Christine VanDeVelde

Betsy Bird's List of Best Kids Books of 2016

Children's book expert extraordinaire, Betsy Bird, formerly of the New York Public Library and now head of special collections right here in Evanston, lugged a big bag of books to my home last week to tell all of us on hand about the Best Children's and YA Books of 2016. There are so many terrific books here! if you haven't sewn up your holiday lists, you're in luck. Personal favorites: PAX, Jazz Day, Quite Calling Me a Monster and The Cookie Fiasco!

2016 Printers Row Lit Fest

Please join me in conversation with Amy Carr of the Chicago Tribune and author Helene Tragos Stelian this Saturday at the Printers Row Lit Fest. We'll be talking getting into college -- from grades and testing and visits to what not to pack as you head off to the next four fabulous years of your life. No ticket necessary! Just come on down to the Dearborn Room at Hotel Blake at 2:30 p.m. Further details here

Best day...? Best year...? Best decade?

I am loving the blog HEY NATALIE JEAN these days! It is a sweet peek into the life of a mom and her toddler. I am endlessly nostalgic about motherhood. For several years, I was obsessed with A Baby Story on the Discovery Channel. It followed parents during the final weeks of pregnancy, into the delivery room and then through the first few weeks after the baby's birth. It allowed me to live vicariously without the sleep deprivation and gestational diabetes.