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 Rick Riordan (14)

Tuesday
Mar162010

Sunday Afternoon Visits: February 28

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’ve been spending some time weeding through my ridiculously large to be read pile this weekend, after a relatively hectic work-week, so I haven’t had much time for reading blogs. But I managed to do a bit of catch-up today. Here are some links that I thought people might be interested in.

Cybils2009-150px This year, for the first time, you can purchase stickers to place on your Cybils finalist and winning titles. All of the information, and samples of the stickers, is available at the Cybils blog.

Speaking of book-related contests, School Library Journal’s annual Battle of the Kids’ Books starts tomorrow. This contest pits book against book, until a field of 16 is narrowed down to one by an illustrious panel of judges. Betsy Bird has the details at A Fuse #8 Production. You can also follow the action on Twitter at @SLJsBoB or at the Battle of the Kids’ Books blog.

At The Reading Tub, Terry Doherty has an interview with Liz Burns from A Chair, A Fireplace and A Tea Cozy. Terry says: “We *know* a lot about Elizabeth Burns’ book, TV and movie interests from A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy, but she doesn’t talk much about her job as the Youth Services Consultant at the New Jersey State Library Talking Books and Braille Center. In fact, she makes it clear on the blog that what she says there is her opinion and not her employer’s. Last fall, after reading several articles about Braille literacy, I asked Liz if we could do an interview.”

Speaking of Tea Cozy, Liz has sparked a discussion about the difference between “lit blogs” and “book blogs”. All of the discussion is in the comments, so do go beyond the main post if you’re interested in this. Personally, right at the moment, I don’t have the energy for any clique-ish behavior or finger-pointing. But I’m glad that Liz is sorting things out. [See also Liz’s thoughts on the new CommonSense Media ratings at Barnes & Noble’s website.]

Colleen Mondor has the 12th edition of her What a Girl Wants series at Chasing Ray, with musings and book recommendations from authors about “Bad Girls” in literature. She says: “This month the panel discusses just what good and bad have to do with sex and the teenage girl, why we persist in labeling girls so much more harshly than boys and books that help readers navigate these ever present and always turbulent teen waters.”

Amy has an interesting post at Literacy Launchpad about watching movies made from books, and why it’s important to use them as an addition to, rather than a substitute for, reading the book.

Percy_Jackson_poster And speaking of movies made from books, check out the new Percy Jackson Reads! poster from the ALA store. There are also bookmarks available. I think this poster would be a great classroom addition - let’s by all means jump on the coattails of the popularity of the book and the movie and use them to encourage reading. I’m sure that Rick Riordan agrees.

David Elzey continues his great series about building better boy books. Part 7 is about keeping things short. He says: “There are readers, many of them boys, who will pick up that book and judge it by its girth, by its font size, by the amount of white on the page. As a former bookseller, if I had a dollar for every boy I ever witnessed fan a book’s pages as a method for deciding whether or not to read it, I’d have enough money today to buy a small publishing house.”

Happy-accident-31-300x296 Greg Pincus is offering a free consultation from his blog, The Happy Accident. He says: “At conferences recently, besides doing my main presentations, I’ve also been giving individual, shorter social media consultations (see below for the details of how they work). Because they’ve proven to be so popular, I’ve decided to start offering that same service here through The Happy Accident. To kick this new offering off  (and to help celebrate my fourth anniversary of blogging over at GottaBook), I’m going to give one of these consultations out for freeeeeee.” Comment by midnight tonight with a recommended blog or blogs to enter. You’ll already find a great list of recommended blogs in the comments.

Today is the last day of The Brown Bookshelf’s 28 Days Later celebration of African American authors and illustrators, featuring Charles R. Smith, Jr. Of course, one of the great things about blogs is that it’s easy to go back and look over the posts from the entire month, if you’ve missed them.  

Quick hits:

And now it’s back to my towering stacks of books. Eventually, my creating order from the books will translate into more reviews for you. In the meantime, Terry will have this week’s Literacy and Reading News round-Up tomorrow at The Reading Tub.

