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St. Patrick’s Day – Kids Version

Saturday, March 17th, Saint Patrick’s Day will be celebrated throughout Boston. Merrymaking, singing, and some questionable fun will be had all in the name of the Irish patron Saint Patrick. Despite the controversy surrounding the negative stereotypes propagated by the holiday, it is one of the most celebrated events internationally.

In fact, many children’s books are centered around the festival. The mystical culture, such as leprechauns or four-leaf clovers, surrounding the holiday makes for some fun stories.

How to Catch a Leprechaun by Adam Wallace

This picture book is a New York Times and USA Today Bestseller! The title does not leave much to the imagination, and the plot centers around attempting to catch a sneaky leprechaun.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Curious George by H. A. Rey

Who can forget Curious George? This time he’s causing trouble in a Saint Patties parade. The author, Rey, was actually a soldier in WWI. His first manuscript was the first story of Curious George, written after he escaped Paris in 1940. This book was written in poetry style.

The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day by Natasha Wing

Goodreads hails this as a clever, fun picture book that is enjoyable for children and adults alike. A brother and sister attempt to catch a leprechaun and wake up the next day to find their family acting a bit strange.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover by Lucille Colandro

Swerving away from the theme of leprechauns, this story focuses on a woman who never stops swallowing items. In a pattern of rhymes, her goal is to create a rainbow to lead to a pot of gold. Does she ever accomplish this feat?

St. Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons

This children’s book recounts the biblical history of the holiday. It delves into the Saint’s life and how the special day is celebrated. It describes important symbolism, such as shamrocks and Celtic harps. A teacher could use this to help children learn about the holiday, or their heritage if they’re Irish.

These selections are only a peek into the literary world of Saint Patrick’s Day. When the holiday rolls around in a few days, remember that it is not all about celebration.

-Laura Rodgers, Intern


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Cindy’s Stupendous Spring Break

Greetings, everyone! Your favorite CambridgeEditors spring 2018 interns are back in the office! In case anyone was wondering, us interns were on spring break the last week, and now we are recovered, recuperated, and ready to rumble again.

Fear not, my (my meaning me, Cindy, hello) spring break was not entirely unproductive. Thanks to the incredible timing of nor’easter, I was unable to flee back home to California and escape the chilly claws of this actual winter. With an abundance of time suddenly in my hands, I decided to make the most of my break.

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The Children’s Book Shop

First up on my itinerary was a long-awaited trip to the Children’s Book Shop. This small independent bookstore in Brookline is in its 40th year in business, and there is no question as to why the store has enjoyed such continued success. The shop is cozy and has an abundance of books in stock, ranging from baby to young adult novels. One of the most remarkable things about Children’s Book Shop, I found, was the range of diversity that was readily available. There was an entire bookcase dedicated to women’s history month and one for bilingual books. Many of the highlighted books were written by and about women or people of color, oftentimes both. There were even books that challenged gender norms!

As a woman of color who grew up not seeing anyone like myself in books and media, this is telling of how far the publishing industry has come in the past twenty years. Of course, there is always room for improvement, but with small businesses like Children’s Book Shop quietly but powerfully facilitating opportunities for children to see characters like themselves or ones they can aspire to be, I think our future is looking bright.

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The Emotionary by Eden Sher, Julia Wertz

One of the two gems I got from the Children’s Book Shop! If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be “relatable.” Humans feel so many emotions, and oftentimes the words we have to describe them now are insufficient in encompassing all the nuance. This handy book is a nod to many emotions that we all experience but did not have a word for until now. My favorite word? Snacktivity, or the act of eating purely for recreation.

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The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

The other gem I got from the Children’s Book Shop! This genderqueer graphic novel follows Prince Sebastian, who is supposed to be looking for a bride but is more interested in moonlighting in fabulous dresses as Lady Crystallia. The only person who knows his secret is his talented dressmaker Frances. The tale challenges our societal ideas of gender roles and binary in such a tender and thought-provoking way, and the beautiful illustrations only add more to the sweetness of the story.

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The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani

I received an advanced reader’s copy for this book. I have no idea how Penguin Random House got my address, but who am I to question how I received a free book? The Night Diary chronicles the journey of Nisha, a young girl from a half-Hindu, half-Muslim family. India has just been split into new India and Pakistan, and Nisha and her family must make a perilous trek to safety. Heartbreaking but hopeful, this story is a must-read that is more relevant than ever now.

