News

This page features news in the area of children’s literature, events from around the blogging community, and announcements about KidLitosphere happenings. Primarily focused on literary news, special events, useful articles, and interesting posts from other blogs, it does not include reviews, interviews, or opinions.

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Friday
Oct082010

The Cybils Are Coming!

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Cybils2010small Read any good children’s or young adult books this year? Now is the time to start thinking about which ones you think are the best of the best. Because nominations for the 2010 Cybils open October 1st. The Cybils, of course, are the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards, given each year to books (in a range of categories) that demonstrate both kid-appeal and literary merit.

This is the fifth year of the Cybils awards. I’ve been involved since year one, sometimes as a category organizer (for young adult fiction and for middle grade/young adult nonfiction), generally as a round 2 judge in one category or another, and currently as Literacy Evangelist (cheerleader/promoter/person who has been an organizer since the beginning and has some context to offer). Although I have very limited time for my blog this year (hello Baby Bookworm), I chose to stay involved with the Cybils because I believe strongly in what the Cybils awards stand for.

First of all, the Cybils are about winnowing through the many books published each year to find a few in each category that are especially well-written and kid-friendly. I’ve said many times that I believe that one of the most important things that comes out of the Cybils process is the shortlists that are published at the end of round one. The shortlists are lists of five to seven top titles in each category (a couple of the categories are further split by age range, for a total of about a dozen short lists). The shortlists are tremendously valuable, for parents, teachers, librarians, and children’s literature fans of all ages.

The other thing that is wonderful about the Cybils is that there are ways for lots of people to contribute. Anyone can nominate titles (one book per category). The people who make the shortlists, and pick the winners in each category, are bloggers who have demonstrated expertise in that area. I think it’s a nice mix. And because there are so many categories, lots of people are able to be involved in the process.

What’s going on with the Cybils right now is that judging panels are being formed. What I can tell you from my behind-the-scenes viewpoint is that the organizers in the nine categories (ranging from picture books to young adult titles) are making a tremendous effort to assemble well-balanced panels. They are striving for a mix of new and returning panelists, and a range of perspectives and job experiences on each panel. Unfortunately, not everyone who volunteers can get a spot on a panel - one price of success of the awards is that we have more volunteers than we have room for. But I promise you that the organizers are doing their best to include as many people as they can, while making the strongest panels that they can. Panels will be announced starting Monday.

For more about the Cybils, check out:

  • Gina Ruiz’s post at AmoXcalli about the Cybils: Year 5, the reflections of a first-year panelist and current organizer. And while you’re there, stop and leave a comment to welcome Gina back to blogging at AmoXcalli, after a year-long absence. Gina is the Social Media Guru for the Cybils. She urges: “Follow us on Twitter, fan us on Facebook, support us by buying Cybils swag and sport our bling on your blogs and websites. Most of all get those nominations in and keep reading!”
  • Sherry Early’s post about the “unexpected treasure” that she’s found through the Cybils at Semicolon, a post that she wrote as part of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Sherry was also a first-year panelist for the Cybils. She says: “I don’t know if I’ll be judging for the Cybils this year or not, but I’m so hooked that I’ll be there on October 1 to nominate my favorites, and I’ll be reading as many of the nominated titles as I can find whether I’m judging or not. Cybils is great place to dig for unexpected treasure.
  • For further reading, bios of all of the Cybils organizers are now available on the Cybils blog.

Stay tuned! It’s just starting to get interesting.

© 2010 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Saturday
Apr032010

Saturday Afternoon Visits: April 3

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been another eventful week around the Kidlitosphere. Here are some links, for your perusal:

NPM_LOGO_2008_final April is National Poetry Month. There are a host of activities going on around the Kidlitosphere in celebration. Happily, Laura Evans of All Things Poetry has compiled a list (which I in turn copied from Finding Wonderland - you can find more details there):

Beautifulbloggeraward1 Lovely_award This week I was honored to receive not one but two blog awards from Dawn Little of Literacy Toolbox. Like my co-honoree Terry Doherty, I’m not one to pass along awards like this - I don’t like picking sub-sets of my favorite blogs, according to anyone else’s criteria. But I am delighted to be in such wonderful company with the other names on Dawn’s list.

