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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Thursday
May072009

Thursday Afternoon Visits: May 7

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

A few interesting things have crossed my reader this week from around the Kidlitosphere.

Babe RuthFirst up, I won a prize at Get in the Game—Read. I hardly ever enter contests for books because, you know, I feel guilty enough about the books that I already have that I’m not reading. But this one, I couldn’t resist. Lori Calabrese was giving away a signed copy of David A. Kelly’s Babe Ruth and the Baseball Curse. Here’s a snippet from the product description: “Then, in 2004, along came a scruffy, scrappy Red Sox team. Could they break Babe Ruth’s curse and win it all?” What can I say? I’m a woman of limited interests. (If it wasn’t for books, chocolate, the Pride and Prejudice miniseries, and the Red Sox, I’d be hard pressed to ever come up with Facebook status updates.)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney was named to the Time 100 this year. Travis has the details at 100 Scope Notes. I love seeing a children’s book author recognized for his positive impact on kids. Also available at 100 Scope Notes this week, photographic proof of Where the Sidewalk Ends. I knew it had to be somewhere.

2009-CBW-PosterChildren’s Book Week will be observed May 11-17. Elaine Magliaro has tons of great links at Wild Rose Reader. Elaine also has a comprehensive round-up of National Poetry Month links from around the Kidlitosphere. I don’t know where she finds the time, I really don’t!

For anyone looking for summer reading recommendations for kids, do check out Claire’s summer reading list at The Horn Book website. There are some great titles, all nicely organized by age range. Link via Read Roger.

I learned via Omnivoracious that one of my favorite 2009 titles is already on the way to becoming a movie. “Film rights have for Carrie Ryan’s YA novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth have been snapped up by Seven Star Pictures. Publishers Weekly is reporting that “the project [is] for an-as-yet-unnamed A-list starlet.”” Now that has the potential to be a great movie!

Catching FireAnd speaking of my favorite dystopian YA novels, kudos to Lois Lowry for selecting Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games as the winner of SLJ’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books. For responses, see Liz B.’s take at A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy or Maureen Kearney’s at Confessions of a Bibliovore. Color me envious of all those attending BEA, who may be able too score advance copies of the Hunger Games sequel, Catching Fire. (I’m also envying Sarah Miller, who seems to have herself a copy of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling prequel, Fire. One would think that I didn’t have hundreds of other books to choose from already. And don’t you think that Carrie Ryan’s next book should be called Unconsecrated Fire?).

Speaking of Kristin Cashore, she has an interesting post about intertextuality (when later books are influenced by earlier books, and then re-readings of the earlier books are influenced by your experience reading the later books).

Colleen Mondor comments on a trend that she’s noticed, of having 12-year-old protagonists in books published for adults. She says: “I”m not saying that adults can’t enjoy a book with a child protagonist - we all know and love Tom Sawyer and Scout and all those other classics that have stood the test of time and that’s great. But this whole teen trend thing that seemed such a big deal with Special Topics in Calamity Physics is starting to look like vamp novels look in YA. In other words these preternaturally smart children are starting to crop up everywhere and I wish I knew why.”

And last but not least, don’t miss MotherReader’s latest post at Booklights, about her favorite funny chapter books.

© 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).

Friday
May012009

Friday Afternoon Visits: May 1

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Kidlitosphere_buttonIt’s been another hectic week around the Kidlitosphere. The number of starred items in my Google Reader keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Here are a few highlights (with more literacy and reading focused news to come on Monday):

The Edgar Award winners (from the Mystery Writers of America) were announced this week, as reported by Omnivoracious. They include: Best Young Adult Mystery: Paper Towns by John Green, and Best Juvenile MysteryThe Postcard by Tony Abbott.  

Jacba_bookseal-150x150In other award news, the 2009 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards were announced. I found the news at PaperTigers. From the press release: “Books commended by the Award address themes or topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books also must meet conventional standards of literary and artistic excellence. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai… is the winner in the “Books for Younger Children” category. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom… is the winner in the “Books for Older Children” category.”

The five British Children’s Laureates recently each selected their seven favorite children’s booksTasha Saecker has the lists at Kids Lit, saying “Great reads are timeless as this list shows. Just reading the list brings back flashes of memories. Lovely.” I agree. I especially liked Jacqueline Wilson’s list, with favorites like Little WomenA Little Princess, The Railway Children, and Ballet Shoes

Newlogorg200The Readergirlz will be focusing on Red Glass by Laura Resau this month. Little Willow has all the details at Bildungsroman. Red Glass was also a Cybils short list title for young adult fiction in 2007. 

