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 ReadKiddoRead (2)

Sunday
Feb082009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: February 8

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

My blog has been lamentably quiet this week. I was in Fort Collins, CO for work, and couldn’t even keep up with email, let alone with blogging. Now I find myself with a free Sunday, and a Google Reader filled with posts. Here are some highlights of the doings of the Kidlitosphere. The Literacy and Reading News Round-Up will follow tomorrow.

I’m pleased to report that I was a winner in HipWriterMama’s 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge. As the other winners have commented, the real prize was successfully participating (my challenge goal had to do with riding my exercise bike every day, and I did pretty well with it, despite guests and travel). Thanks, Vivian!

PaperTigers has a new February issue about “the growing global awareness of the power of children to change the world.” I especially enjoyed Mitali Perkins’ article about how books can shape a child’s heart. Although I don’t have quite so specific an example as Mitali’s description of reading A Little Princess, I have always felt that the books that I read as a child influenced my moral compass. For more on how children are changing the world, see my post from last week about Free the Children.

KidsheartauthorlogoSpeaking of PaperTigers, Janet has a nice write-up about the upcoming Kids Heart Authors Day, explaining how “from New England to the Pacific Northwest, independent bookstores, children’s authors, illustrators, and the young readers who love them are coming together on February 14 in a grand celebration.” It’s not quite enough to make me wish, in February, that I still lived in New England, but it comes close.

With her usual thoroughness, Elaine Magliaro has compiled book lists, book reviews, and other resources for Black History Month at Wild Rose Reader. This is an excellent starting point for anyone looking for resources on this topic. Friday’s Poetry Friday round-up is also available at Wild Rose Reader.

ReadkiddoreadWendie Old has a very positive write-up about James Patterson’s new ReadKiddoRead site.

In other encouraging news, Cheryl Rainfield shares a tidbit about a child who saved herself from a fire, after learning how to do so from a children’s book.

PJ Hoover brought to my attention a new blog that’s right up my alley. In The Spectacle, “Authors talk about writing speculative fiction for teens and pre-teens.” I especially enjoyed PJ’s post The Cool Thing About Post-Apocalyptic. Speaking as a series fan of the genre myself, I have to agree with her conclusion. See also this post at Presenting Lenore about dystopias. And speaking of speculative and post-apocalyptic fiction, Bookshelves of Doom reports that John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy is being adapted for the big screen. Very cool!

NORTHlogo[1]In celebration of the launch of her new book, North of BeautifulJustina Chen Headley is launching a Find Beauty Challenge. Justina says: “Tell the world what you find to be Truly Beautiful! Just upload a 90-second video describing what real beauty means to you…and you could win yourself an iTouch! PLUS, for every uploaded video, I’ll donate $10 (up to $1,000) to Global Surgical Outreach, an amazing group that helps kids with cleft lips and palates in the third world.” North of Beautiful is on my short list, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Anyone else find it ironic that I’m spending so much time reading and writing about encouraging readers that I don’t have time to read myself? Ah, well!

Amy from Literacy Launchpad has a fun post about the importance of building home libraries for children, and the dilemma that she faces in deciding which of her precious books to actually share with her book-eating young son. And speaking of home libraries, Susan Thomsen shares resources for inexpensive children’s books at Chicken Spaghetti, with additional resources suggested in the comments.

Facing another literacy dilemma, Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect mulls over the idea of a canon of children’s literature, asking: “Are there books and stories that every child should/must know?” There’s a good discussion going on in the comments about it - my own views are pretty much identical to what Chris Barton said. Maureen Kearney also weighs in at Confessions of a Bibliovore.

Reminding us that not all kids learn to read in the same wayKris Bordessa from Paradise Found links to an interesting post by Miranda at Nurtured by Love. Comparing her own children’s experience to those of a friend, Miranda notes: “So not only did I not do very much to nurture my kids’ early achievement of literacy, but what I did do was probably almost beside the point. It’s mostly in the wiring, modulated by issues of temperament. Sure, an impoverished learning environment can cause delays in literacy learning. But a reasonably supportive nurturing environment? It’s in the wiring. The ages when perfectly bright non-learning-disabled unschooled kids will learn to read is all over the map.”

