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.

We welcome your feedback!

Search
Social Networking
Powered by Squarespace

Entries in Readergirlz (24)

Thursday
Apr162009

Thursday Afternoon Visits: April 16

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here are some posts from around the Kidlitosphere that have caught my eye in the past few days.

Tbd09rtToday is drop day for Readergirlz Operation Teen Book Drop. I’m a bit late, but here’s the scoop: “It’s time to grab a readergirlz bookplate and take a book somewhere in your town—donate it to a library, a school, or a lonely park bench. Leave it anywhere in honor of Support Teen Literature Day!” You can also find more about Teen Literature Day at ForeWord Magazine’s Shelf Space blog, in a detailed post by Carlie Webber.

Winston BreenToday is also the launch of Eric Berlin’s Winston Breen puzzle party, in honor of the second book in the series: The Potato Chip Puzzles. In honor of the launch, Eric has created a puzzle-themed blog tour. If you solve all of the puzzles, you can win prizes. You can find the first puzzle, and the full schedule for the tour, at A Patchwork of Books. My review of the first Winston Breen book is here.

Liz Burns repeats a thought-provoking post at Tea Cozy (originally from 2006, but still quite relevant today) about a trend featuring teen interactions with senior citizens in young adult fiction.

Lips TouchLaini Taylor reveals the gorgeous cover of her upcoming book: Lips Touch. She also shares the story about how blogging inspired the book, which might be of particular interest to the writers among you.

Speaking of blogging, Natasha from Maw Books and Amy from My Friend Amy will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming Book Expo America about book blogging. Natasha has asked for feedback from other bloggers on topics that would be useful to discuss.

Also speaking of blogging, Sarah Miller shares some pros and cons of blogging at Reading Writing, Musing. I sense a round of blog focus angst flu going around. But I do think that Sarah nailed both pros and cons - several of hers resonated with me, even though I’m not an author.  

Elaine Magliaro rounds up Week 2 of National Poetry Monthin the Kidlitosphere at Wild Rose Reader. And this week’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Becky’s Book Reviews.

Fans of Sallie Wolf’s Truck Stuck (which I reviewed here) will enjoy this real-world story from Unabridged, the Charlesbridge blog.  

And last, but definitely not least, people all over the Kidlitosphere have linked to a recent video of President Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll last weekend. Here’s the video, with some context, at 100 Scope Notes.

And that’s all for today!

© 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
Mar192009

Thursday Afternoon Visits: NCAA Tournament Edition

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Kidlitosphere_buttonI’m watching a bit of college basketball in the background, while catching up on Kidlitosphere news today. (You just have to listen for when the crowd gets loud to know when something exciting is going on.) Here are a few highlights from the children’s and young adult book blogosphere.

At The Miss Rumphius EffectTricia begs to differ with a Guardian article that says: “The larger-than-life, black-and-white morality of children’s books is a relief for adult readers tired of ambiguity.” I agree with Tricia that this is not a particularly nuanced representation of the moral complexity often found in children’s books. But I’d be happy to see more adults take time to check out children’s and young adult literature either way.

Tbd2009Little Willow has the official press release for the Readergirlz, Guys Lit Wire, YALSA 2009 Operation Teen Book Drop, a “reading stimulus plan for hospitalized teen patients… Teen patients in pediatric hospitals across the United States will receive 8,000 young-adult novels, audiobooks, and graphic novels.” In preparation for the April 16th event, the Readergirlz Divas are hosting a series of weekly contests. You can find more details here.  

Laini Taylor has the scoop on an upcoming Phoenix event called Project Book Babe, a fundraiser for bookseller Faith Hochhalter, who is going through chemotherapy right now for breast cancer. Laini also has news about her own expected and sure to be a book-lover baby.

ShareAStoryLogo-colorTerry Doherty has a wrap-up post for the Share a Story - Shape a Future literacy blog tour at The Reading Tub. Please join me in thanking Terry for this amazing event. Although the initial event is finished, Terry promises “Share a Story-Shape a Future will be back. For the near term, the blog will remain our bulletin board and archive. If/When we pull together the links and bloglists into a single spot, that’s where you’ll find it. When we’re ready to start thinking about themes and start planning our lineups, that’s where we’ll make the announcement.” [Image credit: Author/illustrator Elizabeth Dulemba created the Share a Story - Shape a Future logo.]