IblogoMary Hershey and Robin LaFevers have launched their third annual National Independent Booksellers Appreciation Month at Shrinking Violet Promotions. They’ve also just started a Shrinking Violet’s Yahoo Group, “the brainstorming, buddying-up, and support arm of the Shrinking Violet Promotions blog. It’s a place where introverted authors can discuss (and commiserate with!) the ins and outs of marketing and promoting their books.” 

May is also National Asian Pacific American Heritage month. Tanita Davis is participating at Finding Wonderland, responding to an interactive poll with questions like “Favorite Asian, South Asian or Asian American writers and their works”.

School Library Journal’s Battle of the (Kids) Books continued this week, with the semifinal winners identified. Melissa has a nice little recap at Book Nut. Like Melissa, what I’m curious about is: “will final judge Lois Lowry go for a huge, sprawling work of genius or a hip, intense dystopian novel? ” Me, I’m a huge fan of The Hunger Games (which won the Cybils award this year for YA fantasy/science fiction), so I know what I’m pulling for… 

The Last OlympianI’m guessing that a potential Cybils and SLJBoB candidate for next year will be the final book in the Percy Jackson seriesThe Last OlympianRick Riordan links to a feature article about Percy Jackson in the Wall Street Journal. Pretty impressive for a kid with ADHD who keeps getting kicked out of schools. Seriously, though, Mheir and I are planning to attend Rick’s upcoming signing at Kepler’s in Menlo Park, and will hope to see some of you there. 

The online auction to benefit fellow kidlit blogger Bridget Zinn (who is battling cancer) has begun. Matt Holm has the full details of the call for action. The auction site is here (a blog, appropriately enough), and there are lots of great items up for bid already. Please do consider participating - you can get great, one-of-a-kind items, and help one of our own at the same time. I’ve already put in a bid for an item that I want… But more items will be added in the next few days.

The Book Chook has a fun post about places that people read. She notes: “I love that reading is so portable. … When I go on holiday, my packing order is books: first; clothes: if I remember. That portability has enabled me to read in planes, trains and automobiles, on the Great Wall of China, and once while resisting anaesthetic before an operation.” I commented there and shared some of the notable places that I enjoyed reading as a child. Click through to see.

I also enjoyed this post at Ink Splot 26, about the five best sidekicks from books. Some of my favorite characters are the sidekicks, especially Bean from Ender’s Game and Sam from The Lord of the Rings.  

NationalPoetryMonthLogoIn round-up news, Elaine Magliaro rounds up week 4 of National Poetry Month in the Kidlitosphere at Wild Rose Reader. See also individual NPM round-ups at Susan Taylor Brown’s blogGotta Book (Gregory K’s blog), and Kelly Fineman’s blog. Also Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile rounds up a host of children’s books about animals, with links to full reviews.

NORTHlogo[1]And finally, congratulations to Miss Erin, winner of Justina Chen Headley’s North of Beautiful Find Beauty Challenge. (My review of North of Beautiful is here.)

Wishing you all a peaceful and book-filled 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).

Saturday
Apr252009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: April 25

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Happy Birthday, Mom and Dad! (Yes, my parents have the same birthday - it’s pretty cool. And easy to remember.) I know I just did a Kidlitosphere round-up post a few days ago. But, I don’t know what to tell you. People keep posting interesting things. Plus, you know, these round-up posts make for a good task while watching baseball (Red Sox - Yankees this weekend!).

Zombie_chicken_awardFirst up, I received another award this week. Angie from Angieville was kind enough to give me a Zombie Chicken Award, in particular recognition of my Reviews that Made Me Want the Book features. Here’s the scoop: “The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…” Hmm.. do I risk the wrath of the Zombie Chickens, or do I stick to my policy of saying that everyone who I mention in my visits posts is a blog that I’m giving recognition? Quite a dilemma. Either way, I’m grateful to Angie - this is a particularly fun award.

Kidlitosphere_buttonAt Lectitans, Kimberly has a helpful post with 5 Ways to Use Kidlitosphere Central. I especially applaud her suggestions to use the resources at Kidlitosphere Central to make friends, and get involved in the community.

