E-Newsletter • Vol. 1 No. 1 • July 2014

Welcome to the Make Way for Books E-Newsletter. We hope you'll find this is a simple, reliable way to discover new and recommended children's books, stay informed of current articles on reading, writing, kids' books, and more, or just relax with a recent interview we think you'll find interesting. Here's a sample of what you can expect 1-2 times each month.

The Last Resort by J. Patrick Lewis

The Last Resort by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Roberto Innocenti (Creative Editions, 2002)

Every once in a while you find a book whose words beg to be put on, worn like a garment of the finest cloth. They feel so good, they swish, swirl, dazzle, delight. And if the words weren't enough, painted illustrations beckon as an invitation to a fine art gallery viewing. They envelop, move, challenge, clarify.

The Last Resort is one of those rare gems — it had me from page one: "One lazy gray afternoon, as I was humdrumming along, my imagination, apparently angry at being ignored, took a holiday—and never returned." And thus begins a creative search to discover what inspires imagination. Words, played upon and made-up, dance alongside literary characters from favorite classics whose shared journey brings each to The Last Resort (or is it "Lost Heart, Rest"?)

Though adults will relish the beautiful meaning-of-life themes these seekers find—love, adventure, bravery, and truth—younger readers, especially middle and high school age, will benefit from rich metaphors, cleverly interwoven stories, and the puzzle-like challenge of figuring out what each character seeks. Dry times, whether disguised as boredom, disappointment, fear, or writer's block may be common experience, but as this tale brilliantly shows, there is something to be done about it. A delightful literary treat to savor time and again.

Publisher Summary:  Ideal for both adults and children, this unusual tale introduces Innocenti the painter, who one day finds himself on a journey to the seaside spot The Last Resort. There he meets a cast of unique characters who, like him, are all on the road to self-discovery.

Each newsletter we’ll link to our Spot Light: Books of the Month blog post where we review a few don’t-miss titles of various levels.

This month it’s all about exquisite writing, adaptation, and artful illustration. We also noticed themes of compassion wind through each. A gorgeous Oliver Twist adaptation tastefully retells this tale through warm illustrations that boast unique, slightly exaggerated perspectives and well-written first-person narrative. Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library (new in paperback) invites readers to imagine themselves as players in a mysterious game held in a new library complete with holographic librarians, eletctromagnetic platforms, and Disney-esque animatronic book characters. Hunter Moran finds himself juggling pieces to a puzzle of his own, and nonfiction instruction entertains just as well in The Case of the Incapacitated Capitals.

Reviews and more in this month's Spot Light

Rx to Read

Research has shown many benefits of reading to children. Now pediatricians are instating a new reading policy to help parents nurture more than just literary skills. Annie Murphy Paul explains the value of this new policy. And, creating an atmosphere that makes picking up a book practically irresistible for kids, Daniel Willingham, author of the forthcoming Raising Kids Who Read, recommends a few creative ideas to try.

I cannot control whether or not I am talented,
but I can pay attention. I can make an effort to see.
—Kate DiCamillo

Some authors have the ability to tell stories that masterfully transform understanding through tales of woe and wonder. Kate DiCamillo, current National Ambassador for Young People's Literature and author of several of our favorite titles—Because of Winn-Dixie, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (2014 Newbery Medal Winner), The Tale of Despereaux, and Great Joy—is definitely one. Her sense of imagination savors real and fantastical worlds, strong themes carefully explored and sensitively dramatized, and endearing characters. And, according to her editor, she’s a delight to work with as well. Be sure to visit Kate's site for musings on writing and how she took her teacher's wisdom to heart.


Make Way for Books is an independent, online bookseller offering children's books that foster a love of reading and inspire a discerning literary appetite. We embrace the challenge of discovering the best in children's literature and hope to influence distributors, publishers, and authors to stock, sell, and write irresistibly rich reads for kids.