Speaking of raising kids who love books, Jenny from Read. Imagine. Talk shares a lovely anecdote in which her very young son, Ethan, demanded to go to the bookstore right away “because there was a new book out that he “really very needed to get right now.””  He was following her example, and gives us all a real-life demonstration of the way that modeling book-loving behavior rubs off on kids.

I’ve been enjoying Sarah Mulhern’s “Slice of Life” posts at The Reading Zone. Yesterday, she related some snippets of discussion from her 6th grade girls about the best literary boyfriends. Sarah concluded: ” I couldn’t help but smile- they weren’t arguing over boy bands, or movie stars, or athletes- it was literary characters. This language arts teacher couldn’t be prouder.” As she should be. Sarah also shares her accelerated reader frustration, and a more positive follow-up.

Tamara Fisher has a great post at Unwrapping the Gifted about using bibliotherapy with gifted kids. She explains: “Essentially, by having gifted students read literature and/or biographies featuring gifted children or adults, the students can gain insights into their own giftedness.” She also provides a list of sample questions to ask kids about their reading, and an extensive reading list.

Last OlympianDates are now available for Rick Riordan’s author tour for The Last Olympian. He’ll be here in the Bay Area on May 9th, just a few days after the official release date. Safe to say that these events will be very, very popular! Perhaps I’ll see some of you there.

Kate Coombs has a fun post about picture books with bite at Book Aunt. She says: “it is with some gusto that I give you a handful of books that aren’t sweet. In fact, they are tart and funny, and above all, toothy.”

Witch MountainI also enjoyed this post at Ink Splot 26, about the movie Race to Witch Mountain. I know that a lot of people think it was corny, but I love the 1975 Disney movie version ofEscape to Witch Mountain. I will have to have the new special edition DVD, even though my brother Steve, the king of gift-giving, already bought me the regular DVD. So I was pleased to learn from Nancy T’s interview with the stars of the new movie that the actors who played the original Tony and Tia will have cameos in the new movie. Fun stuff!

And finally, I wanted to say thank you to Travis from 100 Scope Notes, who recently included my blog in his “blogs that clog my reader (in a good way)” list. I’m in excellent company. And his is a blog I never miss, either.

© 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).

Tuesday
Jan062009

Tuesday Afternoon Visits: January 6

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

A few tidbits for you to brighten the first work-week of the year:

Ccba_logoTasha Saecker reports at Kids Lit that TeenReads.com, in association with the Children’s Book Council, is “giving you the opportunity to vote for your five favorite books of 2008! The five books that receive the largest number of votes will then become finalists that will again be voted on. The ultimate winner will be announced in May.”  You can vote here. I also very much enjoyed this post at Kids Lit, in which Tasha thanks the publishers for her review titles. Can I just say “Ditto”. She says it all.

Betsy Bird reports at Fuse #8 that the Children’s Literary Cafe at the New York Public Library is recommencing. Here’s her description: “The Children’s Literary Café is a monthly gathering of adults who are fans of children’s literature.  Professionals, librarians, authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, teachers, and anyone else interested in the field are welcome to attend our meetings.   The Literary Café provides free Advanced Readers galleys, a rotating series of talks with professionals in the field, and great conversation.” It’s almost enough to make me wish I lived in NY. Except for that whole big city with snowy weather thing.

Speaking of Betsy Bird, she was recently interviewed over at Just One More Book! (well, she was interviewed by Mark Blevis at the Kidlitosphere conference last fall, but the interview is now available).

TBD2009Little Willow has the early announcement for the second annual Operation Teen Book Drop event, hosted by Readergirlz. She says: “Last year, the first-ever Operation TBD was a huge success. YALSA and readergirlz organized a massive, coordinated release of 10,000 publisher-donated YA books into the top pediatric hospitals across the country and encouraged people to donate books to hospitals, schools, libraries, and gathering spots in their communities.”

