Author Archive: Julia Smith

Julia Smith is a senior editor for Books for Youth at Booklist. She is a graduate of the MLIS program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is also an aspiring aerialist. Follow her on Twitter at @JuliaKate32.

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Talking Nonsense with Rivka Galchen
By September 24, 2019 0 Comments Read More →

Talking Nonsense with Rivka Galchen

I recently had the opportunity to talk to Rivka Galchen about her new children’s book, Rat Rule 79, her first novel for younger readers, despite a long-standing passion for children’s literature. She’s penned articles for The New Yorker on Mo Willems and Curious George, not to mention having taught courses on kid lit. And while […]

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Everyone’s an Alien in Hollywood: Talking with Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Everyone’s an Alien in Hollywood: Talking with Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

The writing duo behind the Hank Zipzer and Ghost Buddies series has a new middle-grade series launching this fall: Alien Superstar. In the first book (out October 1), kid alien Buddy Burger escapes his hostile home planet, only to land in Hollywood, California, where hilarity ensues. Want to know more? Check out the interview below […]

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Creature Feature: Unicorns

Creature Feature: Unicorns

The #MiddleGradeMania continues! Gather your maidens and library cards. Today, we’re searching the middle-grade shelves for literature’s most noble beast. Behold, the majestic unicorn! Aquicorn Cove, by Katie O’Neill and illustrated by the author Gorgeous pastel-colored artwork guides readers between day, night, and underwater in this enchanting graphic novel where a girl discovers a colony of […]

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Girl Detectives Take the Case

Girl Detectives Take the Case

With Booklist‘s celebration of the 50 Best Middle-Grade Novels of the Twenty-First Century well underway—and our tenth annual Mystery Month fast approaching—now is the perfect time to revisit this collection of gutsy girls in middle-grade mystery novels, originally published in the January issue of Booklandia.  There’s a proud tradition of girl detectives in middle-grade lit. […]

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List & Shout: Twins Peak
By November 28, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

List & Shout: Twins Peak

Twins Are All the Rage These Days This list originally appeared in the November 19, 2018, issue of Booklandia, our FREE newsletter devoted to young-adult and middle-grade lit (never in the same issue). The premise of List & Shout? We make a clever list of YA or MG trends, and you forward it to everyone […]

Don’t Eat Your Friends: Picture Books with Bite
By October 3, 2018 0 Comments Read More →

Don’t Eat Your Friends: Picture Books with Bite

There’s a cannibalistic theme running through picture books at the moment, with several offering lessons in not eating your friends or classmates. This, of course, is plated up with humor and a side of manners, but sometimes not even the best etiquette can save the day. It’s not all heartless carnage, however. Unconventional diets are also […]

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That Girl Is Poison: Books about Chemicals and Foul Play

That Girl Is Poison: Books about Chemicals and Foul Play

Growing up, I leapt from children’s books directly to adult novels, and found Agatha Christie and Elizabeth Peters to be marvelous company. I must admit that I was, and remain, more of a Poirot girl than Miss Marple devotee, but I’d happily lose myself in Christie’s novels whoever the detective happened to be. It is […]

The Amy Krouse Rosenthal Reader

The Amy Krouse Rosenthal Reader

The first thing you learn about Amy Krouse Rosenthal when you visit her website is that she “is a person who likes to make things.” And make things, she did: picture books, essays, films, lectures. Lucky for us, the things she made, she also shared, and with them an inspirational and inspired dose of life […]

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Gumdrop the Elf’s Christmas Confessions
By December 12, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Gumdrop the Elf’s Christmas Confessions

My first job in Chicago—my first job as a college graduate, for that matter—was as a Christmas elf for Marshall Field’s in its final year of existence. My best friend and I drove here from Baltimore in a little Penske truck so that she could pursue her improv dreams at Second City. I tagged along as […]

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Miss Peregrine’s Prettier, Less Violent Theatrical Debut
By October 14, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Miss Peregrine’s Prettier, Less Violent Theatrical Debut

Well, I’ve done it. I entered the Riggs-Burton time loop and emerged intact and, on the whole, pleased. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, you’re clearly not among the Peculiar initiate. Yet. I’m referring, of course, to Tim Burton’s new film adaptation of Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home for […]