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 Readergirlz (24)

Monday
Sep152008

Pirates, Cybils, and BBAW Ahoy

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I did a couple of pretty comprehensive Sunday Visits and Literacy Round-Up posts yesterday. But a few things came up today that I simply must mention:

  • CybilslogosmallThe 2008 Cybils panelists will be announced over the next couple of weeks, starting tomorrow. Stay tuned! And isn’t the new logo pretty?
  • Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews reminds readers about her Google reading groupReading with Becky. There are 20 or so members, and the group is currently reading The Count of Monte Cristo.
  • Bookbloggerbutton2Book Blogger Appreciation Week has officially started at My Friend Amy. In the first daily raffle (today) you can win books and chocolate. Comment on this linked post for an extra raffle entry. And in general, stay tuned at My Friend Amy. There’s a ton of interesting stuff going on. Amy is encouraging people to highlight, on their own blogs, the blogs that they love that weren’t short-listed for awards. I’ll say (again), check out my Sunday Visits posts. All of the blogs that I mention deserve to be noticed.
  • Terry has another great installment of her Reading Round-Up at The Reading Tub’s blog. Of particular note: “Tonight on PBS Judy Woodruff hosts Where We Stand: America’s Schools in the 21st Century. The show airs at 10:00 PM.” Reading Today Daily has a link to the trailer.
  • Librarina reports that September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. I can’t say that I do a lot to celebrate this day, but I’m glad that it exists. The website is quite fun, too.
  • The Readergirlz reported on their MySpace page that Libba Bray has had to postpone being their featured author for October (she was called away to a book tour in Germany and Italy - the author’s life is rough sometimes). But they have an amazing replacement in Rachel Cohn. As Readergirlz Diva Lorie Ann Grover said: “The very month her and David Levithan’s bookNick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist launches onto the big screen, she’s going to be talking with you each at the group forum. WOOT!”

Hope that everyone has a great week! I’ll be back tomorrow with more Cybils news.

© 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
Sep042008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: September 4

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I would normally wait until Sunday to do my round-up of Kidlitosphere news. But I’ve flagged so many links to highlight that it seems ridiculous to wait.