© 2010 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
Feb112010

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: February 10

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

There has been a lot going on around the Kidlitosphere this past week. Here are some links for your perusal:

The biggest news is that Betsy Bird has started reporting the results of her Top 100 Children’s Books Poll at A Fuse #8 Production. Betsy asked readers to share their list of top 100 children’s books of all time. She’s compiled the results, and is reporting the list in small chunks, complete with commentary and assorted covers for each book. These posts (see 100-91, 90-86, 85-81) are truly an amazing resource, filled with quotes and memories about beloved books, new and old. Even though we’re only 20 titles in, I would venture to suggest that the completed list is going to make an excellent recommended reading list. In fact, I actually dreamed about reading these posts last night. Stay tuned to A Fuse #8 Production for the rest of the Top 100.

For anyone who might be snowed in this week, Joan S. at the First Book blog suggests: “Settling in to enjoy a GOOD BOOK doesn’t require electricity or a wireless connection. Satellite dishes may be covered with snow, wires may be down, but READING A BOOK just takes a quiet nook and a willingness to enjoy the moment.”

I noticed two posts today about creative classroom activities dedicated to popular books. At Educating Alice, Monica Edinger shares a mural that her students created after reading When You Reach Me together as a class. And at Learn Me Sumthin’, Tony’s class is tracking Percy Jackson’s adventures using Google Maps. Here’s a snippet from Tony’s post: “Some very unexpected and wonderful things started to happen. The classroom conversations about writing became stronger, because I think the kids really started to see the connection that fiction, even fantasy like The Lightning Thief, is more ‘real’ when the author can layer in events, details that are real. Also the importance of setting, which can get lost of 4th grade writers is now more apparent.”

Speaking of classrooms, Everybody Wins! reports: “MrsP.com has created some beautiful literary-inspired valentines — that you can download for free at www.MrsP.com. They are perfect for teachers or mentors to use in the classroom this week. They are created for readers of all-ages and perfect to give to the book lovers in your life.” Here’s the direct link. They are very cute! 

And in other Percy Jackson news, Amanda from A Patchwork of Books reports: “The Guardian has an awesome interview with author Rick Riordan (of Percy Jackson fame) about his son’s dyslexia and ADHD preventing him from enjoying reading. Well Mr. Percy Jackson’s story helped fix that!”. Of course, the Lightning Thief movie comes out on Friday, too, so we’ll be hearing lots more about Percy in the coming weeks.

David Elzey is writing a series (based on work that he did as part of a graduate residency) on building better boy books. You can find part 1 here and part 2 here. Part 1 is introductory, while Part 2 is about grabbing the attention of boys by using humor. David says: “there are subtleties to some forms of humor that boys respond to above others that can be incorporated into fiction. Knowing these elements might help explain what makes many boys – both readers and characters – tick.”

Charlotte's web At Booklights, Susan Kusel discusses reading Charlotte’s Web aloud to young children (who might not cope well with Charlotte’s death). Susan notes: “As a librarian, I frequently get asked what age the book is appropriate for. My answer is always that it depends on your child. Will they be able to handle it?” Commenters seem to agree.

Also at Booklights, Terry Doherty has launched a new monthly column called A Prompt Idea. She says: “Each month, I’ll talk about writing and suggest ways to add writing to children’s literacy diet. Even if your child isn’t ready to put pen to paper, prompts can open the doors to building vocabulary, honing communication skills, and being creative. Varying the outlets for writing and communicating is as important as offering different types of reading materials.”

Abby (the) Librarian and Kelly of Stacked are starting a new monthly roundup of posts about audiobooks. Abby says: “We want to encourage people to listen to audiobooks and to post about them. We want to provide a place for people to find out about great audiobooks.”

Cybils2009-150px The Cybils winners will be announced this Sunday (Valentine’s Day). In the meantime, the Cybils blog has been running a fun series about the inside scoop on the nominees in various categories. Here’s Part I, Part II, and Part III. I continue to be wowed that Deputy Editor Sarah Stevenson manages to keep up her own blog, and keep coming up with creative content for the Cybils blog, too.

Quick hits:

And that’s it for today. I’m feeling much better having the starred items in my reader cleaned up, and I’m off to watch the Duke/UNC game with a friend. Happy reading, all!

© 2010 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
Nov042009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: November 4

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been a pretty active week around the Kidlitosphere. Here are a few links for you.

