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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 Mitali Perkins (11)

Monday
Aug252014

KidLitCon 2014 Program

Kidlitcon 2014: Blogging Diversity in Young Adult and Children’s Lit: What’s Next?
October 11 and 12, 2014  Tsakopoulos Library Galleria, Sacramento, CA
(Link to Registration Form) (Link to KidLitCon Main Page)

Friday, October 11 

8:30-9:30 Registration

9:30-9:55  Welcome and Opening Remarks

10-10:50 A  Finding Your Voice, Finding Your Passion- Blogging With Conviction 

Charlotte Taylor Charlotte’s Library

Blogging is hard work, made easier by passion. Having an intense focus (such as a passion for some aspect of diversity, or some particular sub-genre) can both motivate the blogger and help the blog find its audience. But passion and conviction by themselves aren’t enough to make a blog a success for both its writer(s) and its readers—you have to be able to communicate them effectively. Topics in this session will include how to find the voice, or voices, that work for you, and how to use them to make a stronger, more powerful blog. 

10-10:50 B   Finding and Reviewing the Best in Diverse Children’s and YA

Nathalie Mvondo Multiculturalism Rocks!
Gayle Pitman The Active Voice
Kim Baccellia Si, Se Puede- Yes, You Can! 

Many bloggers want to review more diverse books, but are uncertain about where to find the best ones, and are uncertain how to evaluate and promote them. This session, featuring three bloggers who focus on multicultural and LBGT books,  will help bloggers get diverse books onto their blogs and into the hand so young readers.  

11-11:50 A    Sistahs (and Brothers) Are Doing It for Themselves  — Independent Publishing From the Creators’ and the Bloggers’ Points of View    

Laura Atkins Laura Atkins, Children’s Book Editor
Zetta Elliott Fledgling
Libertad Thomas Twinja Book Reviews and (with co-blogger Guinevere Thomas) Diverse Book Tours

Is it possible, in a publishing world that so dramatically lacks diversity in its offerings, to provide viable alternatives, using people power to provide books that all children in this country can relate to and enjoy? We think so! An ever growing number of authors and illustrators are independently creating children’s books, and many of these are about diverse subjects and children. An editor, and author and self-publisher, and a blogger come together to talk about different models and approaches to creating independent children’s’ books, and the role of bloggers in publicizing them, with a discussion of reviewing self-published books from the blogger’s point of view. 

11-11:50 B Social Media Tips and Tricks for Bloggers

Kelly Jensen (Stacked and Book Riot)

You write a blog post and now you want people to find it. This session will give you tips and tricks for best social media practices across a variety of platforms, including Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. Learn how to build an engaged and excited readership, as well as how to manage the nitty-gritty components of social media. Whether you’re new at it or you fancy yourself a seasoned pro, you’ll learn some new best practices.  

12-1:30 Lunch (box lunches included in price of registration)   

This first lunch will feature optional talk clusters, where bloggers can gather with those who share their particular interests (such as “diverse spec. fic”  “picture book reviewing”  “middle grade books”  “LBTG” etc.), with the option of general seating as well. (Please share ideas for conversational groups with Charlotte Taylor (charlotteslibrary@gmail.com). 

1:30-3   Getting Beyond Diversity and Getting to the Story 

Edith Campbell Crazy Quilt Edi
Hannah Gómez  sarah HANNAH gómez
Jewell Parker Rhodes 

While gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or ability add to who we are, they do not define who we are. And these differences do not define our stories. How do we teach, discuss, or describe diverse books without making diversity the issue? Should we? How do we respond to the perception that ʺdiverse booksʺ are only for ʺdiverse peopleʺ and deliver book reviews and essays that highlight what makes books universal for those disinclined to think diversity is for them while acknowledging readers who need and deserve to find themselves in literature? Presenters Edith Campbell, Hannah Gómez, and author Jewell Parker Rhodes will deliver an interactive session with talking points, booktalks, strategies and much honest discussion.

3-5 Author Mix and Mingle

Meet and mingle with authors, publishers, and of course fellow bloggers! Signed books to buy, swag and ARCs to snag, good conversations to be had. 

Dinner (paid for individually) at The River City Brewing Company 

Saturday, October 11

8-9 Registration for new arrivals

9-10 KEYNOTE  Mitali Perkins— Can Bloggers Diversify the Children’s Book World? You Bet We Can.

