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.

We welcome your feedback!

Search
Social Networking
Powered by Squarespace
Friday
Dec112009

Friday Visits: December 11

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Given the bustle of the holiday season, I’ve had trouble keeping up with Kidlitosphere news lately. But here are some highlights from the past couple of weeks (at least those that I think are still timely).

Cybils2009-150pxMichelle is running a Cybils Award Challenge at Galleysmith. She says: “The Cybils Award Challenge is where participants are encouraged to read from The Cybils Award nominees for the given year.” The challenge runs through the end of 2010, so you have plenty of time to participate.

Speaking of the Cybils, several Cybils bloggers were nominated for this year’s EduBlog awards. You can find the list at the Cybils blog. And, of course, it’s not too late to use the Cybils nomination lists (and past short lists) to help with your holiday shopping!

Speaking of holidays, in honor of Hanukkah, I’d like to bring to your attention a podcast at The Book of Life, in which Heidi EstrinEsme Raji CodellMark Blevis, and Richard Michelson discuss a variety of topics, including their predicted winners for the 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award. For my Jewish readers, I wish you all a Happy Hanukkah!

Book lists abound this time of year. I mentioned several in Monday’s post at Booklights, but have a few new ones to share here. Lee Wind offers a list of GLBTQ books for middle schoolers. Another list I like a lot is Kate Messner’s list of her favorite 2009 titles, broken into creative categories (starting with my favorite, dystopias). Colleen Mondor has an excellent three-part piece with book recommendations for girls from several authors (the regular participants in Colleen’s What a Girl Wants series). And, Library Lady from Read it Again, Mom! shares her lists of Best Picture Books of the Decade and Best Chapter Books of the Decade. Finally, for a fun list of movies, Susan Taylor Brown shares over 200 movies about the literary life.

Newlogorg200This is very late news, but the Readergirlz author of the month is Tamora PierceLittle Willow has all the details at Bildungsroman.

Liz B. at Tea Cozy was inspired by the recent School Library Journal cover controversy to start a list of “books where an alcoholic (including recovering alcoholic) is portrayed as something other than the evil, abusive person”. (Have I shared that? People were offended because the librarians mentioned in Betsy Bird’s SLJ article on blogging were shown on the cover having drinks in a bar.). Also from Liz, see the William C. Morris YA Debut Award shortlist.

Speaking of recent controversies, Steph Su has a thoughtful post on the recent situation by which certain young adult titles were removed from a Kentucky classroom in Montgomery County (see details here). What I especially like about Steph’s post is that she links to comments from a blogger who she doesn’t agree with, so that she can understand both sides of the debate. My personal take is that the county superintendent is using a specious argument about academic rigor to remove books that he finds personally offensive from the classroom. See also commentary on this incident from Laurie Halse AndersonColleen Mondor, and Liz Burns.

Quick hits:

And that’s all I have for you today. I hope that you find some tidbits worth reading, and that I can do better at keeping up with the Kidlitosphere news in the future. Happy weekend, all!

© 2009 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
Nov282009

Saturday Afternoon Visits: November 28

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I hope that you all had a lovely Thanksgiving. The Kidlitosphere has been relatively quiet of late, but I do have a few links to share with you all this weekend.

Abby (the) Librarian has launched her annual Twelve Days of Giving series, where she “post(s) for twelve days and recommend books for your holiday giving!”. She started on Friday with suggestions for buying books and making the world a better place, and added suggestions for a two-year old today.

BooklightsSee also a fun post from Terry Doherty at Booklights with “ideas for ways to give the gift of reading that don’t require batteries, computers, flashcards, or workbooks.” I especially liked the section on ways to “promote your little detective”. Also at Booklights, Pam Coughlan discusses ways to give a book (a continuing theme that’s she’s presented at MotherReader over the past few years). In the Booklights post, she shares some common themes, such as “giving the book along with a handmade gift certificate for a movie date for a rental or a theater release.” 

