Ep. 64: Author Michelle Hoover Shares the 2020 Massachusetts Book Award Winners

Today we have a special episode all about the Massachusetts Book Awards! The winners and honorees were just announced yesterday.

My guest is author Michelle Hoover, the 2020 Coordinator for the Massachusetts Book Awards, who I served with as a lead juror in the children’s picture book and early reader category. Michelle will give some behind the scenes and help us add to our “to be read lists” as she shares the winners and honorees.

Michelle is a 2014 NEA Fellow and has been a Writer-in-Residence at Bucknell University, a MacDowell Fellow, and a winner of the PEN/New England Discovery Award. Her debut, The Quickening, was a 2010 Massachusetts Book Award “Must Read.” Her latest novel, Bottomland, was the 2017 All Iowa Reads selection. Michelle teaches at GrubStreet, where she leads the Novel Incubator program.  She is a native of Iowa and lives in Boston. 

Listen and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

To learn more about Michelle Hoover and follow her on social media visit http://www.michelle-hoover.com

Browse Books Mentioned On This Episode:

A Bookish Home has teamed up with Bookshop.org! Support A Bookish Home and independent bookstores at the same time when you purchase books from our new online bookshop!*

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Browse books by authors interviewed on the podcast, titles mentioned on the show, and more recommendations from your host and librarian, Laura Szaro Kopinski. 

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Is there an author you’d love to hear interviewed on the podcast? I’d love to hear! Let me know in the comments or wherever you hang out on social media, I’m @abookishhome.

Happy Reading and Listening,

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

*A Bookish Home is now an affiliate of Bookshop.org. At no extra cost to you, we receive a small commission if you purchase something through the Bookshop.org links provided.

Bookshop.org is an online bookstore with a mission to financially support local, independent bookstores. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home and your local indies!

10 Virtual Author Events Coming Soon

Do you love hearing authors discuss their books and writing lives? One upside of this challenging time is all of the virtual author events now available.

You don’t have to live within driving distance of a particular bookstore or library to see some of your favorite authors discuss all things reading and writing. All you have to do is cozy up on your couch and turn on a device!

Not sure where to start? Here are 10 virtual events to add to your calendar. 

1. Tuesday July 14th at 7pm

J Courtney Sullivan Presents Friends and Strangers in Conversation With Robin Young

jcourtney

“J. Courtney Sullivan’s latest novel, Friends and Strangers, follows Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother struggling to adjust to small town life, and Sam, a college senior worrying about what her future might hold. Sullivan explores themes of power dynamics and motherhood through flawed but relatable characters, and their complicated relationships. Sullivan has won multiple prestigious awards for her fiction, including Time Magazine’s Best Book of the Year in 2011 for her novel, Maine. Join us to learn more about her most recent book!

2. Wednesday July 15th – 6:30pm, Belmont Books

VIRTUAL: Christina Soontornvat and Erin Entrada Kelly in support of Read It Forward

erin

Join usfor an amazing dual event with two fantastic middle grade authors: Christina Soontornvat and Newbery award-winning author Erin Entrada Kelly!”

3. Thursday July 16th- 7pm- Bay Area Book Festival

Virtual: Braving Deep Waters: Female Fearlessness and Friendship with Sue Monk Kidd and Lisa See

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Dive into an exploration of female power and brilliance like you’ve never seen before with bestselling authors Sue Monk Kidd (The Secret Life of Bees, The Invention of Wings) and Lisa See (The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane) moderated by Aimee Phan (The Reeducation of Cherry Truong).”

 

Virtual: National Book Award winner and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi discusses “How to Be an Antiracist.”

ibram

“2019 Guggenheim Fellow and New York Times bestselling author Ibram X. Kendi will discuss his renowned book “How to Be an Antiracist” on Monday, July 20 at 7:00 p.m. with Dr. Charlene M. Dukes, president of Prince George’s Community College. Dr. Dukes is the first African-American woman to serve as president of the College and has 30 years of progressive leadership experience and administrative responsibility in higher education.”

5. Thursday July 23rd at 4pm – A Mighty Blaze

Virtual: Amy Poeppel in Conversation With Fiona Davis

 

 
“Please join Amy Poeppel, author of Musical Chairs and Fiona Davis, author of The Lions of Fifth Avenue, on the A MIghty Blaze Facebook page. Event link to come!”