I’m thrilled to be in the middle of a few weeks at home between trips. However, Betsy Bird made me a bit sad that I’m not going to BEA this year, when she described at Fuse #8 a Day of Dialog that School Library Journal is putting together. It’s “a free, day-long program where librarians, editors, authors, and vendors meet to discuss the changing world of books, reading, and libraries”, complete with food from Little Brown, and a panel session moderated by Betsy. Maybe next year…

Caps for SaleSpeaking of Betsy, she’s up to #17 in her Top 100 Picture Books announcements (Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina). This list is already filled with amazing, amazing books, and you know that the remaining 16 are all going to be popular favorites. What I’m interested to see is how many of the top 15 are newly published books. Will there be any, or will it be all old favorites? Stay tuned!

OppositedayOver at Scholastic’s Ink Splot 26 blog, Karen W. has come up with a list of clever book titles in honor of “Opposite Day”. In my favorite, Because of Winn Dixie becomes In Spite of Safeway. Your suggestions are welcome in the comments.

In other made up book title news, the winner of the Bottom Shelf Books / Saints and Spinners Unnecessary Children’s Book Titles that Never Were contest was announced. Congratulations to Book Aunt Kate Coombs for coming up with “Harry and the Can of Purple Spray Paint”. Click through for the delightful illustration. 

Speaking of delightful illustrations, Eric Carle was just featured in Newsweek, with an article titled “The Surprising Dark Side of the Very Hungry Caterpillar”. Travis has the scoop at 100 Scope Notes.

At Original Content, Gail Gauthier has an interesting post pondering adult characters in children’s books. She asks: “Have we always felt that children should be center stage in children’s books? Or back in the day when books for children were more instructive were they filled with adult characters for them to model themselves upon?” There’s quite a discussion in the comments, including a response by author Tim Byrd, whose work is mentioned in the post.

As reported on many blogs, the shortlists for the Carnegie Award (the oldest children’s literature award in Britain) were announced this week. Charlotte has the list at Charlotte’s Library, and was the first person I saw to point out the fact that in all seven, the main characters are boys. Alison Flood of the Guardian also called it a “boysy” list. UK-based blogger Bookwitch is happy to have read and liked all seven titles, and approves of the boy-friendly slant, too.

StarclimberMeanwhile, over in Canada, the 2009 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards short lists were announced. You can find the list at Kids LitTasha is always up on the award news. Chester’s Back, which I loved, is on the picture book list. Starclimber, which I just reviewed last week, is on the young adult list.  

Two posts caught my eye this week from moms who are clearly doing well with the whole raising readers thing:

  • At Paradise Found, confronted by a son who finished four middle grade novels in one day, Kris Bordessa asks: “Do you ever tell your kids to stop reading? Would you, if they read four books daily? How much is too much?” There are bunches of comments in response to this question.
  • Jennifer from Snapshot shares her progress with daughter Amanda in their Read Together Challenge. She says of the challenge: “I have found the accountability great in encouraging my perseverance. When we finished this book, Amanda said, “We need to get another book we can read together.” I was glad that she is enjoying this effort as much as I am.” 

 And a few other 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).

Wednesday
Apr222009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: April 22

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here are a few doings from around the Kidlitosphere that I think are worth a mention.

PremioDardosFirst up, many thanks to Sherrie Peterson from Write About Now, who was kind enough to grant my blog a Premio Dardos award, for “transmitting cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.” Thanks so much, Sherrie! I’m not actually going to follow the rules of the award by passing it along to 15 people, but Sherrie’s kind words did totally make my day.

School Library Journal’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books has started the second round of competition, with John Green selecting The Hunger Games over We Are the Ship. Yay, Katniss! Liz Burns has been covering SLJBoB thoroughly at Tea Cozy (most recently here), if you’d like more detail.

FCBD_cymk_dateTanita reports at Finding Wonderland that Free Comic Book Day is coming up on May 2nd. “This event celebrates the independent comic book specialty shops, thousands of which exist in North America alone.”

I learned from Presenting Lenore that this is Body Image WeekLenore explains: “So what’s it all about? The issue of body image and loving the skin that you’re in is something that affects everyone in different ways and in different degrees. And there are a lot of books recently or soon-to-be released that address various aspects of the issue.” 

Cheryl Rainfield reports that “Libba Bray, author of The New York Times bestselling Gemma Doyle Trilogy (A Great and Terrible BeautyRebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing), will be hosting a virtual event on There.com, a 3D online virtual world that is free for users, in promotion for the paperback release of THE SWEET FAR THING. Libba will be doing a reading of THE SWEET FAR THING and chatting with other There.com avatars from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 28th.”