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Other stuff I did: visited the MFA (go see the Murakami exhibit by April 1 before it goes away forever!), went salsa dancing, watched Black Panther, and slept! So much!

Stuff I did not do: my homework.

Cindy Nguyen-Pham, intern

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Game of Thrones – What’s the Deal?

Since August 1, 1996, George R. R. Martin has the hearts of thousands in his hands with his first publication: Game of Thrones, the first in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire. His vast array of characters with realistic grey moralities drew fans from across the world. Three years later, The Clash of Kings was released. In 2000, A Storm of Swords was published, with A Feast for Crows following in 2005. Sadly, this is when the largest break between novels occurred. It took George R. R. Martin six years to write A Dance with Dragons for 2011. In addition to the novels, there is also a comic series, a board game, a video game, several card games, and the infamous HBO adapation.

George R. R. Martin

Fans have been waiting for over seven years for the next nail-biting adventure, The Winds of Winter. Around the globe people are worried, however, as the publishing gap between novels widens and how he has two more books to write, the last being A Dream of Spring. In 2016, the prestigious author said that he would not write any scripts, TV shows, or articles until he published the next book for Game of Thrones specifically. The seven-seasoned HBO adoption has continued its episodes, but Martin stated he is not overseeing the script anymore. He claimed the books are always better. Season eight of the TV series will continue in 2019, but will be the last season of the show.

Will the show have a new book to compare the plot arcs? Many speculated that Martin might be publishing the new novels this year, despite both of the manuscripts being more than 1500 pages.

All released titles with a bonus The Winds of Winter cover.

Unfortunately, recent news was released that Martin might not finish the series until the 2020s. Last week, several publications revealed to the disappointed fan base that the leaked publishing release date was no longer official, and the articles leaking the false release day were subsequently deleted. Martin used his blog to tease fans by stating, “I do think you will have a Westeros book from me in 2018… and who knows, maybe two. A boy can dream.” Only two months into 2018 and Martin declared that no book will debut this year. All of the broken promises are angering fans, but that’s not the only thing they’re concerned about.

While he is working on a spin-off series titled Fire and Blood in addition to the end of A Song of Ice and Fire, fans are worried he will die before he finishes any of his works. Thousands, probably millions, are holding onto their dreams of reading about their favorite characters as soon as possible. Will George R.R. Martin release his prized works in the next five years? Hopefully the chances are as high as Daenerys Targaryen riding a dragon.


Laura Rodgers, Intern

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From Books to the Big Screen

The book will always be better than the movie, but that doesn’t mean the movie isn’t worth getting excited for! It’s only February, but 2018 is shaping up to be the year for book lovers with multitudes of best-sellers and beloved stories heading for the big screen. Check out these books before their movie adaptations are released.

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A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

What’s Up: This much loved science fantasy novel has spawned a number of adaptations including a graphic novel, a television movie, a play, and even an opera. This upcoming film produced by Disney promises to be the most successful adaptation yet.

Go See it On: March 9

Not so Trivial Trivia: The movie is directed by Ava DuVernay, making her the first black woman to direct a live-action film on this scale.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (aka Love, Simon) by Becky Albertelli

What’s Up: Albertelli’s debut novel focuses on the coming of age of Simon, a high school boy who is closeted and in a relationship with another closeted boy. This balance is thrown when a classmate finds out and tries to blackmail him.

Go See it On: March 16

Not so Trivial Trivia: The director Greg Berlanti is openly gay.

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Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

What’s Up: This dystopian novel is set in a near future where the world is grim and many people spend their waking hours plugged into a virtual reality game. Wade, like so many others, dreams of solving the riddles that will lead to the massive fortune left by the game’s creator only to find that his journey has real life consequences.

Go See it On: March 30

Not so Trivial Trivia: Watch for pop culture references from the 1980s to 2010s.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

What’s Up: Meeting your significant other’s family for the first time is nerve wracking enough, but when your boyfriend’s family is among the top ten richest in Asia, things get intense fast.

Go See it On: August 17

Not so Trivial Trivia: Constance Wu. Need I say more?

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The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

What’s Up: A disease kills almost all the children in America, and those who survive gain mysterious powers and are herded into camps. Ruby escapes her camp and joins up with other super-powered kids in an attempt to reach a safe haven they have only heard of.

Go See it On: September 14

Not so Trivial Trivia: Bracken also authored the book adaptation of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

What’s Up: Based on Plath’s own experiences, this novel follows brilliant and accomplished Esther Greenwood as she fights a long and intense battle with mental illness.

