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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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Entries in Baseball (3)

Friday
May152009

Friday Afternoon Visits: May 15

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been another week of newsworthy events around the Kidlitosphere.

GLWHeader3First up, Guys Lit Wire has an amazing initiative going on. They are running a Book Fair for BoysColleen Mondor first announced the event on Wednesday, saying: “We are moving today into the second phase of GLW, where we put our money where our mouth is and physically act on getting books into the hands of boys that otherwise have none. Today we start the first two week Guys Lit Wire Book Fair for Boys to help the teens incarcerated in the LA County Juvenile Justice System. They have no books - at all - and they need them; they need them desperately.” Essentially, the Guys Lit Wire team, together with the InsideOut Writers Program, put together a list of 125 books of interest to teen boys, and asked people to help by purchasing one or more titles. Word spread fast, and I’m delighted to report that within 48 hours, more than 100 books had already been purchased. (See a lovely post about Colleen’s joy here). Here are more details about the response to this event.

Of course the other ongoing event in the Kidlitosphere is the auction to benefit Bridget ZinnBridget is one of our own. She was recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. And although she is blessed with many things (a new husband, an agent for her YA novel, and many friends), she is not blessed with sufficient health insurance to weather this battle. So some of her friends from the Portland branch of the Kidlitosphere (especially Jone MacCulloch) decided to host an auction to help. It’s a blog auction, and you can bid by commenting. There are tons of amazing, one-of-a-kind prizes, far too many to list here. But I did want to draw special attention to Vivian’s post at HipWriterMama. Not only is Vivian donating a signed copy of the last Percy Jackson book, she is also having a contest for another copy, which you can enter by bidding in the auction. All I can say is, I feel privileged every day that I can be part of this community, I really do. The auction closes the morning of May 30th. You may be sure that I’ll be bidding on more items between now and then.

48hbcLooking forward to future Kidlitosphere events, MotherReader has posted a prize update and minor rules change for the upcoming 48 Hour Book Challenge. Pam also announced her plan to donate a dollar for every hour that she spends reading to the Bridget Zinn fund. See also MotherReader’s post about her participation in the 48 Hour Film Project, with a link to the resulting film, “Please Forward”.

Also, if you’re in the San Francisco area tomorrow (Saturday), do consider attending the launch party for Lynn Hazen’s new book: The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail. I had hoped to attend myself, but we have out of town guests arriving during the event, and I’m not going to be able to swing it.

I don’t normally highlight individual Poetry Friday entries (Kelly Polark has this week’s roundup), but I really liked this original poem by Gregory K. at Gotta Book: A Perfect Game - A Baseball Poem. Also, Cari and Holly published this week’s Nonfiction Monday round-up at Book Scoops.

Updating on Saturday to add one more event: The Summer Blog Blast Tour starts Monday. You can find the whole schedule at Chasing Ray (and that post will be updated as direct links are available). The SBBT is a series of author interviews, carefully organized across a group of blogs to ensure diversity and avoid redundancy. The SBBT and corresponding Winter Blog Blast Tours are the brainchild of Colleen Mondor.

Moving on from events, Parker Peevyhouse has an interesting post at The Spectacle about the traits valued in girl vs. boy heroes in books. She says: “It seems to me that girl heroes tend to be valued for their smarts and their compassion, while boys are held up as daring (even reckless)–but it could just be that my presuppositions color my perspective. What do you think–are there general differences between boy and girl heroes?” Be sure to read the comments, too.

Solvang Sherrie has a thought-provoking post at Write About Now about the aspects of a book that make her fall “truly, madly, deeply” in love with the book. She says: “For me it comes down to characters. I want to care about the people I’m reading about. I want them to be like me, but better than me.” There’s some good discussion in the comments, too. I wrote about my thoughts on this issue in detail a while back in my 6 P’s of Book Appreciation.

At Literacy, families, and learning, Trevor Cairney has a new post in his key themes in children’s literature series: Problem Solving. He explains: “Many children love to solve problems. Children’s authors are smart enough to work this out and tap into this interest as one of many ways to engage children with books. There are many forms of problem solving that authors have used. In this post I’ll outline a few examples.”

2009-CBW-PosterAs part of Children’s Book Week, the Children’s Choice Book Awards were announced. Tasha Saecker has the winners at Kids Lit. In other Children’s Book Week news, see Lori Calabrese’s blog to find 10 activities for children’s book week. In other award news, at Fuse #8, Betsy Bird announced the number one entry in her Top 100 Picture Books poll: Where the Wild Things Are. No surprise, really, but still good to see. Here’s the complete top 100 list, all in one place, with links back to the more detailed posts.

And that’s alll for today. Happy weekend, all! I’ll be back Monday with the Children’s Literacy Round-Up.