Liz Burns shares a post about giving books for the holidays at Tea Cozy. The post is a republication of something she wrote for Foreword Magazine a couple of years ago, but it remains timely today. Rather than a list of book suggestions, Liz includes tips for both giving and receiving books (like “Be Obvious About What You Want”). This is a post that many of us will want to quietly share with our friends and relatives.

Cybils2009-150pxSpeaking of giving books, Anne Levy has gritted her teeth and written her annual Cybils fundraising post. She shares ways that you can, in conjunction with your holiday shopping, send a bit of financial cheer in the direction of the Cybils organization. I also talked about this idea a bit in my post about choosing Cybils books for holiday gifts.

Leila from Bookshelves of Doom is accepting orders for TBR Tallboy #2, a short story magazine featuring stories by a variety of talented writers (including Tanita Davis and Sarah Stevenson from Finding Wonderland). I’m kind of curious about the story on “a pizza delivery guy who has an experience straight out of a pulp-horror magazine”.

Speaking of talented writers, Colleen Mondor has an introspective piece at Chasing Ray about how she does (and does not) talk about being a writer when she’s at holiday parties. Here’s a snippet: “They just shake their heads when you say you are a writer and they laugh a little bit inside. And they look down on you as foolish or flighty or deluded. That doesn’t happen though when you say you own airplanes; in fact when you say that they don’t have any damn thing to say back at all.”

At Maw Books, Natasha has an interesting guest post from author Bonny Becker. Bonny says: “Bad things happen. As a child, I found it scary, intriguing—and encouraging—when bad things happened in books… Now, as a grown-up writer of picture books, I wonder if we’ve gone too far in stripping “bad things” from our mainstream picture books?” She gives some great examples.

At Confessions of a BibliovoreMaureen muses on series books, and the way that some series (“especially the ones that get up to about four or five books with no end in sight”) lose their pull after a few books, while others don’t. She asks: “At what point does a series lose the pull, that Oooh, What’s S/He Going to Do Now and become More of the Same? What has an author done that has pulled it out for you?”. I shared what I think in the comments at Maureen’s.

Quick hits:

That’s all for today. I’ll be back Monday with this week’s Children’s Literacy and Reading News Round-Up (prepared with Terry Doherty) and a new post at Booklights. Hope you’re all enjoying a restful weekend!

© 2009 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).

Sunday
Nov222009

Sunday Visits: November 22

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Happy Sunday, all! Sorry I’ve been so absent from the blog lately. I’ve had a tough time recovering from my recent travels, and I’ve been a bit under the weather to boot. This weekend, I did finally manage to make it through all of the blog posts in my reader (though some amount of skimming was required). Here are a few (mostly from this past week - everything older than that started to feel like old news):

There are too many wonderful interviews from this week’s Winter Blog Blast Tour for me to highlight them all. But I did especially enjoy Shelf Elf’s interview of Laini Taylor, as well as 7-Imps’ interview of Laini’s husband, Jim Di Bartolo. Their daughter Clementine Pie is adorable. You can find the complete set of links to the WBBT interviews at Chasing Ray (home of WBBT organizer Colleen Mondor). See also Liz B’s background piece on the WBBT at Tea Cozy. I also enjoyed Mary Ann Scheuer’s interview with Annie Barrows, which included tidbits about Annie’s reading with her own kids.

Speaking of Laini and Jim, they did not, alas, win the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (for which Lips Touch was shortlisted). Kudos to the winner, Phillip Hoose, for Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, a true-life account of the 15-year-old African-American girl who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in March 1955.

Cybils2009-150pxThe Cybils nominating committee panelists are reading away. And Cybils tech guru Sheila Ruth reports at Wands and Worlds that “Tracy Grand of Jacketflap has once again created this terrific Cybils nominee widget. It rotates through the Cybils nominees and displays a different one each time the page is loaded. You can get the widget for your own blog here.” See also Sheila’s post at the Cybils blog about publisher love for the Cybils, and our thanks to the many publishers and authors providing review copies for the Cybils process. Sheila has been doing an amazing job as this year’s Publisher Liaison.

Betsy Bird also links to various write-ups about the recent Children’s Literary Cafe at the New York Public Library (focused on the Cybils).

