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.

We welcome your feedback!

Search
Social Networking
Powered by Squarespace

Entries in Jon Scieszka (4)

Monday
Dec142009

Quick Hits: December 14

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I’d like to share a couple of tidbits with you all this morning:

BooklightsFirst up, I have a new post at Booklights today. It’s the fifth entry in my Tips for Growing Bookworms series. This week’s tip is about taking children to libraries and bookstores. Timely for the holiday season, but a good practice year-round. I hope that you’ll check it out.

Next, many congratulations to Betsy Bird from A Fuse #8 ProductionJules Danielson from Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and Peter D. Sieruta from Collecting Children’s Books on their new book contract. You can find their write-ups herehere, and here. This must-read title, due out from Candlewick in September of 2012, is tentatively titled Wild Things! : The True, Untold Stories Behind the Most Beloved Children’s Books and Their Creators. Very cool!

Third, Meghan Newton from Goodman Media shared a link with me today that I had somehow missed. It’s an article by Jon Scieszka from the Huffington Post, musing on the close of his tenure as National Ambassador of Children’s Literature. It’s classic Scieszka - breezy and fun, but full of concrete tips for helping reluctant readers. This is must-read stuff.

And:

Wishing you all a wonderful week!

© 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
Sep302009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: September 30

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I begin to think that the sheer impossibility of keeping up with the news from around this Kidlitosphere is a permanent condition. Particularly when, as was the case last weekend, I have trips. But here’s my best effort to capture the news from the past week. Hope that you find it useful.

ECA-main-title3I’ve been following the news about the NCBLA/Library of Congress/Jon Scieszka project, The Exquisite Corpse Adventure. The project was officially launched at last weekend’s National Book Festival. The idea is for the project to be “a buoyant, spontaneous experiment; a progressive story game just like the one many families play on road trips, at camps, at parties, at home when there is a power outage… Members of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure “motley crew” are, in reality, some of the most gifted artists and storytellers in our nation, award-winners all—M.T. Anderson, Natalie Babbitt, Calef Brown, Susan Cooper, Kate Di Camillo, Timothy Basil Ering, Nikki Grimes, Shannon Hale, Daniel Handler aka Lemony Snicket, Steven Kellogg, Gregory Maguire, Megan McDonald, Patricia and Fredrick McKissack, Linda Sue Park, Katherine Paterson, James Ransome, Jon Scieszka, and Chris Van Dusen.” If you follow the NCBLA’s blog, you’ll be notified easily about each new episode (new episodes will be published every two weeks for the next year). You can also (I learned from Leila at Bookshelves of Doom) follow a special RSS feed for the new ECA posts alone).

NcblalogoI must confess to being particularly pleased because, as part of a Literacy Resource Treasure Chest accompanying the Exquisite Corpse Adventure (prepared by the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance and the Butler Children’s Literature Center at Dominican University), the team published a list of “Blogs that Inspire”. And, well, my blog is listed, along with several other amazing blogs (see Fuse 8’s thoughts here). I must say, this made my week. But in general, the page offers nice one-stop shopping for many of the literacy organizations that Terry Doherty and I talk about all the time. It is truly an honor to be included.

3961914637_3993283a87Moving on, there have been tons of articles about on Banned Book Week, too many for me to link to here (but check out Finding Wonderland, for a range of posts, and Lee Wind’s challenged author roundtable discussion). But my attention was caught by this article from Boston.com, sent to me by my friend Alex from Outside In. It’s an op-ed piece by Julianna Baggott about an embattled teacher’s response to potential “objectionable material” in books. Here’s the part that got me: “The overwhelmingly sad thing for me was the sound of fear in this woman’s voice and her utter lack of conviction in the things that probably once inspired her to become a teacher in the first place - the way someone can talk about the world of books, the power of the imagination, and change a child’s life.”