  • The title of Rick Riordan’s fifth (and final) Percy Jackson book has been announced. The book will be called The Last Olympian and will be published on May 5th, 2009. And if that’s not enough RR news, check out Becky Levine’s post on a writing thought from Rick Riordan. I got a particular kick out of reading this post because I was standing next to Becky when she heard the tip.
  • I also got a kick out of this post by Gail Gauthier about how she made a book recommendation that went viral (from her hairdresser to several others). The book was Twilight, and whether you like the Twilight books or not, it’s still neat to for Gail to be able to trace the path that her recommendation made.
  • Have you been reading YA Fabulous? This is a relatively new blog, but the author’s dedication to young adult literature shines through. A feature that I particularly like is the regular YA Links Posts (most recent one here), in which YA for Great Justice rounds up various links to book reviews (with excerpts) and author interviews. The ones so far have been very comprehensive, and are not to be missed by YA fans.
  • Another new blog that I like is Muddy Puddle Musings, written by a middle school literature teacher named Chris. Chris recently announced “This year I’m going to try to go to the Teachers as Readers Book Club, which is sponsored by the Tucson Reading Association… The reading list for the year has been chosen from the IRA 2008 Young Adult Choices list.” How great is that? A Teachers as Readers Book Club, reading great YA titles!
  • The Book Whisperer is back, after a bit of a summer break, talking about connecting kids with booksDonalyn Miller says: “I realized that I am not engaged in a race with a shaky start in August and a finish line taped across June. I am traveling an endless journey with my students, all of us readers together, with no beginning and no end. There is only the next child, the next book, and the next opportunity to connect the two. Teaching kids to love reading is not about me and what I can (or cannot) do; it is about the children and what they can do.” Do go read the whole post - Donalyn is always inspiring.
  • At Librarilly BlondeCarlie Webber takes on the recent discussion around the blogosphere about an article in Good Magazine: Anne Trubek on Why We Shouldn’t Still be Learning Catcher in the Rye. I especially enjoyed Carlie’s take on people who reject all books sinceCatcher in the Rye as not relevant: “One would never teach history and ignore events that happened after 1955. One would never teach science and stop at discoveries made after 1955. Music history doesn’t stop with John Cage. Film studies classes include Fellini and Hitchcock, but they also include the Coen brothers. Given all this, why do you deem it all right and even a best practice in education, to not teach literature with teen protagonists written after 1955? I have never understood this need to teach classics and only classics and classics all the time.” Me neither.
  • At The Places You Will Go, Daphne Lee takes on the question of whether or not children’s authors are required to be role models. She says: “I don’t see (and fail to see how anyone could see) what a writer’s personal life (although for some, personal and public are one and the same) has to do with the work he/she produces. If a writer is responsible for stories that inspire and excite, intrigue and provoke, touch and move, it can hardly matter what his hobbies are, how many wives he has, or what he likes to stick up his nose (or other body parts, for that matter). Of course I realise that as mere humans its not easy for us to be totally objective… ” I feel the same way that Daphne does on this subject.
  • new issue of The Prairie Wind, the newsletter of the SCBWI-Illinois Chapter, is now available. I especially enjoyed Margo Dill’s interview with our own Betsy Bird from A Fuse #8 Production. The post includes some recommended KidLit blogs and also has advice “on blogging and how it can help a children’s author’s career.”
  • Over at Tea Cozy, Liz B. has a bit of a rant going, inspired by a new children’s book by a celebrity author (well, the author is the wife of a celebrity, anyway). My favorite part: “Just once, I want a celebrity author to say, “you know, as I was reading with my kids, I fell in love with children’s books, and rediscovered just how awesome children’s books are” or something like that, rather than “the books suck, so I was forced to write.”” I think that Liz has a pretty good idea for a consulting service to offer celebrities, though (at the end of the post).
  • Little Willow has the scoop on the Readergirlz plans for September, featuring “Good Enough by Paula Yoo and celebrating the theme of Tolerance.”
  • I’ve seen several blogs address the results of the recent poll that found Enid Blyton the UK’s “most cherished” writer (followed by Roald Dahl and then J. K. Rowling). I especially enjoyed Kelly Gardiner’s post on the topic at Ocean Without End, which includes some lessons learned by the selections. Like “The books we love as children - the books that introduce us to reading as a mania - stay with us forever.” So true. I adored Enid Blyton’s books when I was a kid, even though they were relatively hard to come by in the US. When I traveled to England for work when I was in my mid-20’s, I bought up every book that I could find from certain Blyton series. I also still read Inez Haynes Irwin’s Maida books on a regular basis. I have no idea if they’re any good or not, but I love them anyway.
  • Speaking of classics, Leila from Bookshelves of Doom is hosting the third edition of The Big Read, focusing on A Tale of Two Cities. You can find the details here. I’m not personally up for a re-read right now, but I listened to the book on tape a few years back and enjoyed it quite a bit. If you’ve ever wanted to read A Tale of Two Cities, this would be a good time…
  • I don’t usually highlight book giveaways, but Cheryl Rainfield is giving away three copies of one of my absolute favorite titles from recent memory: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. You can find the details here. My review of The Hunger Games is here. All you have to do to enter is comment at Cheryl’s.

And that’s all the news for today. I’ll most likely be back with more over the weekend (though I’m also a bit behind on my recent reviews, so that will take first priority).

