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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Tuesday
Sep232008

Tuesday Tidbits: September 23

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I just did a Kidlitosphere round-up post on Sunday. But since then, a bunch of things have come up that I’d like to share with you.

CybilslogosmallFirst up, in Cybils news, the middle grade/YA nonfiction committee has been announced. Also, my official new title within the Cybils organization was announcedLiteracy Evangelist. I’m not sure who thought of it, but I do love it. I might get business cards made up. But seriously, I’ll be working to get the word out about the Cybils, so that more people can participate in nominating titles, and more people will learn about our fabulous winners and short lists. Evangelizing, if you will, for the Cybils and for literacy. And finally, do check out Liz B’s reasons for liking the Cybils, and seeing them as important, at Tea Cozy.

  • At Grow Wings, Laini Taylor shares some reasons for authors to blog. Laini and I will be discussing the bridge between authors and reviewers at the Kidlitosphere Conference in Portland this weekend, and I’m sure that we’ll be talking about author blogs as part of that discussion. Some additional logistical details about the conference from Jone MacCulloch can be found here.
  • Franki shares the first of what promises to be a series of “Books I Could Read A Million Times” at A Year of Reading. She’s learning about these books because she’s working as a librarian, and reading the same book to several different classes. She explains “I got this idea from Bill at Literate Lives. My hope is that by reading the same book to all of the kids in the school, we have anchors to talk about—books that can be talked about at dinner tables at home, books that can be talked about with friends in other classes, etc.”
  • At Kid Lit Kit, Hannah Trierweiler shares some thoughts on boys and reading. While she acknowledges variation in readers, she highlights two titles that she thinks will work particularly well for boys.
  • I almost forgot! Tomorrow is National Punctuation Day. I was reminded by a post at the International Reading Association blog. Here’s the first part of the press release on the topic: “Why is punctuation important Jeff Rubin the Punctuation Man and founder of National Punctuation Day explains that without punctuation you would not be able to express your feelings in writing not to mention know when to pause or stop or ask a question or yell at someone” … and so on.
  • Also via the IRA blog, applicants are being sought for the Teachers in Space program. “The nonprofit Teachers in Space program is seeking two Pathfinder Astronauts who will become the first astronaut teachers to fly in space and return to the classroom.”
  • At TheHappyNappyBookseller, Doret shares some concerns in response to an article by Denene Millner, the author of the new young adult series Hotlanta (and people who dismiss the series as street fiction because of how the cover looks).
  • I don’t like to write about politics on this blog. But I did want to mention a post by TadMack at Finding Wonderland that expresses some concerns about the recent launch of the YA for Obama site. TadMack’s issue (and there is a great discussion going in the comments) is not about the candidates themselves, but about whether or not a group of popular YA authors talking with teens in this way about a particular candidate constitutes “undue influence”. Colleen Mondor summarized the part of this that bothers me: “This is a bunch of YA authors who have joined together to do two things: get under-18s interested in democracy and help Barack Obama get elected. TadMack wonders if you accomplish both those goals while not allowing any room for positive discussion of John McCain (and the folks who support him).”
  • The sad news came out this week that L. M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series (and other beloved books) committed suicide. I first heard about this at Sarah Weinman’s blog, and I’ve also seen reactions at Charlotte’s Library and Bookshelves of Doom. You can find the full story in the Globe and Mail, in which “Kate Macdonald Butler reveals a long-held secret about her grandmother, one of Canada’s most beloved authors.” Butler says “I have come to feel very strongly that the stigma surrounding mental illness will be forever upon us as a society until we sweep away the misconception that depression happens to other people, not us – and most certainly not to our heroes and icons.” I completely respect her decision to share the news, but it is sad to think that someone who brought so much joy to the world was that depressed.
  • On a brighter note, I know that I mentioned it before, but the Just One More Book! interview of Jon Scieszka, our National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is simply fabulous. Do give it a listen, if you can spare a few minutes.