Natasha Worswick reports that BBC Four will be showing a documentary tonight about Why Reading Matters. Doesn’t seem to be on here in CA, but I’ll stay tuned at Children’s Books for Grown-Ups, to see if Natasha has any feedback after watching it.

And for all of you bloggers out there, especially blogging authors, Pam Coughlan has a great two-part piece at MotherReader with blogging tips. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2 (which incorporates reader comments from Part 1, and has concrete examples of people she thinks are doing things right). I think she’s convinced me to a) prune my blog sidebars and b) be more careful about the use of acronyms.

And finally, our own Greg Pincus from Gotta Book was mentioned in an article in the Guardian this week, about the relationship between math and poetry. Remember the Fib? The article certainly wouldn’t have been complete without this art form that bridges math and poetry so perfectly.

Now my Google Reader is empty of unread items, for the first time in a week or so, and I’m off to ride my exercise bike for a while. Happy Sunday to all!

© 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 1

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Lots going on around the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:

This just in! Publisher’s Weekly has a first look at the cover of the second Hunger Games book, by Suzanne Collins. Oh, how I’m dying for that book! The article says that: “Fans in the book industry can have their first chance to find out those surprises at the end of May—Scholastic will be giving out ARCs of Catching Fire at BEA in New York City.” Alas, I don’t plan to be at BEA. But I’m hoping that I’ll wrangle a copy at some point… P.S. Lenore posted the cover, too. I’m a bit leery of posting it before Amazon does, so I’ll send you to Lenore or PW.  

ReadKiddoLogoPW also has an article by Judith Rosen about James Patterson’s new ReadKiddoRead initiative. I haven’t had a chance to check this out myself, but I’ve been hearing good feedback so far. And you have to love the site’s tagline: “Dedicated to making you kids readers for life.” The PW article says: “By December, with almost no fanfare except for a mention in an interview with Al Roker and an ad in Peoplemagazine, the site attracted 20,000 visitors. It brings together reviews for books for newborns to teens, interviews with bestselling children’s authors like Jeff Kinney and Rick Riordan, and a book blog with reading lists by children’s literature consultant Judy Freeman, author of Books Kids Will Sit Still For.” I signed up for the mailing list, and will keep an eye on the whole thing.

And, as reported by Betsy Bird at Fuse #8, the 2008 Cuffies have been announced. These are a series of children’s book awards, some in unusual categories, derived from input by retailers. I always find them entertaining, and this year is no exception. You get things like “book with best plot twist” and “book you wish everyone would shut up about”.

Ranger's ApprenticeIn honor of next summer’s publication of the sixth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series, Penguin is making the first book in the series, The Ruins of Gorlan, available as a free eBook. The site went live last week, and will be available until February 15th. Click here to view the book. As with the recent promotion for Readicide, I spend far too much time online already to be personally excited about a reading a whole book that way. But, I still think that promotions like this are a great way to generate excitement about books. 

Assimilating input from various children’s literature fans, Jenny Schwartzberg from Jenny’s Wonderland of Books has put together a tremendous list of Middle Grade Historical Fiction set in Asia. She also includes extensive notes on the compilation of the list, and the input that she received. This is an amazing new resource for fans of historical fiction and people looking for books set in Asia.

Kirby Larson has an interesting post today about writers and their “fingerprints”. Not literal fingerprints, but writing fingerprints, some signature attribute of an author’s writing that “marks your work as uniquely yours.” Although I’m not an author, of course, Kirby actually made me think about a strength that I display in my regular job, and how that might translate to children’s books and literacy.

I have a bunch of other things flagged, but I don’t have time to write them up write now. So I’ll leave you with these, and be back later with the rest. Stay tuned…

© 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).