Blogger and author Mitali Perkins will share stories of how some key blogs have made a difference through the years, offer practical tips on how to influence our circle of blog readers, and discuss how to integrate our social media platforms with our blogs for maximum impact. 

Mitali Perkins (mitaliperkins.com) has written nine novels for young readers, including Rickshaw Girl (chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the top 100 books for children in the past 100 years) and Bamboo People (an American Library Association’s Top Ten Novels for Young Adults, starred in Publishers Weekly as “a graceful exploration of the redemptive power of love, family, and friendship.”) Mitali graduated from Stanford University in Political Science and received her Masters in Public Policy from U.C. Berkeley. After spending 13 winters in Boston, she now lives and writes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her blog, “Mitali’s Fire Escape: A Safe Place to Think, Chat, and Read About Life Between Cultures” (mitaliblog.com), has been around since April 23, 2005. 

10-10:25 Break

10:25 -11:05  Beyond the Echo Chamber of the Kidlitosphere: Reaching Readers.

So you’ve read the book and written your review. Now what? Learn where the readers are, how to reach them and what to say so they’ll listen.  

Pam Margolis, Unconventional Librarian

11:15 to 12:  Skype session with Shannon Hale

12-1:30 Lunch (box lunches included in the price of registration)

1:30-3  We Need Diverse Books Presents:  Book Bloggers and Diversity, an Unbeatable Combination  with Mike Jung, Karen Sandler, S.E. Sinkhorn, and Martha White 

In the first part of this session, the panelists will share the lessons learned from the very successful #WeNeedDiverseBooks social media campaign with regard to crafting your message, using your message, and establishing an emotional connection. Second, the panelists will focus on how diverse children’s literature can enrich our blogs, and how authors and editors can further expand the content available to us.

3:-3:30 Break

3:30-5  We’re Not Going To Take It and Neither Should You: Why Book Bloggers DO Have the Ability to Make Divers Books Happen

Hannah Gómez  sarah HANNAH gómez
Kelly Jensen Stacked and Book Riot
Faythe Arrendondo YALSA-The Hub
Summer Khaleq Miss Fictional’s World of YA Books 

We know bloggers matter to the publishing industry and to readers. And we know reading diversely is important for all readers, as it opens up your worldview. But how can bloggers effect positive change when it comes to diversity? This session will explore the ways bloggers can audit their own reading habits, assess and address personal biases, as well as create and curate stronger content as it relates to diversity in all shapes and forms — race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, socioeconomic status, body image, and more. We’ll offer tools and tips for not just finding and highlighting diverse reads, but also how to advocate for diversity within one’s own blog and beyond. This is more than an awareness of diversity; it’s an opportunity and an obligation for active change.

5-9 Banquet at The Citizen Hotel (included in conference price)

____

We welcome your feedback about the 2014 KidLitCon!

Charlotte Taylor: Program Coordinator

with:

Sarah Stevenson and Tanita Davis and Jen Robinson: Co-Chairs
Reshama Deshmukh and Melissa Fox: Author Coordinators
Maureen Kearney: Registration Coordinator 

_____

Register now! 

Wednesday
Aug122009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: August 12

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

This week’s posts around the Kidlitosphere have been filled with reminders about why I love this community so much. I’ll probably be back with more over the weekend, but wanted to share these links with you all now.

Mitali Perkins shares photos from her recent visit to Prince Edward Island, home of Green Gables. She says: “As an oft-displaced child, I borrowed roots from my favorite authors. L.M. Montgomery’s novels made Prince Edward Island one of my many homes.”

Speaking of lovely places to spend a summer day, check out this post at Cynthia Lord’s blog. Her husband John is the  most amazing photographer. I always enjoy his photos, but this one, of two Adirondack chairs facing sunset over a lake … truly gorgeous. Click through. However your day is going, it will make you feel better. [And to my friend summering in Truro, this one made me think of you.]

If those first two links didn’t offer enough travel for you, Colleen Mondor’s One Shot Southeast Asia round-up post is now available at Chasing Ray. There are tons of great entries, too many for me to mention here. But I did especially like seeing Liz B feature PaperTigers at Tea Cozy.  

At Wild Rose Reader, Elaine Magliaro announces the August Small Graces auction from Grace Lin. Elaine says: “All the proceeds from the Small Graces auctions will benefit The Foundation for Children’s Books, a small non-profit organization in Boston that is making a big difference in the lives of young readers by bringing children’s book authors and illustrators into under-served schools in the Greater Boston area for visits and residencies.” This month’s painting is beautiful and sunny.

