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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 Neil Gaiman (2)

Sunday
Jul192009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: July 19

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here is some news from around the Kidlitosphere this week:

Twitter_logo_headerBonnie Adamson and Greg Pincus have initiated a weekly Twitter chat about children’s and young adult literature. Greg reports that the next chat will be held Tuesday night at 6:00 pm PST. The tag for participants is #kidlitchat. I am on Twitter these days (@JensBookPage), but am still working my way up to the “chatting” level of interactivity. But I hear that the first chat, held last week, was quite successful.

Karen from Euro Crime and Teenage Fiction for All Ages links to a pbpulse article about how women of all ages are enjoying urban fantasy novels. It says: “The economy may be deeply troubled, but urban fantasy novels about vampires, werewolves, zombies, supernatural creatures, blood and romance are booming, and women are sinking their teeth into them in ravenous numbers.”

There was also a recent Wall Street Journal article that talked about the high quality of literary young adult fiction. Cynthia Crossen recommended YA fiction for older adults, saying: “Good YA is not dumbed-down adult fare; it’s literature that doesn’t waste a breath. It doesn’t linger over grandiloquent descriptions of clouds or fields, and it doesn’t introduce irrelevant minor characters in the hope (too often gratified) that the book will be called Dickensian.” Thanks to Laurie Halse Anderson for the link.

And speaking of people reading books originally written for a young audience, Jennie from Biblio File shares her thoughts on reading regardless of level. She said that she tells parents: “Everyone should always be reading something below level, something above level, and something at level. This mixture is what lets us grow as readers.” 

Daphne Lee from The Places You Will Go shares tips on reading aloud with kids, including how to choose books, how to tell a story well, and dos and don’ts. I liked: “Don’t preach. Try not to use stories to teach children a lesson or make a point unless the message can be arrived at through discussion.” See also, via We Be Reading, Neil Gaiman’s excellent answer to a parent’s question about reading aloud.

Farida Dowler from Saints and Spinners brought to my attention a recent Amazon incident, in which the company remotely deleted from people’s Kindles books that they had purchased (due to a copyright issue). In a particularly ironic twist, one of the books in question was Orwell’s 1984. Farida draws a parallel with my own experience of lost books (that one due to flooding), noting how upsetting it would be to have a good that you bought vanish before your eyes. This is not making people more likely to buy Kindles, that’s for sure.

At The Spectacle, Joni Sensel asks whether people who read a lot could be doing “too much of a good thing”, at the expense of their real lives. I’m not sure where I stand on this, but there’s some thought-provoking discussion in the comments. I also appreciated the comments on a recent Spectacle post by Parker Peevyhouse responding to a suggestion made by a librarian that authors change their protagnists from girls to boys, to increase readership.

Speaking of thought-provoking posts, Colleen Mondor has a third installment in her What A Girl Wants series, this time various authors discuss issues related to including diversity in books. She asks questions like: “Do you think that writers and publishers address this identity issue strongly enough and in a balanced matter in current teen fiction? Can authors write characters of different race/ethnicity or sexual preference from their own and beyond that, what special responsibility, if any, do authors of teen fiction have to represent as broad a swath of individuals as possible?” See also Lisa Chellman’s response to this topic at Under the Covers.

Book-blogger-appreciation-weekAmy from My Friend Amy recently announced the second Book Blogger Appreciation Weekcomplete with its own website. BBAW will be held September 14-18. Amy calls it: “A week where we come together,  celebrate the contribution and hard work of book bloggers in promoting a culture of literacy, connecting readers to books and authors, and recogonizing the best among us with the Second Annual BBAW Awards. There will be special guest posts, daily blogging themes, and giveaways.” You can register to participate, and also nominate your favorite blogs for awards in various categories. See also, from Natasha at Maw Books: Ten Reasons Why Book Blogger Appreciation Week is So Cool. I had a fun time participating last year - it was nice connecting with the larger book blogging community (not just children’s and young adult books), and I discovered new blogs that I still read every day.

