Baltimore celebrates books


Advice and strategies to help your children read

September 23, 2001

Editor's Note: Today Jerdine Nolen discusses the importance of meeting book authors.

Through their books, writers seek to make a connection with readers. They create an experience that allows the reader to tap into the head and heart of the story's creator. But often, the reader comes away wanting more from the reading: I wish I could question the author directly! Where did the author get that idea? Why did she have the character make certain choices?

Sometimes you or your children will want to talk to others about what you've read. A strong sense of belonging through shared literary experiences spurs some to join book clubs and discussion groups.

Others may want to satisfy their curiosity by writing letters to the author. Meeting an author of a well loved book is something all readers should experience. One great benefit of living in the Baltimore area is that every year we get the opportunity for such glorious interactions.

The Baltimore Book Festival is in its sixth year. Each year our city plays host to international, national and local authors during a three-day celebration. There is something fun and interesting for everyone. Mark your calendars, check The Sun for the listings, and plan to attend. You won't regret it!

At the Children's Bookstore Stage, you and your kids can meet local authors who have garnered national and international acclaim.

Among them: Jonathon Scott Fuqua (The Reappearance of Sam Webber), David Wisniewski (Golem, The Secret Knowledge of Grown-Ups), illustrators Nancy Patz (Pumpernickel Tickle) and Kevin O'Malley (Testing Miss Malarkey). Events start Friday at 7 p.m. and end late Sunday afternoon. Check the Web site, www.bop. org / calendar / events / book_index.html, or call 410-837-4636 for more information.

Jerdine Nolen of Ellicott City is the award-winning children's book author of Harvey Potter's Balloon Farm and Raising Dragons. Her most recent book is Big Jabe. She was a teacher and administrator in elementary education and has field-tested her suggestions on her son and daughter.

Learning to get along with all people

As your family is still processing the events that have transformed American lives everywhere, this may be an important time to reinforce the principles of tolerance that make this country the home of the brave and the land of the free not only in thought but in action. Books can be helpful for young children trying to understand how this happened, and how espousing hateful ideas and harboring prejudice toward others can result in terrible things.

* Hate Hurts: How Children Learn and Unlearn Prejudice by Caryl Stern-LaRosa and Ellen Hofheimer Bettmann

* Martin Luther King, Jr. by Lillie Patterson

* The Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

* 101 Tools for Tolerance by the Southern Poverty Law Center, available for free at

* Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki

-- Athima Chansanchai

New York Times Children's

Picture Book Best Sellers

Editor's Note: The children's best-seller list has three categories -- picture books, chapter books, and paperbacks -- which are published in rotation, one category per week.

1. The Honeybee and the Robber by Eric Carle (weeks on list: 3)

2. Oh, the Places You'll Go!

by Dr. Seuss (219)

3. Kiss Good Night by Amy Hest (4)

4. Miss Bindergarten Takes a Field Trip with Kindergarten

by Joseph Slate (5)

5. A Fine, Fine School

by Sharon Creech (2)

6. Meet the Barkers

by Tomie dePaola (5)

7. Olivia by Ian Falconer (50)

8. The Quiltmaker's Gift

by Jeff Brumbeau (40)

9. Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin (34)

10. The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn (6)

Contact us

The Sun invites readers to send in tips about encouraging children to read, and we will print them on this page or on, our place on the Internet. Please include your name, town and daytime phone number. Send suggestions by fax to 410-783-2519; by e-mail to; or by mail to Reading by 9 Parent Tips, The Sun, Features Department, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.

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