The j shelf refers to the section of the public library that houses the “j” books. I seem to think that j stands for “junior”, but cannot immediately find anything documenting that. “J” books are chapter books for kids, the kind that this blog will discuss.

This blog is mostly a project reading through the Newberry award winners and honorees, but will likely venture to some other great children’s books that never won those awards. I am a firm believer that kids books are not just for kids! Children’s literature is a genre in and of itself; it requires good writing without the trappings of too much vocabulary, and it requires writers to hold the attention of one of the toughest audiences: children. I find children’s literature both fun and captivating, and hopefully a bit of that will make it through to the blog.

Lest you think I simply never made it past eighth grade books, by day I’m a post-doctoral researcher with a PhD in sociology. I spend my days with much data, running statistical models, testing hypotheses, reading academic research, and more of the like. I’ve always loved to read (a good thing, or doubtful I could have made it thought graduate school and the hundreds of books I read those years). But for fun, I’ll take a well written children’s novel any day!

PS. I doubt I will ever have a reader I don’t know personally know, but if you happen to strangely discover this and don’t, I’m twenty-eight and hopefully carry none of the stereotypes of children’s librarians except for the liking children’s books part. (I do enjoy going outdoors, for example, and I have at least average social skills.)

You can contact me at thejshelf (at) gmail (dot) com.


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