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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 Children's Literacy (7)

Wednesday
Jul022008

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: July 2

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’m finally feeling a bit caught up after last weekend’s ALA Conference, and I have a few links to share with you.

  • MotherReader posts about the first meeting of her Mother-Daughter Summer Book Club, in which the participants read Jenny Han’s Shug (which I reviewed here). Pam said: “Most interesting for me was finding out that the realistic flavor of the book that I find so appealing was actually a turn-off to some of the girls. I loved the book because it took me back to that transition so clearly and represented that age so accurately. But these particular girls felt like they’re already living this life of friends and crushes and popularity — why would they want to read about it?” Fascinating, isn’t it? Something for we adult reviewers of children’s and young adult books to keep in mind. (hmmm …. do you think the acronym ARCYAB would catch on?)
  • Speaking of summer reading, The Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller, writes about the dichotomy by which summer reading for adults consists of “fast-paced thrillers…, weepy beach blanket reads, and thick historical epics” while young adults are required to read improving fare. She says: “We must remind ourselves that readers who leave school and keep reading are those people who discover reading is personally valuable”, suggesting that kids should be left to read what they enjoy during the summer. I know I did.
  • If you’re looking for summer reading lists, here are a few good choices. Esme Raji Codell reviews We Are the Ship, and shares various other baseball books at PlanetEsme. Els Kushner suggests several “magical, timeless, enchanting novels for children are set during summer vacation” at Librarian Mom. In contrast, Charlotte has a list of “cool books with which to escape summer” at Charlotte’s Library. Summer reading options for all! I have to say that personally, I find the summer vacation list the most enticing - it’s nice to see The Penderwicks on the same page as their literary antecedents, the Melendy Family.
  • Jama Rattigan’s Alphabet Soup has an illustration-filled interview with Marla Frazee (the talented illustrator who makes Clementine spring from the page). I especially enjoyed a photo of Marla’s work studio, which looks like a secret little cottage in the woods.
  • For all you writers out there, Laurie Halse Anderson has issued a challenge for July. She says: “1. Commit to write for 15 minutes a day for the entire month of July. 2. Just do it.” Sounds almost achievable, doesn’t it? Laurie will have encouraging/check-in posts every day on her blog.
  • And, for anyone thinking about writing as a career, you might want to check out TadMack’s recent post (OK, rant) at Finding Wonderland about the financial side of being a children’s book author. She says: “Don’t get me wrong: I love what I do. And if you want to, may you find the courage to write, too. Just understand that it may not be blindingly lucrative, and please be nice to the writers you know, who are sometimes taken for granted as the one in the group who should treat everyone to dinner or coffee because they’re “rich.” OK. Point taken.
  • Cheryl Rainfield has rounded up a huge list of contests by which you can win books for children and teens, as well as a couple that have e-book readers as prizes.
  • Via Sarah Weinman’s blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind, I learned that someone is publishing a Treasure Island prequel. It’s not going to be a children’s book, however. According to the Independent, “The author John Drake, a former biochemist and freelance TV producer, has spent years studying Treasure Island line by line, together with books and essays on 18th-century shipping and piracy. The book, Flint & Silver, is the first in a scheduled series of six, snapped up last year by Harper Collins. Mr Drake is currently negotiating with a US publishing house for the American rights.”
  • Anna from the Literacy is Priceless blog recently recapped some family literacy activities from the PBS Kids Raising Readers site, including a shout-out to the WordWorld show. And speaking of public broadcasting, via my friend Alex, WBUR and NPR’s On Point broadcast today was about “A new history of children’s literature, and what it tells us about growing up”. The program featured guest Seth Lerer, professor of English and comparative literature at Stanford University and author of Children’s Literature: A Reader’s History from Aesop to Harry Potter.

It’s good to be back home, hanging around in the Kidlitosphere. 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.
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
Jun262008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: Pre-ALA Version

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’m off to ALA tomorrow, which means that blog posts will be pretty sparse for the next few days. But I leave you with a few tidbits:

  • Trevor Cairney has a nice post at Literacy, Families and Learning about The Importance of Play. It’s actually the third part of a series, but it stands alone just fine. He includes “Some thoughts on playing creatively with young children (in particular with toys)”. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need help figuring out how to play creatively with kids, but I’ll bet a lot of people find this post useful.
  • Cheryl Rainfield shares a “fun, creative way to get your child interested in a book”. It involves anonymously sending the child books in the mail. I have to admit that I have mixed feelings - it seems a bit deceitful - but we did at one time mail books to our nieces, and that was a hit.
  • Susan Taylor Brown recently published the June Carnival of Children’s Literature at Susan Writes. The theme is fathers in children’s literature, and these is some great material there. If you only check out one thing, check out that post.
  • Sherry Early is trying something new at Semicolon: author celebrations. She was already taking note of author birthdays, but she recently asked herself: “why not have blogosphere-wide celebration for certain of my favorite authors on their birthdays? I pick an author with an upcoming birthday, let folks know about the celebration, and if you enjoy that author too, you can post about his/her books: reviews, the time you met Author X, or whatever is related to that particular author, maybe a list of read-alikes for other adoring fans.” The first author celebrated is Charlotte Zolotow.
  • I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) is having a book blast giveaway. They say: “To support the children’s nonfiction community, our fifteen published authors have each agreed to DONATE A SIGNED COPY OF ONE OF THEIR BOOKS. That’s FIFTEEN books all to ONE LUCKY WINNER.” Check out this post for the quite reasonable rules.
  • Big news for author Rick RiordanHe recently announced: “It’s a big day for 39 Clues. Scholastic announced today that DreamWorks has purchased the film rights to the series. Deborah Forte and Steven Spielberg will produce, and Steven Spielberg is considering directing the project.” Way cool! The first book in the 39 Clues series, Maze of Bones, will be published September 9th.
  • I’m way behind on my literacy round-up news (and won’t get to it now until next week sometime, though I’m saving links). Meanwhile, Terry has you covered at The Reading Tub blog with her June 23rd Reading Round-Up.
  • Colleen Mondor’s recent post about “whether or not boys are emasculated by YA literature that does not allow them to be the hero” has sparked quite a bit of discussion. See her followup post here (with links to the original, and to some of the controversy). Kiera also has some links on the topic at Library Voice. The whole thing is fascinating, though depressing in many ways.
  • For another interesting discussion, check out this post at Chicken SpaghettiSusan asks some tough questions, in light of the even increasing number of KidLit blogs, like “Is it hard for a general non-kid-lit-affiliated person to know where to start reading? Are we bloggers reaching our target audience, and, if not, how do we do so?” Do check out the discussion in the comments.

And that’s it 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.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

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