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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Entries in Boy Readers (2)

Wednesday
Feb112009

Quick Hits: February 11

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I have a few quick news items to share with you this morning.

First up, our own Tanita S. Davis (aka TadMack from Finding Wonderland) is featured today at The Brown Bookshelf. Click through to learn more about Tanita, and her upcoming book. There’s even a rare photo. This interview is part of the Brown Bookshelf’s fabulous 28 Days Later Campaign.

Speaking of campaigns, there are a few new posts out there related to the Campaign for Read-Aloud:

  • The Book Chook interviews The Magnet Lady (aka Jen W). Jen drives around Ann Arbor, MI with a magnet on her car that says “Please read to your kids everyday”. The enthusiasm that both Book Chook and Jen have for reading with kids is inspiring.
  • Reconsidering Read-AloudFranki Sibberson picks up on the reading aloud topic at A Year of Reading, and draws readers’ attention to blog partner Mary Lee Hahn’s book, Reconsidering Read-Aloud (which I agree is an excellent resource). Franki also argues that rather than urging parents simply to read aloud with their kids, “there are LOTS of ways that parents and teachers can support children in becoming lifelong readers (and that) Being part of your child’s reading life is … the critical part.” I agree completely with Franki that read-aloud is only part of the conversation. The real goal is raising kids who enjoy reading, and it makes sense to do whatever it takes to get there. Part of why I like the idea of a campaign for read-aloud is that it’s one concrete thing that people can do to move in that direction.
  • This question was also picked up by Millie Davis at the NCTE Inbox Blog. After discussing her own experience with her daughter, Millie says: “So, would I advocate a national campaign to encourage parents to read aloud to their kids, like Jen Robinson has suggested on her blog? Yes, I think so. Would you?” A number of people discuss this in the comments.

KnuckleheadIn related news, the Providence Journal has an article by Kathleen Odean about National Ambassador Jon Scieszka’s recommendations for encouraging kids to read. The article mentions plenty of specific, kid-friendly titles. Those are fun, but I especially enjoyed this part: “Scieszka was an advocate for reading long before becoming Ambassador and will continue as such after his term ends in December. Meanwhile, he’s enjoying the perks of ambassadorship. “Kids give you things,” he reported, “like royal sashes they’ve decorated with puffy gold paint.”” Fun stuff! Link via Matt Holm.

The previous article mentioned Scieszka’s Guys Read website. Over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia is fed up with articles that presume that boys don’t like to read (and no, she’s not talking about the Providence Journal article). Citing a Guardian article, she says: “There are some interesting thoughts about “reverse engineering” books to resemble the things readers so love about the web. However, must authors always resort to boy-bashing to do it? Can we please give boys and young men just a bit of credit for their reading habits?” Tricia also linked to a fun Christian Science Monitor article about books for “children of all ages.” It’s also worth clicking through to see Tricia’s lovely new blog format.

Adult fans of children’s books should also check out the February Small Graces auction. Elaine Magliaro has the details at Wild Rose Reader.

In other news, in case you have somehow managed to miss it, Amazon just announced the release of the second edition of the Kindle eBook reader. I first saw the news on The Longstockings, but found a more detailed write-up at Cheryl Rainfield’s. I have to say, as someone who is a huge fan of tradition books, that I am intrigued by this version. It’s so thin! If I was traveling more, I would probably look into it.

Kid-Lit72Last but not least, Lynn Hazen is hosting the February Carnival of Children’s Literature, with a theme of “We Love Children’s (and YA) Books”. She says: “Tell us what you love about reading, reviewing, writing, or illustrating children’s (and YA) books. What do you love about getting good books into the hands of children and youth? What do you love (or even what breaks your heart) about the world of children’s books?” Submissions are due by February 23rd, at the Carnival site.

Wishing everyone a book-filled Valentine’s weekend!

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Sunday
Nov162008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: Summer's Day Edition

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s a beautiful day here in San Jose. So beautiful that I’m sitting out in my backyard this afternoon, with the computer on my lap, because I just can’t bear to be inside. It’s a bit hard to read the screen, though, so I’m not sure how long I’ll last. But it’s about 75 degrees, with blue skies, there are occasional prop planes flying by and late roses blooming, and if I lean forward a tiny bit, I can see cows out grazing. Yeah, it would be hard to leave California.

Anyway, there has been a lot going on in the Kidlitosphere this week:

The Comment Challenge is still going strong. MotherReader has the full list of participants here. If you’re new to the Kidlitosphere, and looking for a list of active bloggers, this is a great place to start.