Bigbird-hpToday is Sesame Street’s 40th birthday. Happy Birthday to Cookie Monster, Oscar, and the rest of the crew. One of my earliest memories is of singing “C is for Cookie, that’s good enough for me” in the car. According to this news release, “Google, an innovator in the world of technology, has partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, to create original “Google doodles.”  Starting today, Google will feature photographic depictions of the Sesame Street Muppets with the Google logo on its home page from November 4-10.” Fun stuff!

Colleen Mondor has posted the latest installment in her “What a Girl Wants” series (a set of roundtable discussions that she’s hosting with a panel of authors) at Chasing Ray. This week’s topic is: mean girls in literature. Colleen asks: “did literature create the myth of mean girls or have the reality of mean girls created accompanying literature?” As usual in this smart series, the responses extend in a variety of intriguing directions.

Newlogorg200The Readergirlz will be celebrating Native American Heritage Month for November, spotlighting Marlene Carvell’s novel Sweetgrass Basket at readergirlz. In her customary organized manner, Little Willow has all the details.

At Pixie Stix Kids PixKristen McLean takes on “the Amazon Vine brouhaha kicked off by Betsy Bird over at Fuse #8 last week”, saying “I think this discussion has some larger implications for the industry, which is why it’s going to continue to get play.” She begins by discussing the lack of transparency in the Amazon program, and moves on from there.

Picking up on another Betsy Bird article (her recent SLJ piece about KidLit blogs), Roger Sutton asks at Read Roger ”whether or not there is such a thing as a blog-friendly book”, if “some books more than others will appeal to people who like to blog about children’s books.” He also makes some interesting points about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of blogs for libraries researching for their book collections, in context of “The glory and the bane of book blogging is its variety”.

Speaking of Betsy’s SLJ article, Liz B. has a fun piece about the photo shoot for the cover at Tea Cozy. Betsy’s article also inspired in librarian Ms. Yingling some philosophical musings on why she blogs. She also makes the excellent point that “The more good people we have commenting on books, the easier it is for the rest of us to keep on top of the huge number of new books that are coming out”. 

Cybils2009-150pxAnne Levy is running a new contest on the Cybils website related to NaNoWriteMo (where people try to write a whole book in November). Well, actually she links to a contest, and then also asks people to share 50 word blurbs from their NaNoWriteMo projects, for publication on the Cybils blog. Fun stuff! 

Mitali Perkins recently announced an ALA Midwinter Kid/YA Lit Tweetup. She says: “Coming to Boston for the ALA Midwinter conference? If you’re a tweeting librarian, author, illustrator, publisher, agent, editor, reviewer, blogger, or anyone interested in children’s and YA lit, join us on January 16, 2010 from 4-6 in the Birch Bar at Boston’s Westin Waterfront Hotel.” Still not enough to make me wish that I still lived in Boston as winter approaches, but this comes close…

AlltheworldIt looks like blogging friend Liz Garton Scanlon is going to have her picture book, All the World (with Marla Frazee), included in the Cheerios Spoonful of Stories program next year. Congratulations, Liz! Liz shares some other good news for the book at Liz in Ink.

Sixth grade language arts teacher Sarah asked at the Reading Zone for “a few “words of wisdom” for a presentation” on reading aloud to middle school students. There’s some good input in the comments. It’s an inspiring post all around, actually.

Quick hits:

© 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).

Friday
May152009

Friday Afternoon Visits: May 15

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been another week of newsworthy events around the Kidlitosphere.

GLWHeader3First up, Guys Lit Wire has an amazing initiative going on. They are running a Book Fair for BoysColleen Mondor first announced the event on Wednesday, saying: “We are moving today into the second phase of GLW, where we put our money where our mouth is and physically act on getting books into the hands of boys that otherwise have none. Today we start the first two week Guys Lit Wire Book Fair for Boys to help the teens incarcerated in the LA County Juvenile Justice System. They have no books - at all - and they need them; they need them desperately.” Essentially, the Guys Lit Wire team, together with the InsideOut Writers Program, put together a list of 125 books of interest to teen boys, and asked people to help by purchasing one or more titles. Word spread fast, and I’m delighted to report that within 48 hours, more than 100 books had already been purchased. (See a lovely post about Colleen’s joy here). Here are more details about the response to this event.

