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Thursday
Aug212008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: August 21

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I find myself with a bit of time to spare this afternoon, and a few links saved up, so I thought that I would share:

  • Regular readers know that I love Kim and Jason’s Escape Adulthood website. This week, I especially appreciated a post by Kim about finding reasons to celebrate, and then celebrating them. The post starts with a couple of sad stories about loss, but Kim takes the positive view, saying “Human nature tricks us into believing that we’ll all die from old age, but it’s simply not true. Don’t wait until a tragedy happens to realize that your life is meant to be lived to the fullest today. Don’t wait until your anniversary to surprise your spouse with a night out on the town. Don’t wait until your birthday to allow yourself the permission to pick up that ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. (Yum!) Don’t wait until circumstances are perfect before you plan that spontaneous camping trip. Celebrate today!” I’m not always good about this, but Kim and Jason provide regular and excellent reminders, which I really appreciate. What have you celebrated lately?
  • Betsy Bird shares ten children’s novels that would make good movies at A Fuse #8 Production. She offers an exceptionally wide range of titles, all described with Betsy’s trademark voice. Here’s an example, on Kiki Strike: “So let us consider making a movie for tween girls, starring tween girls, and doesn’t involve them wearing short skirts, shall we?  Or indulging in bad movie banter.  I know, I know.  I’m probably asking too much with that latter requirement.  Fine, if you make the film you can fill it to the brim with banter. Just show girls doing something other than teaming up with boys in an action movie and I’ll never complain again.”
  • I don’t generally highlight author interviews from other blogs, because I tend to focus more on the books than on the authors. But Jules and Eisha have posted a truly impressive interview with Jane Yolen over at 7-Imp, which I would like to bring to your attention. There is discussion, there are dozens of links to more information, there are interesting tidbits about the author, and there are fabulous pictures. This is the kind of interview that becomes a resource for the author herself, because Jules and Eisha have collected so much information into one place. Do check it out. 
  • Reading MagicAt PaperTigers, Janet shares some examples from the new edition of Mem Fox’s book, Reading Magic: Why Reading Aloud to Our Children Will Change Their Lives Forever. Janet says: “After reading her essays about the true magic that comes from reading aloud, I don’t think this lady is exaggerating. If reading aloud to children can turn them into smart, inquisitive, creative people, then reading aloud may well hold the key to solving all of the world’s woes.” I just might have to pick up with new edition.
  • For all you book reviewers out there, Steph at Reviewer X has a question: “which of the reviewers are also writers? There’s some stereotype that says all reviewers (or book bloggers, or something like that) are aspiring authors. Accurate?” A brief perusal of the comments reveals that, as with many stereotypes, there’s some truth, but by no means universal adherence.
  • Colleen Mondor writes about the value of the color gray at Chasing Ray. The discussion is in the context of Colleen’s review of two YA titles set in alternate futures: Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother and Nick Mamatas’s Under My Roof. Colleen notes that Under My Roof “is a book where the good and bad guys are never clearly defined” (in contrast to the more clear-cut Little Brother) and says that “Reading these two books had made me realize just how uncomfortable the shade of gray can be for most people.”
  • At BookKids, the BookPeople children’s book blog (from the famous Austin bookstore), Madeline discusses modern mysteries aimed at kids. She says: “I have to admit that I think there is a lack of really great new kid mystery series. There are some good stand alone books like Elise Broach’s Shakespeare’s Secret, but not the kind of series where you just want to read nine or ten of the books in a row. In fact, I could only think of three current mystery series at all. However, I fortunately like all three series, and I can heartily recommend them as great chapter books for kids and teens.” Click through to see what she recommends, and other discussion in the comments.
  • Via School Library Journal, as “part of the 10th anniversary celebration of the U.S. release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Scholastic, the U.S. publisher of the wildly popular Harry Potter series, is inviting fans of all ages to its New York City headquarters to take part in “Harry Potter Cover to Cover Day,” an all-day muggle read-a-thon.”
  • Guardian piece by Louise Tucker on boys and reading has sparked discussion between Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect (here and here) and Libby from Lessons from the Tortoise (here). Tricia asks (in direct response to the article): “Why are we so blessed concerned with the “right” books instead of the process of immersing kids in books that they will love? Shouldn’t the goal be developing readers?” It’s all interesting stuff - well worth checking out.
  • Last, but not least, I’ve seen this in several places, but Jackie has the full details at Interactive Reader. Readergirlz have launched rgz TV on YouTube. Here’s a snippet from the press release: “rgz tv is broadcasting interviews with Rachel Cohn, Jay AsherSonya Sones and Paula Yoo. The uploaded videos have been shot and edited by the readergirlz founders and members of the postergirlz.” Pretty cool!

And that’s all for today. Hope you find some tidbits of interest.

© 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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