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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 The Reading Tub (5)

Thursday
Jan072010

Thursday Afternoon Visits: January 7

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’ll tell you - leave the computer behind for a few days, and hundreds of posts pile up in the reader. But I found digging out to be a good excuse to also spend some time weeding out inactive feeds. Anyway, here are a few highlights from the Kidlitosphere of late:

JkrROUNDUPTerry Doherty just published this month’s roundup of new resources for literacy and reading at The Reading Tub. This monthly series is an offshoot of the weekly Children’s Literacy Roundups that Terry and I do together, one that Terry has largely taken responsibility for. This month, she focuses on several resources related to literacy and reading, including a new service for recording books for your kids.

MotherReader has provided a FAQ for the upcoming 2010 Comment Challenge (co-hosted with Lee Wind, and which I previously described here). You can sign up tomorrow (Friday) with either MotherReader or Lee Wind.

BlogiestaThis weekend is also Bloggiesta, hosted by Natasha from Maw Books. As MotherReader put it, “It’s a chance to spend some time improving your blog, catching up on your reviews, and taming your Google Reader.” I don’t know that I’ll be formally participating in this one, since I’ve been catching up on my blog quite a bit this week already (and because I really MUST do some reading this weekend). But I’ll be there in spirit.

Foreword125x125The deadline is approaching to submit titles for the ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards. You can find more information at the ForeWord website. “ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors.”

It’s also time to submit titles for Betsy Bird’s Top 100 Children’s Fiction Chapter Books poll at A Fuse #8 Production. This is a follow-on to the previous Top 100 Picture Books list that Betsy compiled. Readers have until January 31st, 2010 to submit their top 10 middle grade fiction titles of all time (NOT just 2009 titles). No early readers, no young adult books. This poll is focused squarely on middle grade fiction. You can find more details here. There’s also a young adult poll brewing at Diane Chen’s School Library Journal blog, Practically Paradise. Diane says “These are the titles that appeal to teens including young adult novels, nonfiction, and picture books for teens (ages 13-19)”.

John Green has an interesting article in School Library Journal about the future of reading. It’s quite long, but well worth the time to read. For instance, in regards to the future of book distribution, he says: “Just this: if, in the future, most books are sold either online or in big box stores like Costco and Wal-Mart, you (librarians) will become even more important to American literature. How you choose to build your collection, whom you buy from, and how you discover the works you want to share with your patrons will shape what Americans—whether or not they ever visit libraries—will read and how they will read it.” And “There’s no question … that librarians are to thank for the astonishing growth of YA fiction over the last decade.“ Oh, just read the whole thing. I found this link at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Cybils2009-150pxAs previously mentioned, the Cybils shortlists are now available, and the Cybils judges (myself included) are reading away. For those in need of more reading suggestions, however, Cybils Deputy Editor Sarah Stevenson has a compilation of recommended reading lists from Cybils panelists. She notes that they are “not predictions, DEFINITELY not hints, and probably not prophecies, but certainly a great source of reading material if your TBR pile is getting low.” Now, this is not a problem I ever expect to have again in my life. But still, they’re nice lists. Elaine Magliaro also has a roundup of some more “official” best-of lists at Wild Rose Reader. And Sherry Early has a roundup of reader-submitted year-end booklists at Semicolon, 138 and counting. And last, but definitely not least, Betsy Bird has a scaled back version of her must-read Golden Fuse Awards (including such helpful categories as Best Swag of the Year).

Speaking of the Cybils, in response to the previously mentioned discussions about lack of diversity in the Cybils shortlists (more a symptom of a larger issue than any criticism of the panelists themselves), Colleen Mondor calls upon readers to demand diversity in publishing. She says: “We have to make this a big deal. No more holding a diversity challenge and thinking that is enough. No more having an event where we look at books by POC or with diverse protagonists. No more making diversity something we look at on special days or for special reasons.” See also Doret’s take at TheHappyNappyBookseller. What do you all think?

