Book of the Week (7/6/2020)

Notes on a Silencing by Lacy Crawford (NY: Little, Brown, and Company, 2020).
When the elite St. Paul's School came under state investigation after extensive reports of sexual abuse on campus, Lacy Crawford thought she'd put behind her the assault she'd suffered decades before, when she was fifteen. Still, when detectives asked for victims to come forward, she sent a note.
With her criminal case file reopened, she saw for the first time evidence that corroborated her memories. Here were depictions of the naïve, hardworking girl she'd been, a chorister and debater, the daughter of a priest; of the two senior athletes who assaulted her and were allowed to graduate with awards; and of the faculty, doctors, and priests who had known about Crawford's assault and gone to great lengths to bury it.
Now a wife, mother, and writer living on the other side of the country, Crawford learned that police had uncovered astonishing proof of an institutional silencing years before, and that unnamed powers were still trying to block her case. The slander, innuendo, and lack of adult concern that Crawford had experienced as a student hadn't been the imagined effects of trauma, after all: these were the actions of a school that prized its reputation above anything, even a child.
This revelation launched Crawford on an extraordinary inquiry into the ways gender, privilege, and power shaped her experience as a girl at the gates of America's elite. Her investigation looks beyond the sprawling playing fields and soaring chapel towers of crucibles of power like St. Paul's, whose reckoning is still to come. And it runs deep into the channels of shame and guilt, witness and silencing, that dictate who can speak and who is heard in American society.
An insightful, mature, beautifully written memoir, Notes on a Silencing is an arresting coming-of-age story that wrestles with an essential question for our time: what telling of a survivor's story will finally force a remedy? -- Publisher's blurb.
Join author Lacy Crawford, virtually via Gibson's Bookstore, to discuss her memoir. She will be joined by Kathy Giles, the rector of St. Paul's School, for a discussion on what it takes for communities to change. Their conversation will be moderated by Alyssa Dandrea, court journalist for the Concord Monitor newspaper.
The discussion will take place online only via Zoom on Tuesday, July 21st, 2020, 6pm EDT. This event is free to attend, but registration is required: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_P7fZJZmpT46AluzuKal04w


Ladybug Nominee

by Jean Reidy, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2019)

Truman the tortoise lives with his Sarah, high above the taxis and the trash trucks and the number eleven bus, which travels south. He never worries about the world below…until one day, when Sarah straps on a big backpack and does something Truman has never seen before. She boards the bus! Truman waits for her to return. He waits.And waits. And waits.
And when he can wait no longer, he knows what he must do. Even if it seems…impossible!

About Jean Reidy

Jean Reidy lives in Colorado, right across the street from her neighborhood library.

Her website is http://jeanreidy.com

There is a profile of her in Kite Tales: SCBWI Chapter Newsletter at

About Lucy Ruth Cummins

Born in Canada, she is the youngest of six children, and her family lived in an actual log cabin. She grew up in Cortland, New York, and she now lives with her little family in Brooklyn, New York.

Her website is http://lucyruthcummins.squarespace.com/

Activities & Links

This is one of ten titles nominated for the 2020 Ladybug Picture Book Award.
We will be posting information about a different nominee each Friday throughout the summer and will issue a pdf voters guide featuring all ten titles at Labor Day.


Book of the Week (6/29/2020)

Fights: One Boy's Triumph Over Violence by Joel Christian Gill (Portland, Or.: Oni Press, 2020). 
Granite State author and illustrator Joel Christian Gill brings us a graphic novel that is a window into his experiences as an adolescent in a culture of violence.
"Fights is the visceral and deeply affecting memoir of artist/author Joel Christian Gill, chronicling his youth and coming of age as a Black child in a chaotic landscape of rough city streets and foreboding backwoods.

Propelled into a world filled with uncertainty and desperation, young Joel is pushed toward using violence to solve his problems by everything and everyone around him. But fighting doesn’t always yield the best results for a confused and sensitive kid who yearns for a better, more fulfilling life than the one he was born into, as Joel learns in a series of brutal conflicts that eventually lead him to question everything he has learned about what it truly means to fight for one’s life."- Publisher's blurb


Ladybug Nominee

Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep by Eric Barclay (HarperCollins, 2019)

“Who are you?” Sheep asks when she bumps right into a very hairy someone. “I’m the sheep dog!” the someone says. “I watch the sheep.” Holy begonia! Wait one minute! Isn’t Sheep the sheep expert? Of course she is. In fact, she’s the one who should show the sheep dog exactly what he needs to do to get the job done. With lots of humor and the perfect amount of irony, Sheep Dog and Sheep Sheep follows an accidental friendship that is irresistible from the first page.

About Eric Barclay

Eric Barclay grew up in a small Texas town and currently lives in Texas with his wife, two daughters, a dog, and two cats.

His website is http://www.ericbarclay.com/

Activities & Links

      This is one of ten titles nominated for the 2020 Ladybug Picture Book Award.
We will be posting information about a different nominee each Friday throughout the summer and will issue a pdf voters guide featuring all ten titles at Labor Day.


Book of the Week (6/22/20)

The Companion by Kim Taylor Blakemore (Lake Union Publishing, 2020).

An enthralling work of historical fiction that takes place in New Hampshire. And the author did some background research here at the NH State Library!
They say she’s a murderess. She claims she’s innocent. But Lucy has been known to tell lies… 1855, New Hampshire. Lucy Blunt is set to hang for a double murder. Murderess or victim? Only Lucy knows the truth. In the shadow of the gallows, Lucy reflects on the events that led to her bitter downfall—from the moment she arrived at the rambling Burton mansion looking for work and a better life to the grisly murders themselves. In a mysterious household of locked doors and forbidden affections, Lucy slips comfortably into the shadows, where she believes the indiscretions of her past will remain hidden. But when Lucy’s rising status becomes a threat to the mistress’s current companion, the delicate balance of power and loyalty begins to shift, setting into motion a brewing storm of betrayal, suspicion, and rage. Now, with her execution looming closer, Lucy’s allies fight to have her sentence overturned as the tale she’s spinning nears its conclusion. But how much of her story can we trust? After all, Lucy’s been known to bend the truth… -- Back cover