Sarah Vowell visits four Presidential libraries on a fact-finding tour for...President Clinton. Not that he asked her.
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Host Ira Glass describes a children's book from the 1970s called Nobody's Family Is Going to Change by Louise Fitzhugh, the author of Harriet the Spy. On the surface, it sounds like a rather menacing title for a kids' book. But in fact, the story is about how kids can finally find peace if they stop hoping that their parents will ever be any different.
A truly remarkable children's book just came back in print: The Lonely Doll, by Dare Wright. Jean Nathan tells the story of the book and its author, and how the author's life came to resemble something from her book.
Kindergarten teacher and "Genius Grant" recipient Vivian Paley is the author of many books about the stories children invent and the way they play, and what it's about. At a time when schools are cutting back on having a doll corner, she tells the story of a child in her class who was sort of saved by a doll, and the story he told about the doll.