And that’s all for today. Hope you find some food for thought!

© 2008 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
Sep212008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: September 21

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

CybilslogosmallLast week was a bit hectic, between Book Blogger Appreciation Week (the complete list of winners is here) and the announcement of the first Cybils panels (PoetryMiddle Grade FictionFiction Picture Books, and Easy Readers, so far). But I did save up a few other links.

Iloveyourblog_thumb_thumb_2I’m honored to have received this beautiful “I (heart) your blog” award from both Becky of Becky’s Book Reviews and Andrea from Just One More Book!. I’m touched, Andrea and Becky! I love your blogs, too. I’m supposed to nominate seven other blogs, and pass along the award, and tell them each that they’ve been nominated. You all know my position on that — I feel that I show my appreciation for the blogs that I love by linking to them in my visits posts. And yet… this week I feel like I should do more. So, I’d like to go a bit further, and offer this award to the dozen blogs that I added when I first created my blog roll, almost three years ago, and that remain among my favorite sites: Finding WonderlandBartographyRead RogerRead AlertKids LitChicken SpaghettiTea CozyBig A little aWands and WorldsBook MootBook Buds, and What Adrienne Thinks About That. I had pretty good judgment back then, didn’t I? You guys all rock, and I do love your blogs. If you feel so inclined, please do pass along the award to others.

  • This just in, the September Carnival of Children’s Literature is now available at Jenny’s Wonderland of BooksJenny includes quite a few links to reviews of classic children’s books, as well as more modern fare. Jenny and I share a fondness for Alexander Key’s The Forgotten Door, which makes me happy. You can also “Submit your blog article to the next edition of Carnival of Children’s Literature which will be held October 26, 2008 at The Well-Read Child using our carnival submission form.”
  • Speaking of Just One More Book!, Andrea and Mark have started an e-newsletter. The first edition contained: “announcements about (their) upcoming: * Picture Book Pilgrimage, * children’s book and literacy related conference activities, and * exciting autumn guests.” You can sign up here.
  • Two fun posts from Emily at BookKids (the BookPeople Children’s Book blog): Kids Books are for Grown-Ups, Too! and Grown-Up Books to Share with Kids & Teens. Of course I favor the former over the latter - Emily picked some great titles.
  • Congratulations to Susan Beth Pfeffer, whose Life As We Knew It made the NY Times Bestseller List for paperback children’s books for the first time this week. She is very happy. I’m happy, too, because it’s one of my favorite books. 
  • Shrinking Violet Promotions has a reissue of a great post about self-care for introverts. If you missed this one last year, and you think you might be an introvert, you should definitely click through to check this one out. 
  • I missed Talk Like a Pirate Day on Friday. But Sherry from Semicolon and Elizabeth O. Dulemba did not, and they have the scoop. 
  • Elaine Magliaro shares poetry resources about fall at Wild Rose Reader. I especially like how she uses fall colors for highlighting throughout the post.
  • Jenny from Read. Imagine. Talk has a guest post at 5 Minutes for Books this week. She writes aboutchildren’s books based on television shows, and has some surprisingly positive things to say. Also at 5 Minutes for BooksLauren from Baseball and Bows shares a delightful story about her young son’s degree of bookworm-ness.
  • Shannon Hale has a lovely new post in her “how to be a reader” series. This one is about “reviewing the review”, and who, and what, a review is really for. My favorite sentence is “A review can turn the intimate experience of reading into a conversation that enlightens both sides.” I like that idea a lot. Reading is such a solitary experience, usually, but in reviewing a book, we open up avenues for discussion. I like that! 
  • And finally, my heart goes out to Amanda from A Patchwork of Books on the sad news about her son. I don’t know why terrible things happen to good people, I really don’t. But it does kind of put the recent financial news into perspective…

Wishing you all a peaceful week.

