Children's books | Literacy | Reading
|Credit Joshua Bright for The New York Times|
“You’re the children’s books editor?” Someone has said this to me, usually with a smile, at least once a week in the almost three years I’ve been at The New York Times. “What a cool job!” is the subtext. But lurking in the background are almost always other questions, sometimes more pressing ones about kids’ reading in general. “What should my second grader be reading?” a colleague asked the other day, adding, “She’s obsessed with the books in that series with the different flower fairies, and I can’t get her interested in anything else.” A neighbor recently approached me with a worried look and said, “My 10-year-old will only read graphic novels. What should I do?”
Clearly, there’s a lot of uncertainty out there among parents when it comes to children’s books, and also an earnest desire to make the right choices and do the right thing. Parents realize the stakes are high, and childhood passes quickly.
So when the Guides team approached Pamela Paul, the editor of the Book Review, about writing a guide to raising readers, and she asked if I was interested, I jumped at the chance. (Find it here.)
Much of what I do every day is sift through new books, deciding which ones we should assign for review, or which ones might make for a good feature story. I try to balance for different ages, different genres and books by authors from a variety of backgrounds. There’s always the thrill of discovering a book I can’t wait to tell our readers about. Read more...