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 Cybils (39)

Friday
Feb272009

Friday Night Visits: February 27

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

There’s been lot of activity out and about the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:

First up, breaking news from MotherReader — it looks like we have a definite date for the third annual Kidlitosphere conference, “officially, set for the weekend of October 16th–18th at the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel! … As we’ve done in the past, Friday will feature a dinnertime outing to some local place for whomever can come. Saturday will be the conference and dinner. Sunday will be some Washington, DC adventure”. I’ll let you know when the room block is set up, and you can make plans.

Kid-Lit72Lynn Hazen is hosting the February Carnival of Children’s Literature at Imaginary Blog this week. She asked for posts on the theme of “We Love Kid-Lit!”, and the result is a fabulous tribute to the joy of children’s literature. Like Lynn, I especially “enjoyed Book Aunt Kate Coombs’ view on the Anarchy of the Imagination: Why I Love Children’s Books.” But there is lots of other great stuff, too. Don’t miss it!

CybilsLogoSmallDeputy Editor Sarah Stevenson has a final round-up of reviews, and a bit of author feedback from Nic Bishop, at the Cybils blog. Our co-founder Anne Levy also had a fun post earlier in the week of Cybils by the numbers (number of books read, traffic, etc.)

Lots of other award news out this week, too. Gwenda Bond has the nomination lists for the Nebula and Norton awardsLori Calabrese has the scoop on the 2009 Red House Children’s Book AwardsTasha Saecker has the finalists for the 2009 Children’s Choice Book Awards and the 2009 Agatha Awards.   

SassafAnd of course, there’s been lots of buzz this week about the upcoming Share a Story - Shape a Future Literacy Blog Tour. Terry Doherty shares some additional background about the event here. The very thoughtful Brimful Curiosities made a nice button that people can display on their blogs to show support for the event, and I’m seeing it all over the place. You can also join the Share a Story - Shape a Future Facebook group.

Speaking of sharing stories, the Children’s Book Review has coined a new term. “Bookarazzi: A freelance blogger who pursues celebrities who read books, to create posts that promote children’s literature.” I like it!

Interesting Nonfiction for Kids (I.N.K.) shares children’s nonfiction magazinesGretchen Woelfle says “Children’s science magazines have evolved into well-designed, beautifully illustrated journals meant to entertain as well as inform. Animal-loving kids, especially, can revel in the options available.” 

Laurel Snyder’s had a great reaction to an article that she wrote about children’s books for Jews (“Lamenting the predictability of Jewish kids’ lit, a writer takes matters into her own hands”). Liz Burns supports Laurel’s post, but asks “what about the Catholics?” Both articles have generated lots of great discussion about how often authors completely gloss over any religious background of characters in children’s literature.

Gail Gauthier notes “an indication of YA’s significance now”, reporting that “Condoleeza Rice has signed a contract with Crown Publishers to write three books. Two of them will be memoirs about her family—one written for adults and the other “a young adult edition.”” I agree with Gail that a young adult version of the memoir of someone like Rice is good news all around.

BlogbutterflyawardAnd last, but definitely not least, the wonderful team at PaperTigers was kind enough to award me a Butterfly Award, for having a “cool” blog. This is one of my favorite awards, and it’s an honor to receive it from a blog that I link to so often. Thanks, Marjorie!

Wishing you all a joyful and book-filled 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).

Monday
Feb232009

Monday Night Visits: February 23

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I have a few quick Kidlitosphere news items to share with you tonight.

CybilsLogoSmallFirst up, the talented Sarah Stevenson has updated the Cybils flyer to highlight the winners in each category. She explains: “In convenient, compact form, this document lists all of our 2008 shortlisted titles (without blurbs), and includes the winners in boldface type at the top of each category list. As before, the front page of the flyer includes a description of what the Cybils are all about, nomination instructions, important dates, and contact information.” You can find the updated version here.

Terry Doherty shares a lovely story about sportsmanship at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub. Really. Click through. It will bring a little tear to your eye. I agree with her that it would make a nice children’s book.

At the Spectacle (a new blog “about writing speculative fiction for teens and pre-teens”), Parker Peevyhouse asks about portals in children’s literature. “Do portals show up so often in manuscripts because writers are inspired by classic fantasy stories, or is it because it’s an easy device to fall back on? And can a portal story still do well in the marketplace, or are portals dead?” There’s a discussion going on in the comments.

Cheryl Rainfield has a new installment in her Gifts for Book Lovers and Writers series. I covet the book coasters (click through to see. They are gorgeous). And I’m pleased to report that I actually own the Aquala Bath Caddy (a tray/book stand for reading in the tub). Mheir got that for me for Christmas.

My Friend Amy has a fun post about her theory on why James Patterson’s books are such bestsellers. For example: “If reading is difficult for you, nothing is more inviting than short chapters. Instead of feeling like you have a lot to accomplish through the read, the sense of accomplishment is achieved much quicker when the chapters are just a few pages long. It’s rewarding right away.”