 

Ep. 54: Children’s Book Author- Illustrator, Matt Tavares

This week I’m delighted to welcome award winning children’s book author-illustrator, Matt Tavares to the podcast. His picture books include Crossing Niagara, Henry Aaron’s Dream, Red and Lulu, Dasher and many more. His latest book is called Ben of All Trades: The Most Inventive Boyhood of Benjamin Franklin, written by Michael J. Rosen.

 

**Note: this episode was recorded ahead of time, before the COVID-19 situation changed dramatically.**

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

To find out more about Matt Tavares you can visit https://www.matttavares.com

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Ben of All Trades

Lady Liberty

Dasher

Red and Lulu

Zachary’s Ball

New Kid

Save the Cat

The Secrets of Story Matt Bird

Making Comics Scott Cloud

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, it would be so helpful.

What are you and your kids reading at home? Let me know in the comments or on social media @ABookishHome.

Stay safe and happy reading,

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ep. 53: Bobbie Pyron, Author of Stay

This week my guest is Bobbie Pyron, who’s new middle grade book Stay was called “Timely, important, and truly beautiful” by Newbery Award winner Katherine Applegate. 

Bobbie has worked in libraries and bookstores in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Utah and has been active in local animal rescue work for many years. She’s also the author of A Pup Called Trouble, A Dog’s Way Home, and Lucky Strike, among others. Bobbie lives in Ashville, NC, with her husband, Todd, and their dog, Sherlock.

**Note: this episode was recorded last month, before the COVID-19 situation changed dramatically. I know it can be jarring to hear a conversation from “Before”. But now more than ever, this is a book and a topic worthy of attention.**

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

To find out more about Bobbie Pyron you can visit https://www.bobbiepyron.com

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

Stay

My Dog Always Eats First: Homeless People And Their Animals 

Invisible Nation: Homeless Families In America

Don’t Overthink It

Casey the Utterly Impossible Horse

Season of Ponies

Pippi Longstocking

Olive Again

Look Both Ways

Long Way Down

The Dutch House

This Is Happiness

 

Additional Information from Bobbie:

“The organization I volunteered with in Salt Lake City is no longer, but there’s a new one that’s doing the same thing: Street Dawg Crew of Utah. The national organization I mentioned is Pets of the Homeless 

STAY was supposed to have an Author’s Note at the end:

·      The most recent (2017) national estimate of people experiencing homelessness in America is 553,742

·      Approximately 34% live in place not meant for human habitation such as parks, abandoned buildings, cars, under bridges.

·      35% of people experiencing homelessness are families with children.

·      2.5 million children will experience homelessness this year in America.

·      About 10-15% of people experiencing homelessness have a pet.

·      Less than 1% of shelters allow pets.
Here are some other organizations that help folks experiencing homelessness:

·      PETS OF THE HOMELESS   petsofthehomeless.org

·      THE STREET DOG COALITION    thestreetdogcoalition.org

·      NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO END HOMELESSNESS    endhomelessness.org

·      THE COALITION FOR THE HOMELESS

 

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

 

What are you reading at home? Let me know in the comments or on social media @ABookishHome.

Stay safe and happy reading,

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ten Books For Parents At Home With Little Ones

Life at home with littles is a challenge for everyone right now.

Let’s be honest. Sometimes this season of survival means watching Frozen 2 for the tenth time. But I am trying to put at least one “homeschool-ish” activity on my to-do list every day that will bring some joy, creativity, or nature into our lives.

When in doubt, go to the books!

Right now, I don’t have the mental energy (or time) to come up with many interesting activities on my own. This is not a time for me to scroll Pinterest for ideas. I want a few concrete choices, contained in a handful of titles.

So far that’s meant things like baking muffins together from The Complete Baking Books for Young Chefs or breaking out the glue and tissue paper for a sun catcher craft from The Artful Parent. 

And to get in a positive headspace and find some tips, I’m reading and listening to some parenting and homeschooling books as well.

All of these titles are inspiring me to reach for joy and moments of connection with my kids during this season.