© 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
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
Jun052008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: June 5

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’m getting ready to participate in MotherReader’s 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend, which means that I won’t have a lot of time for round-up type blog posts. But I will be blogging about the books. For those not participating in the book challenge, I leave you now with a few quick links:

  • The next Carnival of Children’s Literature, to be hosted by Susan Taylor Brown, will focus on fathers in children’s literature. Submit your posts here. This is fitting both because of Father’s Day, and because Susan wrote about a wonderful father in her novel Hugging the Rock. Links for the Carnival are due Saturday, June 21st.
  • Speaking of Father’s Day, see this post at the FirstBook Blog by guest blogger Tina Chovanec about the importance of fathers in getting kids reading. Tina reports, for example, that “studies show that when fathers participate in learning, their children receive higher marks, enjoy school more, and are less likely to repeat a grade.”
  • Sally Apokedak’s blog All About Children’s Books was one of the first blogs that I read when I discovered the Kidlitosphere. Sally signed off a year or two ago for various reasons, but recently brought her blog back online. She’s also started a new project called KidzBookBuzz.com. Through the site, she’ll be coordinating various blog tours, during which a collection of people all blog about the same book over a two- to three-day period, to raise the buzz level for those books. The posts can be reviews or other mentions of the book - they don’t have to be interviews (though interviews are typically what I think of when I think of a blog tour). Publishers will be asked to provide review copies (and apparently will be paying the organizers for the service). If you’re interested, check out the requirements for participating, here. I’ve decided to sit this one out, because I find that organized blog activities, where other people set the date, turn out to be stressful for me [updated to admit, after reading more about it, that something didn’t feel quite right about it], but Sally already has a number of bloggers and authors lined up. [Updated to add: if you’re going to consider this, please do see Colleen Mondor’s post about it first. She raises some serious concerns.]
  • The ESSL Children’s Literature Blog has a great list of baseball books and related links, posted by Nancy O’Brien.
  • The Horn Book’s Web Watching with Rachel column, a companion to the new print issue of The Horn Book, is now available.
  • Guys Lit Wire has been off to a strong start, with tons of interesting post (and I’ve heard positive feedback from several people outside of the target teenage guy audience). I was especially intrigued by this post from Mr. Chompchomp about speculative nonfiction, which “addresses “what if” questions, but instead of turning to wacky stories about aliens and dragons, answers them with research and facts and just a little bit of educated surmising.”
  • Melissa from Book Nut is looking for book suggestions for her bibliovore daughter, who reads so rapidly that they’re having trouble keeping her in books. It is, as she says, a good problem to have. But if you have any book suggestions for “a precocious reader, reading at a 10th grade level (who is) not quite 12” do share. Or, if you need book suggestions, check out the already-extensive comments, which include titles old and new.
  • I learned from A Fuse #8 Production today about a new blog by NYPL librarian Kiera Manikoff called Library Voice. I love it already, especially this post about The (Reluctant) Reader’s Bill of Rights. Kiera includes things like “The right to choose whatever book you want,” and asks for other suggestions.
  • And speaking of librarian blogs that I like (of which there are many), check out this post by Abby (the) Librarian, about attending a local elementary school’s family reading night. Abby includes observations like this: “The evening started off with 15 minutes of silent reading in the school’s gym. Families were asked to bring books, and books were provided for those who forgot. I think this is a simple activity that says a lot. It’s important for kids to view reading as a pleasurable activity. Kids look up to their parents and caregivers and if they see grownups who love to read, they’ll want to join in the fun.”
  • Another blog that I’ve recently discovered is debrennersmith: Writing and Reading Lessons. Deb is a literacy consultant. She had a post the other day called: Any Place a Child is Reading, about her joy in the fact that her children love books: “I am thankful that my two children never had to be coaxed to read! Read. Read. Read. Read. They read over the 2 million words by reading over 41 minutes a day so they developed a life long habit. The kids are reading for the joy of being lost in a book.” I’m happy for Deb, but I wish that every kid could have the chance to feel this way about books…
  • Just in time for summer reading, Cheryl Rainfield has a round-up of various contests for free books. Personally, I’m feeling pretty well set for books at the moment, but perhaps I’ll check the list out again after I finish the 48 Hour Book Challenge.
  • Stephanie Ford from The Children’s Literature Book Club is working on a very cool project: a Children’s Literature Alphabet (E is for Eloise, etc.). She’s looking for suggestions for some of the less common letters (like Q and X). But it’s worth visiting just to see all the great pictures she’s already included (not sure what she can actually do with this, given copyright issues, but the idea is just for flashcards to use at home).
  • I’m not sure when I’ll get my next Children’s Literacy Round-Up ready, but in the meantime, do check out Terry’s latest Reading Round-Up at the Reading Tub blog. She’s got all the top literacy and reading news stories from the past few days. 
  • Over at Tea Cozy, Liz B. has the scoop on a reading news controversy - the plan to label children’s books by age range in the UK. Actually, Liz summarizes the controversy, and shares the relevant links, and then goes into detail about the more general need for readers advisory and book matching. She argues “We (librarians) — not an age on a book — are the best help to someone who is looking for the right book for a child. And we need to let more people know that.” But even among the comments on Liz’s post, it’s clear that age-banding of books is not a clear-cut issue.

That should give anyone who needs it some reading material to tide you over this weekend. Or, you could always watch the NBA playoffs instead. (How ’bout those Celtics?)

© 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).