OperationsTBDThe Readergirlz Divas are sponsoring the second edition of their Operation Teen Book DropShelf Elf has the details, explaining: “Operation Teen Book Drop is an awesome initiative that brings donations of thousands of fantastic YA titles to hospitalized teens all over the States (and Canada too… I think…).”

And speaking of awesome YA authors like the Readergirlz, Laini Taylor shares the cover of her upcoming bookSilksinger, at Grow Wings. Silksinger is the sequel to Blackbringerwhich I loved. I’m not including the cover here, since it’s not on Amazon yet, and wasn’t sent to me directly, but it is beautiful.

Secret Life of BeesAnd last, but definitely not least, I’ll be hosting a stop later this week in Laurie R. King’s 15 Weeks of Bees blog tour. The tour is in celebration of upcoming launch of the latest book in Laurie’s Russell/Holmes seriesThe Language of Bees. I’ve been a big fan of this series (historical fiction / mystery - the premise is that Sherlock Holmes in his retirement partners up with a bright teenage girl, and they solve cases together) since the first book. You can find the complete schedule for the tour here, and some other details at Angieville. More information to follow later this week!

 

© 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).

Thursday
Jan222009

Thursday Afternoon Visits: January 22, part 2

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Earlier this afternoon, I started to share some recent news from around the Kidlitosphere. I had to close that post early, before I was able to write about all of my saved items. Here are the rest:

CybilsLogoSmallThere’s an updated Cybils flyer available from the Cybils blog, complete with the new shortlist titles. Sarah Stevenson did an amazing job putting this together. As Sarah explains, we made this double-side flyer “so you can get the latest information out to your nearest libraries, schools, bookstores and eager readers. As always, we thank you all for your help in spreading the word!” You can also find a printable version of the 2008 Cybils shortlists, with blurbs for all of the titles, in the upper right-hand corner of the Cybils blog.

The Horn Book Magazine has a new owner, the parent company that owns the Junior Library Guild. You can find the details here. Link from Read Roger.

Cari from BookScoops recently shared a fun idea. At her daughter’s birthday party, she gave out Curious George books, with bookmarks, for party favors. She found it a positive experience, and urges: “If you have children and plan to do a party give books out as party favors and/or give books to your friends and family for their birthdays. It can’t hurt the publishing industry and over a whole year of giving books that’s got to do something to help. Most important your sharing your love of books and promoting literacy in the people you care about most.”

ButterflyawardTwo people were kind enough to pass along blog awards to me this week. Kate Coombs from Book Aunt gave me a Butterfly Award for being “most helpful”. Book Aunt is a brand new blog that I’ve been reading. I love Kate’s tagline: “Because OTHER people give you clothes and video games for your birthday!” I’ve always been the “book aunt” in my family, so this award resonated with me especially. 

Premiodardosaward-703921As if that wasn’t enough for one week, Margo Dill from Read These Books and Use Them gave me a Premio Dardos award. I love Margo’s reviews, and this was a lovely compliment. I am very fortunate in my blog friends. Thanks Kate and Margo!!

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but don’t miss Kelly Gallagher’s Readicide blog tour. So far he’s been to A Year of ReadingThe Tempered Radical (where it’s been a 4-day conversation, I’m thus not offering direct links), and The Dream Teacher. He’ll also be at The Reading Zone and The Book Whisperer next week. I really am going to have to read this book soon. Sarah from the Reading Zone says that the book is so compelling that she read the whole thing online.

Meg Ivey at the National Center for Family Literacy’s blog offers “a peek at NCFL’s 18th Annual National Conference on Family Literacy (March 1-3, Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, Florida)!”. Keynote speakers at the conference include Henry WinklerGreg MortensonPeter H. Reynolds, and Lolly WinstonRegistration information is here.  

And finally, Lisa Chellman will be hosting the January Carnival of Children’s Literature at Under the Covers. She has no special theme, but suggested (via email) that “some ideas might be ALA media awards, the Cybils, or any of the other children’s lit awards… winter books… the Inauguration… Martin Luther King Day… or just your favorite post of the month.” Submissions are due January 28th, for the Carnival on the 30th. You can submit posts here.

It feels good to be caught up on the blog news. Hopefully this means that this weekend, I can focus on some reviews. Happy reading!

© 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).

Saturday
Jan102009

Saturday Afternoon Visits: January 10

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

The Kidlitosphere has been energized by the holidays and the start of a New Year, and there are many items worthy of your attention. Thus, I bring you my Sunday afternoon visits post one day early, before it takes over my blog completely.

Tarie has the preliminary schedule for the Sydney Taylor Award Blog Tour (in which she’ll be participating) at Into the Wardrobe. It promises to be an excellent tour.

The new issue of Through the Looking Glass Book Review is now available, thanks to Marya Jansen-Gruber.

The Saturday Review of Books is up at Semicolon, featuring one my favorite quotes (from my favorite bookD. E. Stevenson’s Listening Valley).

Congratulations to our own Miss Erin, who will have a six-word memoir included in a published book. Published before she’s 18. Pretty impressive stuff!

