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Leonard S. Marcus

Minders of Make-Believe: Idealists, Entrepreneurs, and the Shaping of American Children’s Literature

Where: Standish Room, Third floor Science Library, University at Albany, SUNY

When: October 23, 2008, 4:00 PM

cover copy.jpg Leonard Marcus, one of the foremost authorities on the history of children’s literature, will discuss and sign his new book, Minders of Make-Believe (2008, Houghton Mifflin), an animated first-time history of the visionary editors, authors, librarians, booksellers, and others whose passion for books has transformed American childhood and American culture.

What should children read? Marcus tackles this three-hundred-year-old question that sparked the creation of a rambunctious children’s book publishing scene in Colonial times. And it’s the urgent issue that went on to fuel the transformation of twentieth-century children’s book publishing from a genteel backwater to big business. Marcus delivers a provocative look at the fierce turf wars fought among pioneering editors, progressive educators, and librarians - most of them women - throughout the twentieth century. His story of the emergence and growth of the major publishing houses - and of the distinctive literature for the young they shaped - gains extraordinary depth through the author’s path-finding research and in-depth interviews with dozens of editors, artists, and other key publishing figures whose careers go back to the 1930s.


Free and open to the public. Seating is limited. RSVP to: Brian Keough, at bkeough@albany.edu or 518-437-3931




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