October 11, 2013 Also: Authors celebrate Alice Munro's Nobel win; McDonald's will give out books instead of toys in new Happy Meals; the new Bridget Jones book comes with a Bridget Jones-style error.
October 11, 2013 Ludwig Bemelmans' first introduced the plucky heroine back in 1939. Now, his grandson carries on the tradition of the little girls in two straight lines. And if there was any confusion, he would like to set the record straight: It's not an orphanage; Miss Clavel is not a nun; and Madeline isn't French.
October 10, 2013 The winner of this year's Nobel Prize in Literature is considered a master of short stories. Glen Weldon remembers being particularly struck by her portrayal of common evil in a tale called "Dance of the Happy Shades."
October 10, 2013 A young baseball player who gets hit by a fastball must find the courage to step back up to the plate. Michael Northrop, the author of Plunked, is no stranger to overcoming obstacles — he's dyslexic, and he says that learning to read was a real struggle when he was a kid: "I can't read fast. I can read carefully, though."
October 10, 2013 For two weeks in November, McDonald's will swap out the toys in its kids' meals for original books that have nutritionally focused themes. The fast-food giant's plunge into publishing has inspired some witty mock Mcbook titles. But critics of its marketing to kids aren't so amused.
October 10, 2013 For centuries, the memory of Jane Franklin has languished in brother Benjamin's shadow. While Ben is on currency and splashed across textbooks, Jane's life of curiosity and hardship has been forgotten. In Book of Ages, historian Jill Lepore draws a portrait of one of the American Revolution's "little women."
October 10, 2013 Munro's short-story collections include Dance of the Happy Shades, The Moons of Jupiter and, most recently, Dear Life. The author, who has been writing for more than 60 years, is only the 13th woman to win the prize.
October 10, 2013 Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez's life has been marked by arrests, no-holds-barred Chicago-style political fighting, and even the occasional Molotov cocktail thrown through his window. He speaks with host Michel Martin about his life and new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
October 10, 2013 Also: a new poem by Sherman Alexie; a captivating essay about surfing; the complexity of shopping for books in France.
October 10, 2013 Bridget Jones has grown up — a bit, anyhow — in our exclusive First Read of the new Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy. A widow (shocking!) with two young children (even more shocking!), she's struggling to balance motherhood and her own needs — not to mention a hot, much younger boyfriend.
October 10, 2013 Jo Baker's Longbourn retells the events of Pride and Prejudice from the point of view of the servants. Baker tells NPR Books editor Petra Mayer that the predicament of the Bennet sisters is well-known, so she wanted to explore the situation of the servant girls with no father, home or dowry.