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 School Library Journal (5)

Tuesday
Mar162010

Monday Afternoon Visits: March 15

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

It’s been a while since I had time to do a Kidlitosphere news roundup. I don’t have a ton of time this afternoon, but I wanted to at least share a few things.

Booklights Terry and I were both pretty caught up in the Share a Story - Shape a Future literacy blog tour last week, and so we have no children’s literacy round-up for you all this week. I did do a post at Booklights today highlighting some of the links from each day of Share a Story that I thought would be of particular interest to parents. I’m also happy to report here that I won a giveaway - a set of four books from Sleeping Bear Press will be donated to the Santa Clara City Library (where I’m on the Foundation Board). This came about because I was a finalist in the RIF Multicultural Books giveaway. Many thanks to everyone who participated in Share a Story 2010!

Speaking of Booklights, Susan Kusel was kind enough to share some board book suggestions for me at Booklights last week. I’ve added many of them to my wish list for the baby.

Betsy Bird is up to number 21 in the Fuse #8 Top 100 Children’s Books poll. She’s going to share out the top 20 books one by one, so we all have a while to wait to see who the winner is. But I think it’s safe to say that they’ll all be wonderful books from here on out.

Mitali Perkins has a lovely post profiling 5 outstanding literacy warriors who are on Twitter. All five are organizations that I’m already following and retweeting on a regular basis, but I’m thrilled to see Mitali spreading the word and drawing more people’s attention to these excellent programs. Mitali also has a slightly longer list of literacy champions that you can follow - I just double-checked, and found a few new people to follow. Mitali also shared a useful list of a dozen YA novels with Asian guy protagonists last week.

The SLJ Battle of the (Kids) Books started this week. You can read Liz B’s thoughts on Round One, Match one at Tea Cozy, or view the full schedule here. SLJBoB is “a competition between 16 of the very best books for young people published in 2009, judged by some of the biggest names in children’s books.”

Shannon Hale has had a couple of interesting posts recently about the shortage of female characters in movies these days (especially animated movies), and what, if anything, concerned parties can do about this. She says: “what changes things is money. Even more specifically: the Opening Weekend. That’s all that really matters. If women and girls flood movie theaters the opening weekend in support of movies that are led by or even have a realistic ratio of female characters, those accountants will notice and things will change.”

Speaking of female protagonists, Doret has put together a “list of titles with strong and smart female protagonists” at TheHappyNappyBookseller. As she notes, the list is by no means complete, but it’s an excellent place for anyone to start looking for strong female characters in books.

Meanwhile, David Elzey is still working on helping people to build better boy books at Fomograms, writing last week about nonlinearity in books for boys.

Quick hits:

Hope you found some links of interest!

© 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).

Friday
Dec112009

Friday Visits: December 11

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Given the bustle of the holiday season, I’ve had trouble keeping up with Kidlitosphere news lately. But here are some highlights from the past couple of weeks (at least those that I think are still timely).

Cybils2009-150pxMichelle is running a Cybils Award Challenge at Galleysmith. She says: “The Cybils Award Challenge is where participants are encouraged to read from The Cybils Award nominees for the given year.” The challenge runs through the end of 2010, so you have plenty of time to participate.

Speaking of the Cybils, several Cybils bloggers were nominated for this year’s EduBlog awards. You can find the list at the Cybils blog. And, of course, it’s not too late to use the Cybils nomination lists (and past short lists) to help with your holiday shopping!

Speaking of holidays, in honor of Hanukkah, I’d like to bring to your attention a podcast at The Book of Life, in which Heidi EstrinEsme Raji CodellMark Blevis, and Richard Michelson discuss a variety of topics, including their predicted winners for the 2010 Sydney Taylor Book Award. For my Jewish readers, I wish you all a Happy Hanukkah!

Book lists abound this time of year. I mentioned several in Monday’s post at Booklights, but have a few new ones to share here. Lee Wind offers a list of GLBTQ books for middle schoolers. Another list I like a lot is Kate Messner’s list of her favorite 2009 titles, broken into creative categories (starting with my favorite, dystopias). Colleen Mondor has an excellent three-part piece with book recommendations for girls from several authors (the regular participants in Colleen’s What a Girl Wants series). And, Library Lady from Read it Again, Mom! shares her lists of Best Picture Books of the Decade and Best Chapter Books of the Decade. Finally, for a fun list of movies, Susan Taylor Brown shares over 200 movies about the literary life.

Newlogorg200This is very late news, but the Readergirlz author of the month is Tamora PierceLittle Willow has all the details at Bildungsroman.

