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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Sunday
Sep072008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: September 7

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Do you find that you still remember important birthdays from your childhood, even if the people in question aren’t in your life anymore? I have trouble getting new birthdays to stick in my head, but the ones from childhood, up through college, are stored in my permanent memory. So, as I wrote the date today, it reminded me that it was my childhood best friend’s birthday. I’m not sure where she is now - we haven’t been in contact in several years - but I still think of her every year on September 7th. Happy Birthday, Carol!

Anyway, it’s been a quiet weekend on the blogs, and I just did a round-up on Thursday, so I only have a couple of tidbits for you this afternoon.

  • Doret has an extensive round-up of baseball books at TheHappyNappyBookseller. She includes links to reviews of many of the books (her own reviews and reviews by others). I had already flagged this post to link to (because I love baseball books) when I noticed that Doret had linked to my reviews of My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (which she rightly categorizes as a book that “include some beautiful baseball”) and No Cream Puffs by Karen Day. If you like baseball books, do check out this post. I would also add Heat by Mike Lupica.
  • I’m a pretty laid back person about recommendations in general, and I don’t like to get into politics on this blog, but Maureen Johnson has written a post that I really think should be required reading for teenage girls. Inspired by the media response to Bristol Palin’s situation, Maureen takes on, in detail, the issue of sex education for teens. She is blunt and passionate about this topic, but she keeps her discussion couched in language that teens will relate to. For example: “The simple, plain old fact is … you really don’t have to get pregnant. No, REALLY. We have had the technology for MANY, MANY DECADES now to prevent pregnancy.” But go and read the whole post. There are already more than 150 comments, and I hope that hundreds of other teenage girls read this post, too. I think that Maureen does a nice job of respecting choice, while urging education.
  • At The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia has more to say about the “canon” of literature and its relevance to teenage readers. Responding to a Washington Post article by Jay Mathews, Tricia says “my concern is not for the kids who enroll in A.P. English. It’s for all those kids still struggling to read (decode) and comprehend. Unfortunately, many of them exist at the high school level. How do we select books that will help them improve their skills as readers while learning to appreciate the written word? This is where I think all the arguments fall short.” Libby responds in the comments, suggesting that the place to work on this is actually in the earlier grades, so that kids don’t get to high school unable to decode complex literature. I don’t have any answers, but I’ve been following the discussions between these two caring educators with interest and hope.

And that’s all for today. Happy Sunday!

© 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).

Thursday
Sep042008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: September 4

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I would normally wait until Sunday to do my round-up of Kidlitosphere news. But I’ve flagged so many links to highlight that it seems ridiculous to wait.

