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Babe To Teens, Past
A Youth Column
By Beverly Rowe

Tips for writers
New books you will enjoy

It’s no secret—the interest in digital content in schools and libraries is at an all-time high, and many children now own digital readers. Be sure to check out your library for e-books to borrow. It seems to be the wave of the future. E-books are less expensive to buy, most books are available in an e-format, including textbooks, you can loan them to friends on most e-readers, and they are lightweight.

Children's literature has come a long way in keeping up with the times, but we do miss some of our old favorites. Happily, new books by some of the late, great children's writers are still being published. If you loved Dr. Seuss as much as I did, you will be excited over this new collection of lost stories, along with a new book of those magical poems of Shel Silverstein. There are also new books by favorite adult authors that have turned to writing for children and young adults: Harlan Coban, and Jane Smiley are two that looked exciting.

Here are my recommendations for your reading pleasure:

by Dr. Seuss

Seuss scholar/collector Charles D. Cohen has hunted down seven rarely seen stories by Dr. Seuss. Originally published in magazines between 1948 and 1959, they include "The Bippolo Seed" (in which a scheming feline leads an innocent duck to make a bad decision); "The Bear, the Rabbit, and the Zinniga-Zanniga" (about a rabbit who is saved from a bear with a single eyelash!); and "The Great Henry McBride" (about a boy whose far-flung career fantasies are only bested by those of the real Dr. Seuss himself).

poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein

Have you ever read a book with everything on it? Well, here it is, an amazing collection of never-before-published poems and drawings from the creator of WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS, A LIGHT IN THE ATTIC and FALLING UP. You will say Hi-ho for the toilet troll, get tongue-tied with Stick-a-Tongue-Out-Sid, play a highly unusual horn, and experience the joys of growing down.

written by Avi
illustrated by Greg Ruth

As a newsboy on the streets of 1893 New York, 13-year-old Maks Geless has a hard enough time evading the grasp of the Plug Ugly gang, whose sinister boss wants to control all the newsies on the Lower East Side. But now Maks is burdened with a new challenge: proving the innocence of his sister, Emma --- in just four days. While Emma is confined to the city jail for allegedly stealing a watch at the glamorous new Waldorf Hotel, Maks teams up with Willa, a strange but loyal girl who lives alone in an alley, and Bartleby Donck, a lawyer to do some urgently needed detective work. Avi has caught the historical realities of being a newsboy in New York in the late 1800s.

by Katherine Paterson and John Paterson
Illustrated by John Rocco

An ambitious Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart, allowing him to take control of his tribe. Against his better judgment, the tribe’s magic man creates the Flint Heart, but the cruelty of it causes the destruction of the tribe. Thousands of years later, the talisman reemerges to corrupt a kindly farmer, an innocent fairy creature, and a familial badger. Can Charles and his sister Unity, who have consulted with fairies such as the mysterious Zagabog, wisest creature in the universe, find a way to rescue humans, fairies and animals alike from the dark influence of the Flint Heart?

The Story of America and African Americans
by Kadir Nelson

The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. But it is also the story of injustice; of a country divided by law, education, and wealth; of a people whose struggles and achievements helped define their country. This is the story of the men, women and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it’s about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it’s about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It’s a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination and triumphs.

by Gary Paulsen

Meet Jake, who lives in a neighborhood controlled by street violence and fear. He meets a sculptor across the street, and his eyes are opened to another world. Or Jojo, who's closer to her three dogs than to her foster family. When Jojo tries to help another girl who needs a friend, the dogs know what to do. Or Jamie, Erik and Grandpa, who make up an unusual family.

by Jane Smiley

True Blue is a beauty, a dappled gray, and when Abby gets to take him to her family's ranch, she can hardly believe her luck. The horse needs a home: his owner --- a woman brand new to the riding stable --- was tragically killed in a car crash and no one has claimed him. Daddy is wary, as always. But Abby is smitten. True Blue is a sweetheart, and whenever Abby calls out, "Blue, Blue, how are you?" he whinnies back.

But sometimes True Blue seems...spooked. He paces, and always seems to be looking for something. Or someone. Abby starts to wonder about True Blue's owner. What was she like? What did she look like? And then one moonlit night.....

by Laini Taylor

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth has grown dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. (Urban Fantasy)

by Lisa T. Bergren

Gabriella and Evangelia Betarrini are the daughters of Etruscan archaeologists. Stuck on a hot, dusty dig site for yet another long, dreary summer --- far from the nearest boys --- they go exploring. They enter a forbidden tomb and find two handprints among the frescoes. And when they touch them, together, they are catapulted back in time…and into the adventure of their lives. Fantastic series for fantasy lovers.

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Tips for children's writers:

Submitting to Children's Book Publishers:
3 Steps to Avoiding Rejection Letters

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