Professional Shelf

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Library Book, by Susan Orlean.  Published by Simon & Schuster in 2018.  313 pp. The author is a long-time writer at The New Yorker, best-known for her nonfiction book, The Orchid Thief, about a con artist who specialized in stealing rare and very valuable orchid plants.  In this book, her first grader’s homework assignment…


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 4 January, 2019 1:35 pm

Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter by Matthew Dennison

Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter, by Matthew Dennison.  Pegasus Books 2017.  262 pages   This book was a very interesting description of the life of Beatrix Potter. The author uses phrases from her books and her animal sketches to describe how she used her own life experiences to create the children’s books…


Reviewed by Lori Smith

Posted on 2 November, 2018 1:49 pm

The History of the Book in 100 Books: The Complete Story, From Egypt to Ebook, by Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad

The History of the Book in 100 Books: The Complete Story, From Egypt to Ebook, by Roderick Cave and Sara Ayad.  Published by Firefly Books in 2014.  288 pp.      Two serious book scholars pick out 100 books that they feel best represent the role books have played in human history.  This takes them…


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 19 August, 2018 4:09 pm

In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown

In the Great Green Room: The Brilliant and Bold Life of Margaret Wise Brown, by Amy Gary. Published by Flatiron Books in 2016, 288 pp. Margaret Wise Brown was born into an affluent family and lived extravagantly.  She authored many books but is best known for the children’s classics Goodnight Moon and The Runaway Bunny. …


Reviewed by Lori Smith

Posted on 7 May, 2018 3:12 pm

Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories From Book History

Printer’s Error: Irreverent Stories From Book History, by J.P. Romney and Rebecca Romney. Published by HarperCollins in 2017, 353 pp. You get a better sense of what this book is about from the subtitle than you do from the title. There are a few anecdotes about mistakes in printing or manufacturing books but the bulk…


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 5 March, 2018 4:36 pm

Paper: Paging Through History

Paper: Paging Through History, by Mark Kurlansky.  Published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2016.  389 pp. Paper bring us together as humans. It is all around us. We cannot conceive of our lives without paper and the multitude of uses it has at home and across our desks at work. And it will be…


Reviewed by Edwin Fioretti

Posted on 16 January, 2018 4:14 pm

Library Spaces for 21st Century Learners

Library Spaces for 21st-Century Learners: A Planning Guide for Creating New School Library Concepts, by Margaret Sullivan.  Published by American Association of School Librarians in 2013, 100 pp. Margaret Sullivan has dedicated most of her career to educational and public libraries.  In fact she has been both President and Executive Director of the American Library…


Reviewed by Steve Browning

Posted on 6 November, 2017 12:40 pm

The Book

The Book: a Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time, by Keith Houston. Published by W.W. Norton in 2016. 428 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 September, 2017 1:48 pm

Part Of Our Lives

Part of Our Lives: a People’s History of the American Public Library, by Wayne A. Wiegand. Published by Oxford University Press in 2015. 331 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 May, 2017 3:55 pm

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu

The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu and Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts, by Joshua Hammer. Simon & Schuster, 2016, 278 pp.


Reviewed by Kent Siltman

Posted on 1 March, 2017 11:51 am

The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-By-Shelf Guide

The Weeding Handbook: A Shelf-By-Shelf Guide, by Rebecca Nvuk, Published by American Library Association in 2015, 196 pp.


Reviewed by Lori Smith

Posted on 1 January, 2017 10:28 am

Reading Picture Books with Children

Reading Picture Books with Children: How to Shake Up Storytime and Get Kids Talking About What They See, by Megan Dowd Lambert. Published by Charlesbridge in 2015. 176 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 November, 2016 11:23 am

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching And Learning

Culturally and Linguistically Responsive Teaching and Learning, by Sharroky Hollie, Forward by Eugenia Mora-Flores Published by Shell Education in 2012. 216 pages.