Bookish Bonus: I’ve been able to order some of these books from local bookstores as a way to support them. Each of these titles has a link to Indiebound, where you can choose to order them from your local indie bookstore.*

1. Brave Learner

Shop your local indie bookstore

bravelearner

This book from Julie Bogart has been my bedtime read for the past couple of weeks. It’s all about her adventures homeschooling her kids and is inspiring me to embrace this lifestyle for now. My favorite practical idea from this book so far is having my preschooler practice math skills by counting down from 10, then jumping off the couch, yelling “blast off!” A true crowd pleaser.

 

2. The Book of Gardening Projects for Kids: 101 Ways to Get Kids Outside, Dirty, and Having Fun

Shop your local indie bookstore

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I feel very lucky to have a backyard right now and we’re trying to take advantage. Planting a garden is my idea of science fun, so we’ve been starting flower and vegetable seeds together lately. This book has plenty of inspiration to help keep kids busy and learning outdoors.

 

3. The Read Aloud Family

 Shop your local indie bookstore

readaloudfamily

This is another book by a homeschooling parent that I read a couple of years ago. It reminds me that we’re doing plenty to help our kids learn already (like reading aloud picture books or watching virtual storytimes).

 

4. The Complete Baking Book For Young Chefs

 Shop your local indie bookstore

bakingbook

Baking is one of my favorite hobbies and this is a fun book to get kids involved. (Bonus: you’re using new vocabulary and math skills).

 

5. The Artful Parent: Simple Ways to Fill Your Family’s Life With Art & Creativity

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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There are so many fun and simple arts and crafts projects in here to do together, but more than that, author Jean Van’t Hul presents an approach for raising creative kids. Stay tuned for an upcoming A Bookish Home podcast episode with Jean!

 

6. How To Be A Happier Parent

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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This book has been on my TBR list for a long time, since I’m a big fan of author KJ Dell’Antonia’s podcast, #AmWriting. If there was ever a time to get a handle on the aspects of parenting that suck the life out of us, it’s now (think chores, sibling squabbles, and homework). I’ve been listening to the audiobook from the library and it’s nice company while doing the dishes or putting away laundry that makes me feel extra productive

7. You Are A Lion: And Other Fun Yoga Poses

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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This fun picture book doubles as a read loud and a yoga workout for your kids (and you!) Each pose is illustrated as a different animal to help little yogis. We were able to get this as an ebook from the public library and we’ll open it on my computer, but mirror it on the tv so it’s easier to see. (And so no little hands play with the keyboard!)

 

8. There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom’s Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids

Shop your local indie bookstore

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I really enjoyed past A Bookish Home podcast guest Linda McGurk’s reflections on outdoor play and child development in this book and have been drawing on it when thinking about the simple experiences that help our kids learn and grow.

9. Simple STEAM: 50+ Activities for Ages 3 to 6

 Shop your local indie bookstore

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This book is full of engaging STEAM activities. We did the watercolor butterfly activity and it kept my daughter busy and happy for a good half an hour. We’ll take it!

10. Play The Forest School Way

Shop your local indie bookstore

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If you’re ever stuck for ideas of fun things to do in your backyard, this book has interesting games and crafts. There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather mentions the popularity of Forest Schools, so I’m excited to delve into this one more. So far we’ve made some hats with nature treasures using one of the activities as inspiration.

 

What books are you reading at home right now? Let us know us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

*Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided. Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

 

 

Ep. 52: Cheryl Klein, Editorial Director at Lee & Low Books

This week, I’m delighted to welcome Cheryl Klein to the podcast to discuss all things books and reading.

Cheryl Klein is the editorial director at Lee & Low Books. She is also the author of two adult books, The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults and Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults, and three picture books, Wings, Thunder Trucks, and A Year of Everyday Wonders. Prior to her work at Lee & Low, Cheryl spent sixteen years at Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, where she published a wide array of acclaimed titles and served as the continuity editor for the last two books of the Harry Potter series. She lives in Brooklyn, New York

**Note: this episode was recorded several weeks ago. The world seems to be a very different place now and I know it can be jarring not to hear mention of the current COVID-19 pandemic. But hopefully this offers some much needed distraction.**

 

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

To find out more about Cheryl Klein you can visit CherylKlein.com.

And browse Lee and Low titles at www.leeandlow.com.