I was also happy to have my blog listed as a resource recently on the Education and Social Sciences Library (ESSL) Children’s Literature Blog. Katelyn Edds chose a selection of blogs based on “how often the blogs were updated, their layout and content, and how often the blogs were cited by others as being authoritative.” I’m in excellent company there, too, with blogs like Fuse #8, Readergirlz, and Guys Lit Wire, to name a few.

Speaking of Terry Doherty, her writer’s prompt at Booklights this month is a fun one - Mad Libs. Oh, how I loved Mad Libs when I was in middle school. She talks about some different versions of the Mad Libs idea, shares some memories, and discusses why Mad Libs and related word games are an excellent literacy tool. Fun stuff! Ann also talks about writing prompts for kids in her monthly Booklights post. Great minds thinking alike, I guess.

Dayglo Accredited Online Colleges has a fun post this week: 10 Children’s Books Every Business Student Should read. It’s a nice mix of older and newer titles, and includes Chris Barton’s The Day-Glo Brothers. Thanks to Emma Taylor for the link.

Liz B responds at Tea Cozy to a recent New York Times article by Julie Just about problem parents in young adult literature. I agree 100% with Liz’s conclusion: “Just as parents need to get out of the way for their teenagers to mature into adults, so should we adults who read and review young adult books get out of the way of the intended audience — the teens. Yes, we can read and enjoy those books; but let’s not ask for those books to be written to reflect our reality of adults and parents.” But do read the whole post. Monica Edinger chimes in on the Times piece, too, though more briefly.

At the Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller continues her series on resources to help teachers discover books for kids. This time, she discusses Twitter (where you can find her at @DonalynBooks). She gives tons of great examples of the fun that is following the kidlit twitterverse.  

MACLogo The NCBLA blog reports on the start of the Exquisite Corpse Adventure Mystery Author Contest. The idea is for school classes to “Play Twenty Questions with other Exquisite Corpse Adventure readers around the country to help identify The Mystery Author! Every class that solves the mystery and emails in the correct guess will be entered into a drawing to win a collection of books valued at over $500 for their classroom or library, plus a phone conversation with The Mystery Author!”

Quick Hits:

  • I haven’t mentioned it in a while, and thought that I would draw your attention to the latest installment of Sherry Early’s Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. Every week, Sherry asks contributors to link to their reviews from the week - resulting in links to dozens of book reviews.
  • Mitali Perkins shares an inspiring plea from 8th grader Anisha N. on behalf of her school library. 
  • Lenore’s International Book Blogger Mentor program is up and running. She shares some of the featured bloggers at Presenting Lenore.
  • At the Tidy Books blog, Ian Newbold is wondering whether or not children’s books should come with warnings (e.g. if a character dies).
  • Doret wraps up her fun 9 Authors - 12 Baseball Questions series at TheHappyNappyBookseller.
  • If you need more kidlitosphere news, check out the latest FuseNews from Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production. There are also some interesting news links in Joanne Meier’s Food for Thought post at Reading Rockets this week.
  • And finally, Kate Coombs has this week’s Poetry Friday roundup at Book Aunt.

Redsoxlogo I’ll be away from the computer tomorrow, celebrating Easter as well as baseball’s Opening Day (finally!). Wishing you all a Happy Easter or Passover, or anything else that you might celebrate, and a happy spring.

© 2010 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Saturday
Apr032010

Saturday Afternoon Visits: March 27

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

There continues to be lots going on around the Kidlitosphere. Here are a few quick highlights on this beautiful day:

Alma_logo_eng The winner of the 2010 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award was announced this week (I first heard about it from Tasha Saecker at Kids Lit). Congratulations to Belgian illustrator and author Kitty Crowther, who won a prize of 5 million kronor ($620,00 US). I love that this award celebrates the creator of Pippi Longstocking, and the importance of children’s literature. The size of the award is a strong statement about the value of children’s literature and its creators.The ALMA website explains:

“Astrid Lindgren is one of Sweden’s most important authors. Her works have been translated into more than 90 languages. She renewed children’s literature and combined artistic integrity with commitment to the rights of children and young people. Astrid Lindgren passed away in 2002 at the age of 94, but her stories will live forever. To honour her memory and to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature around the world, the Swedish government has founded an international prize in her name, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.” 