On a lighter note, Laini Taylor today described a Reader’s Retreat in New Hampshire, organized by Elizabeth MacCrellish, that sounds (and looks - she has photos) wonderful. Here’s the gist: “Reading reading reading, a juicy stack of wonderful books, and taking breaks for yummy meals prepared for you, in the company of other lovely kindred spirits who have also been living inside books all day?” This event, a Squam Arts Workshops (SAW) session scheduled for September 1-5, sounds amazing to me. Perhaps someday…

Quick hits:

© 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).

Sunday
Oct112009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: October 11

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I hope that you’re all having a peaceful weekend. Here are the recent links that have caught my eye:

The FTC Disclosure Guidelines continue to evoke strong responses from around the literary blogosphere. Here are a few new posts worthy of your attention:

  • Ron Hogan at GalleyCat offers another open letter to the FTC, saying “I object to the FTC’s disclosure requirements as defined by your new guidelines. I want to be clear on those last six words—I don’t object to legitimate disclosure requirements for genuine commercially subsidized content.” Ron also shares the results of an interview that PRNewser did with Richard Cleland of the FTC, suggesting that publishers may be the ones who really have to start worrying about all of this. If you review books on your blog, you really should be following Ron’s posts on this.
  • Melissa Fox at Book Nut also has an open letter to the FTC. Melissa argues that reviews of books are inherently “biased”, because reviewers being their personal reactions to each book, and discusses why this is actually a good thing. 
  • Liz Burns pointed to two additional links in the comments of my previous post. I’m adding them here, to make sure that people don’t miss them. See this and this, from Dear Author.
  • Liz has also written up her policies on accepting and processing review copies here. Her views on this are very similar to my own. I especially liked this part: “Publishers who donate copies for review have no expectation of anything when they submit books; as a matter of fact, if a publisher raises that expectation, even for something like when a review will be posted, I refuse the copy.”
  • MotherReader pointed to a helpful post from a lawyer’s perspective at Boston Bibliophile.
  • Susan at Color Online also weighs in. I liked this part: “I am a literacy advocate not a book reviewer. You will find book reviews on Color Online but book reviews are not our focus; they are an integral part of promoting a love of reading, celebrating multiculturalism and increasing literacy.”
  • Colleen Mondor shares some publisher responses to a letter that she’s been sending out here. I like the response that Flux has sent to PW on this issue.

On a lighter note, there’s a party going on at 7 Impossible Things Before Breakfast, where Jules and Eisha, together with Adrienne from What Adrienne Thinks About That chat with blogging authors Sara Lewis Holmes and Tanita Davis. I also learned from Tanita’s blogging partner Sarah that Tanita’s “latest novel Mare’s War is under consideration for the ALA Best Books for Young Adults 2010 list.” Nice to see good news, isn’t it?

At AngievilleAngie takes on the frequent absence of parents in young adult fiction. She says: “since I read a lot of young adult literature, I thought I’d highlight a few of my favorite YA novels that possess that rare commodity—two involved, complex parents. This is not to say they are perfect by any stretch of the imagination! But they are there. They are trying. And, most importantly of all, their presence in the novel strengthens the narrative rather than weakening it.”

Terry_readingtubfinal_1At The Reading Tub, Terry has launched a monthly new resources feature. She explains: “As you may remember, when Jen and I talked about the revamped Children’s Literacy and Reading News Roundup, we decided to pull the New Resources section from the weekly posts. The links are helpful – and often really cool – but they felt like an add-on that didn’t quite fit with the rest of the stuff.  Now, we’ve created a more fully developed post that I will publish the first full week of each month.” This month, she shares a bunch of new blogs, as well as other resources.

Terry also created a new widget (with permission, of course) to show support for Andrea and Mark from Just One More Book! while Andrea fights breast cancer. You can see it in my right-hand sidebar. You’re welcome and encouraged to download and add it to your own blog, if you are interested.

Liz B. at Tea Cozy and Melissa at Book Nut are talking about blog comments (as are many readers, in the comments). Liz has a pretty laid-back approach to the whole thing: “Whether or not I keep reading your blogs have nothing to do with whether you comment on mine; it’s whether or not I like what you write.” Melissa, on the other hand, advocates more commenting, especially one smaller, less-read blogs. Me, I think that if you want to be part of the community, you need to do some combination of commenting, engaging with people on Twitter and Facebook, emailing people directly, and linking to other people’s posts. But if someone wants to just read my blog, and not engage directly, that’s fine with me, too.