  • The title of Rick Riordan’s fifth (and final) Percy Jackson book has been announced. The book will be called The Last Olympian and will be published on May 5th, 2009. And if that’s not enough RR news, check out Becky Levine’s post on a writing thought from Rick Riordan. I got a particular kick out of reading this post because I was standing next to Becky when she heard the tip.
  • I also got a kick out of this post by Gail Gauthier about how she made a book recommendation that went viral (from her hairdresser to several others). The book was Twilight, and whether you like the Twilight books or not, it’s still neat to for Gail to be able to trace the path that her recommendation made.
  • Have you been reading YA Fabulous? This is a relatively new blog, but the author’s dedication to young adult literature shines through. A feature that I particularly like is the regular YA Links Posts (most recent one here), in which YA for Great Justice rounds up various links to book reviews (with excerpts) and author interviews. The ones so far have been very comprehensive, and are not to be missed by YA fans.
  • Another new blog that I like is Muddy Puddle Musings, written by a middle school literature teacher named Chris. Chris recently announced “This year I’m going to try to go to the Teachers as Readers Book Club, which is sponsored by the Tucson Reading Association… The reading list for the year has been chosen from the IRA 2008 Young Adult Choices list.” How great is that? A Teachers as Readers Book Club, reading great YA titles!
  • The Book Whisperer is back, after a bit of a summer break, talking about connecting kids with booksDonalyn Miller says: “I realized that I am not engaged in a race with a shaky start in August and a finish line taped across June. I am traveling an endless journey with my students, all of us readers together, with no beginning and no end. There is only the next child, the next book, and the next opportunity to connect the two. Teaching kids to love reading is not about me and what I can (or cannot) do; it is about the children and what they can do.” Do go read the whole post - Donalyn is always inspiring.
  • At Librarilly BlondeCarlie Webber takes on the recent discussion around the blogosphere about an article in Good Magazine: Anne Trubek on Why We Shouldn’t Still be Learning Catcher in the Rye. I especially enjoyed Carlie’s take on people who reject all books sinceCatcher in the Rye as not relevant: “One would never teach history and ignore events that happened after 1955. One would never teach science and stop at discoveries made after 1955. Music history doesn’t stop with John Cage. Film studies classes include Fellini and Hitchcock, but they also include the Coen brothers. Given all this, why do you deem it all right and even a best practice in education, to not teach literature with teen protagonists written after 1955? I have never understood this need to teach classics and only classics and classics all the time.” Me neither.
  • At The Places You Will Go, Daphne Lee takes on the question of whether or not children’s authors are required to be role models. She says: “I don’t see (and fail to see how anyone could see) what a writer’s personal life (although for some, personal and public are one and the same) has to do with the work he/she produces. If a writer is responsible for stories that inspire and excite, intrigue and provoke, touch and move, it can hardly matter what his hobbies are, how many wives he has, or what he likes to stick up his nose (or other body parts, for that matter). Of course I realise that as mere humans its not easy for us to be totally objective… ” I feel the same way that Daphne does on this subject.
  • new issue of The Prairie Wind, the newsletter of the SCBWI-Illinois Chapter, is now available. I especially enjoyed Margo Dill’s interview with our own Betsy Bird from A Fuse #8 Production. The post includes some recommended KidLit blogs and also has advice “on blogging and how it can help a children’s author’s career.”
  • Over at Tea Cozy, Liz B. has a bit of a rant going, inspired by a new children’s book by a celebrity author (well, the author is the wife of a celebrity, anyway). My favorite part: “Just once, I want a celebrity author to say, “you know, as I was reading with my kids, I fell in love with children’s books, and rediscovered just how awesome children’s books are” or something like that, rather than “the books suck, so I was forced to write.”” I think that Liz has a pretty good idea for a consulting service to offer celebrities, though (at the end of the post).
  • Little Willow has the scoop on the Readergirlz plans for September, featuring “Good Enough by Paula Yoo and celebrating the theme of Tolerance.”
  • I’ve seen several blogs address the results of the recent poll that found Enid Blyton the UK’s “most cherished” writer (followed by Roald Dahl and then J. K. Rowling). I especially enjoyed Kelly Gardiner’s post on the topic at Ocean Without End, which includes some lessons learned by the selections. Like “The books we love as children - the books that introduce us to reading as a mania - stay with us forever.” So true. I adored Enid Blyton’s books when I was a kid, even though they were relatively hard to come by in the US. When I traveled to England for work when I was in my mid-20’s, I bought up every book that I could find from certain Blyton series. I also still read Inez Haynes Irwin’s Maida books on a regular basis. I have no idea if they’re any good or not, but I love them anyway.
  • Speaking of classics, Leila from Bookshelves of Doom is hosting the third edition of The Big Read, focusing on A Tale of Two Cities. You can find the details here. I’m not personally up for a re-read right now, but I listened to the book on tape a few years back and enjoyed it quite a bit. If you’ve ever wanted to read A Tale of Two Cities, this would be a good time…
  • I don’t usually highlight book giveaways, but Cheryl Rainfield is giving away three copies of one of my absolute favorite titles from recent memory: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. You can find the details here. My review of The Hunger Games is here. All you have to do to enter is comment at Cheryl’s.

And that’s all the news for today. I’ll most likely be back with more over the weekend (though I’m also a bit behind on my recent reviews, so that will take first priority).

© 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).

Friday
Aug292008

Friday Afternoon Visits: Labor Day Weekend Edition

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I was away for much of this past week, attending to a (now under control) parental health crisis. This weekend I have guests coming in from out of town, and I doubt I’ll get much blogging in. But I managed to scrape up a bit of time to share some links with you this afternoon. There has been, and will be, a lot going on in the Kidlitosphere.

