Author of the Week - Anita Silvey

Anita Silvey is a well-known editor and literary critic of children's literature who I have had the pleasure of listening to a few times now. Anita has devoted 35 years to promoting books that will turn the young -- and families -- into readers. In 1975 Anita was a co-founder of the Boston Review. She served as Editor-in-Chief of The Horn Book MAgazine from 1985-1995. Between 1995 and 2001, Silvey worked as vice-president at Houghton mifflin where she oversaw children's and young adult publishing for the Houghton and Clarion divisions. Some of the authors and illustrators that she promoted were David Wiesner, Chris Van allsburg, Virginia Lee Burton, and Lois Lowry. She has also authored a number of critical books about children's literature, including 500 Great Books for Teens, The Essential Guide to Children's Books and Their Creators, and Everything I Need to know I Learned From A Children's Book.

In 2008, Anita wrote an influential School Library Journal article in which she criticizes the Newbery selections as too difficult for the intended target audience. Anita is currently a member of the Editorial board of Cricket Magazines and the Board of Directors for the Vermont Center for the Book. She teaches courses at Simmons College in Boston and speaks at many schools and events, in front of children and adults alike.

Her newest book Everything I Need To Know I Learned From A Children's Book interviews many influential people, asking them what their favorite children's book was and how it influenced them. Is it surprising that Ronald Mallet, a well-respected physicist enjoyed The Time Machine as a child? Or that Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia, was in love with The Secret Garden as a young girl?

So here is a question--What was your favorite books as a child and what does it say about you?