Quick hits:

  • Amy from Literacy Launchpad shares some lessons that she’s learned from and about reading aloud to preschoolers.
  • Terry Doherty continues her series on “the people behind the passion” (for reading and literacy) at The Reading Tub, profiling Susan Stephenson from The Book Chook.
  • Jason Boog at GalleyCat reports on Barack Obama’s win of the Nobel Peace Prize, emphasizing President Obama’s role as an author.
  • Natasha Maw reports on the winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature at Maw Books.
  • Karen from Teenage Fiction for All Ages shares the winner of the Guardian Children’s FIction Prize (Exposure by Mal Peet). It’s due out in the US on Tuesday.
  • Speaking of book awards, Lee Wind has an interesting post about a change in the rules for the Lambda Awards. He explains: “See, The Lamdba Literary Awards (the Lammies) used to be for BOOKS that were GLBTQ in content. Now, they’re saying that the AUTHORS have to self-identify as part of the Gay Community for their GLBTQ books to qualify.” I agree with Lee that this change to an established award is the wrong way to go about things. And, for the record, as Lee mentions, the Cybils awards are about the BOOKS, not about any attributes of the authors.
  • Mary Pearson would like to know whether or not bloggers want to be thanked for their reviews. I think this is a very subjective question, but I did share a few of my personal thoughts on this in the comments at Mary’s.
  • Monica Edinger has an interesting post about the use of retrospective voice (an adult narrator looking back on a story from childhood) at Educating Alice. Specifically, an in the context of the Newbery awards, she wants to know whether novels written in a retrospective voice appeal to kids.
  • Anastasia Suen hosts Poetry Friday this week at Picture Book of the Day.  
  • Episode 2 of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure (this episode written by Katherine Patersonis now available.
  • At The Places You Will GoDaphne Lee has a post in defense of some oft-challenged books “that educate and inform children and teens about their bodies.” She also has a nice post about the rights of readers to read and to not read (quoting from  Daniel Pennac’s The Rights of the Reader).
  • And see more end of the week links from Abby (the) LibrarianBook Dads, and My Friend Amy.

© 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
Sep232009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: September 23

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

There is way too much going on around the Kidlitosphere for me to wait until the end of the week to share the news. Here are a few highlights:

Newlogorg200Readergirlz announced their latest initiative for Teen Read Week: Read Beyond Reality. Here’s a snippet: “Teen Read Week, a week-long celebration of literacy, is scheduled for Oct. 18-24, 2009, and will include live chats with top teen authors on readergirlz.com, the most popular online reading community for teen girls… In support of this tremendous literary initiative, the readergirlz divas will host nine young-adult authors—eight of whom are nominees for the Teens’ Top Ten—throughout Teen Read Week.” You can read the full press release here. There’s also a downloadable post here, and a trailer here.

Betsy Bird at A Fuse #8 Production reports on the new and improved Guys Read website from National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature Jon Scieszka. She says: “I’m talking new look, new blog, cool recommendations, and funny funny funny.” Books are in categories like “how to build stuff” and “robots”. 

Cybils2009-150pxThe Cybils blog remained active this week. On Monday, deputy editor Sarah Stevenson posted the latest Cybils organizer profile, this one featuring Susan Thomsen from Chicken Spaghetti, this year’s MG/YA Nonfiction category administrator. Then today she posted the profile for our Easy Reader panel organizer, Anastasia Suen. The other big Cybils news is that we’ve started announcing panelists for the categories. Here, you’ll find the list of panelists (for both rounds) for the Easy Reader and Short Chapter Books category. Our other amazing panels will be announced soon!

At Chasing Ray, Colleen Mondor has a new installment of her What A Girl Wants Series, in which she engages in discussion with a variety of young adult authors. This installment’s theme is “because we are not all rich girls”. Colleen says: “The great swath of the American public however have actual jobs - blue collar or white collar they simply go to work to get a paycheck. In teen literature this is often not part of the equation and it left me wondering what that means to so many kids who can not ignore the money or how they live because of it.” A number of authors share smart, insightful responses.  