Go See it On: TBD

Not so Trivial Trivia: The Bell Jar is Plath’s only novel.

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Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

What’s Up: An essential book in every high school English teacher’s repertoire. Set in a future where books are banned and burned by firemen, fireman Montag starts disbelieving what society has always told him.

Go See it On: TBD

Not so Trivial Trivia: Michael B. Jordan, who is starring in Black Panther as Killmonger, plays the role of Montag.

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The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

What’s Up: After witnessing the police gun down her unarmed friend, Angie Thomas struggles to deal with the aftermath and finds a place for herself in standing up for her beliefs.

Go See it On: TBD

Not so Trivial Trivia: The novel was inspired by the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant and pushed into creation by the numerous other victims of police brutality.

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Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What’s Up: Alcott gave coming-of-age novels a whole new meaning with her book chronicling  the adventures of the four March sisters as they grow up.

Go See it On: TBD

Not so Trivial Trivia: There were two anime series based on Little Women made in the 1980s.

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Monster by Walter Dean Myers

What’s Up: Using screenplay and diary formats to tell the story, this novel follows Steve Harmon, an African-American boy standing trial for murder. The novel calls into question issues of race, peer pressure, and masculinity.

Go See it On: TBD

Not so Trivial Trivia: Myers’ son is the artist behind the book’s cover art.

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

What’s Up: Worst case scenario of high school: all the private love letters Lara Jean has written gets mailed out to all the boys she has ever had a crush on.

Go See it On: TBD

Not so Trivial Trivia: The role of Lara Jean, who is half Asian, is played by Lana Condor, an Asian actress. Hollywood is getting it right for once.

Cindy Nguyen-Pham, Intern

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Saved by the Books

The Old Corner Bookstore is one of the oldest buildings in Boston. What is its rich history, and why is it still relevant today?

This famous building was built in 1634 by Anne Hutchinson, and currently resides in the modern day Downtown Crossing area. It was Hutchinson’s home until she was excommunicated for preaching heresy, aka for reading aloud good stories. The building burned to the ground during the Great Fire of 1711 and, after being restored in 1718, became a medicinal store. As Boston took over as America’s literary hub, the Old Corner Bookstore quickly grew as a print center.

Historic Picture of the Old Corner Bookstore

The building became home to the publishing house of Ticknor and Fields in 1845. They published various famous authors, including Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Ticknor and Fields sold the building to pursue profit elsewhere, and in 1903, the publisher Houghton Mifflin took the reins.

It was placed on the Freedom Trail not for architecture, despite holding the title of one of the oldest brick buildings in Boston, but for literature. In 1960, plans were made to destroy the building and convert the land into a parking lot.

The citizens of Boston were outraged by this, and the non-profit organization Historic Boston, Inc. saved it from demolition. It was added as a Boston Landmark. From 1982 to 1997, the building was inhabited by the Globe Corner Bookstore, and thereafter several businesses have held and traded off the property. Currently, the first floor of this historic landmark is owned by Chipotle. A plaque on the building is the official stamp of its importance.

A more modern approach of the building.

The Old Corner Bookstore cannot stop its flow of historic events. On December 17, 2017, a petition began to renovate the building into a museum. The petition was created by Paul Lewis, a Professor of English at Boston College and President of the Poe Studies Association. Petitioners are tired of aspiring to experience the old, historic Boston aesthetic but then have food corporations flash their advertising in patron’s faces.

Paul Lewis

While the building relies on its rental income for its renovation fees, the committee  wants Historic Boston, Inc. to find a solution. It currently has 3,595 signatures on ( Whether this historic building joins Boston’s literary history and becomes an official museum depends on people’s admiration for the old, the loved, and the durable.

-Laura Rodgers, Intern

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#MeToo in Publishing

We interrupt your regularly scheduled blog post to bring you this very important public service announcement: #MeToo has come for the publishing industry, and it has come with full force.

On February 7, children’s book author Anne Ursu posted an article on Medium detailing various incidents of sexual harassment in the children’s book industry. Ursu had opened a survey for people in the industry to submit their stories, and an overwhelming number of women responded.

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Anne Ursu

The stories listed in the article are all relatable, distressingly so. Male coworkers making inappropriate sexual comments to female coworkers. Managers coming on to their subordinates. Authors groping their publicist. Senior staff using their position of power to coerce coworkers, or, in the case of rejection, harm their reputation. Men feeling entitled to something from women.

