The author of 100 Best Books for Children, 500 Great Books for Teens, and Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, Anita Silvey has devoted 40 years to promoting books that will turn the young—and families—into readers. She has appeared frequently on NPR, The Today Show, 60 Minutes, and various radio programs to talk about our best books for young people. In a unique career in the children’s book field, Ms. Silvey has divided her time equally between publishing, evaluating children’s books, and writing. Her lifelong conviction that “only the very best of anything can be good enough for the young” forms the cornerstone of her work. Formerly publisher of children’s books for Houghton Mifflin Company and editor-in-chief of The Horn Book Magazine, she currently teaches modern book publishing, children’s book publishing, and children’s book author studies at several colleges.

Anita Silvey writes: “When I was in seventh grade, we focused on the Presidential primaries for the 1960 election. Every student got to pick, or was assigned, a candidate and then had to argue the case for electing him. In my small school in New Haven, Indiana, I only knew one Democrat, my best friend Fred Friedman. But I still picked a Democratic candidate because he happened to be the brother-in-law of my favorite movie star, Peter Lawford. Then I set out to find everything that I could about John Kennedy, fell under his spell, and even managed to convince several students in the class to vote for him. It was a highly-contested election in our seventh-grade class that year, just as it was in the nation.

“When I went to the Kennedy library to look at Jackie Kennedy’s papers in preparation for writing my essay, I felt as much in awe of Jackie and John Kennedy as I had as a seventh grader. The experience reminded me of how important the study of history—and current events—is when we are young. The inspirations and passions that we develop then can last a lifetime.”

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More Books by Anita Silvey

Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger (Clarion Books)

Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall (National Geographic Children’s Books)

The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Children’s Books and Their Creators (Houghton Mifflin)

The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators (Houghton Mifflin)