Over at The Tiger’s BookshelfJanet posts about the Books for Laos program, “a labor of love that the Cotterills (Jessica and Colin) have been involved in for years, distributing books written in the Laos language to schoolchildren in conjunction with Big Brother Mouse” (an organization that strives to make literacy fun).

Regular readers of this blog may know that I usually stay away from “challenges” (with the recent exception of Pam and Lee’s Comment Challenge). I find keeping up with my reviews and regular features, in combination with keeping caught up on my job, quite enough of a challenge. However, I decided to make an exception for HipWriterMama’s new 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge. The idea is to choose a new habit that you’d like to work on for 30 days, publicly proclaim it, and check in at Vivian’s every week with a status update. And since I already have a goal of exercising more, I put up a tangible goal related to time spent riding the exercise bike. I’m hoping this helps me to stay motivated (along with watching past seasons of 24 on NetFlix while I bike). Lots of other people have already joined up, and I’m sure it’s not to late to join in.

In honor of their three-year blogiversaryMary Lee and Franki are holding a festival of threes at A Year of Reading. Here’s part 1, and part 2. They have great mini-lists here, like their three favorite wordless picture books, and three new favorite versions of old favorites. Do stop by to enjoy the festivities, and wish Franki and Mary Lee many more years of blogging. See also Franki’s new article at Choice Literacy on The Year’s Best New Read-Alouds (from 2008).

And if you’d like more lists, check out last week’s Saturday Review of Books at Semicolon. For this year-end edition, Sherry Early offers a “special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2008, a list of all the books you read in 2008, a list of the books you plan to read in 2009, or any other end of the year or beginning of the year list of books. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists.” This is a great resource. And, of course, don’t miss The Best of the Best: Kids’ Books ‘08 from Susan Thomsen at Chicken Spaghetti.

Also not to be missed is a 2008 7-Imp Retrospective that Jules put together over the long weekend. Jules adds: “yes, do I hear you saying this is the LONGEST POST IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD? Why, it is at that, but it’s oh-so skim-able — and mostly full of wonderful stuff at which to look. Sit back and enjoy. Pick your favorite interview and read a snippet. Find your favorite illustrator and kick back to soak in their skills. Choose your own adventure.” I’m a little afraid to delve into this post, I must admit, for fear I’ll never resurface…

Yet another controversy has erupted over the Newbery Award, this one about the question of diversity. I’m not going to get into it, but you can find an excellent analysis by Liz Burns at A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy.

Trevor Cairney offers a detailed discussion about how online reading is different from print reading at Literacy, families and learning, addressing a recent research study by Jakob Nielsen. Trevor’s take is that “While I’m a great believer in the value of the Internet, the over-use of screen-based ‘reading’ via the Internet has the potential to change the type of texts that people read.” He has lots more to say on this, so do check out the post.

And last, but not least, a thoughtful post by The LiteraBuss on “WHY I Teach Literacy”. “I DO NOT teach literacy in order to have my students score better on a test, any test. I teach the way I do because I want my students to develop a love and/or appreciation for reading and writing, and to further their own critical thinking skills. I want my students to enjoy the things they read, and seek out more. I want them to become independent, quick (and slow) minded thinkers”. They sound like excellent reasons to me!

That’s it for today. I’m off to ride that exercise bike! 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).

Wednesday
Dec312008

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: New Year’s Eve Edition

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

_IGP0749WHappy New Year to all! (Photo by Paul Anderson, shared at MorgueFile, and technically from July 4th, but relevant to today) It’s been another great year of blogging, one during which many new authors and parents and teachers and librarians and book fans joined the Kidlitosphere. I’m back from a densely-packed nine-day trip to Boston (spending Christmas with the families), and have been slowly catching up on the doings of the Kidlitosphere. Thank goodness this is a relatively slow time on the blogs! Still, I have a few things to share with you.