Liz B. at Tea Cozy was inspired by the recent School Library Journal cover controversy to start a list of “books where an alcoholic (including recovering alcoholic) is portrayed as something other than the evil, abusive person”. (Have I shared that? People were offended because the librarians mentioned in Betsy Bird’s SLJ article on blogging were shown on the cover having drinks in a bar.). Also from Liz, see the William C. Morris YA Debut Award shortlist.

Speaking of recent controversies, Steph Su has a thoughtful post on the recent situation by which certain young adult titles were removed from a Kentucky classroom in Montgomery County (see details here). What I especially like about Steph’s post is that she links to comments from a blogger who she doesn’t agree with, so that she can understand both sides of the debate. My personal take is that the county superintendent is using a specious argument about academic rigor to remove books that he finds personally offensive from the classroom. See also commentary on this incident from Laurie Halse AndersonColleen Mondor, and Liz Burns.

Quick hits:

And that’s all I have for you today. I hope that you find some tidbits worth reading, and that I can do better at keeping up with the Kidlitosphere news in the future. Happy weekend, 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).

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).

Saturday
Apr252009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: April 25

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Happy Birthday, Mom and Dad! (Yes, my parents have the same birthday - it’s pretty cool. And easy to remember.) I know I just did a Kidlitosphere round-up post a few days ago. But, I don’t know what to tell you. People keep posting interesting things. Plus, you know, these round-up posts make for a good task while watching baseball (Red Sox - Yankees this weekend!).

Zombie_chicken_awardFirst up, I received another award this week. Angie from Angieville was kind enough to give me a Zombie Chicken Award, in particular recognition of my Reviews that Made Me Want the Book features. Here’s the scoop: “The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all…” Hmm.. do I risk the wrath of the Zombie Chickens, or do I stick to my policy of saying that everyone who I mention in my visits posts is a blog that I’m giving recognition? Quite a dilemma. Either way, I’m grateful to Angie - this is a particularly fun award.

Kidlitosphere_buttonAt Lectitans, Kimberly has a helpful post with 5 Ways to Use Kidlitosphere Central. I especially applaud her suggestions to use the resources at Kidlitosphere Central to make friends, and get involved in the community.

I’m thrilled to be in the middle of a few weeks at home between trips. However, Betsy Bird made me a bit sad that I’m not going to BEA this year, when she described at Fuse #8 a Day of Dialog that School Library Journal is putting together. It’s “a free, day-long program where librarians, editors, authors, and vendors meet to discuss the changing world of books, reading, and libraries”, complete with food from Little Brown, and a panel session moderated by Betsy. Maybe next year…

Caps for SaleSpeaking of Betsy, she’s up to #17 in her Top 100 Picture Books announcements (Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina). This list is already filled with amazing, amazing books, and you know that the remaining 16 are all going to be popular favorites. What I’m interested to see is how many of the top 15 are newly published books. Will there be any, or will it be all old favorites? Stay tuned!

OppositedayOver at Scholastic’s Ink Splot 26 blog, Karen W. has come up with a list of clever book titles in honor of “Opposite Day”. In my favorite, Because of Winn Dixie becomes In Spite of Safeway. Your suggestions are welcome in the comments.

In other made up book title news, the winner of the Bottom Shelf Books / Saints and Spinners Unnecessary Children’s Book Titles that Never Were contest was announced. Congratulations to Book Aunt Kate Coombs for coming up with “Harry and the Can of Purple Spray Paint”. Click through for the delightful illustration. 

Speaking of delightful illustrations, Eric Carle was just featured in Newsweek, with an article titled “The Surprising Dark Side of the Very Hungry Caterpillar”. Travis has the scoop at 100 Scope Notes.

At Original Content, Gail Gauthier has an interesting post pondering adult characters in children’s books. She asks: “Have we always felt that children should be center stage in children’s books? Or back in the day when books for children were more instructive were they filled with adult characters for them to model themselves upon?” There’s quite a discussion in the comments, including a response by author Tim Byrd, whose work is mentioned in the post.

As reported on many blogs, the shortlists for the Carnegie Award (the oldest children’s literature award in Britain) were announced this week. Charlotte has the list at Charlotte’s Library, and was the first person I saw to point out the fact that in all seven, the main characters are boys. Alison Flood of the Guardian also called it a “boysy” list. UK-based blogger Bookwitch is happy to have read and liked all seven titles, and approves of the boy-friendly slant, too.

