2022 Youth Media Awards

The 2022 winners of the Youth Media Awards were announced today. The best in children’s and YA books, digital media, audio and video is eagerly anticipated every year. ‘The Last Cuentista’ won for the Newbery Award, ‘Watercress’ won the Caldecott Award, ‘Firekeeper’s Daughter’ won the Printz Award, and ‘Too Bright to See’ won the Stonewall Book Award. More titles won honors and top recognition in other categories. If you’re looking for great new titles, be sure to visit the award site (click image above) to discover the 2022 cream-of-the-crop.

My Neighbor Totoro- JBFC

The Jacob Burns Film Center is showing some classic kid’s movies this winter. Saturday February 19th at 11:45, Studio Ghibli’s My Neighbor Totoro will be on the big screen. This animated feature is an instant hit with the younger set and a great introduction to the Studio Ghibli catalog. Later in March, The Wizard of Oz will be at JBFC. They are limiting their audience numbers so be sure to reserve seats ahead of time. The DVD is available at Palisades Library, but deserves to be viewed on the big screen if possible.

Wish You Were Here

Jodi Picoult’s latest novel is set in New York City during the early days of the covid virus. Diana O’Toole, an art consultant, has plans to travel to the Galapagos with Finn, her doctor boyfriend. When his vacation is postponed, and he is forced to remain behind, due to the surge in virus cases, he urges her to go without him. Diana makes it to the island just as everything is shutting down, and decides to stay. She befriends some locals, who find her a place to stay and feed her. Diana has no internet service, though, so she sends postcards through the mail to try and reach Finn. She winds up staying on the island for two months, before she is able to return home. By then, Diana has experienced a change in thinking about life and her career path, and experiences a major shock upon returning home. I enjoyed this very much, even though it revisits the terrible impact of covid upon New York City. The twist at the end was a great touch.

Online kid’s books


In school or remote, some kids love their devices. If you are looking for ways to get a child to read, visit these terrific free web sites that offer children’s books online. They include Oxford Owl, Storyline Online (read by such stars as Oprah, Lily Tomlin, Betty White and John Lithgow), National Geographic, Vooks ($5.00/month), Storyberries, Bookdash, and of course, Overdive, Hoopla, and Sora.

Seven Perfect Things

The novel follows the path of several protagonists: Elliott, a forty-something man who lost his loving wife recently; Abby, a very responsible 13 year old girl with an abusive father, and Mary, her mother. When Abby sees an adult throw a sack of something moving in the nearby river, she dives in and rescues seven adorable puppies. The shelter is full, so she finds a nearby empty shed to house them temporarily. It just so happens to be on property owned by Elliott. Caring for the puppies soothes Abby’s battered spirit, and she finds a kind soul in Elliott. This is a great read; while it deals with abuse, it balances the dark with the light, and proves that people are capable of change. I intend to read more by Catherine Ryan Hyde…