Monday, May 17, 2010

Catching Up with Pamela Ehrenberg

Yesterday was officially the end of Children's Book Week, but I didn't get a post up due to life happening.  It's sad when tragedy affects people you love.  2 friends had tragic deaths in their families this weekend, and my heart is extremely saddened for them.  So, I apologize to you all for not getting this up yesterday, and not posting the winners to some of the giveaways.  I will be getting those up tomorrow.  For now, I hope you enjoy Pam's post.  She is giving away autographed bookmarks to the first 10 commenters!

Pamela Ehrenberg is the author of Ethan, Suspended (2007) and Tillmon County Fire (2009). She lives in Washington, DC, with her four-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who just applied for her first library card, and her toddler son.
(photo credit: Erin Silber)

Catching Up

One summer during college, I had the ideal job for an aspiring children's author: I worked the cash register at a lovely children's book store with, sadly, very few customers.

During the long hours between customers, I caught up on the decade or so of children's books that had come about since I had declared myself too old for such things. This was 1993, and I particularly remember catching up on the Babysitter's Club, which the bookstore owner stocked reluctantly, under pressure to keep a series on her shelves. ("At least those girls have jobs," she said.) I actually didn't think the books were all bad--and apparently neither did a lot of other people, as the 213-book series is being updated and reissued this year.

I also "caught up" on books I thought I remembered. It turned out that many of the Judy Blame titles I had read as a precocious third- or fourth-grader had gone right over my head. Then Again, Maybe I Won't was rather instructive for a 19-year-old girl with no brothers.

Having caught up, I managed not to fall too far behind during the next dozen or so years; stints as a teacher and a volunteer carried me through until my hard-won status as parent (2005) and author (2007) granted me lifetime license to spend as much time as I like in the children's area of our library. It wasn't easy, though, in those intervening years; I often imagined the librarians were eyeing me, and I sometimes pretended to myself that I was there to get books for a niece or a friend.

So, this Children's Book Week, I'd like to offer carte-blanche permission to anyone who feels they need it to spend an hour in the children's department of your library, and to leave with a tall stack of books. Walk in there with the confidence of someone who has every right to be there, a reader on assignment. What will you discover--or rediscover--in the books? What will you discover about the reader you once were, or the reader you might become? What will you read between now and next Children's Book Week?

Do let us know. We look forward to catching up.

Comment on this post to win an autographed bookmark from Pamela. First 10 commenters will win. Enter by Friday, May 21st at midnight.


Mystee said...

I'm very sorry for the losses of your friends...

Pamela's books are great. Although, my library time with 4 children is limited, they survive maybe 30 minutes.

The autographed bookmark is a wonderful idea

Here's hoping htat everyone has a peaceful and well week ♥


Alipet813 said...

Sorry for your difficult times. I hope your friends are holding up.

I am always surprised when someone tells me what their favorite childrens book was and I have never read it. It makes me pick up some great classics.

Currently, I have a child who loves books. So, I know some of the new "it" books, but I'm still out of the loop. So many good books, so little time!

Jodi said...


I know it's too late for a bookmark but wanted to let you know that I collect bookmarks(I end up with a lot at my job so it's more fun to say "I collect them" than "I have a basket full of bookmarks."

I'll probably read Little Women between now and next Ch. Book Week. I also have a seven year old so I'll be reading plenty of children's books not chosen by me! Right now, Star Wars is our theme.

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