Mimlogo_smLori Calabrese reports that Saturday (October 3rd) is Make it Matter Day. She says: “Reader’s Digest, Reading Is Fundamental, and other organizations are partnering to bring learning to life for Reader’s Digest’s National Make It Matter Day, this Saturday (October 3rd). Members of local communities as well as local and national organizations will rally behind literacy and education in over 100 events at select schools, Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs, and libraries across the U.S.” She also offers concrete suggestions for participating.

What-book-2Today is the last day to vote in First Book’s What Book Got You Hooked? campaign. The First Book blog says: “Don’t forget to cast your vote for the book that got you hooked and the state to receive 50,000 new books. Voting is open through 12:00 am midnight ET TONIGHT, September 30!”

Quick hits:

  • At SemicolonSherry Early vents about the “torn between two lovers device” in literature and film. Now me, I find this compelling, when done well. But I still enjoyed Sherry’s post.  
  • By way of followup to last week’s What A Girl Wants column, which lamented the way that socioeconomic woes are often ignored in children’s and young adult fiction, Colleen Mondor discusses two recent books that do take economic struggles into account (Operation Yes by Sara Lewis Holmes and Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry, two books that I loved. See also Sara’s YES interview with Rosanne.)
  • Greg Pincus shares 10 Facebook Status Update Ideas at The Happy Accident. I also liked Greg’s earlier post about 10 Golden Rules for Engaging Via Social Media, created with Mark Blevis.
  • Ann has an interesting post about picture book end papers at Booklights today. See also Terry’s post from yesterday about celebrating culture with books, in honor of National Hispanic Heritage Month. I’m also somewhat attached to Gina’s Show and Tale selection for this week: Harriet the Spy.
  • Mary Pearson writes at Tor about the unsung hero of literature: setting.
  • Becky from Becky’s Book Reviews explains her reading challenge addiction.
  • Sarah shares “hot books” from her middle school classroom at The Reading Zone. Sarah also shared a lovely success story recently, about creating a lifelong reader.
  • Susan Taylor Brown is seeking your favorite unsung kidlit blogs by authors and illustrators for a top-secret project.
  • At Roots in Myth, PJ Hoover suggests that parent-son book clubs would help engage more boys in reading. There are many, many interested and supportive comments on this subject.
  • Speaking of boys and reading, Lori Calabrese highlights Gotcha for Guys: nonfiction books to get boys excited about reading.
  • Kudos to DaughterReader (and proud MotherReader) for her recent National Book Festival success doing a dramatic reading with Mo Willems.
  • Kate Coombs (Book Aunt) writes about her observation that story books (one step up from picture books, including fairy tales, written to be read to slightly older kids) are losing ground fast.
  • I was traveling and didn’t have a chance to participate, but Sunday’s 7 Kicks from the 7-Imps featured one of my favorite characters, Andrea Beaty’s Ted (of Doctor Ted fame, now reinvented as Fireman Ted).
  • Liz B has the scoop on the Simon & Schuster Blogfest 2009 at Tea Cozy. Liz also had a post over that weekend about whether or not it should be viewed as negative to want to understand how something like the Book Blogger Appreciation Week awards worked. There is a LOT of discussion about transparency in the comments.
  • Speaking of transparency, the Readergirlz Divas recently shared an explanation of how they choose the books that they feature each month.
  • At Shelf ElfKerry Millar has a post highlighting three authors who she thinks are also great bloggers (including the reasons why). I certainly agree with her choices.
  • Justine Larbalestier has a bit of a rant on the current obsession with dwelling on an author’s age (as in, “isn’t it amazing that he wrote this book by the age of … whatever”).

Whew! That’s it for today. Later this week I’ll be working on literacy news and reviews. And, of course, following the Cybils nominations. And preparing for KidLitCon. And … wouldn’t it be nice to have time to read books sometime? Thanks for 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).

Wednesday
Feb112009

Quick Hits: February 11

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I have a few quick news items to share with you this morning.