Many people accused of sexual harassment include people in high positions of power in publishing houses. This should come as no surprise. The makeup of publishing is such that about 80% of the industry is female, but many of the senior staff are male, which creates a disturbingly skewed power dynamic.

All these sexual harassment allegations are not confined to just the workplace but are also widespread to conferences, networking events, and other related events. Among those accused of sexual harassment are prolific authors, such as Thirteen Reasons Why author Jay Asher, and The Maze Runner series author James Dashner.

This moment has been a long time coming. Sexual harassment has historically been ignored or brushed off, and with the #MeToo momentum sweeping through all industries, it was only a matter of time before the publishing industry was exposed too. It is very sad and disturbing that the area of publishing that is being exposed right now is the children’s sector, but no doubt this kind of thing is happening across all sections of publishing as well.

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Besides the obvious safety issue, one very important consequence of this widespread sexual harassment is decreased career opportunity for women. Publishing is mostly women, but a lot of the higher positions are still men and this is not accidental. Many of the stories describe how the men in power interfere with women’s careers after they are rejected or that women move to a lower-paying position to escape. Their careers take a hit, the men’s do not, and the vicious cycle continues.

It should be a simple matter to report the issue and come to a proper resolution, but this is sadly not the case. Many of these stories recount how the victims try to report the sexual harassment but are dismissed or even demonized.

There needs to be change, and there needs to be change now. What can we do to start this change?

Cindy Nguyen-Pham, intern

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Words that Kill (Your Heart)

While Valentine’s Day was added to the calendar in the year 496 AD, people have loved a good romantic story throughout history. But when was the very first romance novel written? Many scholars point to ancient times, specifically in Greece. When you think about it, the birth of romantic fiction at that time period makes sense since Ancient Greece was known for its love of love and all that entails.

One of the first acknowledged purely-romantic stories was called Chaereas and Callirhoe (also under the title Callirhoe). Scholars estimated that it was written around the middle of the first century AD on papyrus . It employed Greek mythology symbolism, referenced relevant geography, and commented on historical events of the time. The author was named Chariton, and he was born in the Greek city of Aphrodisias. A temple of Aphrodite resided in Aphrodisias, which is not a big shocker. Did the local worship of the goddess of love influence Chariton’s writing? It’s confirmed that in Chariton’s novel his female character Callirhoe is compared to Aphrodite.

Papyrus of the Callirhoe from Karanis (London: The Egypt Exploration Society, 1900)

But what about the juicy plot? The story is set in Syracuse around 400 BC. Chaereas, our male protagonist, falls in love with a beautiful woman named Callirhoe. The two lovers marry, and because Callirhoe is so irresistible, her turned-down suitors decide to destroy her life. They trick Chaereas into believing his new wife is unfaithful, and instead of asking his beloved if they’re correct, he decides to kick his wife so hard she dies…Or does she?

They bury her in a tomb believing that she is deceased. Chaereas drops the ball on guarding his dead wife because pirates raid her resting place. Suddenly, Callirhoe awakes from a coma as they open her tomb! They sell her as a slave to a man named Dionysius. They marry as well, and Callirhoe is too nervous to say that her previous husband got her pregnant. She gives birth and Dionysius is none the wiser, believing the child to be his own. Was this the first love triangle? Imagine the chaos if the Ancient Greeks had paternity tests!

Somehow, Chaereas magically finds out that his wife is still alive. He goes on a gallant trip to save her, but he ends up becoming a slave as well. Both of them are put before the King of the Persians. He too falls in love with the damsel and tries to take Callirhoe for himself. Thus, a war erupts in the entire city! This plot is starting to sound like a mini-Trojan War. Chaereas raids the city and destroys the naval army with Egyptian rebels. Wait, how did Egyptian rebels get in the story? The Ancient Greeks did not seem to care about continuity.

The battle was won, and the Persians were defeated. The two lovers, Callirhoe and Chaereas, are reunited and sail back home. Callirhoe must have forgotten that whole ‘kicked to death’ thing. Callirhoe sends a letter to Dionysius instructing him to raise their son as his own and then send him back to Syracuse when he’s old enough. This was personally the funniest part of the story. Dionysius gets a letter saying his son isn’t his flesh and blood, that his wife was actually married the whole time, that she is leaving him for that previous husband, and expects him to raise their child and give him back safely. The audacity!

Unfortunately, that’s where the story ends. Many copies of Chaereas and Callirhoe were found all over Greece and Egypt, suggesting it was also the first popular romance novel. I wonder what Chariton would think of the romance genre today.

-Laura Rodgers, Intern

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