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)

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).

Friday
Aug292008

Friday Afternoon Visits: Labor Day Weekend Edition

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I was away for much of this past week, attending to a (now under control) parental health crisis. This weekend I have guests coming in from out of town, and I doubt I’ll get much blogging in. But I managed to scrape up a bit of time to share some links with you this afternoon. There has been, and will be, a lot going on in the Kidlitosphere.

  • First up, the official call has been made for 2008 Cybils judges. If you actively blog about children’s and/or young adult books and you’re interested in participating, check out the detailed requirements and responsibilities on the new and improved Cybils blog. This year there will be a new category, Easy Readers, headed by the terrifically qualified Anastasia Suen. More details, and a call for judges, can be found here. I’m hoping to be involved in the easy reader category this year, too. I think that finding quality books for the very earliest readers is an important task (as does Gail Gauthier).
  • September 15-19 is Book Blogger Appreciation Week, hosted at the blog My Friend AmyAmy says: “Acknowledging the hard work of book bloggers and their growing impact on book marketing and their essential contribution to book buzz in general, I am excited to announce the first Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Think of it as a retreat for book bloggers and a chance for us to totally nerd out over books together. And of course, shower each other with love and appreciation.” The categories are listed here, and do include Best Kidlit Blog and Best Young Adult Lit Blog, among many others. Nominations are made by email, and you can nominate up to two blogs per category. You do not need to have a blog to nominate, and although there’s a concept of registering, I don’t think that you have to register to be included in the nomination process. Anyway, there has been lots of buzz about this, so if you are interested, check out the nomination post.
  • Linda Salzman reminds I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) readers that there is only one week left to enter the I.N.K. “Spectacular Fifteen Book Blast Give-away.” The contest is open to “teachers, librarians, homeschoolers, writers, or anyone else from across the country who is promoting nonfiction.”
  • Over at Books Together, Anamaria shares news about the new Ballet Shoes movie (based on the Noel Streatfeild book). I thought that Ballet Shoes was magical when I was a kid. Though I enjoyed several of the other books, Ballet Shoes was always special. I look forward to seeing the movie, which co-stars Emma Watson
  • At BookMoot, Camille shares some thoughts for school librarians as the school year begins. She shares some aspirations, and says: “I salute the librarians who work so hard to teach important research skills, stoke young people’s imaginations and instill a love of books and reading in their students. Your joy and passion for your job is contagious.” I will never forget my elementary school librarian, Mrs. Betty Tuttle, who made a difference in my life, and in my reading. Here’s to all of the other Mrs. Tuttles out there. You do make a difference.
  • Also in back-to-school land, Elaine Magliaro shares links to back to school picture books and poetry at Wild Rose Reader. And at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia has some suggestions for teachers to improve communication with both parents and students.
  • In a post called Girl Books, Boy BooksJustine Larbalestier writes about the tendency that many women have to read mostly books by women, and men to read books by men. She concludes: “Women are far more mixed in their reading. Even me. I read way more books by women than by men, but I’ve still read a tonne of boy books. Some of there are even quite good. I’d even recommend them to my little sister. Maybe … What about youse lot? Do you notice a tendency one way or the other in your own reading? Do you have idea why? Or do you just read the books that look cool.” As is often the case with Justine’s posts, this one has sparked quite a bit of discussion.
  • On the ALSC Blog, Kiera Parrott shares suggestions for conducting storytimes for autistic children. After giving several concrete suggestions, she notes: “Without a doubt, storytimes with autistic students have been some of the most rewarding programs in my career so far.  The kids are smart, surprising, and each time I see them, I learn something new.”