© 2008 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
Sep172008

News of the Day

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

So much is going on around the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a couple of things not to be missed:

KidspicksJennifer Donovan has started a new monthly feature at 5 Minutes for Books: Kids’ Picks carnival. She says that the goal is to “give everyone a chance to share what their children have loved reading that month — whether the child is two or twelve or seventeen…The goal is to just talk children’s books, and specifically what they like (not necessarily what we like or what we want them to like).” More than a dozen people have participated so far, and it’s a nice window into the books that kids enjoy. I am really liking the 5 Minutes for Books blog.

Bookbloggerbutton2There is another fun contest at My Friend Amy for BBAW. Complete the sentence “You know you’re a book addict when…” Sadly, I think that the official contest is over, but some of the entries are tremendously entertaining.

KidlitlogoThe preliminary schedule is up for theKidlitosphere Conference in Portland. It’s going to be a great time! The last day to register is next Tuesday, the 23rd.

CybilslogosmallAnd last, but definitely not least, the next set of panelists for the Cybils has been announced: Fiction Picture Books, headed by the ever-capable and fun MotherReader. And don’t miss the organizer profiles for Anastasia Suen (Easy Readers) and Kelly Fineman (Poetry).

© 2008 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).

Monday
Sep152008

Pirates, Cybils, and BBAW Ahoy

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I did a couple of pretty comprehensive Sunday Visits and Literacy Round-Up posts yesterday. But a few things came up today that I simply must mention:

  • CybilslogosmallThe 2008 Cybils panelists will be announced over the next couple of weeks, starting tomorrow. Stay tuned! And isn’t the new logo pretty?
  • Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews reminds readers about her Google reading groupReading with Becky. There are 20 or so members, and the group is currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Bookbloggerbutton2Book Blogger Appreciation Week has officially started at My Friend Amy. In the first daily raffle (today) you can win books and chocolate. Comment on this linked post for an extra raffle entry. And in general, stay tuned at My Friend Amy. There’s a ton of interesting stuff going on. Amy is encouraging people to highlight, on their own blogs, the blogs that they love that weren’t short-listed for awards. I’ll say (again), check out my Sunday Visits posts. All of the blogs that I mention deserve to be noticed.
  • Terry has another great installment of her Reading Round-Up at The Reading Tub’s blog. Of particular note: “Tonight on PBS Judy Woodruff hosts Where We Stand: America’s Schools in the 21st Century. The show airs at 10:00 PM.” Reading Today Daily has a link to the trailer.
  • Librarina reports that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I can’t say that I do a lot to celebrate this day, but I’m glad that it exists. The website is quite fun, too.
  • The Readergirlz reported on their MySpace page that Libba Bray has had to postpone being their featured author for October (she was called away to a book tour in Germany and Italy - the author’s life is rough sometimes). But they have an amazing replacement in Rachel Cohn. As Readergirlz Diva Lorie Ann Grover said: “The very month her and David Levithan’s bookNick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist launches onto the big screen, she’s going to be talking with you each at the group forum. WOOT!”

Hope that everyone has a great week! I’ll be back tomorrow with more Cybils news.

© 2008 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
Sep142008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: September 14

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s a beautiful day here in San Jose. Of course I’ve been inside watching the Red Sox. But that doesn’t make it any less beautiful. There has been lots of activity around the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:

  • Roald_dahl_day_logo_2I’m a bit late with this news, but yesterday was Roald Dahl Day. I celebrated by re-reading MatildaBetsy Bird shared lots of other suggestions for celebrating at A Fuse #8 Production (she also posted this great logo, which I have borrowed). Yesterday was also Positive Thinking Day, according to Phil Gerbyshak, a coincidence which I think Dahl would have found amusing. But Phil does share some nice tips for creating a positive attitude. Of course, for members of the Kidlitosphere looking for positive attitudes today, the place to go is the 7-Imps 7-Kicks (today featuring Jody Hewgill).
  • Jill is looking for guest reviewers, especially for YA titles, at The Well-Read Child. Not ready to start your own blog, but interested in writing some reviews? This could be just the ticket. The Well-Read Child is one of my favorite blogs.
  • At Open Educationthis post caught my eye: “To Raise Smart and Successful Children, Focus on Developing a Work Ethic”. The gist is that, according to Carol S. Dweck, parents should praise their children for working hard, rather than for “being smart.” “Dweck insists that praising children’s innate abilities serves only to reinforce an overemphasis on intellect and talent. According to Dweck, such a viewpoint “leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings.” The researcher refers to this group as having a “fixed mind-set.”” Interesting stuff!
  • At The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia has a comprehensive post in honor of the upcoming Constitution Day. She says: “In 2005, a federal law established September 17th as Constitution Day. Here are some books and additional resources to help you celebrate the law of the land in your home or classroom. Please note that these are largely focused on the elementary level.”
  • Happy 10th Anniversary to Cynthia Leitich Smith’s excellent website! In honor of this milestone, Cynthia is hosting a 10th anniversary giveaway at Cynsations. To enter, you have to send Cynthia a question to answer at Cynsations. Congratulations also to Tasha Saecker from Kids Lit. Her library, the Elisha D. Smith Public Library in Menasha, Wisconsin, has won the Wisconsin Library of the Year award.
  • Readingjunky shares recommended “must read” titles from her 8th grade students. I think it’s good for we adult reviewers of young adult fiction to stop occasionally and take a look at what the kids say, and I appreciate Readingjunky’s reminder.
  • Carlie Webber has an interesting post at Librarilly Blonde about the role of the parent in the YA novel. Compared to the relative absence of parents in past novels, she says: “What I’m noticing more and more is a shift from the dead/missing/antagonist parents to teens who maintain a much closer relationship to their parents, and parents who play a major role in the story. Even if one of the parents is dead or missing, the teen will maintain close ties to the remaining parent and have a positive relationship with him/her, or whose improving relationship is a focus of the book.”
  • As has been widely reported, J.K. Rowling won her lawsuit to stop the publication of the Harry Potter Lexicon. If you’d like to understand the implications of the ruling, check out Liz’s post at Tea Cozy8 Things to Know About the Lexicon Ruling. Liz took the time to read through the full court ruling, and has a law degree (although she is retired from the profession) to lend weight to her analysis.
  • Laurie Halse Anderson has an interesting post about the risks to an author of changing genres. She begins: “This question goes to the heart of the tension between art and the marketplace. 
    In an ideal world, we would write the stories in our hearts and they would connect with readers and there would be peace in the land and health insurance for all. We aren’t quite there yet. If you want your writing income to pay your bills, then you need to understand the perspective of the sales and marketing departments of your publishers, and you really need to respect how hard their job is.”
  • Via The Children’s Book Review I learned that Amazon has published their list of Best Books of 2008 so far. It’s a pretty great list, actually. Titles from the 10 book list that I’ve reviewed include: The Underneath by Kathi AppeltA Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker (one of my very favorites!), The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne BirdsallLittle Brother by Cory Doctorow, and Smash! Crash! by Jon Scieszka. Most of the others are on my radar, too.
  • Stephanie Ford has a nice post at Children’s Literature Book Club about building a library for your child. She’s certainly building an amazing library for her son. Check out her ideas.
  • And last, but not least, an announcement for teachers and librarians from Rick Riordan. Rick says: “Disney-Hyperion will be sponsoring a Percy Jackson mythology bee this fall. Any school with students ages 10-15 can participate. Each school holds a bee (as I understand it, this can be done school-wide or with a single grade or classroom), using an activity booklet provided by the publisher. One winner from each school will be entered into a national sweepstakes. The grand prize for the winner of the sweepstakes: A trip for four to Greece where you will meet me and my family!” Now, how fun would that be?

© 2008 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).