KidLitCon-badgeMotherReader announced the charity that will benefit from this year’s KidLitCon raffle. She says: “This year I’ve turned to Donors Choose for our charity, and specifically to impoverished Washington, DC, schools. At this point I’ve selected two proposals to fund. I picked Literacy is Fun-damental because they need Spanish language books, which are hard to pick up at a discount or at a local book sale, and because the picture of the kids is soooo cute. I picked It All Starts With Reading! because they need titles for teens, and the picture of the empty bookcase is soooo sad.” She’s also accepting prize donations for the raffle, if anyone is interested. You can also see the updated list of people scheduled to attend, at the bottom of this post.

Nancy_SilhouetteAngie from Angieville, one of my book selection kindred spirits, has a post up today about her favorite mystery series (something that I tackled last month). Of the seven she listed, I adore five of them (some were on my list, and some weren’t, but I love them all). A sixth is a second series by an author I’m currently working my way through, so I’m delighted to hear that the other series holds up, too. And the seventh, well, clearly I’ll have to check that one out. Because if Angie’s taste matches this well with mine, how could I possibly not want to read that one, too. Click through to see her choices. (And don’t you love the image, which I borrowed from Angie’s post?)

At Moms Inspire LearningDawn Morris has a two-part interview with Terry Doherty from The Reading Tub. (Terry is, as regular readers know, my partner in the weekly children’s literacy roundups). The interview is Dawn’s launch of a new “Moms Inspire Moms” series. She talks with Terry about how and why Terry started The Reading Tub (a nonprofit designed to “make it easy for families to create a positive reading environment at home, find great books … and make it accessible to EVERYONE!”), as well as Terry’s personal experience in raising her daughter, Catherine, to be a reader. Then (in an echo of the paired interviews that were my favorite part of last week’s Book Blogger Appreciation Week), Terry interviews Dawn about Moms Inspire Learning (“Simple Resources and Strategies to Inspire Lifelong Learning, Reading, and Leading”). Dawn shares tips for teaching kids to read, and also talks about inspiring kids to write. She even has a Read Aloud Recipe for a Garden of Reading. Very nice!

Quick hits:

  • Natasha from Maw Books has a very fun post about how she manages to blog with two small children in her house. It’s a visual - click through to see. I also really liked her BBAW wrap-up post, in which she spotlighted several blogs that she learned about through the whole event.
  • The Brown Bookshelf is looking for submissions for their flagship 28 Days Later event. Their blog says: “We are looking for submissions of African American children’s authors who are flying under the radar of teachers, librarians, parents and anyone who considers themselves a gatekeeper to a child’s reading choices.”
  • As reported by Lauren Barack in School Library Journal’s Extra Helping, Thursday (the 24th) is National Punctuation Day.
  • Friday is the deadline to submit entries for the September Carnival of Children’s LiteratureSusan Taylor Brown is hosting, and asks for your favorite post of the month.
  • Elaine Magliaro shares a list of fall-themed picture books and poetry at Wild Rose Reader.
  • This week’s Nonfiction Monday roundup was at Bookends. Also not to be missed, at Tea Cozy Liz B. shares a thank you post in honor of Nonfiction Monday creator Anastasia Suen.
  • I don’t usually highlight author interviews, but I did especially enjoy Sherrie Petersen’s recent interview of fellow Kidlitosphere member, and Any Which Wall author, Laurel Snyder.
  • This seems to be my week for highlighting interviews, because I was also pleased to see author Justine Larbalestier interview blogger Doret from TheHappyNappyBookseller (about young adult fiction featuring girls playing sports, complete with recommendations).
  • Karen at Teenage Fiction for All Ages reported earlier this week that the shortlists for the Booktrust Teenage Prize have been selected. Would you imagine? The Graveyard Book is on the list. Winners will be announced November 18th. Tasha Saecker also has the shortlist, with cover images.
  • Persnickety Snark is hosting an international celebration of young adult book bloggers. Link via Leila from Bookshelves of Doom.
  • Kidliterate has launched a new feature called Old Release Tuesdays, with videos highlighting older titles that Melissa and Sarah enjoy selling. I think it’s a nice idea! 
  • Laurie Halse Anderson has an important post, written in response to recent attempts to remove two of her books (Speak and Twisted) from high school classrooms. I especially liked this part: “I used to get really angry at these things because I felt they were a personal attack on me. Then I grew up. Now I get angry because book banning is bad for my country. It is an attack on the Constitution and about the core ideals of America. It is the tool of people who want to control and manipulate our children.”
  • Speaking of book challenges, Leila has an update to the recent Ellen Hopkins book challenge (which I mentioned last week), at Bookshelves of Doom.
  • And Donalyn Miller, the Book Whisperer, has some suggestions in honor of Banned Book Week, too. She recaps several recent challenges, and offers criteria for teachers “to prevent book challenges and parent complaints before they occur”.