First up, our own Tanita S. Davis (aka TadMack from Finding Wonderland) is featured today at The Brown Bookshelf. Click through to learn more about Tanita, and her upcoming book. There’s even a rare photo. This interview is part of the Brown Bookshelf’s fabulous 28 Days Later Campaign.

Speaking of campaigns, there are a few new posts out there related to the Campaign for Read-Aloud:

  • The Book Chook interviews The Magnet Lady (aka Jen W). Jen drives around Ann Arbor, MI with a magnet on her car that says “Please read to your kids everyday”. The enthusiasm that both Book Chook and Jen have for reading with kids is inspiring.
  • Reconsidering Read-AloudFranki Sibberson picks up on the reading aloud topic at A Year of Reading, and draws readers’ attention to blog partner Mary Lee Hahn’s book, Reconsidering Read-Aloud (which I agree is an excellent resource). Franki also argues that rather than urging parents simply to read aloud with their kids, “there are LOTS of ways that parents and teachers can support children in becoming lifelong readers (and that) Being part of your child’s reading life is … the critical part.” I agree completely with Franki that read-aloud is only part of the conversation. The real goal is raising kids who enjoy reading, and it makes sense to do whatever it takes to get there. Part of why I like the idea of a campaign for read-aloud is that it’s one concrete thing that people can do to move in that direction.
  • This question was also picked up by Millie Davis at the NCTE Inbox Blog. After discussing her own experience with her daughter, Millie says: “So, would I advocate a national campaign to encourage parents to read aloud to their kids, like Jen Robinson has suggested on her blog? Yes, I think so. Would you?” A number of people discuss this in the comments.

KnuckleheadIn related news, the Providence Journal has an article by Kathleen Odean about National Ambassador Jon Scieszka’s recommendations for encouraging kids to read. The article mentions plenty of specific, kid-friendly titles. Those are fun, but I especially enjoyed this part: “Scieszka was an advocate for reading long before becoming Ambassador and will continue as such after his term ends in December. Meanwhile, he’s enjoying the perks of ambassadorship. “Kids give you things,” he reported, “like royal sashes they’ve decorated with puffy gold paint.”” Fun stuff! Link via Matt Holm.

The previous article mentioned Scieszka’s Guys Read website. Over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia is fed up with articles that presume that boys don’t like to read (and no, she’s not talking about the Providence Journal article). Citing a Guardian article, she says: “There are some interesting thoughts about “reverse engineering” books to resemble the things readers so love about the web. However, must authors always resort to boy-bashing to do it? Can we please give boys and young men just a bit of credit for their reading habits?” Tricia also linked to a fun Christian Science Monitor article about books for “children of all ages.” It’s also worth clicking through to see Tricia’s lovely new blog format.

Adult fans of children’s books should also check out the February Small Graces auction. Elaine Magliaro has the details at Wild Rose Reader.

In other news, in case you have somehow managed to miss it, Amazon just announced the release of the second edition of the Kindle eBook reader. I first saw the news on The Longstockings, but found a more detailed write-up at Cheryl Rainfield’s. I have to say, as someone who is a huge fan of tradition books, that I am intrigued by this version. It’s so thin! If I was traveling more, I would probably look into it.

Kid-Lit72Last but not least, Lynn Hazen is hosting the February Carnival of Children’s Literature, with a theme of “We Love Children’s (and YA) Books”. She says: “Tell us what you love about reading, reviewing, writing, or illustrating children’s (and YA) books. What do you love about getting good books into the hands of children and youth? What do you love (or even what breaks your heart) about the world of children’s books?” Submissions are due by February 23rd, at the Carnival site.

Wishing everyone a book-filled Valentine’s weekend!

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson’s Book Page. All rights reserved.
You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.
All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).

Tuesday
Sep232008

Tuesday Tidbits: September 23

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I just did a Kidlitosphere round-up post on Sunday. But since then, a bunch of things have come up that I’d like to share with you.

