As Mary Shelley’s ‘Frankenstein’ turns 200, audiobook captures tragedy

June 8, 2018

(published in the Raleigh News and Observer, June 03, 2018) This year marks the 200th birthday of Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.” I began celebrating by renting the audio from the library, using the OverDrive app for read more »

Where are the strong women in children’s books? Here are some favorites.

April 30, 2018

published in the Raleigh News and Observer 4/29/18 The series of biographies I read as a child had more heroes than heroines. Still I most relished the ones that featured women. They were some of few strong females I read more »

Award-winning author wants to add more diverse voices to children’s literature

April 28, 2018

(Published in the News and Observer, April 22, 2018)   I last spoke to Kwame Alexander in 2014, months before his book “The Crossover,” won the prestigious Newbery Award for his contributions to children’s literature.     The novel read more »

Talking with Jason Reynolds

April 27, 2018

(published in AudioFile April-May 2018) Jason Reynolds is a bestselling author whose novels for middle schoolers and teens have been honored by the National Book Awards, the NAACP Image Awards, and the American Library Association. But perhaps his greatest read more »

A tale of 2 books about the VP’s bunny: one from John Oliver, the other Pence’s family

March 30, 2018

(Published in the News and Observer, 3/29/18) Easter is definitely the time for rabbit-y children’s books, but this season it’s a bunny beat bunny world. Politics have entered the children’s book ring, and there are two titles facing off. read more »

Audio books continue to surge in popularity. Here are some must-listen titles right now. 2017’s Recommended Audios

March 25, 2018

(Published in the News and Observer, March 25, 2018 For me, listening to audio books is not just pleasurable, but critical. It’s not only that I’m print-weary, but there are mornings I’m so scattered that only listening to audios calms read more »

The best 2017 audiobooks for kids, teens and young readers

published in the News and Observer, March 25, 2018 I love audio books. And for both children and adult books, I look to the same characteristics. I seek excellent narrators who add dimension to characters, strengthen evocative scenes, dramatize read more »

Author strives to show a different face of homelessness: ‘She’s more than this one issue

February 26, 2018

In the acknowledgments for Brenda Rufener’s debut novel, “Where I Live,” the Durham author speaks of “writing from the heart.” She does just that in telling the story of teenager Linden Rose, whose intelligence and wit make her successful in read more »

In the Black Lives Matter era, the literary world has faced a ‘wake-up call’; Interview with Nic Stone

January 21, 2018

Atlanta author Nic Stone’s son was only 5 months old when Jordan Davis, an African-American teen, was fatally shot at a gas station in Florida after an argument about the volume of his music. It occurred to Stone that one read more »

2017 Wilde Awards for the best books for young readers and young adults

December 20, 2017

(published in the Raleigh News and Observer, December 20, 2017)   You can walk into a bookstore and, in a relatively short time, determine the worth of a 32-page picture book. But do you choose a longer book? Which ones will read more »