Congratulations also to Mitali Perkins, who will be writing about children’s literature for her local newspaper for the next few months. She shares the first post here, about all of the ways that her town (Newton, MA) champions children’s books. I especially enjoyed this article, because some of my favorite people in the world live in Newton. Also, Mitali’s new novel, Secret Keeper, is coming out next week. As previously mentioned, I’ll be at the book launch party at Not Your Mother’s Book Club on January 15th, and hope to see some of you there (Hi, Becky!).

Geek3A special thank you to Melissa at Book Nut for including my blog as one of her favorites for the latest Weekly Geeks. It’s especially nice to be included in this edition, because this is (I believe) the first Weekly Geeks event since Dewey (the founder) passed away last month. I’m in great company on Melissa’s list, too.

Thanks also to Lenore from Presenting Lenore, for including my blog in her recent Awards post. She gave me the “Most consistently amazing book reviews award”, and while this might be more a reflection on the similarity in our tastes than the true quality of the reviews, I was still quite pleased. The other awards in the post are fun and creative, well worth a look.

Another fun set of awards is Darla D’s Golden Hammock Awards at Books & other thoughts, with categories like “best alternate history” and “best boarding school story”.

I’ve seen several mentions of Grace Lin’s new Small Graces initiative to help fund author visits to underserved schools. I think that Elaine Magliaro has the most comprehensive scoop at Wild Rose Reader, though you can also find details in the sidebar of the Small Graces blog. Small Graces offers people a chance to support a great cause, and acquire a one-of-a-kind piece of art each month.

AlienMotherReader reports that this is National Delurking Week. I’m catching the announcement a bit late in the game, but I did try to make a few extra comments to say hello. If you’re a typically quiet visitor to this blog, and you feel inclined to comment, I’d love to hear from you. You can name a favorite book from your childhood, or something.

Maureen links to and discusses an interesting article at Confessions of a Bibliovore. The article in question is by Michelle Slatalla in the New York Times, and is about how the author wishes she could “read like a girl.” After watching her daughters immersed in books, Slatalla says: “I miss the days when I felt that way, curled up in a corner and able to get lost in pretty much any plot. I loved stories indiscriminately, because each revealed the world in a way I had never considered before.” Like Maureen, I could quibble over some of the details in the article - I don’t think that one must outgrow the ability to suspend disbelief and enjoy books - but I do see what the author is driving at. While I’m overwhelmingly glad to be reviewing books, I do find sometimes that I stop and think about what I’ll say about a book, instead of remaining immersed in the story. And I’m nostalgic for the Jen who didn’t do that.

Denise Johnson posted an article from The Chronicle Review at The Joy of Children’s Literature. The article, by literature professor Andrew Martino, is about wonder rediscovered in children’s books. There’s a funny bit about the author skulking around the children’s section, afraid that people will suspect that he is “a potential threat”. Martino speaks about how children’s books are “every bit as complicated and thought-provoking as the texts I included on my syllabi”, and “he texts I was reading told their stories in an economical and exact style, without the unnecessary burden of digression or overexplication”. It’s worth a read.

On the topic of people discovering children’s literature, the ESSL Children’s Literature blog has a fun list of children’s books written by authors famous for writing adult fiction

BestBooksIHaveNotRead announced a fun new featureMystery Authors. She says: “Starting this upcoming week I am going to begin posting one clue each day (four total) about an upcoming KidLit author who has agreed to a “blog interview”. The clues will start general and get more specific with each day. If you can guess the identity of the author in a posted comment before the day of the “reveal” you will be entered into a drawing to receive a new book by that author.”

Speaking of fun, Betsy Bird met some actual Sesame Street performers. She even got to see Oscar, in the … fur? You can read the whole scoop at Fuse #8. But the highlight for me was: “Oscar is larger in real life than you might expect. He is also incredibly well articulated. His eyebrows move almost fluidly. It’s eerie.” With pictures. And, if you’re looking for book suggestions, look no further than the whole slew of bite-sized book reviews that Betsy recently posted at Fuse #8.

Librarian Nan Hoekstra recently announced the 2009 Anokaberries: “Our selections for the best books of 2008 for middle-grade readers, ages 8 to 14.” It looks to me like a solid, diverse list, though I haven’t had the opportunity to read all of the titles. A number of the authors included have left lovely comments, too.

CybilsLogoSmallSpeaking of author appreciation for awards, do check out my recent post at the Cybils blog, with quotes from various authors about their joy in being Cybils finalists. For me, reactions like this make being involved with the Cybils all the more rewarding. We should have printable versions of the Cybils shortlists available soon.  

Jill has the results of her first Reading Roundtable at The Well-Read Child, with several contributions from readers about their family reading routines. Personally, I like the fact that so many people were interested in sharing. This is a heartening post, for those of us who want to see all children have the chance to grow up as bookworms. 

And that’s all for today, if I’m ever to find time to meet my goal of exercising this afternoon. Hope that you’re all having a peaceful and book-filled 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).