  • At Librarilly Blonde (which is rapidly becoming one of my favorite blogs), Carlie Webber shares thoughts about methods of teaching young adult literature which rely on analysis, and take away the joy of reading. Carlie was inspired by a Washington Post article by Nancy Schnog about teaching YA literature. Among other things, Schnog says: “As much as I hate to admit it, all too often it’s English teachers like me — as able and well-intentioned as we may be — who close down teen interest in reading.” What a sad commentary that is. But there’s clearly some truth to it. Schnog also says, late in the article (after presenting evidence to support her thesis): “The lesson couldn’t be clearer. Until we do a better job of introducing contemporary culture into our reading lists, matching books to readers and getting our students to buy in to the whole process, literature teachers will continue to fuel the reading crisis.” And there you have it, folks. Be sure to read Carlie’s thoughts, too, as well as those of Terry from the Reading TubColleen Mondor from Chasing RayTricia from the Miss Rumphius Effect, and Libby from Lessons from the Tortoise.
  • And on the subject of people trying to make books interesting and relevant for young adults, Laurie Halse Anderson has extended the deadline for her book trailer contest (for Speak or Twisted). The contest is only available to “people who will be 21 years old or younger on October 31, 2008.” And I especially love rule #6: “Contest is open to anyone on the Planet Earth. Teens working aboard the space station are welcome too. Entries from other planets and galaxies will be considered, as long as they can be watched on Earth-created technologies.” If you know any creative teens, I would definitely recommend sending them in Laurie’s direction.
  • School Library Journal has a nice article by Michael Sullivan about boys and reading. He starts out with “If we want to transform boys into lifelong readers, we need to discover what makes them tick. Equally important, we need to have a better grasp of the kind of reading that attracts them.” He concludes (after a number of concrete suggestions and examples): “Although boys often do not become successful readers, the cost is too high to allow this trend to continue. It’s time to give boys more options, to respect their preferences. Boys can become readers: I’ve seen it with my own eyes.”
  • At Five Minutes for Books, Lauren writes about reading for story (“Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor… (but) because you want to know what happens next”). Personally, I’ve always been all about story. I’ll appreciate a book more if it’s well-written, of course, with complex characters, fully realized setting, and lyrical writing. But if it doesn’t have that “what happens next” sense of story (whether the book is fiction or non), I won’t read it at all. Of course this isn’t true for everyone, but it does seem to be true for most of Lauren’s commenters.
  • This week’s Poetry Friday round-up is at Charlotte’s Library.
  • At Bookshelves of Doom, Leila shares her off the cuff list of 20 essential picks for YA. She has some of my favorites on her list (though others are not - clearly this is a very personal thing). But if you’re looking for some good suggestions from someone who really appreciates young adult fiction, you should definitely check out Leila’s list (though she added in the comments below “please do note that that list was totally off the top of my head! There wasn’t a whole lot of thought involved — I was just musing about what I might put on a list like that…”). There are other suggestions in the comments, too.
  • At Library Stew, Kathy has a post for parents on how to find a good book. Among other down-to-earth advice, she says: “Students are more likely to enjoy reading when they are reading about something that interests them.The best thing in choosing books for you students is to have them be part of the process, take them to the bookstore or library and have them tell you what they are interested in reading.” 
  • Rick Riordan is going to be on the Today Show on September 8th, talking about the launch of the 39 Clues series. I’ve set this to record on my DVR (not even for Rick will I get up at 7:00 to watch television, on what will already be tape-delay here in California). But I am interested to watch the segment. 
  • At Tea Cozy, Liz B. brings her customary insight to a Washington Post article by Bob Thompson (and a snarky Booksl** comment) about the business side of graphic novels. Liz says that the Post article is a must-read because “It talks about things like distribution and how comic book sales are different from book sales. Unless you’re content to not publish your work, or have a trust fund or well-off spouse, or don’t care about things like insurance and paying rent, it is important to remember that publishing (including comic books and graphic novels) is a business.” I also liked the way that she pointed out that although the idea that graphic novels are big isn’t exactly news to the KidLit blogger community, it IS news to many members of the Washington Post’s audience.

And that is quite enough for one day. Wishing you all a lovely Labor Day Weekend.

© 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).