Reviewed by Lori Smith

Posted on 1 September, 2016 11:49 am

The Prize

The Prize

The Prize: Who’s in Charge of America’s Schools?, by Dale Russakoff, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015, 246 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 May, 2016 10:19 am

Pioneer Girl

Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, by Laura Ingalls Wilder, Pamela Smith Hill (Editor). Published by South Dakota Historical Society Press in 2014. 472 pages.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 March, 2016 9:03 am

Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature

Oxford Companion

The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature, 2nd Edition, edited by Daniel Hahn. Published by Oxford University Press in 2015. 704 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 November, 2015 11:53 am

Paper: An Elegy

Paper: An Elegy

Paper: an Elegy, by Ian Sansom. Published by William Morrow in 2012. 230 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 September, 2015 10:32 am

Gutenberg’s Apprentice

Gutenberg's Apprentice

Gutenberg’s Apprentice, by Alix Christie.
Published by HarperCollins in 2014. 401 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 May, 2015 1:59 pm

The Public Library

The Public Library

The Public Library: a Photographic Essay, by Robert Dawson.
Published by Princeton Architectural Press, 2014. 192 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 3 March, 2015 4:01 pm

School Libraries Matter

School Libraries Matter

School Libraries Matter. Mirah J. Dow, Editor. 2013, 173 pages.


Reviewed by Lori Smith

Posted on 2 January, 2015 1:12 pm

The Everything Store

The Everything Store

“The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon,” by Brad Stone.
Published by Little, Brown in 2013. 372 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 November, 2014 9:47 am

Wild Things

Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature

“Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature,” by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter D. Sieruta.
Published by Candlewick Press, 2014. 272 pages.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 September, 2014 8:39 am

Golden Legacy

Golden Legacy

“Golden Legacy” by Leonard Marcus.
Published by Golden Books, Inc., 2007. 245 pages.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 15 July, 2014 10:29 am

Tomie de Paola: His Art & His Stories

Tomie de Paola: His Art & His Stories

“Tomie de Paola: His Art & His Stories,” by Barbara Elleman.
Published by G.P. Putnam Sons, 1999. 189 pages.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 15 July, 2014 9:43 am

The Smartest Kids in the World

The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley, Published by Simon & Schuster, 2013. 320 pp. Journalist Amanda Ripley admits she avoided writing about education because she deemed most education related writing to be soft and lacking in hard evidence. During an assignment to write about then Washington…


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 May, 2014 10:09 am

Reading in the Wild

Reading in the Wild

“Reading in the Wild: The Book Whisperer’s Keys to Cultivating Lifelong Reading Habits” by Donalyn Miller with Susan Kelley.
Published by Jossey-Bass, 2013. 304 pages.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 March, 2014 10:39 am

Library 2020

Library 2020

Library 2020: Today’s Leading Visionaries Describe Tomorrow’s Library edited by Joseph Janes, The Scarecrow Press Inc., 2013. 161 pages. What will the libraries of the year 2020 be like? Will the work of librarians be much different? What types of services will library patrons expect from their libraries? These are the types of questions tackled…


Reviewed by Harry Gaylord

Posted on 1 January, 2014 11:30 am

The One World Schoolhouse

The One World Schoolhouse

“The One World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined” by Salman Khan.
Published by Hachette Book Group, 2012. 259 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 November, 2013 11:28 am

Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac

Children's Book-a-Day Almanac

“Children’s Book-a-Day Almanac” by Anita Silvey.
Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2012. 400 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 September, 2013 10:09 am

Picturing the World

Picturing the World

“Picturing the World: Informational Picture Books for Children,” by Kathleen T. Isaacs.
Published by ALA Editions, 2012. 216 pages.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 May, 2013 11:33 am

Listening for Madeleine

Listening for Madeleine

“Listening for Madeleine: A Portrait of Madleine L’Engle in Many Voices” by Leonard S. Marcus.
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. 384 pages.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 March, 2013 11:15 am

How Children Succeed

How Children Succeed

“How Children Succeed” by Paul Tough.
Houghton Miffin, 2012, 197 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 January, 2013 9:19 am

Show Me a Story!

“Show Me a Story! Why Picture Books Matter: Conversations with 21 of the World’s Most Celebrated Illustrators,” by Leonard S. Marcus.
Published by Candlewick Press, 2012, 293 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 November, 2012 11:01 am

Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back

  Free Ride: How Digital Parasites Are Destroying the Culture Business, and How the Culture Business Can Fight Back by Robert Levine, published by Doubleday, 2011. 320 pages. In Free Ride, Robert Levine argues that the Internet is destroying the culture industry as we know it. Levine is a former executive editor of Billboard magazine…


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 September, 2012 10:04 am

The Death & Life of the Great American School System

“The Death & Life of the Great American School System: How Testing & Choice are Undermining Education” by Diane Ravitch.
Published by Basic Books, 2010. 334 pp.