Posts about holiday gift-giving are already proliferating. I especially liked this Semicolon post with book ideas for eight and twelve-year-old girls, and this post at The Miss Rumphius Effect with gifts for readers and writersElaine Magliaro also has a fabulous list of Thanksgiving-related resources at Wild Rose Reader.

Kidlitosphere_buttonPam shares the results of the KidLitCon09 charity raffle at MotherReader. She says: “With more than five hundred dollars raised with the charity raffle at KidlitCon, we gave two projects at Donors Choose a huge boost. Now with additional contributors, both DC school literacy projects have been fully funded!” She shares teachers’ notes from both programs.

I’ve seen a couple of responses to Betsy Bird’s article about Amazon’s Vine program. Maureen has some excellent thoughts at Confessions of a Bibliovore on what it means to review in a professional manner, whether on a blog or not. Roger Sutton from Read Roger, on the other hand, just thinks that blog reviews are too long.

Kate Coombs has a very detailed post at Book Aunt about books that are currently popular with kids. After discussing many of the usual suspects, she says: “I’ll conclude my report on the coolest of the cool. It’s kind of like watching the popular kids at school. Sometimes you wonder why they’re popular when they seem so ordinary, or even, in some cases, so unappealing. On the other hand, there are times it makes sense. Some of the popular kids are truly extraordinary, and their singular status seems completely deserved.”

Quick hits:

That’s all for today. It’s nice to be feeling a bit more caught up on my reader, I’ll tell you that. More soon…

© 2009 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).

Sunday
Nov082009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: November 8

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been a fairly quiet weekend on the kidlit blogs, for whatever reason. However, I have run across a few things of potential interest for you.

Jpg_book008At Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, Terry Doherty shares a monthly roundup of new literacy and reading-related resources. The new resources section was something that we spun out of our weekly children’s literacy roundups, in the event of streamlining those, and Terry’s been collecting ideas for this monthly column. I hope you’ll check it out. She’s got lots of useful tidbits.

NcblalogoThe NCBLA blog reports that the fourth episode of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is now available. This installment was written by Susan Cooper. The post adds: “And if you need further incentive to share the Library of Congress and the NCBLA’s reading outreach project with the young people in your life, take a look at Timothy Basil Ering’s electric new illustration for Episode Four!”

In the context of a recent graphic novel kick, Gail Gauthier muses at Original Content on how many books are “rigidly” formulaic. She says: “Maybe reading the same formula/pattern/storyline over and over again assists them in some way I’ve just never heard about.” In the comments, Becky Levine adds: “I wonder about this often—how many things we see as formulaic, “old” don’t feel that way to a child reading them—since they don’t have X number of decades of this kind of reading behind them.” What do you all think?

At Books & Other ThoughtsDarla D. wonders whether it’s a good idea for parents to “ink out all of the bad words” in books before giving them to their children. Darla says: “A discussion between this parent and child about unacceptable language and why the parent believes it is not a good idea for her daughter to use those words might be more productive than expurgating the text.” There are a range of opinions in the comments - it’s quite an interesting (and civil) discussion.

At Biblio FileJennie Rothschild discusses Amazon’s new capability to quickly share Associates links on Twitter, in the context of the new FTC disclosure regulations. She notes: “the way I understand it, you’d have to disclose ON YOUR TWEET that you’ll make money off the link. But how does one fit a link, why you’re linking to the product, and a disclosure all in 140 characters? That, I don’t know.” I don’t know, either. The idea of being able to share a Tweet that says “I’m reading this” and then get a small commission if anyone should happen to click through and buy the book, well, that has some appeal. But I think that the disclosure would be very tricky to pull off in any meaningful way.

Bookwormdock-3-300x249Lori Calabrese has started a new monthly meme (possibly to become a weekly meme, if there’s sufficient interest) in which she’ll link to book giveaways around the Kidlitosphere. Don’t you love her cute logo for Fish for a Free Book? She says in the launch post: “If you are hosting a children’s- young adult book-related giveaway, sponsoring a giveaway, or just found a really awesome giveaway that you’d like to share with us, please leave it here! (Please make sure it’s children’s book related)”.