Of course the other ongoing event in the Kidlitosphere is the auction to benefit Bridget ZinnBridget is one of our own. She was recently diagnosed with stage four colon cancer. And although she is blessed with many things (a new husband, an agent for her YA novel, and many friends), she is not blessed with sufficient health insurance to weather this battle. So some of her friends from the Portland branch of the Kidlitosphere (especially Jone MacCulloch) decided to host an auction to help. It’s a blog auction, and you can bid by commenting. There are tons of amazing, one-of-a-kind prizes, far too many to list here. But I did want to draw special attention to Vivian’s post at HipWriterMama. Not only is Vivian donating a signed copy of the last Percy Jackson book, she is also having a contest for another copy, which you can enter by bidding in the auction. All I can say is, I feel privileged every day that I can be part of this community, I really do. The auction closes the morning of May 30th. You may be sure that I’ll be bidding on more items between now and then.

48hbcLooking forward to future Kidlitosphere events, MotherReader has posted a prize update and minor rules change for the upcoming 48 Hour Book Challenge. Pam also announced her plan to donate a dollar for every hour that she spends reading to the Bridget Zinn fund. See also MotherReader’s post about her participation in the 48 Hour Film Project, with a link to the resulting film, “Please Forward”.

Also, if you’re in the San Francisco area tomorrow (Saturday), do consider attending the launch party for Lynn Hazen’s new book: The Amazing Trail of Seymour Snail. I had hoped to attend myself, but we have out of town guests arriving during the event, and I’m not going to be able to swing it.

I don’t normally highlight individual Poetry Friday entries (Kelly Polark has this week’s roundup), but I really liked this original poem by Gregory K. at Gotta Book: A Perfect Game - A Baseball Poem. Also, Cari and Holly published this week’s Nonfiction Monday round-up at Book Scoops.

Updating on Saturday to add one more event: The Summer Blog Blast Tour starts Monday. You can find the whole schedule at Chasing Ray (and that post will be updated as direct links are available). The SBBT is a series of author interviews, carefully organized across a group of blogs to ensure diversity and avoid redundancy. The SBBT and corresponding Winter Blog Blast Tours are the brainchild of Colleen Mondor.

Moving on from events, Parker Peevyhouse has an interesting post at The Spectacle about the traits valued in girl vs. boy heroes in books. She says: “It seems to me that girl heroes tend to be valued for their smarts and their compassion, while boys are held up as daring (even reckless)–but it could just be that my presuppositions color my perspective. What do you think–are there general differences between boy and girl heroes?” Be sure to read the comments, too.

Solvang Sherrie has a thought-provoking post at Write About Now about the aspects of a book that make her fall “truly, madly, deeply” in love with the book. She says: “For me it comes down to characters. I want to care about the people I’m reading about. I want them to be like me, but better than me.” There’s some good discussion in the comments, too. I wrote about my thoughts on this issue in detail a while back in my 6 P’s of Book Appreciation.

At Literacy, families, and learning, Trevor Cairney has a new post in his key themes in children’s literature series: Problem Solving. He explains: “Many children love to solve problems. Children’s authors are smart enough to work this out and tap into this interest as one of many ways to engage children with books. There are many forms of problem solving that authors have used. In this post I’ll outline a few examples.”

2009-CBW-PosterAs part of Children’s Book Week, the Children’s Choice Book Awards were announced. Tasha Saecker has the winners at Kids Lit. In other Children’s Book Week news, see Lori Calabrese’s blog to find 10 activities for children’s book week. In other award news, at Fuse #8, Betsy Bird announced the number one entry in her Top 100 Picture Books poll: Where the Wild Things Are. No surprise, really, but still good to see. Here’s the complete top 100 list, all in one place, with links back to the more detailed posts.

And that’s alll for today. Happy weekend, all! I’ll be back Monday with the Children’s Literacy Round-Up.

© 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).