Saturday
Aug092008

Saturday Afternoon Visits: August 9

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

My blog vacation ended up lasting a bit longer than I originally planned. Turned out I kind of enjoyed just reading and relaxing and not trying to keep up with reviews and other blog posts. I’ve been reading some great books. But several things have cropped up that I simply must highlight here.

  • Sheila Ruth recently put out a call for help at Wands and Worlds. She’s hoping to encourage authors and illustrators, and other interested parties, to donate books as prizes for The Brightspirit Relief Fund’s upcoming auction. The fund was started in honor of 10-year-old Emmy Grace Cherry, who died, along with her parents, in a tornado in February. There’s a whole connection (including the name Brightspirit) with the Warriors series, by Emmy’s favorite author Erin Hunter, but I’ll let Sheila tell you the whole story. Please do click through and read Sheila’s moving words about this young booklover, who didn’t get to read nearly enough stories.
  • BlogsawardWhile I was away, I was nominated by several wonderful people for blog awards. Abby (the) Library nominated me for the Brillante Weblog Premio Award (which I had also received previously from Andrea and Mark at Just One More Book!). And then Lenore also awarded this to me at Presenting Lenore.
  • PremioarteypicoStacey from Two Writing Teachers and Megan Germano from Read, Read, Read then each awarded me the Arte Y Pico Award, “based on creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogger community.” I was overwhelmed by this outpouring of support, especially during a time that I was not even blogging. This Kidlitosphere is such an amazing place to be. I know that I’m supposed to pass on the awards, but I’m sticking to my standard response - if I mention you in one of my Visits or Literacy Round-Up posts, then I admire your blog, and feel that it makes an important contribution to the blogger community. Many, many thanks!
  • Getting back to business, I enjoyed this post by Bill at Literate Lives, about creating lifelong readers. Bill says “I think sometimes we’re too hard on ourselves as teachers and parents. I also think some of what is seen as best practice sometimes does more harm than good.” He follows up with some concrete examples from his own experiences, about what does and doesn’t make reading a pleasurable experience. This is must-read stuff!
  • I’m late in pointing to this, but there are many interesting posts in this month’s Carnival of Children’s Literature, hosted by Jenny at Read. Imagine. Talk. Jenny offers personal comments regarding many of the posts, making this one a fun, chatty version of the monthly carnival. Next month’s carnival will be hosted by Susan at Chicken Spaghetti
  • Speaking of the community of children’s and young adult book bloggers, have you registered yet for the Portland KidLit Conference? The conference will be held on September 27th, at the Sheraton Portland Airport. I know that airfares are high these days, but the conference fees and hotel fees are quite reasonable. If you can at all swing it, do come! I promise that you’ll be glad that you did.   
  • Our very own Liz Burns from Tea Cozy has a book coming out this week (with Sophie Brookover). It’s called Pop Goes the Library: Using Pop Culture to Connect With Your Whole Community. There’s also a new companion blog to the book, and a wiki with tons of resources. And, as if that wasn’t enough, Pop Goes the Library (the blog) got a recent shout-out from NPR. Congratulations, Liz!! I look forward to celebrating with you at the KidLit Conference.
  • Speaking of NPR, our own Gwenda Bond from Shaken and Stirred was recently featured in NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday, talking about Anne of Green Gables. She says, among other things, “It’s almost impossible to imagine what children’s books would be like without this book and its history”.
  • Online Education Database recently published a list of 100 Places to Connect with Other Bibliophiles Online. The list includes 10 sites for Children and Teens, though the list doesn’t seem to distinguish between which are truly sites for kids, and which are site about books for kids (as Tricia also pointed out at The Miss Rumphius Effect). 
  • Rick Riordan recently linked to a Wall Street Journal article about engaging boys as readers. The title of the article is: Problem: Boys Don’t Like to Read. Solution: Books That Are Really Gross. Rick concludes: “I’m not sure I agree that a “boy-friendly” book has to be gross. I think plot, humor and action are a lot more important, although as a male reader, I certainly don’t mind a little grossness now and then. Still, this article is definitely worth a read!”
  • The latest pick in Al Roker’s Today Show Book Club for Kids is Rapunzel’s Revenge, written by Shannon and Dean Hale, and illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation). You can read Shannon’s response here. Seems to me that they’ve done a nice job picking fun, kid-friendly titles for this book club.
  • Open Education has an interesting post about how “our risk averse culture continues to undermine the development of children.”
  • And finally, tomorrow (Sunday) I’m scheduled to have a guest post up at 5 Minutes for Books, with thanks to Jennifer Donovan from Snapshot. It’s a republication, slightly edited, of my Read the Books that Your Children Read post, one of my all-time favorites. I hope that you’ll check it out, along with the other great resources at 5 Minutes for Books.