  • First up, the official call has been made for 2008 Cybils judges. If you actively blog about children’s and/or young adult books and you’re interested in participating, check out the detailed requirements and responsibilities on the new and improved Cybils blog. This year there will be a new category, Easy Readers, headed by the terrifically qualified Anastasia Suen. More details, and a call for judges, can be found here. I’m hoping to be involved in the easy reader category this year, too. I think that finding quality books for the very earliest readers is an important task (as does Gail Gauthier).
  • September 15-19 is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, hosted at the blog My Friend AmyAmy says: “Acknowledging the hard work of book bloggers and their growing impact on book marketing and their essential contribution to book buzz in general, I am excited to announce the first Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Think of it as a retreat for book bloggers and a chance for us to totally nerd out over books together. And of course, shower each other with love and appreciation.” The categories are listed here, and do include Best Kidlit Blog and Best Young Adult Lit Blog, among many others. Nominations are made by email, and you can nominate up to two blogs per category. You do not need to have a blog to nominate, and although there’s a concept of registering, I don’t think that you have to register to be included in the nomination process. Anyway, there has been lots of buzz about this, so if you are interested, check out the nomination post.
  • Linda Salzman reminds I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) readers that there is only one week left to enter the I.N.K. “Spectacular Fifteen Book Blast Give-away.” The contest is open to “teachers, librarians, homeschoolers, writers, or anyone else from across the country who is promoting nonfiction.”
  • Over at Books Together, Anamaria shares news about the new Ballet Shoes movie (based on the Noel Streatfeild book). I thought that Ballet Shoes was magical when I was a kid. Though I enjoyed several of the other books, Ballet Shoes was always special. I look forward to seeing the movie, which co-stars Emma Watson
  • At BookMoot, Camille shares some thoughts for school librarians as the school year begins. She shares some aspirations, and says: “I salute the librarians who work so hard to teach important research skills, stoke young people’s imaginations and instill a love of books and reading in their students. Your joy and passion for your job is contagious.” I will never forget my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Betty Tuttle, who made a difference in my life, and in my reading. Here’s to all of the other Mrs. Tuttles out there. You do make a difference.
  • Also in back-to-school land, Elaine Magliaro shares links to back to school picture books and poetry at Wild Rose Reader. And at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia has some suggestions for teachers to improve communication with both parents and students.
  • In a post called Girl Books, Boy BooksJustine Larbalestier writes about the tendency that many women have to read mostly books by women, and men to read books by men. She concludes: “Women are far more mixed in their reading. Even me. I read way more books by women than by men, but I’ve still read a tonne of boy books. Some of there are even quite good. I’d even recommend them to my little sister. Maybe … What about youse lot? Do you notice a tendency one way or the other in your own reading? Do you have idea why? Or do you just read the books that look cool.” As is often the case with Justine’s posts, this one has sparked quite a bit of discussion.
  • On the ALSC Blog, Kiera Parrott shares suggestions for conducting storytimes for autistic children. After giving several concrete suggestions, she notes: “Without a doubt, storytimes with autistic students have been some of the most rewarding programs in my career so far.  The kids are smart, surprising, and each time I see them, I learn something new.”