30P30D Gregory K has announced the lineup for his upcoming 30 Poets/30 Days celebration of National Poetry Month. It’s quite a star-studded list. And I love the new logo, created by Greg’s kidlitchat co-host, Bonnie Adamson.

Lots of people are raising a rallying cry for libraries this week. Dawn Morris has a heartfelt post about libraries at Moms Inspire Learning. And Jennifer R. Hubbard from writerjenn inspired a whole library-loving blog challenge, which has spread to dozens of blogs. The basic idea is that the participating bloggers promise to donate to libraries based on the number of comments that they receive. There are too many participants for me to highlight them all here, but I did want to mention that The Texas Sweethearts will be making a donation to the Reading Tub for their challenge. How great is that?

Trevor Cairney has a fun post today at Literacy, families and learning on choosing great educational toys for children. He breaks the post down by type of play, from timeless construction toys to toys that allow kids to create things. He concludes with a few principles that he follows when choosing toys (like “Do they stimulate creativity and learning?”).

Based on the responses to her recent survey about blogging books for boys, librarian Ms. Yingling has started sharing some themed booklists, aimed at middle school age boys. This week, she shares a host of books about war, neatly categorized according to which war is covered. She says: “While not all of the books on this list have a lot of fighting, they have all been popular with my boys.”

There seems to be a bout of spring-induced sports fever spreading in the Kidlitosphere:

  • Doret from TheHappyNappyBookseller is doing a fantastic Baseball Lineup series in which she asks nine authors of baseball stories for kids a series of 12 questions each (3 per day). Personally, I haven’t been able to resist chiming in on the first two posts, to share my responses, too. They’re great questions for baseball fans of all ages.
  • Colleen Mondor takes on sports books in the latest installation of her What a Girl Wants series at Chasing Ray. She asks her band of author friends: “What books can you think of about famous female athletes in history? Do we honor them on the same level as male athletes? And what about game playing girls in MG & YA novels? Can you think of some great ones and do familiar teen girl tropes (like mean girls and romance) play into those novels? In other words, is a book about boys playing ball crafted the same as one about girls playing ball? Is the sport enough when selling a book about girl athletes?” Thoughtful responses abound.
  • At The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia features a baseball poem about Forgiving Buckner. She speculates that baseball just might be “the true harbinger of spring.” I can’t disagree with that. Speaking of poems, this week’s Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Julie Larios of The Drift Record.

Other quick hits:

And that’s all for this weekend. Happy reading, and happy spring. Only 8 more days until Red Sox Opening Day!

© 2010 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Saturday
Apr032010

Sunday Afternoon Visits: March 21

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Happy Spring! Happy March Madness! A belated Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Here are a few links from around the Kidlitosphere, for those who are actually indoors on the computer this fine weekend:

First up, I was delighted to see that Jen Funk Weber profiled me this morning as her first Extreme Reader, a new series that she’s doing at Needle and ThREAD: Stitching for Literacy. She shares my story about reading on a raft in a lake in New Hampshire as a kid. Jen is looking for other extreme reader stories, as well as extreme stitcher stories, if you have any to share. And have you seen her tutorial for stitching Readergirlz bookmarks? Anyone interested in both books and needlework should really be following Jen’s blog.

Matilda Betsy Bird is up to #17 in the Top 100 Children’s Novels poll at A Fuse #8 Production. You can also enter a challenge to predict the top 10 titles. I got an extra kick out of seeing Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory side by side at #18 and #19. The book-loving Matilda is one of my all-time favorite characters from children’s literature. And I’ll always have fond associations for Charlie, because I taught myself to type by copying Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. There’s also a top 100 YA books poll going on at Persnickety Snark.

Speaking of Matilda, great fan of reading, Terry Doherty has started a list/widget at The Reading Tub with books about kids finding a love of reading. She would welcome your suggestions. Also, my congratulations to Terry for being the latest Featured Sweetheart at the Texas Sweethearts blog. There’s a great interview!

