Children's Books | St. Louis Public Radio

Children's Books

Five-year-old Honore Locker colors alongside Maxi Glamour after Drag Queen Story Hour at St. Louis Public Library's Central Branch.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of drag queens in bejeweled ball gowns and stiletto heels brought unexpected glamour to storytime on Mother's Day weekend.

A rambunctious crowd packed into the auditorium of the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Branch on Saturday afternoon for Drag Queen Story Hour. The event, which aims to celebrate diversity and inclusion, drew more than 100 young children and their families.

In "Islandborn," Junot Diaz writes for immigrant children.
Illustration by Leo Espinosa

For more than 20 years, novelist Junot Diaz has explored the immigrant experience.

From his debut 1996 novel, “Drown,” a semi-autobiographical work on the life of a young Dominican transplant to the United States, to “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2008, Diaz has found inspiration in the culture that surrounds him. 

His work has won him more than just accolades. He is a MacArthur “genius grant” winner and teaches creative writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In his books and in person, his use of language is very much for an adult audience. But for years, his two goddaughters and other children have asked him to craft stories with them in mind. Diaz has done so with his latest book, “Islandborn,” which tackles the dilemma of an island girl in the United States: How do I remember where I come from?

Winnie Caldwell and Sidney Keys III
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Sidney Keys III, 11, has had quite a month. On December 13, he and his mother, Winnie Caldwell, flew to California where he appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show.” Two days later he was featured on CNN’s “Young Wonders” program in a segment that had been recorded weeks earlier. On December 17, he appeared on a live CNN special in New York City honoring CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2017.

Sidney Keys III, the founder of Books N Bros.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this year, we spoke with 11-year-old Sidney Keys III and his mother Winnie Caldwell about Books N Bros, a book club Keys founded to encourage boys to read.

What are the best children's and young adult books to read this summer? St. Louis on the Air's panel of booksellers and librarians discussed on Thursday.
Micro Kool | Flickr

Earlier this summer, we gave you a list of 20+ best summer reads for adults. We know it is about that time: this week, we convened a panel to discuss the best summer reads for children and young adults too.

On April 7, the world lost Patricia McKissack, a famed children’s book author who made her home in St. Louis. She died of a heart attack at age 72.

Chelsea Clinton speaks to students and parents at Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School in Creve Coeur Friday, April 7, 2017.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Long before Chelsea Clinton lived in the White House, she wrote then-President Ronald Reagan a letter, imploring him to not visit a Nazi cemetery on an upcoming visit to Germany.

The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday shared the letter, which was adorned with a rainbow sticker, with students at Mirowitz Jewish Community School in Creve Coeur.

Sidney Keys III, the founder of Books N Bros.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

If you Google the terms “boys and reading,” you will find thousands of results laying out the state of the gender gap between boys and girls when it comes to reading and literacy. “The Boys Have Fallen Behind,” writes Nicholas Kristof. “Why Women Read More than Men,” says NPR.

St. Louis County Library

A new local organization wants to get the conversation about race and racism started with a group you may not expect: young, white families in St. Louis. We Stories: Raising Big-Hearted Kids is using children’s literature to “create conversation, change and hope in St. Louis” with the aim of making St. Louis more inclusive.

Áine O'Connor

When mentioning author and philanthropist Cynthia Kagan Frohlichstein, the best word that comes to mind is “spunk.” You can spot her around town at different events, chatting and mingling, owning the crowd.

And frankly, she has much to celebrate.

Celebrating her 40th year of being cancer-free, Frohlichstein has not slowed down her attempts at showing the world that giving is as good as receiving. She’s written children’s books on the topic of “giving back” and life lessons in hopes that young people will carry the torch forward.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: In Tom Angleberger's new book, things are going all wrong at McQuarrie Middle School. There's a new emphasis on standardized testing, and classes such as music, art and Legos are cut because of it. In "Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett," the group of kids that readers first met in "The Strange Case of Origami Yoda" have to work together again to figure out what's going on and how to fix it. They're guided, by the way, by a paper finger puppet Yoda.