  • At Librarilly Blonde (which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite blogs), Carlie Webber shares thoughts about methods of teaching young adult literature which rely on analysis, and take away the joy of reading. Carlie was inspired by a Washington Post article by Nancy Schnog about teaching YA literature. Among other things, Schnog says: “As much as I hate to admit it, all too often it’s English teachers like me — as able and well-intentioned as we may be — who close down teen interest in reading.” What a sad commentary that is. But there’s clearly some truth to it. Schnog also says, late in the article (after presenting evidence to support her thesis): “The lesson couldn’t be clearer. Until we do a better job of introducing contemporary culture into our reading lists, matching books to readers and getting our students to buy in to the whole process, literature teachers will continue to fuel the reading crisis.” And there you have it, folks. Be sure to read Carlie’s thoughts, too, as well as those of Terry from the Reading TubColleen Mondor from Chasing RayTricia from the Miss Rumphius Effect, and Libby from Lessons from the Tortoise.
  • And on the subject of people trying to make books interesting and relevant for young adults, Laurie Halse Anderson has extended the deadline for her book trailer contest (for Speak or Twisted). The contest is only available to “people who will be 21 years old or younger on October 31, 2008.” And I especially love rule #6: “Contest is open to anyone on the Planet Earth. Teens working aboard the space station are welcome too. Entries from other planets and galaxies will be considered, as long as they can be watched on Earth-created technologies.” If you know any creative teens, I would definitely recommend sending them in Laurie’s direction.
  • School Library Journal has a nice article by Michael Sullivan about boys and reading. He starts out with “If we want to transform boys into lifelong readers, we need to discover what makes them tick. Equally important, we need to have a better grasp of the kind of reading that attracts them.” He concludes (after a number of concrete suggestions and examples): “Although boys often do not become successful readers, the cost is too high to allow this trend to continue. It’s time to give boys more options, to respect their preferences. Boys can become readers: I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
  • At Five Minutes for Books, Lauren writes about reading for story (“Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor… (but) because you want to know what happens next”). Personally, I’ve always been all about story. I’ll appreciate a book more if it’s well-written, of course, with complex characters, fully realized setting, and lyrical writing. But if it doesn’t have that “what happens next” sense of story (whether the book is fiction or non), I won’t read it at all. Of course this isn’t true for everyone, but it does seem to be true for most of Lauren’s commenters.
  • This week’s Poetry Friday round-up is at Charlotte’s Library.
  • At Bookshelves of Doom, Leila shares her off the cuff list of 20 essential picks for YA. She has some of my favorites on her list (though others are not - clearly this is a very personal thing). But if you’re looking for some good suggestions from someone who really appreciates young adult fiction, you should definitely check out Leila’s list (though she added in the comments below “please do note that that list was totally off the top of my head! There wasn’t a whole lot of thought involved — I was just musing about what I might put on a list like that…”). There are other suggestions in the comments, too.
  • At Library Stew, Kathy has a post for parents on how to find a good book. Among other down-to-earth advice, she says: “Students are more likely to enjoy reading when they are reading about something that interests them.The best thing in choosing books for you students is to have them be part of the process, take them to the bookstore or library and have them tell you what they are interested in reading.” 
  • Rick Riordan is going to be on the Today Show on September 8th, talking about the launch of the 39 Clues series. I’ve set this to record on my DVR (not even for Rick will I get up at 7:00 to watch television, on what will already be tape-delay here in California). But I am interested to watch the segment. 
  • At Tea Cozy, Liz B. brings her customary insight to a Washington Post article by Bob Thompson (and a snarky Booksl** comment) about the business side of graphic novels. Liz says that the Post article is a must-read because “It talks about things like distribution and how comic book sales are different from book sales. Unless you’re content to not publish your work, or have a trust fund or well-off spouse, or don’t care about things like insurance and paying rent, it is important to remember that publishing (including comic books and graphic novels) is a business.” I also liked the way that she pointed out that although the idea that graphic novels are big isn’t exactly news to the KidLit blogger community, it IS news to many members of the Washington Post’s audience.