Helaine Becker believes that kids enjoy reading. Inspired by a recent visit as guest author at a bookstore, she shares her thoughts on why kids sometimes get a reputation for being non-readers. I think she makes some good points, especially: “Kids don’t like to read books that are “good for them” or jammed down their throats.” 

Middle school librarian Ms. Yingling is shifting the focus of her blog a bit to focus more on finding books for boys. She’s reformatted her blog, added a list of other blogs that suggest books for boys, and declared Guy Fridays. It’s always interesting to me how people shift the focus of their blogs over time, as they discover areas that they are particularly passionate about.

Sara Zarr, on the other hand, wants to know if blogging is dead. She notes: “I don’t have time to read and comment on blogs the way I used to, and that seems to have led to fewer comments on mine, or folks do their commenting on Twitter and Facebook where my blog feeds—or commenting has been replaced with sharing, liking, and reTweeting.” The post is a bit slanted (understandably) towards author blogs, but the discussion has implications for us all. I think it depends on whether you’re blogging FOR the sense of community, or to share particular things that lend themselves more to the longer format of the blog (vs. Twitter or Facebook).

Lee Wind (co-founder of the Kidlitosphere Comment Challenge) has a new blog about The Zen of Blogging. He says: “This is my new on-line home for sharing weekly inspiration and how-to tips about blogging with you.” 

Booklights Speaking of the Comment Challenge founders, Pam Coughlan has a great post this week at Booklights about Thrifty Reading, with suggestions for acquiring books during tough economic times (and no, shoplifting is NOT among her suggestions). See also Susan Stephenson’s suggestions at The Book Chook for finding free reading material online. Also at Booklights, Susan Kusel suggests checking out holiday-themed books from the library EARLY.

Quick hits:

© 2010 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Thursday
Apr012010

The 2010 Kidlit Conference

(this is a reposting from the 2010 main page for KidLitCon. There’s great info here that we don’t want lost, even as we start posting info for the 2011+ conferences)

 

Greetings, YA and KidLit Blogdom!

Welcome to the first informational post for the Kidlitosphere 2010 Conference!

This year’s conference will be hosted by Andrew Karre (Carolrhoda), Ben Barnhart (Milkweed Editions) and Brian Farrey (Flux) in beautiful downtown Minneapolis.

Let’s start with the basics:

Where: Open Book, Minneapolis, MN
When: Saturday, October 23, 2010

 

The rough schedule calls for a wine and cheese reception on the night of Friday the 22nd, a day of workshops and panels on the 23rd, followed by a closing conference dinner in the evening.

We’re still working out the details of cost for the conference and hotel; we hope to have all the particulars very soon. Our goal is to make the cost comparable to past conferences. Once we’ve finished getting bids, we’ll post registration information. But if you send an e-mail right now to kidlitcon2010@gmail.com with the subject line “Intent to Register,” you will receive $5.00 off the cost of registration.

We are now accepting proposals for workshops and panel discussions. We’re looking for a range of topics aimed at both beginning and experienced bloggers. While we’ll consider all submissions and ideas, we are most interested in seeing sessions that address:

  • Issues of diversity in reviewing/blogging
  • Effective marketing/networking
  • Ethics of book reviews
  • Beyond the blog (vlogs, etc.)

Remember: this is your conference! If there is a topic that you’d like to see addressed but don’t feel you’re able to present on, please shoot us an e-mail at kitlitcon2010@gmail.com with your suggestion. Later on, we’ll list the topics that people would like to see covered and solicit proposals based on the requested list.

 

Please download and fill out the submission proposal form, then e-mail it back to us at the above address. Deadline for submissions is August 1, 2010. Our goal is to reply to all submissions by mid to late August.

Follow us on Twitter here: twitter.com/kidlitcon2010

And here’s the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/pages/Kidlitcon-2010/137299689614524

Please note that the KidLitCon 2010 blog will be your best source for up to date information.

Lots more info to come in the next few weeks. (We’re working on a few fun surprises…) For now, start spreading the word! Be a fan on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Let people know when the conference is and to start their plans to attend/present/support!

See photos from the KidLitosphere Conference

See more information about KidLitosphere Conference 2009

Visit the KidLitosphere Conference 2008 site

Visit the KidLitosphere Conference 2008 CafePress store