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults

Second Sight: An Editor’s Talks on Writing, Revising, and Publishing Books for Children and Young Adults

Wings

A Year of Everyday Wonders

Thunder Trucks

Harry Potter

The Magnolia Sword: A Ballad of Mulan

She Was the First!: The Trailblazing Life of Shirley Chisholm 

Midsummer’s Mayhem

Seven Golden Rings

Julieta and the Diamond Enigma

Doggies

Will Giraffe Laugh? and series

The List of Things That Will Not Change

Ninth House

Crooked Kingdom

 

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

 

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me wherever you hang out on social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Five Places To Watch Online Story Times With Your Kids

1. Scholastic

Scholastic is offering a host of remote learning resources for kids of all ages. One of my favorites is Bookflix, in the Pre-K/K and Grades1/2 Sections.

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These are high quality book pairings to read with your kids. Each picture book video is paired with a nonfiction ebook that can be read aloud.

Try this pair for a wonderful spring story time with your little ones:

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2. StorylineOnline

Storyline has a treasure trove of read alouds from actors, like this lovely video of Rose Byrne reading Peter Rabbit.

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    3. Read Draw Create Community from Susan Tan 

The wonderful children’s book author Susan Tan has put together a collection of videos from authors and illustrators reading aloud from their work.

Two of my favorites are past A Bookish Home podcast guests Susan Tan reading from Cilla Lee-Jenkins and Grace Lin sharing some of The Year of The Dog!

 

4. Read, Wonder, and Learn!

Resources From Kate Messner:

Kidlit author extraordinnaire Kate Messner has compiled a host of videos and resources from Jason Reynolds, Aisha Said, and other stars of the children’s book community.

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5. Your Local Library

Have you been following your local public library on social media or their website? Many children’s librarians have been sharing remote story times, which are particularly comforting to kids because they are familiar faces. Check to see if your local library is offering any story times or online programs for kids.

If your library does not have any online story times, check out the Billerica Public Library’s remote story times!

I’m so happy to have recently joined the Billerica Public Library team as a part-time reference and marketing librarian! Their children’s librarians have been posting wonderful story times for kids that you can watch here.

Ep. 51: Hena Khan On More to the Story

This week I’m joined by children’s book author Hena Khan. Her latest middle grade novel, More to the Story, has been called a love letter to Little Women.

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You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

More to the Story

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns

Under My Hijab

It’s Ramadan, Curious George

Little Women

Amina’s Voice

The Night Diary

Other Words from Home

The Vanderbeekers

The Lost Girl

 

To find out more about Hena Khan visit HanaKhan.com

 

Hena also has a new picture book out now called Like the Moon Loves the Sky:

likethemoon

In a starred review Publisher’s Weekly calls Like the Moon Loves the Sky “a peaceful incantation. a view of a childhood focused not just on well-being, but on hope-to ‘count all your blessings’ and ‘find wonder’-as well.”

 

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

 

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me wherever you hang out on social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

Ep. 50: Children’s Book Author and Illustrator, Grace Lin

It’s the 50th episode of A Bookish Home! This week I’m joined by a special guest, award winning children’s book author and illustrator Grace Lin.

Grace’s latest picture book is called A Big Bed for Little Snow and her new middle grade novel is Mulan: Before the Sword.

 

 

You can also listen on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

Books Mentioned On This Episode:

bigbed
A Big Bed for Little Snow

 

bigmooncake
A Big Mooncake for Little Star

 

mulan
Mulan: Before the Sword

 

wherethemountain
Where The Mountain Meets the Moon

 

uglyvegetables
The Ugly Vegetables

 

dimsum
Dim Sum for Everyone

 

blueberriesforsal
Blueberries for Sal

 

snowyday
The Snowy Day

 

kiteflying
Kite Flying

 

aoggcover
Anne of Green Gables

 

LWimage
Little Women

 

stargazing
Stargazing

 

cilla
Cilla Lee Jenkins
sam
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
journey
Journey

To find out more about Grace Lin you can visit GraceLinBlog.com.

 

Tune into Grace Lin’s podcasts:

bookfriendsforver

Book Friends Forever

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Kidlit Women

kidsaskauthors

Kids Ask Authors

If you’re enjoying the podcast, please take a moment to subscribe. If you could also take a moment to rate and review A Bookish Home on iTunes to help people find the show, I’d be so grateful.

 

Are you reading a book mentioned on the blog or podcast? I’d love to hear. Tag me wherever you hang out on social media @ABookishHome.

Happy Reading and Listening!