And that’s it for today. I do have lots of reviews that I’ve starred in my reader, but I’m not sure when I’ll have time for a “reviews that made me want the book” feature. Soon, I hope. 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).

Friday
Sep112009

Friday Afternoon Visits: September 11

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

September 11th will never again be just another day. One can’t even think about the date without remembering the events that occurred 8 years ago. My heart goes out to the friends and family members who are still grieving. The people lost on 9/11/01 will never be forgotten.

But I think that remembering terrible things only makes it that much important to take positive actions when we can. In doing so, even when the actions are small, we send out a tiny light into the darkness. And so, this Friday, September 11th, I bring you the news from the largely joyful place that is the Kidlitosphere. First, some September 11th-related remembrances and reviews:

RIFF_logoAt Rasco from RIFCarol Rasco shares RIF’s plans for the first official September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance. She says: “The tragic events of September 11, 2001 unified us as a nation. The memory of that day continues to inspire us to serve our neighbors, our communities, and our country. We are pleased to join this national effort and thank the President for making this call to service.” 

14_cowsAt The Reading TubTerry Doherty shares her personal response to the book 14 Cows for America, saying: “Although September 11, 2001 is the backdrop for the story, Deedy is offering us a timeless, universal story of empathy, compassion, and shared dreams of hope. Sharing this book with a child will open their minds to other cultures, traditions, and belief systems.”

Levithan_loveAnd at Finding WonderlandTanita Davis intermingles her memories of 9/11 with a review of David Levithan’s Love is the Higher Law. She says: “David Levithan is a New Yorker whose own impressions of that bewildering, horrifying, terrifying day are reflected in these pages. Few readers, teens and adults alike, will be able to experience this novel without remembering their own story — where they were that day, what they did.” Jackie Parker reviews the book, too, at InteractiveReader. She says: “I read it because it was David Levithan writing about 9/11. I know that Levithan is a New Yorker. And I trusted him as an author to deal with this subject with barefaced honesty, never pandering, never with any sense of self-importance or false heroism, or anything else that sullies that day.” 

At The Simple and the Ordinary, Christine M. shares her fragmented but crystal clear 9/11 memoriesSarah shares hers at The Reading Zone, and Susan hers at Chicken Spaghetti.  Me, I was in Austin, Texas on a business trip, and I heard about the events in New York on the car radio, on my way to work. During the course of that half hour drive, the first tower fell. And things were different. We all remember.

But, now, because life does go on, I’ll go on to the regular blogosphere news:

Book-blogger-appreciation-weekSherry Early has been running a great feature at Semicolon. She’s going through the shortlists for Book Blogger Appreciation Week, checking out each blog, writing a short blurb about the blog, and identifying her pick in each category. For example, here’s her assessment of the Best Thriller/Mystery/Suspense Blog category. I’ve flagged several of her posts to go back to, as I seek out new blogs to follow myself. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should admit that Sherry has some nice things to say about my own blog, shortlisted in the Best KidLit Blog category. But I would think it was a neat feature in any case, I’m sure.) See also a thoughtful post at Chasing Ray, in which Colleen Mondor shares her opinion about shortlisting blogs, in general. Incidentally, voting for BBAW closes at midnight Saturday night. I hope that if you have opinions about any of the categories, you’ll take a few minutes to vote. And stay tuned for lots more BBAW activity next week.  

Cybils2009-Web-SmallThanks to the talented and hard-working Sarah Stevenson, new Cybils Bling is now available for purchase at Cafe Press. All of the new merchandise (t-shirt, mugs, buttons, tote bag, etc.) features the snazzy new Cybils 2009 logo. You can find details at the Cybils blog. Personally, I have my eye on a new mug, to go with my assorted Kidlitosphere Conference mugs from years past.

