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 Laini Taylor (4)

Sunday
Nov222009

Sunday Visits: November 22

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Happy Sunday, all! Sorry I’ve been so absent from the blog lately. I’ve had a tough time recovering from my recent travels, and I’ve been a bit under the weather to boot. This weekend, I did finally manage to make it through all of the blog posts in my reader (though some amount of skimming was required). Here are a few (mostly from this past week - everything older than that started to feel like old news):

There are too many wonderful interviews from this week’s Winter Blog Blast Tour for me to highlight them all. But I did especially enjoy Shelf Elf’s interview of Laini Taylor, as well as 7-Imps’ interview of Laini’s husband, Jim Di Bartolo. Their daughter Clementine Pie is adorable. You can find the complete set of links to the WBBT interviews at Chasing Ray (home of WBBT organizer Colleen Mondor). See also Liz B’s background piece on the WBBT at Tea Cozy. I also enjoyed Mary Ann Scheuer’s interview with Annie Barrows, which included tidbits about Annie’s reading with her own kids.

Speaking of Laini and Jim, they did not, alas, win the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature (for which Lips Touch was shortlisted). Kudos to the winner, Phillip Hoose, for Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, a true-life account of the 15-year-old African-American girl who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus in March 1955.

Cybils2009-150pxThe Cybils nominating committee panelists are reading away. And Cybils tech guru Sheila Ruth reports at Wands and Worlds that “Tracy Grand of Jacketflap has once again created this terrific Cybils nominee widget. It rotates through the Cybils nominees and displays a different one each time the page is loaded. You can get the widget for your own blog here.” See also Sheila’s post at the Cybils blog about publisher love for the Cybils, and our thanks to the many publishers and authors providing review copies for the Cybils process. Sheila has been doing an amazing job as this year’s Publisher Liaison.

Betsy Bird also links to various write-ups about the recent Children’s Literary Cafe at the New York Public Library (focused on the Cybils).

Posts about holiday gift-giving are already proliferating. I especially liked this Semicolon post with book ideas for eight and twelve-year-old girls, and this post at The Miss Rumphius Effect with gifts for readers and writersElaine Magliaro also has a fabulous list of Thanksgiving-related resources at Wild Rose Reader.

Kidlitosphere_buttonPam shares the results of the KidLitCon09 charity raffle at MotherReader. She says: “With more than five hundred dollars raised with the charity raffle at KidlitCon, we gave two projects at Donors Choose a huge boost. Now with additional contributors, both DC school literacy projects have been fully funded!” She shares teachers’ notes from both programs.

I’ve seen a couple of responses to Betsy Bird’s article about Amazon’s Vine program. Maureen has some excellent thoughts at Confessions of a Bibliovore on what it means to review in a professional manner, whether on a blog or not. Roger Sutton from Read Roger, on the other hand, just thinks that blog reviews are too long.

Kate Coombs has a very detailed post at Book Aunt about books that are currently popular with kids. After discussing many of the usual suspects, she says: “I’ll conclude my report on the coolest of the cool. It’s kind of like watching the popular kids at school. Sometimes you wonder why they’re popular when they seem so ordinary, or even, in some cases, so unappealing. On the other hand, there are times it makes sense. Some of the popular kids are truly extraordinary, and their singular status seems completely deserved.”

Quick hits:

That’s all for today. It’s nice to be feeling a bit more caught up on my reader, I’ll tell you that. More soon…

© 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).

Thursday
Apr162009

Thursday Afternoon Visits: April 16

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here are some posts from around the Kidlitosphere that have caught my eye in the past few days.

Tbd09rtToday is drop day for Readergirlz Operation Teen Book Drop. I’m a bit late, but here’s the scoop: “It’s time to grab a readergirlz bookplate and take a book somewhere in your town—donate it to a library, a school, or a lonely park bench. Leave it anywhere in honor of Support Teen Literature Day!” You can also find more about Teen Literature Day at ForeWord Magazine’s Shelf Space blog, in a detailed post by Carlie Webber.

Winston BreenToday is also the launch of Eric Berlin’s Winston Breen puzzle party, in honor of the second book in the series: The Potato Chip Puzzles. In honor of the launch, Eric has created a puzzle-themed blog tour. If you solve all of the puzzles, you can win prizes. You can find the first puzzle, and the full schedule for the tour, at A Patchwork of Books. My review of the first Winston Breen book is here.

Liz Burns repeats a thought-provoking post at Tea Cozy (originally from 2006, but still quite relevant today) about a trend featuring teen interactions with senior citizens in young adult fiction.