Laura Szaro Kopinski

ABookishHome.com

Affiliate links are used in this post. At no extra cost to you, we may receive a small commission if you purchase something through the links provided.

Thanks for supporting A Bookish Home!

10 Author Events Coming to Greater Boston in March

Are you looking for a bookish event to add to your calendar?

Here are some of the authors coming to bookstores and libraries in the Boston area this month.

Be sure to check your local library and bookstore’s event calendar to see what author events are coming to your community.

 

1. Wednesday March 4th at 7pm – Belmont Books

Katrin Schumann in conversation with Whitney Scharer

From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII.

 

2. Thursday March 5th – 7pm, Belmont Books

Gish Jen – The Resisters

“The Resisters is palpably loving, smart, funny, and desperately unsettling. The novel should be required reading for the country both as a cautionary tale and because it is a stone-cold masterpiece. This is Gish Jen’s moment. She has pitched a perfect game.” –Ann Patchett

A moving and important story of an America that seems ever more possible, The Resisters is also the story of one family struggling to maintain its humanity and normalcy in circumstances that threaten their every value–as well as their very existence.

 3. Tuesday March 10th at 6pm – Boston Public Library, Copley

Ken Liu at the BPL Newsfeed Cafe

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From stories about time-traveling assassins, to Black Mirror-esque tales of cryptocurrency and Internet trolling, to heartbreaking narratives of parent-child relationships, THE HIDDEN GIRL AND OTHER STORIES is a far-reaching work that explores topical themes from the present and a speculative look at humanity’s future.

4. Thursday March 12th – 7pm at An Unlikely Story

Rebecca Serle, In Five Years

 

What will your life look like in five years? Rebecca Serle’s new book, IN FIVE YEARS, plays with this question when an ambitious young woman has a vision of her life five years in the future. Perfect for fans of ME BEFORE YOU, IN FIVE YEARS is a love story that brings heartbreak and joy in equal measure. At the event, Rebecca will be joined onstage by Robin Kall, of Reading with Robin, to talk about her new book, answer audience questions, and sign copies. Beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Called a “heroic narrative” and “compact and energetic” by The Wall Street Journal,Tina’s work tells the the inspiring and timely account of the complex relationship between leading suffragist Alice Paul and President Woodrow Wilson in her fight for women’s equality.

 

6. Sunday March 15th at 10am -Bull Run Restaurant with Silver Unicorn Books

Doris Kearns Goodwin, Leadership In Turbulent Times

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Ticketed Community Event: Doris Kearns Goodwin will be speaking at the Bull Run Restaurant and we’ll be there to sell her book!  Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian, public speaker and Pulitzer Prize-winning, New York Times #1 best-selling author. Her seventh book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, was published in September 2018 to critical acclaim and became an instant New York Times bestseller. A culmination of Goodwin’s five-decade career of studying the American presidents focusing on Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson, the book provides an accessible and essential road map for aspiring and established leaders in every field, and for all of us in our everyday lives.

In this lush and playful picture book from E. B. Goodale, illustrator of Windows, Kate feels ignored by her mother and sister and so decides to run away. In a neighboring yard, she builds a fort and enjoys a sense of independence—until she finds herself making room for her family in her new home … Under the Lilacs is the perfect celebration of striking out on your own—while still making room for everyone.

 

8. Friday March 20th at 6:30pm – An Unlikely Story, Plainville

Nick Bruel, Bad Kitty Joins the Team

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Ticketed Event: See Kitty as you’ve never seen her before: EXERCISING (reluctantly) in Bad Kitty Joins the Team, the latest installment of Nick Bruel’s phenomenally successful New York Times bestselling series.

 

9. Friday March 20th- 7:30pm at Back Bay Events Center

Hilary Mantel, The Mirror & The Light with Harvard Bookstore

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Ticketed Event: Harvard Book Store is honored to welcome acclaimed writer HILARY MANTEL—two-time winner of the Booker Prize for her bestselling novels, Wolf Hall, and its sequel, Bring Up the Bodies—for a discussion of the highly anticipated, final book in the Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror & the Light.

 

Raúl the Third, ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat

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Porter Square Books is pleased to welcome Pura Belpré Medal-winning illustrator Raúl the Third for ¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat! Little Lobo returns to share his love of food and wrestling in this delicious follow-up to Vamos! Let’sGo to the Market, a Porter Square Books staff favorite!