Two Nights in New York City



This year I served alongside Katherine Paterson, Laura Ruby, Ellen Oh, and Valerie Lewis as a judge for the National Book Award in Young People’s Literature. From many hundreds of books published in 2016 we picked a longlist of ten, each one incandescent.


Then we narrowed that list down to five finalists, all of them astonishing.


On Wednesday we chose the third volume of March, a graphic memoir by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell, as the winner. Read more

Unsettling Things Said By My Children

“My tooth is not a ghost.”

“Ghosts taste like broccoli and cheese and flowers and the ocean.”

“They’re here! The shadow people are here! They want their daylight dinner.”

“I’m pretending to be a cat. Cats scratch furniture to keep the furniture from taking over.”

“When you roar like a monster it tickles my feelings.”

“Your voice is too low and booming for me. It needs to be higher and squeakier.”

“I have my toy shovel and I want you to help me bury up a person. Please?”

“Before I was born, when I was in my mom’s belly, I had nothing to do except play with her skeleton.”

“Dad, when you’re dead and I’m a writer, I will take your place.”