Author Archive: Ilene Cooper

Ilene Cooper spends most of her day looking at, assigning, and reviewing (some) of the 7,000 children's books that are published each year in her role as contributing editor at Booklist. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Ilene.

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Jeff Sessions Preferred Dragnet: Talking with Al Franken, GIANT OF THE SENATE

Jeff Sessions Preferred Dragnet: Talking with Al Franken, GIANT OF THE SENATE

It’s a little nerve-racking to sit down with a giant of the Senate, but Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota wears the mantle lightly. To be clear, Giant of the Senate is the tongue-in-cheek title of his new book. But while it’s seasoned with humor, there’s plenty of meat. Franken, hardly looking old enough to […]

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Never Forgotten: Patricia McKissack, 1944-2017

Never Forgotten: Patricia McKissack, 1944-2017

In 1980, there were few books about African Americans—and even fewer written by African Americans themselves. Into the void stepped Patricia McKissack, who died yesterday at age 72, four years after her husband and co-author, Frederick. In her St. Louis Post-Dispatch obituary, McKissack’s son noted that his parents had “a missionary zeal to write about African-American […]

Essential Reading: Eleanor Roosevelt

Essential Reading: Eleanor Roosevelt

It’s not often that I finish writing a nonfiction book and want to read more about the subject. But I’ve just sent off the completed manuscript of my book about Eleanor Roosevelt to my editor at Abrams Books for Young Readers, and I’m not ready to say goodbye to the former First Lady quite yet. […]

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Remembering Natalie Babbitt
By November 1, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Remembering Natalie Babbitt

Natalie Babbitt, who died on October 31, 2016, was best known for her timeless fantasy, Tuck Everlasting (1975). The story of a family who has drunk from the spring of eternal life and the 10-year-old girl who discovers them, the novel grapples with the kinds of thought-provoking issues that were just starting to be found […]

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Quietly Pushing Boundaries: GERTIE’S LEAP TO GREATNESS by Kate Beasley

Quietly Pushing Boundaries: GERTIE’S LEAP TO GREATNESS by Kate Beasley

On the surface, Kate Beasley’s debut might seem fairly typical, but a closer look reveals vast depths of feeling. First it was the YA novel declared dead, 20-some years ago, only for an influx of new authors and the arrival of the Michael L. Printz Award to take the genre to unexpected heights. Because the […]

Fictionalization in Nonfiction: Two Fall Books Stretch Young Readers and the Boundaries of Biography
By September 7, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Fictionalization in Nonfiction: Two Fall Books Stretch Young Readers and the Boundaries of Biography

Two new books about men who lived under slavery bring up interesting questions about the elasticity of biography, the discernment capabilities of younger audiences, and the lines between history and historical fiction. The author of many acclaimed nonfiction books, Jonah Winter takes on a neglected part of American history with the story of the son […]

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When the Dark Side Came to Lois Duncan

When the Dark Side Came to Lois Duncan

Since the death of Lois Duncan last week at age 82, the accolades have been deservedly pouring in. Duncan was one of the authors—along with S. E. Hinton, Robert Newton Peck, and Judy Blume—who helped to launch the Young Adult genre. You could say Duncan wrote mystery or suspense, but those words would be too […]

Lofty Ideas and Terrorizing Actions: Julie Berry’s The Passion of Dolssa

Lofty Ideas and Terrorizing Actions: Julie Berry’s The Passion of Dolssa

Berry’s latest is a deep, authentic, and disturbing look at religious fervor. Publishers say that historical fiction is a hard sell, and books with religion at their core are few and far between. Kudos, then, to Berry (All the Truth That’s in Me, 2013) for creating a sweeping saga that not only deeply entwines both […]

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary – and Thanks

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary – and Thanks

It’s safe to say that there is no living author who has delighted as many generations of children as Beverly Cleary. I was one of the early fans. As someone who has read thousands of books in my career as a librarian, reviewer, and reader, I’ll admit that many of them have disappeared from my memory. […]

Going Postal: Meg Rosoff’s Jonathan Unleashed

Going Postal: Meg Rosoff’s Jonathan Unleashed

Meg Rosoff has been tweeting about her new novel, and I’ve been looking forward to reading it. Published earlier this year in the UK, it has finally arrived in the Booklist mail. I’ll be reviewing it soon! (Note to Daniel Kraus: These two pups look an awful lot like your dogs. Coincidence?)

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