Ruth Siburt

Ruth Siburt

Ruth Siburt | Chan continues excellence in children's literature

If young adult author Crystal Chan runs for president, I'll volunteer in her campaign and donate every spare penny I have. Why? Because I think she may be the bravest, smartest, kindest person on the planet.

Chan is in the vanguard of diversity in children's literature. She finds ways for folks of differing opinions to dialogue with each other in respectful ways.

Ruth Siburt | Movie has people checking out 'Wrinkle in Time'

In the mid-1970s, Madeleine L'Engle participated in a writer's conference at Illinois Wesleyan University. My poet friend and I scraped together enough money to attend. She wanted to branch out into creative nonfiction and I wanted to be a novelist. Neither of us knew one pinch about children's books. Fortunately, my husband had a wider knowledge.

Ruth Siburt | Belva Lockwood: An early voice for equality

My yoga instructor's car bears a bumper sticker that reads "Well behaved women seldom make history." Illinois author Kate Hannigan has a talent for discovering and bringing to life for her readers women who prove that axiom. Her 2017 release from Calkins Creek, illustrated by Alison Jay, "A Lady has the Floor," continues that tradition.

Ruth Siburt: Author shares amoving experience

I am one of those rare birds whose entire growing up took place in the same house. Changing addresses only happened to me as an adult. But if you asked me now how I spell stress, I'd answer MOVE.

Melissa Walker's 2017 novel for middle grades, "Let's Pretend We Never Met," ramps up the stress level an extra notch.

Ruth Siburt: Author blends humor with pathos

British children's author David Almond has a collection of awards any writer would be proud of. Almond's first book, "Skellig," won both the 1998 Carnegie and Whitbread prizes. His 2015 release from Candlewick Press, "Harry Miller's Run," stays true to what seems to be Almond's overarching themes — acceptance and kindness.

Ruth Siburt: Writing secrets spelled out

If your young readers are in fourth grade or above, chances are they know, and probably love, Jack Gantos' books.

In particular, his funny, yet poignant (Don't tell the kids about the poignant part, OK?) Joey Pigza books flew off the shelf of every school library I ever womenned.

Ruth Siburt: Putting friendship to the test

Illinois author Alan Woodrow's new release from Scholastic Press, "Unschool-ed," is a companion piece to his previous novel for middle grades with Scholastic, "Class Dismissed." Woodrow's stories remind me of Gordon Korman's work, which is definitely a desirable association.

Ruth Siburt: Authors putting spotlight on diversity

In the world of children's literature, diversity is the current overriding goal. The 21st century needs books for young people that reflect the multi-national, multi-ethnic nature of our times, and children's authors are working hard to rise to that need.

Ruth Siburt: Biography will inspire youths

Sometimes when a person feels discouraged by the general state of affairs and the difficulty of perceiving justice in the world, a good both-feet-on-the-ground biography can help.

"Willa: The Story of Willa Cather, an American Writer" by Amy Ehrlich did it for me.

Ruth Siburt: A wonderful story about second chances

Gordon Korman is one of the most prolific and popular novelists writing for the middle grade audience. I count on him for providing chuckles, as well as a thought-provoking story. Korman's newest work, "Restart," a 2017 release from Scholastic Press, does not disappoint.