Philip Pullman Shortlisted for Man Booker International Prize

Philip Pullman, author of the acclaimed His Dark Materials series, has been shortlisted for the International Booker Prize.  The prize is awarded every two years to a living fiction author whose work is either originally in English or has been translated into English and is generally available. 

The winner is selected by the judging panel only with no submissions from publishers.  Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass was longlisted in 2001.  It won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, the first time the prize was given to a children’s book.

Live Webcast with Gary D. Schmidt

Join Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and author Gary D. Schmidt for a live webcast on Monday, May 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm EST.  Schmidt will be discussing his writing and his books, The Wednesday Wars and Okay for Now.

You can sign up for the webcast here.

Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic


Night Flight: Amelia Earhart Crosses the Atlantic by Robert Burleigh, illustrated by Wendell Minor

This gorgeous and beautifully written picture book follows Amelia Earhart as she tries to be the first woman to pilot a plane across the Atlantic Ocean alone.  Beginning with Earhart rolling down the runway in Newfoundland on May 20, 1932, the book is not only about the trip but also about the beauty of flight, the moments of wonder, the fears, the dedication it takes, and the incredible feat that Amelia Earhart accomplished. 

Burleigh has written the book in paired lines that are filled with poetry and grace.  He uses words to capture the emotions and the events on the journey.  From the beauty of the star-filled sky to the drama of a storm out over the ocean, readers will thrill to this adventure.  As I look over the writing, I am caught up again and again by the words, the pacing, and the incredible Earhart.

Minor’s paintings add to the drama and beauty of the title.  When the book begins, readers can see the smiling face of Earhart peeking through the plane windows directly at them.  Minor manages to capture both the scale and expanse of the adventure and the personal story of Earhart.  He makes it both monumental and personal as does Burleigh in his text.

While there are many titles about Amelia Earhart out there, this is one of the best and would be a thrilling read for any class exploring women’s history.  Appropriate for ages 6-8.

Reviewed from library copy.

To see some of the beauty of the illustrations, take a look at the book trailer below:

Also reviewed by Bibliophile by the Sea.