Via Rick Riordan’s blog, I learned that registration opens for Camp Half-Blood in Austin tomorrow (Monday). You can find more details in the Austin-American Statesman, or at the BookPeople website.

Imbuyingbooks_buttonThere have been lots of great posts at or around the Books for the Holidays blog. If you’re looking for motivation or ideas related to giving people books as gifts this season, do head on over to check it out. I especially liked this post by Becky Laney, with mini-reviews of children’s and YA titles, from bargains to books to get kids hooked on a series. See also Tricia’s post at The Miss Rumphius Effect about gift books for kids who love animals, and Elaine Magliaro’s post at Wild Rose Reader with links to various book lists.

Speaking of the gift of books, Tanita from Finding Wonderland shares a lovely Emily Dickinson poem about “precious words”. She’s also giving some thought to the idea that we can work together to create a culture of reading, and says “anyone can become a reader.” I agree 100%. You can find a full Poetry Friday round-up at Yat-Yee Chong’s blog.

I already posted the schedule for the Winter Blog Blast Tour (which launches tomorrow). As if that weren’t enough organizing for anyone, Colleen Mondor just announced another cross-blog event, in which everyone is welcome to participate. It’s called the 2008 Holiday Season Book Recommendation Event. Colleen explains: “If you want to join in then you send me the exact url of your first Holiday Book Recs post. I’ll link to that on a master list and then from there, if you want to keep posting for however many days of the 12 (all or part or whatever), then you need to update your own first day post to reflect that.”

CybilsLogoSmallOver at The Well-Read Child, Jill shares her Cybils nonfiction evaluation criteria. She includes age-appropriateness, layout, writing style/tone, appealing story, visual elements, and (with a nod to Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect) references. This is a post that I think would benefit anyone analyzing nonfiction titles for kids.

Speaking of judging books, Carlie Webber from Librarilly Blonde identified a cringe-worthy sentence in a review of John Green’s Paper Towns by Monica Watson from the Ithacan. Watson says: “The young-adult genre has been riddled with uninspiring novels that lack any kind of creativity or originality. Shuffling through the mundane “Gossip Girl” spin-offs and “Twilight” rip-offs has made finding a substantive novel as easy as finding a needle in a haystack.” How sad is that? See Carlie’s rebuttal.

On a lighter note, Kim and Jason over at the Escape Adulthood website are running a tournament to decide the all-time greatest childhood food. They started with 16 options, from mac and cheese to chocolate chip cookies, and voters select the winners in a series of rounds. You can find more details here.

I saw this link first at Guys Lit Wire. Publisher’s Weekly shares an opinion piece by 13-year-old Max Leone about what kinds of books teenage boys would like to see published. Here’s a brief taste, but you really should click through and read the article, especially if you are an author or a publisher: “The selection of teen literature is even more barren now that the two great dynasties, Harry Potter and Artemis Fowl, have released their final installments. Those two massive successes blended great characters, humor and action in a way that few other books manage. When they went for laughs, they were genuinely funny, and their dramatic scenes were still heart-poundingly tense, even after I’d read them dozens of times.” Other parts of the article are hilarious. And probably true.

Shannon Hale shares the latest installment of her books and readers series, discussing “good book vs. bad book”. She says “It would be so convenient if we could classify books as either good or bad, as vegetables or candy, as Literature or Dross. Sometimes I really want to… I think it’s good to question the merit of what we’re putting into our minds. But I also think it’s wise to challenge how we determine the value and quality of a book.” As usual, she says smart things, and generates tons of interesting comments. I especially liked this part: “But something happens, some profound chemical reaction, when a reader is introduced. The reader takes the text and changes it just by reading it. The reader tells herself a story from the words on the page. It is a unique story only for her.”

Over at A Year of Reading, Franki Sibberson shares the second installment of her “books I could read a million times” feature. Think about the power of a person who does read the same book aloud multiple times a day, to different classes, identifying books that she still enjoys, reading after reading. Those are books that parents should buy.

And while we’re on the subject of reading in the classroom, Bestbooksihavenotread shares an idea, originally suggested by Beth Newingham, about bringing a mystery reader into the classroom. She explains: “Parents sign-up for a slot (about 20 minutes) to come in and share a favorite book with the class. The week leading up to their visit, the teacher reads one clue that points to the reader’s identity.” The idea is to use the mystery to get kids extra-excited about the read-aloud.

And that’s all for this week in general Kidlitosphere news. I’ll be back today or tomorrow with the children’s literacy and reading news round-up. But now, the cows have gone in for the day, and I believe that I will, too.

© 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).