BooklightsPam and Susan have both hit it out of the park at Booklights this week, in my opinion. On Wednesday, Susan wrote about the ups and downs of reading aloud. She offers practical advice for parents who might be disappointed by their young kids’ unwillingness to sit still for read-aloud. Her conclusion: “Go easy on yourself and your children when it comes to reading aloud. And enjoy the wonderful moments when they happen.” Then yesterday, Pam used her Thursday Three feature to offer reading help for “the three people involved in your child’s reading development - the teacher, the child, and yourself.” I especially liked her strong suggestion that parents try to avoid The Reading Game (parental competition over kids’ reading levels and books). Both of these posts have the same general message for parents: raising readers works best if you keep it fun, and keep from being too hard on yourself or the kids. And that, my friends, is why I’m so happy to be working with Pam and Susan (and Gina, who guides us all, and Ann, who reinforces what we’re doing) at Booklights.

Terry Doherty wrote a guest article for this month’s Children’s Book Insider (subscription required) that some of you may find of interest. It’s about generating cyberbuzz (or, how to get your book reviewed online). Terry offers tips based on her experience in moderating book review requests at The Reading Tub. She also makes an interesting distinction between “stories written for kids, titles adults like for their kids; and books meant for adults.” There’s also a followup interview between Terry and CBI’s Laura Backes here. Terry also has a guest piece in the Examiner, as part of Jennifer Finke’s series on Toys with Imagination. Terry talks about engaging toddlers and kids with interactive books (no batteries required!).

Nathan Bransford, the literary agent, started an interesting discussion on his blog this week about whether or not children’s books should be “content-rated” like movies and video games. As I write there are some 250+ comments - clearly this is a topic that people feel strongly about. I found this post via Dawn Morris from Moms Inspire Learning (who found it via Jon Bard from Children’s Book Insider). Dawn says (on her own blog): “I wish the YA section of the library could be split in two, with books that address serious issues being put into a separate section for high school students. Why can’t there be a “safe” section just for children between the ages of 10 and 14? Parents can’t always read every book, after all.” Me, I think it’s a complicated question, because content ratings for books are such a subjective and variable thing. What’s “safe” for one kid might seem edgy for the next. It’s not easy. On a related note, Robin LaFevers writes about “some of the delineations in writing YA versus MG versus adult books”.

Another controversy has spun up around the lit blogosphere this week. The latest Notes from the Horn Book (a monthly email newsletter from Horn Book Magazine) included an interview with author Richard Peck. Mr. Peck apparently criticized teachers for reading books aloud. The interview has evoked some dissenting opinions from teachers, of course, particularly from Sarah at The Reading Zone and Monica Edinger at Educating Alice. See also Horn Book editor Roger Sutton’s take at Read Roger (he says “I think Peck was complaining about classrooms where kids’ only exposure to trade books was hearing them read aloud”). But still… it’s always something! 

Gail Gauthier linked to an interesting piece in the Denver Post by David Milofsky. The author posits that, as Google and Yahoo start paying publishers to link to news stories, the same might be expected of literary bloggers. A number of prominent bloggers are quoted in the article. I would tend to agree with Gail that if your blog doesn’t make money, fair use would probably apply in linking to a news story. Personally, it’s not like my blog is a big profit center for me. If I had to pay to link to news stories, well, I just wouldn’t link to news stories. Or I’d find some other way to do it, anyway. But it’s something to watch.

