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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 Boys and Reading (2)

Friday
Dec052008

Friday Afternoon Visits: December 5

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I find myself with a bit of time to spare this afternoon, before what promises to be a hectic weekend, so I thought that I would share a few Kidlitosphere links with you.

Fresh off the comment challenge, MotherReader has been coming up with her usual amazing lists of ways to give a book. These are lists pairing books with something else, “to give it that fun factor”. You can find the lists herehereherehere, and, the newest one, here. The suggestions include things like “What else can go with Monkey With A Tool Belt but a tool belt?” Can’t argue with that one, Pam! You can also find links to tons of other lists of holiday book recommendations at Chasing Ray. Seriously. There is no excuse for NOT buying books for the holidays, with all the energy people have been putting into providing gift ideas through Colleen’s 12 Days of Christmas event. I’m especially appreciating Sarah’s Tween Book-Buying Guides at The Reading Zone, and Susan’s tracking of “best of” lists at Chicken Spaghetti.

SolvangSherrie has a lovely little post about the joy of raising readers at Write About Now. Her first grade daughter reads aloud to the Kindergarten class every week, with great pride.

There are author interviews all over the place this week. But two interviews that I particularly enjoyed were of fellow bloggers. Maureen at Kid Tested, Librarian Approved interviewed Anastasia Suen, organizer for the Cybils Easy Reader committee, about what makes a book an easy reader, and how adults should use them with kids. Jon Bard at Children’s Writing Web Journal interviewed Abby (the) Librarian about what she’s learned from her blog, and what she likes to see in books. I’m completely with Abby about didactic books, and her recommendation of The Hunger Games.

Jill has a must-read guest post at The Well-Read Child. Author Maxwell Eaton shares 10 Tips for the Parents of Ricky the Reluctant Reader, in comic strip form. The tips for dealing with reluctant readers are dead-on, and the format is funny and engaging. As fellow commenter Jeremy said: “this 10-tips comic should be distributed far and wide.” I really like the way Jill has been branching out from doing traditional author interviews to ask authors abut literacy and raising readers.

Authors thinking about starting a blog, or about what their goals are for their blog, might appreciate this sixth blog anniversary post by Shannon Hale. She talks about her goals for the blog, and her struggles. I especially liked: “I blog to promote ongoing literacy. I love to recommend books I’m passionate about, so that readers who like my books don’t stop here but keep reading, or parents and teachers can get good suggestions for all kinds of readers.” That’s the kind of thing that keeps someone like me coming back.

There have been a few tempests in the normally cozy teapot of the Kidlitosphere this week. One was started by The LiteraBuss, with a post called “Must NOT Read List For Elementary School (Books That Were Once Great But Have Become Irrelevant)”. I mean, anyone who is going to call To Kill A Mockingbird “trash” (admittedly in the context of classroom reading, but still…) is going to raise a few eyebrows. See follow-on posts at The LiteraBuss here and here, and at Charlotte’s Library.

A School Library Journal article by Gail Giles has also triggered some conflict. Addressing the question of why boys generally don’t read as much as girls do, Gail comes to the conclusion that boys don’t have enough male role models demonstrating reading. She’s pretty blunt about it: “Now, this is purely my opinion, but children copy their elders. They want to be what they see. A boy doesn’t want to be a woman. He wants to do what a man does. And if he doesn’t see a man reading, he won’t read.” Colleen Mondor begs to differ at Guys Lit Wire, saying “I do not think that boys (or girls) read or don’t read because of what other people do (or don’t do) in their homes.” Carlie Webber, on the other hand, thinks that Gail raises a valid point, concluding “I think that male role models are only one of many factors in getting boys to read, but they’re an important factor.” Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect asks “Why do we give boys so little credit? Why the gross generalizations?” She has a bit of a discussion going in the comments, if you’d like to participate.

In other interesting chat, there’s discussion about why “girl books” focus on home (see Kids Lit), what girls want in literature, and when a personal area of expertise leads to a “fail” moment when you’re reading. Lisa Chellman has links for those last two. Doret also writes about what’s NOT urban lit at TheHappyNappyBookseller. And, though this isn’t particularly controversial, Stacy DeKeyser proposes a definition of young adult fiction at Reading, writing, and chocolate.

In closing, two reminders to appreciate each day. Well-known blogger Dewey from The Hidden Side of a Leaf passed away over Thanksgiving weekend. There have been various tributes across the blogs, and you can read an outpouring of comments at Dewey’s blog. And, as if she hadn’t had enough loss for one year, Amanda from A Patchwork of Books lost her mother, unexpectedly. Amanda expects to be back to blogging soon, though, because it helps her to have something normal in her life. So, in memory of Dewey, and of Amanda’s son and mother, show a little extra appreciation for the people in your life this weekend. You won’t regret it.

© 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).

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).