Jennie has a new project at Biblio File, a Reading Challenges Clearinghouse. She says: “This blog will post (and link) to all the reading challenges out there for all types of book blogs. The long ones, the short ones, the serious, and the silly.” So, if you are hosting or participating in a reading challenge, do let Jennie know. (I personally have enough trouble keeping up with my reading, without adding challenges to the mix, but I know that a lot of people love them).

Angiegirl at Angieville writes about stubborn girls (in literature) and why she likes them. She highlights three of her favorites, and concludes: “In the end, I guess I’m just a ridiculously firm believer in the kind of heroines Robin McKinley (an excellently stubborn girl herself) refers to as “girls who do things.”“

Newlogorg200Someone else who I suspect appreciates stubborn girls (in life and literature) is Tanita Davis (have you read Mare’s War?). Tanita has a wonderful guest post at the Readergirlz blog about mothers and daughters. She shares some family memories, and photos, too. Go, read. It’s lovely.

Tanita also shares, at Finding Wonderland, an announcement about a call for young adult writing submissions for e-Publishing company Verb Noire. They’re looking for: “original works of genre fiction (science fiction/fantasy/mystery/romance) that feature a person of color and/or LGBT as the central character.”

Kidlitosphere_buttonAnd finally, another must-read post from Pam Coughlan at MotherReader. Pam summarizes her position of several topics currently in discussion around the Kidlitosphere, from review copy envy to the idea of making money from blogs. Not surprisingly, I thought that she was dead on. There’s some good discussion in the comments, too. Pam suggests (not for the first time) that we as a community: “spend some time educating ourselves about the issues, discussing the possible implications, and drafting our personal policies.” She asks: “What does it mean to you to Blog with Integrity?”

See what I mean? This is such a great community. Hope you found some food for thought, or just some news to make you smile.

© 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
Jul072009

Tuesday Afternoon Visits: July 7

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I know that I just published a Kidlitosphere news round-up on Sunday. But I have a few additional links to share with you today:

First up, congratulations to Guys Lit Wire. Their Book Fair for Boys was a huge success. Colleen Mondor reports: “I am thrilled to announce that to date we received 600 books for the boys in the LA County juvenile justice system. The response to the original Book Fair for Boys post has been huge - far greater than we anticipated - and will make a big difference in a lot of lives. So many books were sent to LA that InsideOut Writers is able to spread them over all three facilities where the boys are held, providing much greater access to the books.” Very cool!

Also at Guys Lit Wire, an excellent post from Mr. Chompchomp suggesting some guy-friendly books that feature female protagonists. He says: “Fortunately, the world of literature is more varied than the world of Disney movies, and gives us many books with girls as the main characters, girls who are neither princesses nor fairies, nor, for that matter, the tormented little playthings of boy vampires. Here are some of those books, mostly fantasy and sci-fi, because that’s what I know, but some non-fiction too, for good measure”. There are some great suggestions, including Garth Nix’s fabulous Sabriel (and sequels).

Mitali Perkins just published a great list of Take Me Away Fiction (books with a strong sense of place). She says: “f you can’t afford a lavish vacation this summer, here’s a list of books that make you forget where you are by creating a great sense of place. I haven’t read all of these, so don’t quote me as your travel agent — they came in response to my call for YA/Kid novels that turn us into armchair travelers with their mastery of setting.” The first three books I thought of were Sara Zarr’s Story of a GirlMary Pearson’s A Room on Lorelei Street, and Laini Taylor’s Blackbringer. And of course there is Mitali’s own Monsoon Summer. Do you have any other titles to suggest for Mitali’s list?

In light of the many responses to the recent NY Times column by Nicholas Kristof’s list of “the best kids’ books ever” (one person’s opinion, and not at all a diverse list, but at least he’s got lots of people talking about children’s books), Laurel Snyder has re-posted her own essay on “the very worst books for kids”.

There seems to be a minor bout of blog reviewer burnout going around. This is different from blog focus angst, and tends to be caused by either writing many reviews in a short time, or by having a big stack of books that have been read, and not yet reviewed. Amy from My Friend Amy is the latest victim of this malaise (though she clearly has an excellent support network). In any event, for anyone suffering from this, I prescribe 7 Tips for Quitting a Book, from Kelly at YAnnabee. That and a big stack of books that you don’t feel like you’ll need to review - things outside of your usual focus, old favorites, etc.