At the Blue Rose GirlsGrace Lin links to a Shelftalker post by Josie Leavit about proper author etiquette when visiting a bookstores (short version: don’t be disingenuous). Even though I’m not an author, I found the post and comments fascinating.

NationalPoetryMonthLogoElaine Magliaro rounds up week three of National Poetry Month across the Kidlitosphere at Wild Rose Reader. Speaking of poetry, Gregory K finally includes one of his own poems in the midst of 30 Poets/30 Days. It’s about a spaghetti farm, and it’s very fun!

Blog angst flu (a recurring epidemic during which various bloggers question their reasons for and methods of blogging) continues across the Kidlitosphere, with posts at Confessions of a BibliovoreBook NutThe Reading Zonethe YA YA YAs, and Original Content (and various others linked within those posts). I’ve been suffering a minor case of this myself lately, and I have to say that I’m impressed by Trisha’s decision (at The YA YA YAs) that going forward her reading priority will be books that she personally has borrowed from the library or bought. I have recently reactivated my library card, myself, after a bit of an absence.

In a related vein, Teacherninja shares his recommendations for coping with being “hyperconnected”. He breaks them down into specific recommendations for people who are overly connected via social networking-related tools, and people who are trepidatious about such enterprises.

The Portland KidLit group is hosting a fundraiser for one of their own, one of our own, Bridget Zinn, who is battling cancer. You can find details at Check It Out. There are going to be a lot of great signed books auctioned off, to help the lovely Bridget. 

Terry has an interesting post at The Reading Tub about balancing letting kids read what interests them and wanting to encourage them to read higher-quality fare. To me, the heart of the post is: “How do you balance feeding a personally-motivated passion for reading with minimizing the impact of people you hope don’t become her “friends”?” As someone who found many of her “friends” in literature, this post really resonated with me.

Kate Coombs has a fun post at Book Aunt about the elements that distinguish British fantasy from American fantasy. She says: “there’s something literary, not to mention clever, about British comedy, and about British fantasy writing. The words that keep coming to mind are wit and whimsy. I realize these tend to be used stereotypically, but then, stereotypes can have their roots in truth. I suppose we can define wit as cleverness and surprising humor.” She includes lots of examples.

And that’s all for today! Happy reading!

© 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).

Thursday
Apr162009

Thursday Afternoon Visits: April 16

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here are some posts from around the Kidlitosphere that have caught my eye in the past few days.

Tbd09rtToday is drop day for Readergirlz Operation Teen Book Drop. I’m a bit late, but here’s the scoop: “It’s time to grab a readergirlz bookplate and take a book somewhere in your town—donate it to a library, a school, or a lonely park bench. Leave it anywhere in honor of Support Teen Literature Day!” You can also find more about Teen Literature Day at ForeWord Magazine’s Shelf Space blog, in a detailed post by Carlie Webber.

Winston BreenToday is also the launch of Eric Berlin’s Winston Breen puzzle party, in honor of the second book in the series: The Potato Chip Puzzles. In honor of the launch, Eric has created a puzzle-themed blog tour. If you solve all of the puzzles, you can win prizes. You can find the first puzzle, and the full schedule for the tour, at A Patchwork of Books. My review of the first Winston Breen book is here.

Liz Burns repeats a thought-provoking post at Tea Cozy (originally from 2006, but still quite relevant today) about a trend featuring teen interactions with senior citizens in young adult fiction.

Lips TouchLaini Taylor reveals the gorgeous cover of her upcoming book: Lips Touch. She also shares the story about how blogging inspired the book, which might be of particular interest to the writers among you.

Speaking of blogging, Natasha from Maw Books and Amy from My Friend Amy will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming Book Expo America about book blogging. Natasha has asked for feedback from other bloggers on topics that would be useful to discuss.

Also speaking of blogging, Sarah Miller shares some pros and cons of blogging at Reading Writing, Musing. I sense a round of blog focus angst flu going around. But I do think that Sarah nailed both pros and cons - several of hers resonated with me, even though I’m not an author.  

Elaine Magliaro rounds up Week 2 of National Poetry Monthin the Kidlitosphere at Wild Rose Reader. And this week’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Becky’s Book Reviews.

Fans of Sallie Wolf’s Truck Stuck (which I reviewed here) will enjoy this real-world story from Unabridged, the Charlesbridge blog.  

And last, but definitely not least, people all over the Kidlitosphere have linked to a recent video of President Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll last weekend. Here’s the video, with some context, at 100 Scope Notes.

And that’s all for today!

© 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).