Lips TouchLaini Taylor reveals the gorgeous cover of her upcoming book: Lips Touch. She also shares the story about how blogging inspired the book, which might be of particular interest to the writers among you.

Speaking of blogging, Natasha from Maw Books and Amy from My Friend Amy will be speaking on a panel at the upcoming Book Expo America about book blogging. Natasha has asked for feedback from other bloggers on topics that would be useful to discuss.

Also speaking of blogging, Sarah Miller shares some pros and cons of blogging at Reading Writing, Musing. I sense a round of blog focus angst flu going around. But I do think that Sarah nailed both pros and cons - several of hers resonated with me, even though I’m not an author.  

Elaine Magliaro rounds up Week 2 of National Poetry Monthin the Kidlitosphere at Wild Rose Reader. And this week’s Poetry Friday roundup is at Becky’s Book Reviews.

Fans of Sallie Wolf’s Truck Stuck (which I reviewed here) will enjoy this real-world story from Unabridged, the Charlesbridge blog.  

And last, but definitely not least, people all over the Kidlitosphere have linked to a recent video of President Obama reading Where the Wild Things Are at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll last weekend. Here’s the video, with some context, at 100 Scope Notes.

And that’s all for today!

© 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
Mar112009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: March 11

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Kidlitosphere_button_170I know that I’ve been posting a lot about the Share a Story - Shape a Future literacy blog tour this week. But there have been lots of other things going on around the Kidlitosphere, too. Here are a few highlights:

The latest issue of Notes from the Horn Book (a free email newsletter from the Horn Book Magazine team) is now available. Read Roger has the details.

Mary Lee Hahn has posted the lists of 2009 Notable Children’s Books in the Language Arts from the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) at A Year of Reading. Mary Lee was actually on the committee, and it looks like they did a great job.

Gail Gauthier is doing a series at Original Content this week about adult books for young adult readers. I may be biased, because she’s been focusing on a book that I recommended (The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King), but I’ve found it fascinating. You can find the relevant posts herehere, and here (and here). And can you believe that Gail has been blogging at Original Content for seven years!? 

Laini Taylor has a heartening post about how the Twilight movie transformed her thirteen-year-old niece into a reader. She also discusses a downside of the hyper-popularity of books like Twilight (anecdotal evidence suggesting that this is making it hard for other types of books to be published). But me, I’d rather focus on the upside - the Twilight books, like the Harry Potter books before them, like the Wimpy Kid books and the Percy Jackson books, are getting kids reading. I wish these authors all success, because they are making a difference.

And speaking of authors who make a difference, our own Jay Asher (former Disco Mermaid) was featured in the New York Times this week. It seems that his amazing book, 13 Reasons Why, has been ever so slowly climbing the best-seller lists. The quotes from teens in the article are a lot of fun. 13 Reasons Why is a book that’s helping teens every day (by addressing the sometimes small-seeming events that can drive a teen towards suicide).

Another movie that I think would inspire kids to read books is the movie version of The Hunger Games. I just heard from The Longstockings that “According to HollywoodReporter.com Nina Jacobson and Color Force have recently acquired the movie rights to a futuristic young adult novel, Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins!” Now that’s a movie that I’d like to see.

At 4IQREAD, Kbookwoman speaks up for “a public relations campaign that raises the importance of universal literacy to a human right”. She suggests one specific program: “I would like to see every child own a CD player so they can listen to stories read aloud even if they do not have adults in their lives that can read to them.”

Speaking of literacy, Carol Rasco announced this week that RIF’s FY10 Dear Colleague Campaign has begun. The campaign: “includes a bi-partisan letter co-sponsored by members of Congress. The letter asks their colleagues to sign on in support of RIF funding.” RIF’s team is “asking that you take 10 minutes to visit RIF’s Advocacy Center and send e-mails to your members of Congress asking them to sign on in support of RIF’s funding for fiscal year 2010.” Carol also highlighted another Cybils title (poetry winner Honeybee) this week in her Cover Story feature.

SmallGracesMarchElaine Magliaro announced that the March Small Graces art auction has begun. She says: “Maybe you’ll be the lucky person to win this lovely original painting by popular children’s author and illustrator Grace Lin. Remember…all auction proceeds will be donated to The Foundation for Children’s Books to help underwrite school visitations by children’s authors and illustrators in underserved schools in the Greater Boston area.”