Quick Hits:

  • This week’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Wild Rose Reader. The last Nonfiction Monday roundup was at The Miss Rumphius Effect.
  • Greg Pincus has an inspirational post about community and the power of #kidlitchat (a weekly Twitter chat about children’s books and publishing). I’ll tell you, he made me want to participate, and I’m so not a “chat” person (the introvert in me can’t cope with the swirl of conversation, even when it’s online).
  • At Angieville, Angie has a fun post about the appeal of “bad boys” in literature, inspired by a post from Adele at Persnickety Snark. Reading both posts, it’s clear to me that in literature and TV, I’m generally in favor of Bad Boys, too (I pick Pacey over Dawson any day, and I am Team Gale all the way).
  • At Bookshelves of DoomLeila is in a bit of a reading slump, and looking for “something that I’ll be able to fall into, that has writing that at the very least won’t make me roll my eyes, that has characters I can believe in, a story that I haven’t read a million times before (unless the writing and the characters make it work), something that I’ll remember for more than an hour after reading.” Lots of promising suggestions in the comments.
  • At Parents and Kids Reading Together, Cathy Puett Miller says that “picture books are for everyone”.
  • Cheryl Rainfield has pictures of a house and furniture made out of books (well, not really, but they’re made to look like they’re made out of books, which works, too). Very fun!
  • At the Miss Rumphius EffectTricia links to a Fledgling post by Zetta Elliott about authors of color. Tricia says: “In addition to being a mighty strong argument for the recognition of works by authors of color, she includes links to some astounding and disheartening statistics.” See also Roger Sutton’s response.
  • Speaking of the need for diversity in publishing, Susan has a great quote at Chicken Spaghetti from Amy Bowllan’s School Library Journal blog, in a recent column about writers against racism: “Literature helps us understand who we are and to find our place in the world.” 
  • Responding to the recent trend of adding horror elements to classic romances (e.g. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews suggests adding romance to some of the classic horror stories (e.g. a love interest for Frankenstein). I like it!
  • At A Year of Reading, Mary Lee and Franki are commemorating the start of the new school year with a series of posts celebrating teachers. I especially liked Day 4, in which Franki reminds people about Mary Lee and Franki’s list of Cool Teachers in Children’s Literature.
  • Liz Burns from Tea Cozy is one of the winners of the Color Me Brown challenge at Color Online. She links to other winners here
  • Susan Beth Pfeffer unveils the cover of the third Life As We Knew It book, The World We Live In. This is one book for which I don’t need to see any reviews. I already want it.  
  • Colleen Mondor wrote a short history of Guys Lit Wire for Crossed Genres magazine.
  • Mary Pearson guest blogged at Tor the other day about everyone’s obsession with the future (and specifically talked about how thinking about the future led her to the ideas in The Adoration of Jenna Fox). She also has a smart post at Tor about what YA lit is and isn’t (I found that one via Liz B.).
  • Sarah Stevenson chimed in on MotherReader’s Kidlitosphere Conference meme at Finding Wonderland. Updated to add that Betsy Bird chimed in from Fuse #8, too (and she hardly ever does memes). And Colleen makes a particularly strong case for writers to attend, at Chasing Ray. Oh, I wish that EVERYONE could come this year. At least Liz B. will be there again this year (here’s her meme).
  • And if this isn’t enough news for you, Abby (the) Librarian has some other links today.

Wishing you all a weekend of peace. Me, I just got some good news from my brother, which definitely makes the day a lot brighter.

© 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
Oct182008

Saturday Evening Visits: October 18

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

The FireI haven’t spent as much time working on my blog this weekend as usual, because I’ve been consumed by a couple of books. The Eight, by Katherine Neville, is one of my favorite books - an adult thriller/romance/historical epic/mystery. However, it had been several years since I last read it. When the sequel, The Fire, came out this week, I had to sit down and re-read The Eight first, before diving into The Fire. I’ve felt a bit guilty about neglecting my blog, but I had to remind myself that I started my blog because I love books. And it’s really not right for the blog to keep me from being consumed by books, is it? But anyway, here are some links that I saved up from the week.

The Reading Tub website has a gorgeous new look. The Reading Tub is one of my favorite resources for encouraging young readers. They have hundreds of profile pages for books, with details like recommendations for age to read together vs. read yourself, whether to borrow or buy, and read-alikes. The Reading Tub also has related links and reading resources, and an excellent blog that features reading news. If you have a few minutes, do check out their new website.

Over at The Reading Zone, Sarah has a nice post about helping struggling readers to find the perfect book. She warns: “It can take weeks to find something that a reluctant and struggling reader can read and wants to read.  There will be a lot of abandoned books along the way.” But she offers concrete suggestions to help. I think this is a must-read post for anyone new to recommending books for struggling readers.