Reviewed by Lori Smith

Posted on 1 May, 2012 10:23 am

Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures

Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures

“Robert McCloskey: A Private Life in Words and Pictures,” by Jane McCloskey.
Published by Smith/Kerr Associates, 2011. 256 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 March, 2012 10:59 am

The Story of Charlotte’s Web

The Story of Charlotte's Web: E.B. White's Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic

“The Story of Charlotte’s Web: E.B. White’s Eccentric Life in Nature and the Birth of an American Classic” by Michael Sims.
Published by Walker Books, 2011. 320 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 5 January, 2012 10:00 am

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains

“The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr.
Published by W.W. Norton & Co, 2010. 280 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 2 November, 2011 10:59 am

What to Read When

What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read With Your Child and All the Best Times to Read Them

“What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read With Your Child and All the Best Times to Read Them” by Pam Allyn.
Published by Avery Trade, 2009. 336 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 September, 2011 11:05 am

A Family of Readers

A Family of Readers

“A Family of Readers.”
Edited by Roger Sutton and Martha Parravano.
Published by Candlewick Press, 2010. 368 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 March, 2011 9:34 am

The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing But the Seuss

The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing But the Seuss: a Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel

“The Seuss, the Whole Seuss, and Nothing But the Seuss: a Visual Biography of Theodor Seuss Geisel” by Charles D. Cohen.
Random House, 2004.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 January, 2011 12:11 pm

Waiting for “Superman”

Waiting for "Superman"

“Waiting for Superman” directed by Davis Guggenheim.
Paramount Vantage, 2010


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 November, 2010 11:55 am

Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy

“Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy” compiled and edited by Leonard S. Marcus.
Candlewick Press, 2009. 224 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 March, 2010 11:16 am

Twenty-first-century Kids, Twenty-first-century Librarians

Twenty-first-century Kids, Twenty-first-century Librarians

“Twenty-first-century Kids, Twenty-first-century Librarians” by Virginia A. Walter.
Published by American Library Association, 2010. 104 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 January, 2010 9:15 am

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives

“Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation of Digital Natives” by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser.
Published by Basic Books, 2008. 375 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 November, 2009 10:26 am

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book

Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children's Book

“Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book” Edited by Anita Silvey.
Published by Roaring Brook Press, 2009. 240 pages.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 September, 2009 10:07 am

From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books

From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children's Books

“From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books” by Kathleen T. Horning.
Published by HarperCollins, 1997. 240 pp.


Reviewed by Ellen Myrick

Posted on 1 March, 2009 11:45 am

Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade

Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade

“Tested: One American School Struggles to Make the Grade” by Linda Perlstein.
Published by Henry Holt, 2007. 302 pages.


Reviewed by Lori Smith

Posted on 1 January, 2008 10:24 am

Bookwomen: Creating an Empire in Children’s Book Publishing, 1919-1939

Bookwomen: Creating an Empire in Children's Book Publishing, 1919-1939

“Bookwomen: Creating an Empire in Children’s Book Publishing, 1919-1939,” by Jacalyn Eddy.
Published by University of Wisconsin Press, 2006. 211 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 October, 2007 1:03 pm

Library: An Unquiet History

Library: An Unquiet History

“Library: An Unquiet History,” by Mathew Battles.
Published by the W.W. Norton & Co., 2003. 227 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 July, 2007 1:13 pm

Less is More: a Practical Guide to Weeding School Library Collections

Less is More: a Practical Guide to Weeding School Library Collections

“Less is More: a Practical Guide to Weeding School Library Collections,” by Donna J. Baumbach and Linda L. Miller.
Published by the American Library Association, 2006. 194 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 January, 2007 9:46 am

Girl Sleuth:Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

Girl Sleuth:Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak. Published by Harcourt, 2005. 364 pages. First time author Melanie Rehak takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey through the history of Nancy Drew and her creators. Girl Sleuth explores how Nancy Drew came to be an American icon and why her popularity has…


Reviewed by Jan Militello

Posted on 1 November, 2006 10:21 am

Cataloging Correctly for Kids

Cataloging Correctly For Kids

“Cataloging Correctly for Kids: An Introduction to the Tools.” Fourth Edition. Sheila S. Intner, Joanna F. Fountain and Jane E. Gilchrist, editors.
Published by the American Library Association, 2006. 136 p.