OK, that’s all for now. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

© 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
Jun102009

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: June 10

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Here are some items worth mentioning from around the Kidlitosphere:

Colleen Mondor has started a new feature at Chasing Ray called What a Girl Wants. She’ll be showcasing writers whose young adult novels have strong female characters. In the first installment of the series, Colleen asks her participants to share memories of books that they read as teens, books that made a lasting impact. Colleen’s own thoughts on A Wrinkle in Time particularly caught my attention, but all of the mini-essays are worth reading.

Newlogorg200And speaking of authors who write about strong female characters, Readergirlz is featuring Sara Zarr’s Sweethearts this month. You can find details here.

The UK has a new children’s laureate. Anthony Browne will be replacing Michael Rosen in this position. Do you think he’ll have tea with Jon Scieszka? I first saw the news at Children’s Books for Grown-Ups, where Natasha Worswick reports: “Anthony’s agenda as next Childrens Laureate is to  stimulate and encourage a lifelong love of reading.”

Betsy Bird has made her mid-year predictions for the Newbery and Caldecott awards at A Fuse #8 Production. She mentions one of the books that I read last weekend, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate 

BooklightsSusan Kusel has a brilliant analysis of the design of Where the Wild Things Are at Booklights. She looks at how the ratio of white space to text and illustration change throughout the book, and how it affects the reader’s experience. Jules from 7-Imp also pointed out that today is Maurice Sendak’s birthday, so this is an extra-fitting post.

Mitali Perkins is running a poll on her site about whether or not it’s ok for publishers to “edit beloved children’s books like LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE or THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA to eliminate racial or ethnic stereotyping?” I’m kind of on the fence about this. I don’t like the idea of making changes like this. I think it’s better to leave the classics as-is, and use the racial or ethnic stereotyping as a jumping off place for discussion. However, if an author wants to make such changes herself, I hesitate to say that we shouldn’t let her. If you all have thoughts on this, please share them at Mitali’s.

J. L. Bell has a post at Oz and Ends about “representation of racial and ethnic minorities in American children’s books” and the realities of today’s publishing industry. He thinks that: “The challenge isn’t convincing individual gatekeepers. The challenge is convincing those editors’ corporate employers—and the corporations they work closely with, such as the chain booksellers—that there’s enough money to be made from those families to justify publishing more books than they already are.” Which sounds realistic to me.

I’ve mentioned Greg Pincus’ new blog, The Happy Accident, before. I especially liked this recent post, in which Greg introduces a social media “rule of three” for producing good content. The idea is that you should think about why you’re using the tool in the first place, whether you’re serving that purpose with individual updates, and whether you’re getting the results that you want. Which seems like good advice to me.

These are both a bit off topic, but Lois Lowry had two posts at her blog that I particularly enjoyed. Last week she had a post documenting an encounter (while on a trip to Africa) with elephants. Big ones protecting a little one. Gorgeous! (My grandfather used to collect elephant figurines, and elephants still catch my eye). Then, returning home, she shared a lovely post highlighting the upside of living in a rural place. Since she had missed her tulips blooming while she was away, her letter carrier took a picture of them for her. Kind of made me want to live in a small town, you know?

LiteraryBloggerAnd last, but not least, thank you to Melissa from Book Nut for giving me a Literary Blogger Award. She said that “promote and inspire people of all ages to read”, which is a lovely compliment. I’m great company, too!

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).

Sunday
Feb082009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: February 8

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

My blog has been lamentably quiet this week. I was in Fort Collins, CO for work, and couldn’t even keep up with email, let alone with blogging. Now I find myself with a free Sunday, and a Google Reader filled with posts. Here are some highlights of the doings of the Kidlitosphere. The Literacy and Reading News Round-Up will follow tomorrow.

I’m pleased to report that I was a winner in HipWriterMama’s 2009 New Year 30 Day Challenge. As the other winners have commented, the real prize was successfully participating (my challenge goal had to do with riding my exercise bike every day, and I did pretty well with it, despite guests and travel). Thanks, Vivian!

PaperTigers has a new February issue about “the growing global awareness of the power of children to change the world.” I especially enjoyed Mitali Perkins’ article about how books can shape a child’s heart. Although I don’t have quite so specific an example as Mitali’s description of reading A Little Princess, I have always felt that the books that I read as a child influenced my moral compass. For more on how children are changing the world, see my post from last week about Free the Children.