And that is quite enough for one day. Wishing you all a lovely Labor Day Weekend.

© 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).

Thursday
Aug212008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: August 21

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I find myself with a bit of time to spare this afternoon, and a few links saved up, so I thought that I would share:

  • Regular readers know that I love Kim and Jason’s Escape Adulthood website. This week, I especially appreciated a post by Kim about finding reasons to celebrate, and then celebrating them. The post starts with a couple of sad stories about loss, but Kim takes the positive view, saying “Human nature tricks us into believing that we’ll all die from old age, but it’s simply not true. Don’t wait until a tragedy happens to realize that your life is meant to be lived to the fullest today. Don’t wait until your anniversary to surprise your spouse with a night out on the town. Don’t wait until your birthday to allow yourself the permission to pick up that ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. (Yum!) Don’t wait until circumstances are perfect before you plan that spontaneous camping trip. Celebrate today!” I’m not always good about this, but Kim and Jason provide regular and excellent reminders, which I really appreciate. What have you celebrated lately?
  • Betsy Bird shares ten children’s novels that would make good movies at A Fuse #8 Production. She offers an exceptionally wide range of titles, all described with Betsy’s trademark voice. Here’s an example, on Kiki Strike: “So let us consider making a movie for tween girls, starring tween girls, and doesn’t involve them wearing short skirts, shall we?  Or indulging in bad movie banter.  I know, I know.  I’m probably asking too much with that latter requirement.  Fine, if you make the film you can fill it to the brim with banter. Just show girls doing something other than teaming up with boys in an action movie and I’ll never complain again.”
  • I don’t generally highlight author interviews from other blogs, because I tend to focus more on the books than on the authors. But Jules and Eisha have posted a truly impressive interview with Jane Yolen over at 7-Imp, which I would like to bring to your attention. There is discussion, there are dozens of links to more information, there are interesting tidbits about the author, and there are fabulous pictures. This is the kind of interview that becomes a resource for the author herself, because Jules and Eisha have collected so much information into one place. Do check it out. 
  • Reading MagicAt PaperTigers, Janet shares some examples from the new edition of Mem Fox’s book, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. Janet says: “After reading her essays about the true magic that comes from reading aloud, I don’t think this lady is exaggerating. If reading aloud to children can turn them into smart, inquisitive, creative people, then reading aloud may well hold the key to solving all of the world’s woes.” I just might have to pick up with new edition.
  • For all you book reviewers out there, Steph at Reviewer X has a question: “which of the reviewers are also writers? There’s some stereotype that says all reviewers (or book bloggers, or something like that) are aspiring authors. Accurate?” A brief perusal of the comments reveals that, as with many stereotypes, there’s some truth, but by no means universal adherence.
  • Colleen Mondor writes about the value of the color gray at Chasing Ray. The discussion is in the context of Colleen’s review of two YA titles set in alternate futures: Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and Nick Mamatas’s Under My Roof. Colleen notes that Under My Roof “is a book where the good and bad guys are never clearly defined” (in contrast to the more clear-cut Little Brother) and says that “Reading these two books had made me realize just how uncomfortable the shade of gray can be for most people.”
  • At BookKids, the BookPeople children’s book blog (from the famous Austin bookstore), Madeline discusses modern mysteries aimed at kids. She says: “I have to admit that I think there is a lack of really great new kid mystery series. There are some good stand alone books like Elise Broach’s Shakespeare’s Secret, but not the kind of series where you just want to read nine or ten of the books in a row. In fact, I could only think of three current mystery series at all. However, I fortunately like all three series, and I can heartily recommend them as great chapter books for kids and teens.” Click through to see what she recommends, and other discussion in the comments.
  • Via School Library Journal, as “part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the U.S. release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the wildly popular Harry Potter series, is inviting fans of all ages to its New York City headquarters to take part in “Harry Potter Cover to Cover Day,” an all-day muggle read-a-thon.”
  • Guardian piece by Louise Tucker on boys and reading has sparked discussion between Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect (here and here) and Libby from Lessons from the Tortoise (here). Tricia asks (in direct response to the article): “Why are we so blessed concerned with the “right” books instead of the process of immersing kids in books that they will love? Shouldn’t the goal be developing readers?” It’s all interesting stuff - well worth checking out.
  • Last, but not least, I’ve seen this in several places, but Jackie has the full details at Interactive Reader. Readergirlz have launched rgz TV on YouTube. Here’s a snippet from the press release: “rgz tv is broadcasting interviews with Rachel Cohn, Jay AsherSonya Sones and Paula Yoo. The uploaded videos have been shot and edited by the readergirlz founders and members of the postergirlz.” Pretty cool!

And that’s all for today. Hope you find some tidbits of interest.

© 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
Aug172008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: August 17

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I haven’t blogged all that much this week, because I’ve been caught up in reading. I watched the movie Becoming Janeearlier in the week, and was then compelled to read something by Jane Austen (I chose Persuasion, which I somehow didn’t have a copy of, and had to go out and buy). I also read Breaking Dawn, and it held my attention until I had finished it (review here). And I read the latest adult novel by Deborah Crombie (Where Memories Lie), one of my favorite authors. But I have been keeping up on blog reading, and I’ve saved up a ridiculous number of links. Here is some Kidlitosphere news of potential interest:

  • The folks at First Book asked me to mention their What Book Got You Hooked campaign. They said “Now through September 15, visitors to First Book’s Web site are invited to share the memory of the first book that made reading fun, then help get more kids hooked by voting for the state to receive 50,000 new books for low-income youth… A number of celebrities have joined the effort, including: BARRY MANILOW, DAVID DUCHOVNY, EMMA THOMPSON, EDWARD NORTON, JOHN LITHGOW, MARLEE MATLIN, REBECCA ROMIJN, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, STEPHEN COLBERT and many more. You can see their responses featured on the Web site.” I just entered my choice, Little House in the Big Woods. It’s not my favorite of all time, but it’s the first book of the first series that I remember falling into, and being consumed by the need to know what happened to the characters.
  • Via Word-Up! The AdLit Newsletter, AdLit.org has a new booklist up: Nonfiction for Teens. I know from myreadergirlz postergirl days that good teen nonfiction can be hard to find, and I recommend that you check out this list. See also Jill’s excellent piece about reaching out to reluctant readers through nonfiction at The Well-Read Child.
  • I’ve seen several people posting lists this week ofplanned classroom read-alouds for the upcoming school year. See especially the lists at Literate Lives(from Karen) and The Reading Zone (from Sarah). There will be some lucky kids starting school in the fall, that’s all I have to say about these lists. Also from Sarah, a planned Teacher Swap, by which people will exchange care packages. Click through for details.
  • learned from Trevor Cairney at Literacy, families and learning that August 16-22 is Children’s Book Week in Australia. Trevor offers families some suggestions for celebrating. He also reports on the 2008 Children’s Book Council (Australia) Awards.
  • I’m a bit burned out on all of the various storms in the Kidlitosphere teapot that I’ve been running across lately (people criticizing blog reviewers, YA as a genre, people who read children’s books, etc. - see Confessions of a Bibliovore for the latest craziness). But I have had a particular interest in a discussion thats been proliferating about moral compasses in children’s literature. I read a post about this at Sarah Miller’sblog, which in turn linked to and quoted from an article at Editorial Anonymous. The discussion was also takenup by Carlie at Librarilly Blonde. I agree with Editorial Anonymous (and, I think, Sarah and Carlie) on this: “So I have no problem with a book being essentially moral because the author just writes that way, and I have no problem with parents influencing their children’s moral development. But I disagree that every children’s book should present a united moral front.” Personally, I feel strongly that the best books are the ones that steer clear of overt moral messages completely, and just tell a great story. But if books are going to have moral messages (let’s call them themes, instead of overt messages), then by all means, they should be diverse, and offer kids the opportunity to learn to make their own distinctions.
  • Presenting Lenore has an informative interview with a publicist from Penguin addressing questions about the importance of blog reviews, how blog reviewers are chosen, and the publisher’s response to requests for specific books. If you are new to book reviewing on your blog, this is a post to check out.   
  • Stephanie has a lovely post at Throwing Marshmallows about igniting “the fire of literacy” in her sons. She notes: “I think that one of the unspoken benefits of having “late” readers is that reading together is a very well engrained habit. (In fact, it was one thing that I had reassure Jason about…that we would always read together even once he could read on his own.)” and concludes “I am most definitely blessed to be able to share my love of books with both my boys. And blessed to have them share their enjoyment of books with me!” See also Stephanie’s recent post about “that ADHD serving a purpose thing”, Michael Phelps, and helping children to see what they can (rather than can’t) do.
  • Laurel Snyder is running a fun contest at her blog. She’s giving away signed copies of her new book. She says: “You’ll post  a little story to your blog, about atask/ job/situation/role for which you are thoroughly unsuitable (the FULL title of my book is “Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains OR the Search for a Suitable Princess”).” I already have an ARC of the book, so I’m not formally entering. But I would have to say that I would be thoroughly unsuitable for any job that required all-day interaction (face to face) with other people.
  • Janet shares a great story at PaperTigers about a young boy’s first experience with read-aloud. She asks readers “What was the first book you read aloud to your child?” Despite not having children, I borrowed a friend’s story, and shared it in the comments over there.
  • At Semicolon, Sherry Early shares ideas for a talk that she’ll be giving at her church on “Reading and How to Build a Home Library”. She says (among other things): “When we read we receive the wisdom of people, past and present, whom we would never have the opportunity to meet. And we and our children can examine things and ideas that we would never be able to or would not want to experience personally.”
  • Via my friend Cory, I learned of a recent NY Times article by Julie Bosman about the Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing group’s plans for more direct interaction (and more financially lucrative deals) withHollywood. Hmmm… a bit scary, I’d say, though I suspect that there will be an upside.
  • Nominations for the Carnegie Corporation’s “I Love My Librarian” Award for public librarians have just opened. Liz has the details at Tea Cozy. If you have a favorite librarian, this is your chance to put that person in line for some much-deserved praise, not to mention a cash award.
  • Just in, via Kelly at Big A little aAmanda Craig has ascience fiction round-up for children and teenagers in the Times Online. I really have got to read Unwind, byNeal Shusterman, soon. Craig says: “This is the kind of rare book that makes the hairs on your neck rise up. It is written with a sense of drama that should get it instantly snapped up for film, and it’s satisfyingly unpredictable in that its characters change and realise things about each other in a credible way.”
  • And last, but definitely not least, the latest Carnival of Children’s Literature is now available at Chicken Spaghetti. This one snuck up on me, and I didn’t manage to contribute, but Susan has lots of great links for you at this Beach Edition of the carnival.

And that’s all for today. Happy Reading!!

© 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.
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