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, November 8, 2012


 ....Once again we had a lively discussion at our last meeting. Everyone agreed that the novel we read, Inside out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai, was definitely superior to the book we read last month. In each the main character was an immigrant to the U.S. from the Viet Nam war. Some folks totally loved the book, others liked it a lot, but found some things that just didn't work. We all loved the character of "Ha" who came across as a very believable 10-year-old dealing with the issues of being an outsider in a strange country, while still being a pest to her brothers, curious, funny, etc.
As for the picture book, The Fantastic Flying Books by William Joyce , there was a complete difference in the reactions of the librarians vs. those of the writers in our group! The librarians loved it.....the writers -- not so much. Many of them thought it was contrived, preachy, and a bit trite. The librarians loved the fantasy aspects of it, the fact that it was about the importance of story, and -- of course the library with all of the books. Everyone had positive things to say about the illustrations. 
Click here for a link to a letter from William Joyce published in the 9/23 NY Times Book Review section.

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