Trevor Cairney from Literacy, families and learning writes about “the 4th ‘R’: Rest!” He says (emphasis mine): “Allowing time for play inside and outside of school is important, and I have written extensively about its importance for children’s learning, development, creativity and well being”.

Els Kushner has a delightful post at Librarian Mom about how her first “professional reading” took place when she was in second and third grade, “and sat in the Reading Corner for hours at a time reading one children’s novel after another.” She shares some of her childhood favorites, and concludes: “for practical job preparation—who would have known it?—nothing in my formal pre-library-school education beats those two years I spent hunched in the reading corner. I hope, for my profession’s sake, that even though open classrooms have largely fallen out of fashion, there are still kids out there reading with such indiscriminate freedom as I had.” 

Endoftheworld2009MarchOctoberthisBecky is hosting a second End of the World Challenge at Becky’s Book Reviews. She says: “Read (over the next 7 months) at least four books about “the end of the world.” This includes both apocalyptic fiction and post-apocalyptic fiction. There is quite a bit of overlap with dystopic fiction as well. The point being something—be it coming from within or without, natural or unnatural—has changed civilization, society, humanity to such a degree that it radically differs from “life as we now know it.” Now, I think it’s very safe to say that I’ll be reading at least four “end of the world (as we know it)” books in the next seven months. However, I find that formal challenges, where you have to keep track, and check in, are a bit too much for me. But I’ll be following Becky’s progress!

Susan Taylor Brown is compiling lists of memorable mothers, fathers, and grandparents from children’s literature at Susan Writes. Check out the lists so far, and share your suggestions.

And that’s all for today. I’ll continue to update you on the Share a Story - Shape a Future literacy blog tour for the rest of this week, and I’ll be back with reviews and literacy news this weekend. 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).

Monday
Feb232009

Monday Night Visits: February 23

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I have a few quick Kidlitosphere news items to share with you tonight.

CybilsLogoSmallFirst up, the talented Sarah Stevenson has updated the Cybils flyer to highlight the winners in each category. She explains: “In convenient, compact form, this document lists all of our 2008 shortlisted titles (without blurbs), and includes the winners in boldface type at the top of each category list. As before, the front page of the flyer includes a description of what the Cybils are all about, nomination instructions, important dates, and contact information.” You can find the updated version here.

Terry Doherty shares a lovely story about sportsmanship at Scrub-a-Dub-Tub. Really. Click through. It will bring a little tear to your eye. I agree with her that it would make a nice children’s book.

At the Spectacle (a new blog “about writing speculative fiction for teens and pre-teens”), Parker Peevyhouse asks about portals in children’s literature. “Do portals show up so often in manuscripts because writers are inspired by classic fantasy stories, or is it because it’s an easy device to fall back on? And can a portal story still do well in the marketplace, or are portals dead?” There’s a discussion going on in the comments.

Cheryl Rainfield has a new installment in her Gifts for Book Lovers and Writers series. I covet the book coasters (click through to see. They are gorgeous). And I’m pleased to report that I actually own the Aquala Bath Caddy (a tray/book stand for reading in the tub). Mheir got that for me for Christmas.

My Friend Amy has a fun post about her theory on why James Patterson’s books are such bestsellers. For example: “If reading is difficult for you, nothing is more inviting than short chapters. Instead of feeling like you have a lot to accomplish through the read, the sense of accomplishment is achieved much quicker when the chapters are just a few pages long. It’s rewarding right away.”

OperationsTBDThe Readergirlz Divas are sponsoring the second edition of their Operation Teen Book DropShelf Elf has the details, explaining: “Operation Teen Book Drop is an awesome initiative that brings donations of thousands of fantastic YA titles to hospitalized teens all over the States (and Canada too… I think…).”

And speaking of awesome YA authors like the Readergirlz, Laini Taylor shares the cover of her upcoming bookSilksinger, at Grow Wings. Silksinger is the sequel to Blackbringerwhich I loved. I’m not including the cover here, since it’s not on Amazon yet, and wasn’t sent to me directly, but it is beautiful.

Secret Life of BeesAnd last, but definitely not least, I’ll be hosting a stop later this week in Laurie R. King’s 15 Weeks of Bees blog tour. The tour is in celebration of upcoming launch of the latest book in Laurie’s Russell/Holmes seriesThe Language of Bees. I’ve been a big fan of this series (historical fiction / mystery - the premise is that Sherlock Holmes in his retirement partners up with a bright teenage girl, and they solve cases together) since the first book. You can find the complete schedule for the tour here, and some other details at Angieville. More information to follow later this 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).