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Anita Silvey

216 | Anita Silvey - the fairy godmother of children’s literature


As long as love infuses everything I do, I’m in the place I want to be. - Anita Silvey


Armed with a firm belief that children’s books change lives, Anita Silvey has spent her entire career in children’s literature as an editor, a literary critic, and as an author. Raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Anita recalls being one of those kids whose idea of heaven involved a cozy chair and a pile of books from the local library. The daughter of a college-educated teacher and the former head of communications during the World War II battle of Iwo Jima, Anita graduated from the University of Indiana with a degree in education and soon made her way to Boston in an old VW bug with her boyfriend and her cat. It wasn’t long before she landed a job in the children’s department at Houghton Mifflin where she would launch her legendary career as the fairy godmother of children’s literature. In this interview, Anita shares many stories about famous authors she has worked with as well as the mindset a great children’s book author or editor must have: “We have a very high memory of our childhood. We remember the feelings of our childhood, and inside us are all the layers of our lives. “ The author of many books including Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Children’s Book, The Essential Guide to Children’s Books and Their Creators, 100 Best

Books for Children, 500 Great Books for Teens and Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger, Anita Silvey is a national treasure. For a tutorial on how to

make it in the world of children’s literature, just hit that download button. #childrensbooks #publishing #houghtonmifflin #library




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