Friday
May012009

Friday Afternoon Visits: May 1

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Kidlitosphere_buttonIt’s been another hectic week around the Kidlitosphere. The number of starred items in my Google Reader keeps growing by leaps and bounds. Here are a few highlights (with more literacy and reading focused news to come on Monday):

The Edgar Award winners (from the Mystery Writers of America) were announced this week, as reported by Omnivoracious. They include: Best Young Adult Mystery: Paper Towns by John Green, and Best Juvenile MysteryThe Postcard by Tony Abbott.  

Jacba_bookseal-150x150In other award news, the 2009 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards were announced. I found the news at PaperTigers. From the press release: “Books commended by the Award address themes or topics that engage children in thinking about peace, justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races. The books also must meet conventional standards of literary and artistic excellence. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai… is the winner in the “Books for Younger Children” category. The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom… is the winner in the “Books for Older Children” category.”

The five British Children’s Laureates recently each selected their seven favorite children’s booksTasha Saecker has the lists at Kids Lit, saying “Great reads are timeless as this list shows. Just reading the list brings back flashes of memories. Lovely.” I agree. I especially liked Jacqueline Wilson’s list, with favorites like Little WomenA Little Princess, The Railway Children, and Ballet Shoes

Newlogorg200The Readergirlz will be focusing on Red Glass by Laura Resau this month. Little Willow has all the details at Bildungsroman. Red Glass was also a Cybils short list title for young adult fiction in 2007. 

IblogoMary Hershey and Robin LaFevers have launched their third annual National Independent Booksellers Appreciation Month at Shrinking Violet Promotions. They’ve also just started a Shrinking Violet’s Yahoo Group, “the brainstorming, buddying-up, and support arm of the Shrinking Violet Promotions blog. It’s a place where introverted authors can discuss (and commiserate with!) the ins and outs of marketing and promoting their books.” 

May is also National Asian Pacific American Heritage month. Tanita Davis is participating at Finding Wonderland, responding to an interactive poll with questions like “Favorite Asian, South Asian or Asian American writers and their works”.

School Library Journal’s Battle of the (Kids) Books continued this week, with the semifinal winners identified. Melissa has a nice little recap at Book Nut. Like Melissa, what I’m curious about is: “will final judge Lois Lowry go for a huge, sprawling work of genius or a hip, intense dystopian novel? ” Me, I’m a huge fan of The Hunger Games (which won the Cybils award this year for YA fantasy/science fiction), so I know what I’m pulling for… 

The Last OlympianI’m guessing that a potential Cybils and SLJBoB candidate for next year will be the final book in the Percy Jackson seriesThe Last OlympianRick Riordan links to a feature article about Percy Jackson in the Wall Street Journal. Pretty impressive for a kid with ADHD who keeps getting kicked out of schools. Seriously, though, Mheir and I are planning to attend Rick’s upcoming signing at Kepler’s in Menlo Park, and will hope to see some of you there. 

The online auction to benefit fellow kidlit blogger Bridget Zinn (who is battling cancer) has begun. Matt Holm has the full details of the call for action. The auction site is here (a blog, appropriately enough), and there are lots of great items up for bid already. Please do consider participating - you can get great, one-of-a-kind items, and help one of our own at the same time. I’ve already put in a bid for an item that I want… But more items will be added in the next few days.

The Book Chook has a fun post about places that people read. She notes: “I love that reading is so portable. … When I go on holiday, my packing order is books: first; clothes: if I remember. That portability has enabled me to read in planes, trains and automobiles, on the Great Wall of China, and once while resisting anaesthetic before an operation.” I commented there and shared some of the notable places that I enjoyed reading as a child. Click through to see.

I also enjoyed this post at Ink Splot 26, about the five best sidekicks from books. Some of my favorite characters are the sidekicks, especially Bean from Ender’s Game and Sam from The Lord of the Rings.  

NationalPoetryMonthLogoIn round-up news, Elaine Magliaro rounds up week 4 of National Poetry Month in the Kidlitosphere at Wild Rose Reader. See also individual NPM round-ups at Susan Taylor Brown’s blogGotta Book (Gregory K’s blog), and Kelly Fineman’s blog. Also Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile rounds up a host of children’s books about animals, with links to full reviews.

NORTHlogo[1]And finally, congratulations to Miss Erin, winner of Justina Chen Headley’s North of Beautiful Find Beauty Challenge. (My review of North of Beautiful is here.)

Wishing you all 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).