CybilslogosmallFirst up, in Cybils news, the middle grade/YA nonfiction committee has been announced. Also, my official new title within the Cybils organization was announcedLiteracy Evangelist. I’m not sure who thought of it, but I do love it. I might get business cards made up. But seriously, I’ll be working to get the word out about the Cybils, so that more people can participate in nominating titles, and more people will learn about our fabulous winners and short lists. Evangelizing, if you will, for the Cybils and for literacy. And finally, do check out Liz B’s reasons for liking the Cybils, and seeing them as important, at Tea Cozy.

  • At Grow Wings, Laini Taylor shares some reasons for authors to blog. Laini and I will be discussing the bridge between authors and reviewers at the Kidlitosphere Conference in Portland this weekend, and I’m sure that we’ll be talking about author blogs as part of that discussion. Some additional logistical details about the conference from Jone MacCulloch can be found here.
  • Franki shares the first of what promises to be a series of “Books I Could Read A Million Times” at A Year of Reading. She’s learning about these books because she’s working as a librarian, and reading the same book to several different classes. She explains “I got this idea from Bill at Literate Lives. My hope is that by reading the same book to all of the kids in the school, we have anchors to talk about—books that can be talked about at dinner tables at home, books that can be talked about with friends in other classes, etc.”
  • At Kid Lit Kit, Hannah Trierweiler shares some thoughts on boys and reading. While she acknowledges variation in readers, she highlights two titles that she thinks will work particularly well for boys.
  • I almost forgot! Tomorrow is National Punctuation Day. I was reminded by a post at the International Reading Association blog. Here’s the first part of the press release on the topic: “Why is punctuation important Jeff Rubin the Punctuation Man and founder of National Punctuation Day explains that without punctuation you would not be able to express your feelings in writing not to mention know when to pause or stop or ask a question or yell at someone” … and so on.
  • Also via the IRA blog, applicants are being sought for the Teachers in Space program. “The nonprofit Teachers in Space program is seeking two Pathfinder Astronauts who will become the first astronaut teachers to fly in space and return to the classroom.”
  • At TheHappyNappyBookseller, Doret shares some concerns in response to an article by Denene Millner, the author of the new young adult series Hotlanta (and people who dismiss the series as street fiction because of how the cover looks).
  • I don’t like to write about politics on this blog. But I did want to mention a post by TadMack at Finding Wonderland that expresses some concerns about the recent launch of the YA for Obama site. TadMack’s issue (and there is a great discussion going in the comments) is not about the candidates themselves, but about whether or not a group of popular YA authors talking with teens in this way about a particular candidate constitutes “undue influence”. Colleen Mondor summarized the part of this that bothers me: “This is a bunch of YA authors who have joined together to do two things: get under-18s interested in democracy and help Barack Obama get elected. TadMack wonders if you accomplish both those goals while not allowing any room for positive discussion of John McCain (and the folks who support him).”
  • The sad news came out this week that L. M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series (and other beloved books) committed suicide. I first heard about this at Sarah Weinman’s blog, and I’ve also seen reactions at Charlotte’s Library and Bookshelves of Doom. You can find the full story in the Globe and Mail, in which “Kate Macdonald Butler reveals a long-held secret about her grandmother, one of Canada’s most beloved authors.” Butler says “I have come to feel very strongly that the stigma surrounding mental illness will be forever upon us as a society until we sweep away the misconception that depression happens to other people, not us – and most certainly not to our heroes and icons.” I completely respect her decision to share the news, but it is sad to think that someone who brought so much joy to the world was that depressed.
  • On a brighter note, I know that I mentioned it before, but the Just One More Book! interview of Jon Scieszka, our National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, is simply fabulous. Do give it a listen, if you can spare a few minutes.

And that’s all for today. Hope you find some food for thought!

© 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).