TAKE A RIDE ON THE READING RAILROAD--The September Carnival of Children's Literature

Today you're invited to Take A Ride on the Reading Railroad, where you'll find links to great books and blogs. Enjoy!

An important part of planning any long train trip is deciding what books to take. For this journey, you pick Book Of A Thousand Days by Shannon Hale ( Becky's Book Reviews), Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer (Jen Robinson's Book Page), Chasing Vermeer (A Wrung Sponge) and finally, Harry Sue by Sue Stauffacher (Read, Read, Read ).

When you arrive at the train station, what do you see across the street but a used bookstore you've never been to before- Under the Radar Books. You check your watch- plenty of time. And it was worthwhile --lots of great books on the shelves courtesy of Semicolon, and an old favorite by Mollie Hunter (Charlotte's Library).

There's the train pulling in. Time to board the Reading Railroad! The conductor shows you to your seat, and as you get settled, she hands you a book--A Child's Delight (From Here In the Bonny Glen). "With the compliments of the Railroad," she says, and turns to the next passenger, a woman with a tiny infant. She hands them a different book-- "It's never too early," she says. "We give this book, Foggy Cat, to every baby on board (A Typical Life).

As you take your seat, you notice a complimentary Train Newspaper. The bag of books next to you must wait while you read the fabulous articles --there's an interview with Helen Dunmore (Big A little a) , there's an introduction to Whoopeekiddies.com (A Meeting Place for All Home Office Women ), and a fun book cover meme to play--"Who's writing a children's book about YOU?" (Trinity Prep School). You learn that Banned Books Week is September 29 - October 6! (Critic's Corner), and that L'Engle tops the list of Top 10 Authors who got rejected 26 Times (Sam Riddleburger). And you read with great amusement Grapefruit Moon and Other Stories posted at Saints and Spinners in the letters section.

There are also reviews of books new and old. Some of the books you've never heard of -Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate (Literary Safari), and a very intriguingly titled picture book called The Fabulous Bouncing Chowder, which turns out not to be about soup in the hands of a 2 year old (Wild Rose Reader). And you meet old friends again-- In Praise of the Rabbit (Zucchinis in Bikinis), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Eclectic Commons).

And on the last page, there's an original story about Sputnick, seeing the light of day for the first time (here and here) (Bartography).

On the train is a child who's learning to read; without being too obvious, you peer over to see the book-- Hey Tabby Cat! , from the Brand New Readers Series(Adventures in Daily Living). Looks good. A grandmother pulls out book after book for her dear grandchildren--"These are 10 Children's Car Books I Love," she says. (Ask Patty-Automotive Advice for Women). But all the children soon turn their attention to a woman retelling Johnny Appleseed with a silly read-aloud twist (Little Blue School)

Feeling a bit restless, you decide to walk along the train, only to find there's a book store car! You scoop up 10 Minutes 'Till Bedtime, and admire The Beautiful World of Jan Brett (Mommy Auctions ). And then you grab 25+ Great Science and Nature Books for Five to Eight Year olds (Chicken Spaghetti) --they look too good to pass up. You add The Down To Earth Guide to Global Warming (Natural Family Living Blog) to your stack, and stagger out of the store. As you leave, you chuckle to hear a small girl bewailing the sad consequences of too much maternal book buying (Karen Edmisten).

A little further on is the lounge car. As you enter, a video begins to play on the large screen at the end of the car--your eyes are drawn to "An Abundance of Kidlit Goodies" (A Fuse #8 Production).

After curling up in peace with your books for a while, the train slows down. Your books seem to have made themselves at home, and as you are burrowing under your chair, the conductor appears with a final amenity-- a large empty box. Clutching the now full box to your chest, you climb down onto the platform.

An elderly gentleman approaches, and hands you $200. "You passed GO!" he says. "Time to buy more books!"

"But I have books..."

"Never enough," he answers, and heads over to the next passenger.

You notice that the walls of the station are plastered with signs advertising bookshelves, carpenters, and promises such as "House Collapsing? We can help!" and "We'll build you a bookery out back." Now you know the secret behind The Reading Railroad. It is all a plot.

I hope you've enjoyed your ride on the Reading Railroad! Thanks to everyone for their contributions, and thanks in particular to Melissa of Here in the Bonny Glen, the mastermind behind the Carnival of Children's Literature!


  1. Great carnival, thanks for including my post!

    My newest granddaughter Quincy arrived 9/15 with all ten toes and fingers...can't wait to start reading to her , too!

    Jody DeVere

  2. Great job on the carnival!

  3. Thanks for putting together this Carnival, Charlotte. You are clever to think of the Reading Railroad (which I could never bear to pronounce "redding"). I look forward to reading the actual entries throughout the week.

  4. I can't believe I forgot to submit this time around...again...next time.

    Thanks for putting together this creative Carnival. Great job!

  5. Oh, Charlotte, this is my favorite carnival yet. No offense to anyone else, of course I've enjoyed the other ones, too. But this one, I wasn't even interested in following the links on the first pass through. I just wanted to keep reading, to see what other delights the Reading Railroad had in store. So much fun! And I did spot some links to new sites that I'm curious to check out, too. Thanks!

  6. You all are welcome--thanks for commenting!

  7. How cool!!! Thanks for putting this together -- it was a very clever train ride. :) And thank you for including my post!


  8. Thank you so much for writing this Carnival! It was wonderful!

  9. A wonderful carnival! Thanks for hosting and for including our little lament. :-)

  10. Thanks for hosting! You did a great job with the carnival :) It was very fun.

  11. What fun, and you did an amazing job putting this together. Very creative!

  12. a wonderful carnival! I'm proud to be a part of it this time... and I very much look forward to reading all the contributions this week :)

  13. Oh, Calloo, Callay! What a terrific Carnival Post! Like Jen, I was so riveted by the narrative that I couldn't tear myself away to click on the links. Now I'll go back and see what other good stuff you linked to...

  14. Wonderful job, Charlotte! Thanks so much for hosting. You were brilliant!

  15. Wow! I just found your blog right before I was going to post a question on the 4real message boards. Your the president of your Friends of the library group, so you seem like the ideal person to ask. This week our city's library is going to have a $3 bag sale on over 60,000 used books. I plan to hit the children's literature section and was wondering if you could offer any tips on how to peruse the books, so that I don't end up wasting time and money on twaddle. Also, besides keeping an eye out for Leo Polleti (spelling?) and Tomie De Paola books, do you have any other suggestions for books?

  16. Hi littlebit,

    Thanks for stopping by. I've posted some tips in today's post--I hope they're helpful!

    And thanks to everyone else for their kind words! Do you all like the "plot" pun? I didn't do it on purpose, honest.

  17. Thanks for including my post - and for taking us through all these fun reads in a surprising and innovative way. I really felt like I was on a trip with a real live book conductor!


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