© 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
Aug212008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: August 21

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I find myself with a bit of time to spare this afternoon, and a few links saved up, so I thought that I would share:

  • Regular readers know that I love Kim and Jason’s Escape Adulthood website. This week, I especially appreciated a post by Kim about finding reasons to celebrate, and then celebrating them. The post starts with a couple of sad stories about loss, but Kim takes the positive view, saying “Human nature tricks us into believing that we’ll all die from old age, but it’s simply not true. Don’t wait until a tragedy happens to realize that your life is meant to be lived to the fullest today. Don’t wait until your anniversary to surprise your spouse with a night out on the town. Don’t wait until your birthday to allow yourself the permission to pick up that ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. (Yum!) Don’t wait until circumstances are perfect before you plan that spontaneous camping trip. Celebrate today!” I’m not always good about this, but Kim and Jason provide regular and excellent reminders, which I really appreciate. What have you celebrated lately?
  • Betsy Bird shares ten children’s novels that would make good movies at A Fuse #8 Production. She offers an exceptionally wide range of titles, all described with Betsy’s trademark voice. Here’s an example, on Kiki Strike: “So let us consider making a movie for tween girls, starring tween girls, and doesn’t involve them wearing short skirts, shall we?  Or indulging in bad movie banter.  I know, I know.  I’m probably asking too much with that latter requirement.  Fine, if you make the film you can fill it to the brim with banter. Just show girls doing something other than teaming up with boys in an action movie and I’ll never complain again.”
  • I don’t generally highlight author interviews from other blogs, because I tend to focus more on the books than on the authors. But Jules and Eisha have posted a truly impressive interview with Jane Yolen over at 7-Imp, which I would like to bring to your attention. There is discussion, there are dozens of links to more information, there are interesting tidbits about the author, and there are fabulous pictures. This is the kind of interview that becomes a resource for the author herself, because Jules and Eisha have collected so much information into one place. Do check it out. 
  • Reading MagicAt PaperTigers, Janet shares some examples from the new edition of Mem Fox’s book, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. Janet says: “After reading her essays about the true magic that comes from reading aloud, I don’t think this lady is exaggerating. If reading aloud to children can turn them into smart, inquisitive, creative people, then reading aloud may well hold the key to solving all of the world’s woes.” I just might have to pick up with new edition.
  • For all you book reviewers out there, Steph at Reviewer X has a question: “which of the reviewers are also writers? There’s some stereotype that says all reviewers (or book bloggers, or something like that) are aspiring authors. Accurate?” A brief perusal of the comments reveals that, as with many stereotypes, there’s some truth, but by no means universal adherence.
  • Colleen Mondor writes about the value of the color gray at Chasing Ray. The discussion is in the context of Colleen’s review of two YA titles set in alternate futures: Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and Nick Mamatas’s Under My Roof. Colleen notes that Under My Roof “is a book where the good and bad guys are never clearly defined” (in contrast to the more clear-cut Little Brother) and says that “Reading these two books had made me realize just how uncomfortable the shade of gray can be for most people.”
  • At BookKids, the BookPeople children’s book blog (from the famous Austin bookstore), Madeline discusses modern mysteries aimed at kids. She says: “I have to admit that I think there is a lack of really great new kid mystery series. There are some good stand alone books like Elise Broach’s Shakespeare’s Secret, but not the kind of series where you just want to read nine or ten of the books in a row. In fact, I could only think of three current mystery series at all. However, I fortunately like all three series, and I can heartily recommend them as great chapter books for kids and teens.” Click through to see what she recommends, and other discussion in the comments.
  • Via School Library Journal, as “part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the U.S. release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the wildly popular Harry Potter series, is inviting fans of all ages to its New York City headquarters to take part in “Harry Potter Cover to Cover Day,” an all-day muggle read-a-thon.”
  • Guardian piece by Louise Tucker on boys and reading has sparked discussion between Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect (here and here) and Libby from Lessons from the Tortoise (here). Tricia asks (in direct response to the article): “Why are we so blessed concerned with the “right” books instead of the process of immersing kids in books that they will love? Shouldn’t the goal be developing readers?” It’s all interesting stuff - well worth checking out.
  • Last, but not least, I’ve seen this in several places, but Jackie has the full details at Interactive Reader. Readergirlz have launched rgz TV on YouTube. Here’s a snippet from the press release: “rgz tv is broadcasting interviews with Rachel Cohn, Jay AsherSonya Sones and Paula Yoo. The uploaded videos have been shot and edited by the readergirlz founders and members of the postergirlz.” Pretty cool!

