Each year, librarian and School Library Journal blogger Elizabeth Bird spends December offering up list after list of new-book recommendations — “31 Days, 31 Lists,” in fact.
Because books don’t necessarily fit neatly into just one category, sometimes a title will appear on more than one of these lists at A Fuse #8 Production, and I’ve been so pleased this month to see my 2020 book All of a Sudden and Forever: Help and Healing After the Oklahoma City Bombing (illustrated by Nicole Xu and published by Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing) appear on two of Betsy’s lists.
You can find it on the list of 2020 American History Titles for Kids, and it’s also included among 2020 Nonfiction Picture Books. The company on both lists, both in terms of the other titles and the talented people who created them, is marvelous, and I urge you to check them out.
(Yes, that’s a library pun, but it’s also a completing-the-process-of-buying-books-in-person-or-online-from-your-local-bookseller pun.)
The writeup for All of a Sudden and Forever is the same on both lists (no need to make an already-gargantuan amount of work any more gargantuan), and I’ll end 2020 first by saying “Thank you, Betsy” and then by quoting her words about the book in their entirety:
When something horrible happens, what do you do? What can be done? One April morning in Oklahoma, a truck with a bomb exploded. In its wake, a single tree remained. That is the beginning of this true story of healing and recovery. I think when 9/11 happened I expected this kind of book to appear, but it never did. I wanted something exceedingly smart, insightful, touching, with a sense of the greater picture. Turns out, that book is almost impossible to write. So basically I cannot figure out how Chris Barton managed to write this one. I don’t usually go about calling a book almost perfect, but I think I can say it about this one. This book manages to do the impossible. Its focus may begin with the Oklahoma City bombing, but its scope goes far far beyond. I’m just in awe.