Jennifer Armstrong is a children’s bookseller who has been at Northshire Saratoga since it opened in 2013. A 30 year resident of Saratoga, Jennifer brings a unique and valuable perspective to Northshire. She spent 30 years as an author of children’s books, writing over 100 titles for children and teens. After this lengthy run she decided it was time to move on. With so much writing experience, transitioning into selling children’s books made perfect sense.
What does Jennifer like about selling children’s books? Matching kids with books they will love (her favorite children's author is Philip Pullman and advocating for children’s literature. One of her favorite experiences is “eavesdropping on brand new readers sounding out a sentence for their mom or dad, and seeing the look of pride on both faces as this life-changing skill unfolds.”
Being a children’s bookseller isn’t without its challenges. Parents sometimes insist that something funny can’t count as serious reading, or that their child should not select a book that is below their tested reading level. Sometimes kids are dragged in under duress, making it difficult to help them find something they’ll like. Literary snobs who are sure that nothing decent in children’s books has been published in the last 50 years can also put a damper on the enthusiasm.
In spite of these difficulties Jennifer finds the overall experience thoroughly rewarding: “Seeing kids spend their own money on books or use their own gift cards to purchase a book for a younger sibling, having a parent come in and rave about how much her child loved my last recommendation, watching new customers turn around and around in wonder at our jaw-dropping children’s department. It’s delightful.”
Jennifer has been a valuable asset to Northshire Saratoga. If you are in need of expert advice on children's books, she'd be delighted to help.
- Nathan George