And finally, some quick hits:

  • Jay Asher has been posting pictures from a recent trip to Boston. Having grown up in that part of the country, I enjoyed seeing his travelogue, most especially this post. Scroll down to see Jay climbing onto Mrs. Mallard’s back.
  • I found an interesting article at Socialbrite by Josh Catone about 10 Ways to Support Charity through Social Media. (h/t to Barbara H for pointing me to Socialbrite in the first place).
  • GreenBeanTeenQueen asks bloggers and librarians to all just get along, suggesting ways that bloggers can embrace librarians and vice versa.
  • Becky Laney has last week’s Poetry Friday Roundup at Becky’s Book Reviews. Sarah has last week’s Nonfiction Monday Roundup at In Need of Chocolate (one of my favorite blog names). And the July issue of Notes from the Horn Book is now available (via Read Roger).
  • At Escape Adulthood, Jason Kotecki shares a great list of 22 family-friendly movies from the 80’s. Such flashbacks! E.T. The Karati Kid. Ghostbusters! Click through for more. They also have some fun new t-shirts available, including Red Rover, Rock Paper Scissors, etc.
  • MotherReader has in which she expresses her recent conference envy and rounds up an array of reports from the American Library Association conference.
  • On a less light-hearted note, Pam (aka MotherReader) links to some articles with important implications for book bloggers. Lots of good discussion in the comments.
  • And speaking of my Booklights cohorts, Susan Kusel has a great post about her experiences at the Newbery / Caldecott banquet, including chatting with Newbery winner Neil Gaiman.

And that’s all for tonight. Terry Doherty will have a full literacy and reading news round-up at The Reading Tub tomorrow. Over at Booklights, I’ll be following up on last week’s post about series titles featuring adventurous girls, with a few user-suggested additions.

© 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).

Wednesday
Jan282009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: January 28

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’ve received many comments on my recent blog post about encouraging more people to read aloud to kids. Many thanks to everyone who has participated in that discussion, and to the people who posted about it on their own blogs (herehereherehereherehereherehereherehere, and here, for instance). I think there’s a tremendous collective energy to at work here, and I find this heartening.

There are lots of other things going on around the Kidlitosphere, too, however. Here are a few quick highlights: 

Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews reports that the ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults (BBYA) list, and top 10 list, have been posted. Also newly available are the ALA Notables list for younger readers, and the 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. These are great lists - a bit more broad than the Printz list, and filled with excellent suggestions.

Graveyard BookSpeaking of the ALA Awards, Just One More Book! scored a real coup yesterday. They interviewed brand-new Newbery winner Neil Gaiman. It’s more comprehensive than the Today Show interview, that’s for sure. Well worth listening to.

And speaking of interviews, Natasha over at Maw Books recently interviewed our own Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews. Here’s the part that made me envious. Asked what she does for work, Becky said: “My work is all play. I don’t have a paying job. I just blog full-time. Which is probably why I’m able to maintain three blogs.” How cool is that? But seriously, this is what enables Becky to share so many wonderful book reviews, and I’m happy for her. Thanks for a great interview, Natasha!

I’m a bit late with this, but Lee Wind reports that this is No Name Calling Week, “a week of educational activities aimed at stopping name-calling and verbal bullying in schools.”

Jennifer Donovan at 5 Minutes for Books has a nice post about encouraging tweens to enjoy reading, so that they’ll become lifelong readers. She says, in reference to hear 10-year-old daughter, “Like me, reading is first in her heart, but other interests can easily crowd it out. What trumps things like friends, TV and other hobbies? A good book will do it every time.” Her conclusion (after some specific discussion) is that “It’s the combination of time set aside for reading and getting the right books in her hands that keep her reading.”

I also enjoyed this post by Susan Stephenson at The Book Chook, about the need for finding kid-friendly children’s books. She says: “If we want our kids to enjoy reading, we need to give them access to material they want to read. Checking a book to see if it has won a literary prize is probably not the best way to filter books. Rather, let your child choose, and make sure she has plenty of books to choose from.” She concludes: “And the very best thing about books? They stay our friends for life.” I agree, and am pretty sure I’ve used that exact wording myself.

ReadicideDonalyn Miller has the latest installment in Kelly Gallagher’s Readicide blog tour at The Book Whisperer. I especially like Gallagher’s statement that: “If you teach students to read and write well, they will do fine on exams.” Seems logical to me.

And finally, Don Tate recently passed along a call to action in light of the “well-intentioned but terribly written law (that) could very well put an end to independent publishing, result in thousands if not millions of books being pulled off store and library shelves across the country, and leave our culture with much less diversity in books for our kids.” I really hope that Congress can fix the CPSIA law in time to avoid this crisis.

That’s all for today. Thanks for 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).