Speaking of giveaways, I, like Betsy Bird, don’t usually link to them in my roundups (there are just too many). However, Betsy recently talked at A Fuse #8 Production about one that I think is brilliant. From the press release: “The YA and MG authors of the 2009 Debutantes are giving away a 46-book set of their debut novels to ONE lucky library, anywhere in the world! In light of recent budget cuts to libraries in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other communities, these debut authors would like to contribute their library to your library, offering up brand new novels for your patrons at no cost.” Pretty cool!

Quick hits:

And that’s it for today. Hope you’re all having a lovely Sunday.

© 2009 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).

Wednesday
Nov042009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: November 4

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been a pretty active week around the Kidlitosphere. Here are a few links for you.

Bigbird-hpToday is Sesame Street’s 40th birthday. Happy Birthday to Cookie Monster, Oscar, and the rest of the crew. One of my earliest memories is of singing “C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me” in the car. According to this news release, “Google, an innovator in the world of technology, has partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, to create original “Google doodles.”  Starting today, Google will feature photographic depictions of the Sesame Street Muppets with the Google logo on its home page from November 4-10.” Fun stuff!

Colleen Mondor has posted the latest installment in her “What a Girl Wants” series (a set of roundtable discussions that she’s hosting with a panel of authors) at Chasing Ray. This week’s topic is: mean girls in literature. Colleen asks: “did literature create the myth of mean girls or have the reality of mean girls created accompanying literature?” As usual in this smart series, the responses extend in a variety of intriguing directions.

Newlogorg200The Readergirlz will be celebrating Native American Heritage Month for November, spotlighting Marlene Carvell’s novel Sweetgrass Basket at readergirlz. In her customary organized manner, Little Willow has all the details.

At Pixie Stix Kids PixKristen McLean takes on “the Amazon Vine brouhaha kicked off by Betsy Bird over at Fuse #8 last week”, saying “I think this discussion has some larger implications for the industry, which is why it’s going to continue to get play.” She begins by discussing the lack of transparency in the Amazon program, and moves on from there.

Picking up on another Betsy Bird article (her recent SLJ piece about KidLit blogs), Roger Sutton asks at Read Roger ”whether or not there is such a thing as a blog-friendly book”, if “some books more than others will appeal to people who like to blog about children’s books.” He also makes some interesting points about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of blogs for libraries researching for their book collections, in context of “The glory and the bane of book blogging is its variety”.

Speaking of Betsy’s SLJ article, Liz B. has a fun piece about the photo shoot for the cover at Tea Cozy. Betsy’s article also inspired in librarian Ms. Yingling some philosophical musings on why she blogs. She also makes the excellent point that “The more good people we have commenting on books, the easier it is for the rest of us to keep on top of the huge number of new books that are coming out”. 

Cybils2009-150pxAnne Levy is running a new contest on the Cybils website related to NaNoWriteMo (where people try to write a whole book in November). Well, actually she links to a contest, and then also asks people to share 50 word blurbs from their NaNoWriteMo projects, for publication on the Cybils blog. Fun stuff! 

Mitali Perkins recently announced an ALA Midwinter Kid/YA Lit Tweetup. She says: “Coming to Boston for the ALA Midwinter conference? If you’re a tweeting librarian, author, illustrator, publisher, agent, editor, reviewer, blogger, or anyone interested in children’s and YA lit, join us on January 16, 2010 from 4-6 in the Birch Bar at Boston’s Westin Waterfront Hotel.” Still not enough to make me wish that I still lived in Boston as winter approaches, but this comes close…

AlltheworldIt looks like blogging friend Liz Garton Scanlon is going to have her picture book, All the World (with Marla Frazee), included in the Cheerios Spoonful of Stories program next year. Congratulations, Liz! Liz shares some other good news for the book at Liz in Ink.

Sixth grade language arts teacher Sarah asked at the Reading Zone for “a few “words of wisdom” for a presentation” on reading aloud to middle school students. There’s some good input in the comments. It’s an inspiring post all around, actually.

Quick hits:

© 2009 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).