And that’s all for today. Hope you find some tidbits of interest.

© 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).

Sunday
Jun012008

Sunday Afternoon Visits: June 1

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here are few links for your Sunday afternoon/evening enjoyment:

  • Newlogorg800The new issue is up at Readergirlz. This month, the Readergirlz will be featuring the book Prom, by Laurie Halse Anderson. The issue features things to know about Laurie Halse Anderson, the GoodSearch program, a while you read playlist, book discussion questions and party suggestions, and suggested companion reads from the Postergirlz. You can read also Laurie’s response to be chosen by Readergirlz here. Next month, the Readergirlz will be discussing Jay Asher’s Thirteen Reasons Why (reviewed here). 
  • Via In Need of Chocolate I found a great post at Parent Hacks about the joys of reading aloud as a familyAsha Dornfest says “Once your child begins reading on her own, it’s easy to let the read-aloud habit fall by the wayside. But I encourage you to carry on as long as you can.” There are lots of suggestions for family read-alouds in the comments.
  • The new edition of The Prairie Wind, the online newsletter of the SCBWI-Illinois Chapter, is now available, with plenty of interesting articles for children’s book writers and illustrators.
  • Over at There’s Always Time for a BookEmma describes a recent visit to the house that Lucy Boston’s Green Knowe series was based on. As Emma explains, “The Green Knowe books are children’s fantasies written between the 1950s and 1970s by Lucy M Boston. The six books centre around the house of Green Knowe, where times are fluid – the spirits of children who used to live in the house play with the children of the present.” I enjoyed the Green Knowe books immensely, and I also enjoyed Emma’s description of the house.
  • At Charlotte’s LibraryCharlotte shares a link to a website that organizes the places a reader might go in search of long-lost childhood book titles. She also discusses her quest to replace lost childhood editions of Enid Blyton’s books. Let’s just say that I can relate.
  • PJ Hoover writes about a syndrome that she’s noticed in her own reading of audiobooks at Roots in Myth. This post has sparked a host of discussion regarding audiobooks in the comments. So, if you’re a fan of audiobooks, and/or you’re looking for some recommended audio titles, this is a must-read post.
  • Tricia shares some of the reasons that she loves the Kidlitosphere at The Miss Rumphius Effect, and her commenters share some of their reasons, too. My own reasons are too many to name, but I’m aware of them every day.
  • In a similar vein, Liz Garton Scanlon shares the central reason why she writes for kids, and presents a photo essay of a recent Literacy Parade at her daughter’s school. Inspiring stuff!
  • Jenny continues to share her early teaching experiences at an inner city school at Read. Imagine. Talk. She was not impressed by the principal (“At this school, the principal used a lot of words to say very little that was true.”) or the policies at the school (“Kids learned that only certain things were valued.  Obedience was valued.  Silence was valued.  Independence at the expense of community was valued.”), but she persevered.
  • For another teaching perspective, Sarah from the Reading Zone shares her positive experience reading the first Percy Jackson book (review here) aloud with her two classes. She says: “In no way was I prepared for complete and utter obsession that would result! My students are BEGGING to have more read-aloud time everyday.  We stop and talk about the myths that Riordan alludes to and they are quickly becoming experts on Greek mythology.  It is a perfect example of using a read-aloud to teach the content areas.” How cool is that?
  • Dewey’s Weekly Geeks theme of the week at The Hidden Side of a Leaf is Catch Up On Reviews. Now there’s one that I really need to participate in. We’ll see what the schedule allows.

And that’s it for today - a relatively short round-up, because I shared some other links on Wednesday this week.

© 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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