Getting to know the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Getting to know the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


One of the things that I like is looking back
and seeing the generations of history that I’ve been able to be involved in by working here. I started working at the
Bulletin as a graduate student at the University of Chicago. It’s been an amazing period of time and
being able to work with people like Betsy and Roger who were here then and the various people who are here now is one of the best parts the job. I
love the review meetings. I love being able to come together to
talk about literature, to talk about books, to talk about children and to forge a community of critical thought that is active and lively and respectful yet irreverent. It’s one of my
favorite parts about the Bulletin process and I’m so glad
we’ve been able to keep that in an era when so many things have
gone virtual and remote, that we still have a
chance to come face to face and share, and keep the energy going in a way that I think really makes a difference to
what we write about books and how we think about books. Their collective wisdom about all
kinds of things, but particularly children’s literature and literature for young adults has taught me a
tremendous amount. I love that we talk about books. What better thing to do on a Wednesday morning than to sit around and talk about books with with other people who love them as much as you do. They talk about books in a way that will
help other people in the profession decide whether or not to purchase these
books for collections, will help parents decide whether or not to
purchase books for their children. It’s nice to be a part of something that has that purpose, I think. Well, this is
where it all starts, with the books themselves.
It’s really… it’s two pieces. It’s the kids and the books put together. I get to do all the funnest things about books. Connecting other people. It’s delightful. And I’m just happy being around children’s books. That to me is like some of the most pleasant environment I can imagine. And here…and here we are. This is just like this total experience
of children’s books. We’re talking about them, we’re looking at them, we’re connecting with other people through them, we’re telling funny stories about them and we’re surrounded by them. Part of the reason I think what makes this experience so
enjoyable is the fact that we do meet every week as a group and we’re able to
have these wonderful discussions about books, and I’m challenged in ways that I
probably wouldn’t be if I was working somewhere else. And it’s
such a…. a lovely group of people and we have
such a nice dynamic. My position as assistant editor, there are even more responsibilities that I love. I
really enjoy assigning books because I get to sort of go through the newcomers and sort through who would best review these types of books and it’s kind of a fun deduction game. Do I ever have a bad day? Am I ever not
happy to be here? And truthfully, almost never am I unhappy to be here. So why? Why is
the point here. I do think that it’s the collaboration, the idea of being part of a collaborative
effort. I know not all review journals work this
way. A lot of times the default is that
you write a review and you send it in and an editor spits and polishes it and all that and then
in it goes. But to sit at a table with really bright, engaged people who all love the same
thing, and look at each other’s work and ask questions about it so that
you can clarify. When you know little bit about their
personality and what will move them and what they
have background knowledge of. It just sort of builds your confidence in what they’re writing. And being a part of that is just very
exciting and it’s very exciting week, after week, after week and it doesn’t grow old, which is amazing. I grow old, but this
experience does not grow old! There you go.

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