an atlas winner!…and a national book award winner giveaway

I just returned from a beautiful quick trip to Duluth, MN, one of my favorite cities. It doesn’t make its way into the City Atlas, but I feel quite away gazing out at that moody inland sea, Lake Superior.


Here’s to lots of dreaming and hopefully at least a bit of traveling for our City Atlas and Activity Fun Pack winner — Brandy! Please e-mail me at with your mailing address and I’ll get those off to you.

For my third giveaway — and there’s at least one more so please keep coming back so I can have the joy of sharing all these books! — I have a copy of the newly-named, National Book Award winner in Young People’s Literature, Raymie Nightingale.

Raymie Nightingale cover image

This book comes courtesy of the wonderful folks at Candlewick Press who consistently publish such extraordinary titles for us. I think I was supposed to give this away for summer reading — oops — but Raymie is the perfect snuggle-up-in-the-chill-of-fall read, so I think we’re still good. 

Honestly, Raymie is an unusually powerful book. I’m going to refer you to my original review to learn about it more in-depth. This is a novel that settled deep in my bones and keeps stirring in my mind in the months since I read it. Kate DiCamillo’s exploration of her own griefs and losses stemming from an absent father, and her work of alchemy — of spinning that straw into gold — pouring herself into these unforgettable characters, shining light on the miraculous healing potential in friendships and in ordinary people’s heroism in their care for one another — that’s what’s embedded in this story.


As I said in my review, I’d peg this book for ages 11 through adult. Many children younger than 11 have been gulping this book down, so read my review and then decide for yourself.

 From now through next Tuesday, October 25, comment on the blog to enter the drawing. Can you remember the name of your best friend/s when you were 10 years old? Or tell us the name of a friend who has meant the world to you? Let’s hear it for friendship!