KidsheartauthorlogoSpeaking of PaperTigers, Janet has a nice write-up about the upcoming Kids Heart Authors Day, explaining how “from New England to the Pacific Northwest, independent bookstores, children’s authors, illustrators, and the young readers who love them are coming together on February 14 in a grand celebration.” It’s not quite enough to make me wish, in February, that I still lived in New England, but it comes close.

With her usual thoroughness, Elaine Magliaro has compiled book lists, book reviews, and other resources for Black History Month at Wild Rose Reader. This is an excellent starting point for anyone looking for resources on this topic. Friday’s Poetry Friday round-up is also available at Wild Rose Reader.

ReadkiddoreadWendie Old has a very positive write-up about James Patterson’s new ReadKiddoRead site.

In other encouraging news, Cheryl Rainfield shares a tidbit about a child who saved herself from a fire, after learning how to do so from a children’s book.

PJ Hoover brought to my attention a new blog that’s right up my alley. In The Spectacle, “Authors talk about writing speculative fiction for teens and pre-teens.” I especially enjoyed PJ’s post The Cool Thing About Post-Apocalyptic. Speaking as a series fan of the genre myself, I have to agree with her conclusion. See also this post at Presenting Lenore about dystopias. And speaking of speculative and post-apocalyptic fiction, Bookshelves of Doom reports that John Christopher’s Tripods trilogy is being adapted for the big screen. Very cool!

NORTHlogo[1]In celebration of the launch of her new book, North of BeautifulJustina Chen Headley is launching a Find Beauty Challenge. Justina says: “Tell the world what you find to be Truly Beautiful! Just upload a 90-second video describing what real beauty means to you…and you could win yourself an iTouch! PLUS, for every uploaded video, I’ll donate $10 (up to $1,000) to Global Surgical Outreach, an amazing group that helps kids with cleft lips and palates in the third world.” North of Beautiful is on my short list, but I haven’t gotten to it yet. Anyone else find it ironic that I’m spending so much time reading and writing about encouraging readers that I don’t have time to read myself? Ah, well!

Amy from Literacy Launchpad has a fun post about the importance of building home libraries for children, and the dilemma that she faces in deciding which of her precious books to actually share with her book-eating young son. And speaking of home libraries, Susan Thomsen shares resources for inexpensive children’s books at Chicken Spaghetti, with additional resources suggested in the comments.

Facing another literacy dilemma, Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect mulls over the idea of a canon of children’s literature, asking: “Are there books and stories that every child should/must know?” There’s a good discussion going on in the comments about it - my own views are pretty much identical to what Chris Barton said. Maureen Kearney also weighs in at Confessions of a Bibliovore.

Reminding us that not all kids learn to read in the same wayKris Bordessa from Paradise Found links to an interesting post by Miranda at Nurtured by Love. Comparing her own children’s experience to those of a friend, Miranda notes: “So not only did I not do very much to nurture my kids’ early achievement of literacy, but what I did do was probably almost beside the point. It’s mostly in the wiring, modulated by issues of temperament. Sure, an impoverished learning environment can cause delays in literacy learning. But a reasonably supportive nurturing environment? It’s in the wiring. The ages when perfectly bright non-learning-disabled unschooled kids will learn to read is all over the map.”

Natasha Worswick reports that BBC Four will be showing a documentary tonight about Why Reading Matters. Doesn’t seem to be on here in CA, but I’ll stay tuned at Children’s Books for Grown-Ups, to see if Natasha has any feedback after watching it.

And for all of you bloggers out there, especially blogging authors, Pam Coughlan has a great two-part piece at MotherReader with blogging tips. Here’s Part 1 and Part 2 (which incorporates reader comments from Part 1, and has concrete examples of people she thinks are doing things right). I think she’s convinced me to a) prune my blog sidebars and b) be more careful about the use of acronyms.

And finally, our own Greg Pincus from Gotta Book was mentioned in an article in the Guardian this week, about the relationship between math and poetry. Remember the Fib? The article certainly wouldn’t have been complete without this art form that bridges math and poetry so perfectly.

Now my Google Reader is empty of unread items, for the first time in a week or so, and I’m off to ride my exercise bike for a while. Happy Sunday to 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).