StarclimberMeanwhile, over in Canada, the 2009 Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Awards short lists were announced. You can find the list at Kids LitTasha is always up on the award news. Chester’s Back, which I loved, is on the picture book list. Starclimber, which I just reviewed last week, is on the young adult list.  

Two posts caught my eye this week from moms who are clearly doing well with the whole raising readers thing:

  • At Paradise Found, confronted by a son who finished four middle grade novels in one day, Kris Bordessa asks: “Do you ever tell your kids to stop reading? Would you, if they read four books daily? How much is too much?” There are bunches of comments in response to this question.
  • Jennifer from Snapshot shares her progress with daughter Amanda in their Read Together Challenge. She says of the challenge: “I have found the accountability great in encouraging my perseverance. When we finished this book, Amanda said, “We need to get another book we can read together.” I was glad that she is enjoying this effort as much as I am.” 

 And a few other 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).

Wednesday
Apr222009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: April 22

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here are a few doings from around the Kidlitosphere that I think are worth a mention.

PremioDardosFirst up, many thanks to Sherrie Peterson from Write About Now, who was kind enough to grant my blog a Premio Dardos award, for “transmitting cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.” Thanks so much, Sherrie! I’m not actually going to follow the rules of the award by passing it along to 15 people, but Sherrie’s kind words did totally make my day.

School Library Journal’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books has started the second round of competition, with John Green selecting The Hunger Games over We Are the Ship. Yay, Katniss! Liz Burns has been covering SLJBoB thoroughly at Tea Cozy (most recently here), if you’d like more detail.

FCBD_cymk_dateTanita reports at Finding Wonderland that Free Comic Book Day is coming up on May 2nd. “This event celebrates the independent comic book specialty shops, thousands of which exist in North America alone.”

I learned from Presenting Lenore that this is Body Image WeekLenore explains: “So what’s it all about? The issue of body image and loving the skin that you’re in is something that affects everyone in different ways and in different degrees. And there are a lot of books recently or soon-to-be released that address various aspects of the issue.” 

Cheryl Rainfield reports that “Libba Bray, author of The New York Times bestselling Gemma Doyle Trilogy (A Great and Terrible BeautyRebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing), will be hosting a virtual event on There.com, a 3D online virtual world that is free for users, in promotion for the paperback release of THE SWEET FAR THING. Libba will be doing a reading of THE SWEET FAR THING and chatting with other There.com avatars from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. EST on Tuesday, April 28th.”

At the Blue Rose GirlsGrace Lin links to a Shelftalker post by Josie Leavit about proper author etiquette when visiting a bookstores (short version: don’t be disingenuous). Even though I’m not an author, I found the post and comments fascinating.

NationalPoetryMonthLogoElaine Magliaro rounds up week three of National Poetry Month across the Kidlitosphere at Wild Rose Reader. Speaking of poetry, Gregory K finally includes one of his own poems in the midst of 30 Poets/30 Days. It’s about a spaghetti farm, and it’s very fun!

Blog angst flu (a recurring epidemic during which various bloggers question their reasons for and methods of blogging) continues across the Kidlitosphere, with posts at Confessions of a BibliovoreBook NutThe Reading Zonethe YA YA YAs, and Original Content (and various others linked within those posts). I’ve been suffering a minor case of this myself lately, and I have to say that I’m impressed by Trisha’s decision (at The YA YA YAs) that going forward her reading priority will be books that she personally has borrowed from the library or bought. I have recently reactivated my library card, myself, after a bit of an absence.

In a related vein, Teacherninja shares his recommendations for coping with being “hyperconnected”. He breaks them down into specific recommendations for people who are overly connected via social networking-related tools, and people who are trepidatious about such enterprises.

The Portland KidLit group is hosting a fundraiser for one of their own, one of our own, Bridget Zinn, who is battling cancer. You can find details at Check It Out. There are going to be a lot of great signed books auctioned off, to help the lovely Bridget. 

Terry has an interesting post at The Reading Tub about balancing letting kids read what interests them and wanting to encourage them to read higher-quality fare. To me, the heart of the post is: “How do you balance feeding a personally-motivated passion for reading with minimizing the impact of people you hope don’t become her “friends”?” As someone who found many of her “friends” in literature, this post really resonated with me.

Kate Coombs has a fun post at Book Aunt about the elements that distinguish British fantasy from American fantasy. She says: “there’s something literary, not to mention clever, about British comedy, and about British fantasy writing. The words that keep coming to mind are wit and whimsy. I realize these tend to be used stereotypically, but then, stereotypes can have their roots in truth. I suppose we can define wit as cleverness and surprising humor.” She includes lots of examples.

And that’s all for today! 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).