Reviewed by Jenessa Farnsworth

Posted on 1 October, 2006 11:42 am

Education Myths

Education Myths: What Special Interest Groups Want You to Believe About our Schools - And Why It Isn't So

“Education Myths: What Special Interest Groups Want You to Believe About our Schools – And Why It Isn’t So.” By Jay P. Greene.
Published by Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2005. 267 pages.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 August, 2006 11:56 am

Teacher Man

Teacher Man

“Teacher Man” by Frank McCourt.
Published by Scribner, 2005. 258 pages.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 May, 2006 10:50 am

The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators

The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators

“The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators” edited by Anita Silvey.
Published by Houghton Mifflin, 2002. 542 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 October, 2005 10:03 am

Controversial Issues in School Librarianship: Divergent Perspectives

Controversial Issues in School Librarianship: Divergent Perspectives by Nancy Everhart. Published by Linworth, 2003. 150 pages. Nancy Everhart, an Associate Professor in charge of the school library media program at St. John’s University, Jamaica, N.Y., presents the pros and cons of nine separate topics facing school library media specialists. The topics range from requirements for…


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 August, 2005 10:20 am

Why Read?

Why Read?

“Why Read?” by Mark Edmundson.
Published by Bloomsbury Press, 2004. 143 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 May, 2005 4:05 pm

Battling Corruption in America’s Public Schools

Battling Corruption in America's Public Schools

“Battling Corruption in America’s Public Schools” by Lydia G. Segal.
Published by Northeastern University Press, 2004. 257 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 March, 2005 10:16 am

The Language Police

“The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn” by Diane Ravitch.
Published by Knopf, 2003. 272 pages.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 January, 2005 10:20 am

Book Business

Book Business

“Book Business: Publishing Past, Present, and Future” by Jason Epstein.
Published by W. W. Norton & Company, 2002. 204 pages.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 October, 2004 2:12 pm

Libraries in the Ancient World

Libraries in the Ancient World

“Libraries in the Ancient World” by Lionel Casson.
Published by Yale University Press, 2001. 177 pages.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 May, 2004 4:31 pm

Reading Magic

Reading Magic

“Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever” by Mem Fox.
Illustrated by Judy Horacek.
Published by Harcourt, Inc., 2001. 156 pages.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 March, 2004 11:57 am

Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper

Double Fold: Libraries and the Assault on Paper by Nicholson Baker. Published by Random House, 2001. 270 pages. Having already taken librarians to task in the pages of the New Yorker for replacing their card catalogs with computers and for excessive weeding, the author now looks rather critically at the development of microfilming by libraries…


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 January, 2004 10:18 am

Holiday House

Holiday House: the First Sixty-Five Years by Russell Freedman and Barbara Elleman. Published by Holiday House, 1985, revised edition 2000. 247 pages. The history of a publishing firm that, in 1935, was the first to be established for the sole purpose of publishing children’s books. It appears it may be one of the last of…


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 1 August, 2003 10:17 am

Choosing Excellence: Good Enough; Schools are Not Good Enough

Choosing Excellence: “Good Enough” Schools are Not Good Enough by John Merrow. Published by Scarecrow Press, Inc. 2001. 207 pages. Bringing with him years of experience in covering the field of education, John Merrow offers seasoned insight into the problems faced by today’s parents, schools and teachers. Perhaps more importantly, he offers guidelines and questions…


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 April, 2002 10:12 am

High Tech Heretic

High Tech Heretic

“High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don’t Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian,” by Clifford Stoll.
Published by Doubleday, 1999.214 p.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 October, 2001 9:51 am

Among Schoolchildren

Among Schoolchildren

“Among Schoolchildren” by Tracy Kidder.
Published by Houghton Mifflin in 1989. 331 pp.


Reviewed by Bob Sibert

Posted on 15 July, 2001 11:25 am

Irrepressible Reformer

Irrepressible Reformer

“Irrepressible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey” by Wayne A. Wiegand.
Published by the American Library Association, 1996. 403 pp.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 15 July, 2001 9:05 am

Dear Genius: the Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

Dear Genius

“Dear Genius: the Letters of Ursula Nordstrom.” Collected and edited by Leonard S. Marcus.
Published by HarperCollins, 1998. 406 pp.


Reviewed by BTSB Staff

Posted on 1 July, 2001 11:20 am