And that’s all for today. I hope to get to reviews of some of my vacation reads 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).

Thursday
Jun262008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: Pre-ALA Version

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’m off to ALA tomorrow, which means that blog posts will be pretty sparse for the next few days. But I leave you with a few tidbits:

  • Trevor Cairney has a nice post at Literacy, Families and Learning about The Importance of Play. It’s actually the third part of a series, but it stands alone just fine. He includes “Some thoughts on playing creatively with young children (in particular with toys)”. In a perfect world, we wouldn’t need help figuring out how to play creatively with kids, but I’ll bet a lot of people find this post useful.
  • Cheryl Rainfield shares a “fun, creative way to get your child interested in a book”. It involves anonymously sending the child books in the mail. I have to admit that I have mixed feelings - it seems a bit deceitful - but we did at one time mail books to our nieces, and that was a hit.
  • Susan Taylor Brown recently published the June Carnival of Children’s Literature at Susan Writes. The theme is fathers in children’s literature, and these is some great material there. If you only check out one thing, check out that post.
  • Sherry Early is trying something new at Semicolon: author celebrations. She was already taking note of author birthdays, but she recently asked herself: “why not have blogosphere-wide celebration for certain of my favorite authors on their birthdays? I pick an author with an upcoming birthday, let folks know about the celebration, and if you enjoy that author too, you can post about his/her books: reviews, the time you met Author X, or whatever is related to that particular author, maybe a list of read-alikes for other adoring fans.” The first author celebrated is Charlotte Zolotow.
  • I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids) is having a book blast giveaway. They say: “To support the children’s nonfiction community, our fifteen published authors have each agreed to DONATE A SIGNED COPY OF ONE OF THEIR BOOKS. That’s FIFTEEN books all to ONE LUCKY WINNER.” Check out this post for the quite reasonable rules.
  • Big news for author Rick RiordanHe recently announced: “It’s a big day for 39 Clues. Scholastic announced today that DreamWorks has purchased the film rights to the series. Deborah Forte and Steven Spielberg will produce, and Steven Spielberg is considering directing the project.” Way cool! The first book in the 39 Clues series, Maze of Bones, will be published September 9th.
  • I’m way behind on my literacy round-up news (and won’t get to it now until next week sometime, though I’m saving links). Meanwhile, Terry has you covered at The Reading Tub blog with her June 23rd Reading Round-Up.
  • Colleen Mondor’s recent post about “whether or not boys are emasculated by YA literature that does not allow them to be the hero” has sparked quite a bit of discussion. See her followup post here (with links to the original, and to some of the controversy). Kiera also has some links on the topic at Library Voice. The whole thing is fascinating, though depressing in many ways.
  • For another interesting discussion, check out this post at Chicken SpaghettiSusan asks some tough questions, in light of the even increasing number of KidLit blogs, like “Is it hard for a general non-kid-lit-affiliated person to know where to start reading? Are we bloggers reaching our target audience, and, if not, how do we do so?” Do check out the discussion in the comments.

And that’s it for today. Happy reading!

© 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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