the importance of God to her existence.....but agreed that her spiritual knowledge/feelings were what spurred her to continue her amazing actions.
Novel: Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck:
As for the Richard Peck book, most of us loved it. A couple of "agmoustics" didn't. Those who loved it thought it was brilliant, funny, an accurate portrayal of the time in which it took place, a great story, and a terrific example of showing the 'voice' of a character -- i.e. -- Helena the mouse. The "agmoustics" among us thought exactly the opposite -- not clever, not cute, not funny, annoying, etc. These differences of opinion are what make our group so much fun!
In our discussion of the Peck book, someone mentioned his homage to Lamont Cranston ("The Shadow" on old-time radio)......if you are interested in listening to 'old-time' radio, and you are home doing nothing else on Sunday afternoons, try "Forward Into the Past" on KSPC - 88.7FM from Pomona College. You'll hear great music from the 20s-30s-40s -- a lot of jazz and big band stuff, plus great novelty (remember Spike Jones??) recordings. Then -- from 3:00 - 4:00pm they replay old radio shows, including "The Shadow" + comedies like Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Fibber McGee & Molly, etc. -- also other drama shows which usually have some noted stars like Bette Davis, Ronald Coleman, etc. taking part. It's all really fun and really wonderful to hear.