My VerboCity reports (a story originally from Publisher’s Weekly) the Simon & Schuster is going to be releasing eBooks for cell phones. Some of the Nancy Drew mysteries will be available at the program’s launch, to drive initial interest.

Mary and Robin at Shrinking Violet Promotions (with much help from their devoted readers) have made tremendous progress in drafting their Introvert’s Bill of Rights. If you’re an Introvert, or you live with one, this is required reading. See also Robin’s post about the benefits of spending some time unplugged. I followed her advice, and turned my computer off at noon on Friday. I later checked email on my phone, but wished that I hadn’t… I do think there’s something to be said for spending more time away from the computer, to provide clear mental space.

Liz Burns writes at Tea Cozy about some important purposes of book reviews, including the reasons why professional book reviews “won’t be going away anytime soon.” She proposes that “instead of cutting back book reviews, newspapers and magazines should be increasing the book-talk that appears on their websites.” Liz’s post was quoted on GalleyCat, and sparked some further discussion there.

Trevor Cairney has a post at Literacy, Families, and Learning about a key theme in children’s literature: death. He notes that “Literature can helps parents, in particular, to discuss the reality of death with their children. Books that address death can be read with children and by children themselves as a source of insight, comfort and emotional growth.” Trevorsuggests some books that deal with, but haven’t been specifically written to address, death (like Bridge to Terebithia).

Lisa Chellman reports that Cavendish is launching a line of contemporary classic reissues. She says: “This is truly a labor of love. I mean, presumably Cavendish expects to make some money from this line, but they’re tracking down all sorts of rights and artwork to make this happen while looking at a pretty strictly library and indie bookstore market.” Lisa also shares some books about out of the ordinary princesses.

The PaperTigers blog offers multicultural reading group suggestions for young readers. Janet explains: “At PaperTigers, we are deeply committed to books on multicultural subjects that bring differing cultures closer together. So of course the books on our little list are novels that we think will accomplish that, while they keep their readers enthralled and provide the nourishment for spirited book group discussions.”

Laura writes at Children’s Writing Web Journal about staying young as a children’s book writer. She says: “Whenever I’m feeling more mature than I’d like, I read children’s books. A great book for kids pulls me right back to my childhood. A stellar novel for young adults makes me feel like a teen again, only now I’ve got some perspective on the experience and can actually laugh about it.”

The Hunger GamesOn a related note, Gail Gauthier links at Original Content to a School Library Journal article about teen books that adults will enjoy. I can think of lots of other titles that could have been listed in the article (The Hunger Games comes immediately to mind), but right now I’m just happy that articles like this are being written.

The latest edition of Just One More Book! asks how old is too old for reading aloud. Several commenters report that it’s never too old for read-aloud, which makes me very happy. Everything I’ve ever read on this topic suggests that parents should keep reading aloud to their kids for as long as their kids will let them.

Speaking of reading aloud, Cynthia Lord shares a lovely story about reading aloud to her daughter, and a whole waiting room full of other people, around Christmastime. She concludes, speaking to the author of the book she was reading, “ As authors we get to do something that very few people get to do. We get to matter in the lives of complete strangers. Barbara Robinson, you’ve mattered in mine.” Isn’t that lovely?

ChainsThis has been written about pretty much everywhere, but just in case you missed it, the National Book awards were announced this week. I first saw the short list for Young People’s Literature at Read Roger. The titles are: The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Hyperion); The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (Atheneum); Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (Simon and Schuster); What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell (Scholastic); The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp (Knopf). Chains is high up on my to-read list, and I am especially happy for Laurie Anderson.

Justine Larbalestier takes on the topic of editing titles originally published in foreign countries to Americanize them. I hate this, too. As a kid, I loved figure out what British words like lift and pram and jumper meant.

At Greetings from Nowhere, Barbara O’Connor shares ”timelines that kids made focused on books that were important to them at various points in their lives.” I love this idea (and the examples shown). What a way to celebrate the love of reading!

Sp0112x2Finally, I so want this notepad, which Betsy linked to at Fuse #8. It says “I will do one thing today. Thing:”. Brilliant!

And that’s all for tonight. I’ll just conclude by saying: how ’bout those Red Sox!!

© 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).