Over at the NCFL Literacy Now blog, Meg Ivey is collecting family literacy resolutions. She says: “It’s that time of the year when everyone is making positive changes in their lives. But instead of resolving to eat fewer desserts or exercise more, how about making a family literacy resolution? …Whatever your resolution is, please let me know!”. Meanwhile, at The Tiger’s Bookshelf, Janet asks that people remember to give the gift of reading for the New Year. She says: “Please think of how different would be without the joy of reading, and think of how you can be sure that somewhere, somehow, a child will learn to experience that same joy.” I, naturally, agree with them both.

Another post that I enjoyed was by Susan from Wizard’s Wireless, about “how to write a book by your favorite author in ten steps or less.” She outlines, for example, the structure found in most of the Harry Potter books (with a few admitted deviations), concluding with “Harry deep in thought about whatever happened during the climax, takes the train home and dreads another summer with the Dursleys.” Then she moves on to other favorite authors who have relatively predictable story structures.

My friend Cory emailed me the other day about a New York Times story by David Streitfeld on the changes in the book publishing industry caused by people buying deeply discounted used books on the Internet. Walter Minkel comments on the same article, and on what he sees as the future of book publishing, at The Monkey Speaks. For example, he thinks that in the future “We’re much more likely to be reading books from a mobile phone than from specialized e-book-reader devices like the “Readius”. Interesting stuff all around. I’m a die-hard fan of the printed book, but I do agree that a higher percentage of electronic reading is coming, whether we like it or not…

Tons of people are publishing their end of the year reading lists, “best of 2008” lists, and/or reading resolutions for 2009. There are far too many to link to (though a few books have been popping up enough to convince me to read them, like The Knife of Never Letting Go). But do check out this post at Fuse #8 for a link to a site that Jim Averbeck set up for tracking people’s mock Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz lists. I also especially enjoyed Sarah Miller’s “completely subjective, unordered, and unorthodox mish-mash of my various favorites from 2008”, featuring categories like “Book I would feel remiss if I didn’t mention” and “Book that prompted the most sniggering”. Fun stuff!I also found that Jackie Parker’s list, for Readergirlz, of ten “best girl-power books that we read this year, regardless of copyright date” really resonated with me. Speaking of Readergirlz, congratulations to the newest postergirl, Shelf Elf. 

Another year-end post that I enjoyed was Just One More Book’s 500th podcast, in which Andrea and Mark talk with their daughters, Lucy (9) and Bayla (7) about their thoughts on favorite chapter books read during 2008. It’s a true pleasure to hear from two young girls who so clearly love and appreciate books, including remarks like “Eva Ibbotson usually writes about orphans, that is something I’ve noticed” and “I would really really love to read it” on the prospect for a third Penderwick title. Great stuff! Here’s wishing JOMB 500 more posts.

Congratulations, also to Esme Raji Codell for her 200th post at Planet Esme. She shares her personal appreciation for the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (which I have to admit I don’t think I’ve ever read, though clearly I should). And, congratulations to Kirby Larson and Mary Nethery. Their book Two Bobbies was recently featured on NPR’s All Things Considered. Also, happy one year blogaversary to Trevor Cairney for Literacy, families and learning.

In sadder news, the Disco Mermaids are signing off. Oh, they’ll each have their own blogs, but it won’t be quite the same… Do check out their final post, though.

Award_butterflyAnd finally, I received a couple of nice compliments for my blog this week (in addition to the many wonderful comments from the recent carnival/birthday post). First, Nadine Warner from Kiddos and Books gave me a Butterfly Award, for having a “cool” blog. She did accuse me of being a robot, but trust me, it was a compliment. I actually passed along this award a while back, so I won’t do it again, but it definitely brightened my Christmas weekend. And then Donalyn Millerthe Book Whisperer, named my blog as one of her Reading Rabbit Holes, saying: “I have some gems in the rabbit hole—Websites that make my eyes glaze over with reading bliss, and surprisingly, enhance my classroom instruction and my conversations with students about books.” It’s an honor to be one of Donalyn’s rabbit holes.

And that’s it for today. I look forward to reading many more of your posts in 2009. Happy New Year to all!! And stay tuned for the Cybils short lists announcements tomorrow!

© 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).