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 The Hunger Games (4)

Saturday
May302009

Saturday Night Visits: May 30

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I fell quite behind on my blog reading while I was on vacation last week. I spent some time catching up this weekend (though I was by no means able to actually read all of the posts that I missed), and I do have a few Kidlitosphere highlights for you today. I’ll be back Monday with some more literacy-focused news, both here and at Booklights.

Catching FirePeople have started receiving ARCs of the Hunger Games sequelCatching Fire (talk about an accurate title - this book is catching fire in the market already). PW has an article about it here. The first review that I saw (a positive one!) was from Tasha Saecker at Kids Lit. Sadly, I have not been among the lucky ARC recipients. But I am glad to hear that the book is being well-received. Really. And perhaps my copy is just slow making it out to California, don’t you think? Or, I should have gone to BEA.

Great news! Kelly Herold, of Big A little a and Cybils fame (and one of my very first blog friends), is back after a bit of a blogging hiatus. She’s started a new blog called Crossover. She explains: “This blog, Crossover, focuses on a rare breed of book—the adult book teens love, the teen book adults appreciate, and (very, very occasionally) that Middle Grade book adults read. I’m interested in reviewing books that transcend these age boundaries and understanding why these books are different.” I love Crossover books, and I’m certain to enjoy this new blot.

The Kidlitosphere’s own Greg Pincus from GottaBook has a new blog, too. It’s called The Happy Accident, and it’s about using social media to help create happy accidents. [If you need proof that Greg understands how to use blogs and other social media tools well, The Happy Accident already shows up as the #3 entry when I Google search.] Although this new blog is not about children’s literature, I’m introducing it here because I think that it will have value to anyone who has goals that in some way include using social media (Twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc.). I’ll certainly be following Greg’s progress.

And speaking of people from the Kidlitosphere doing great things, Betsy Bird and Liz Burns were both featured in a panel at BEA last week (with Libba Bray, Cheryl Klein, and Laura Lutz). School Library Journal has a mini recap of the session, written by Debra Lau Whelan. Debra begins: “When Betsy Bird and Liz Burns speak, people listen.” Certainly I always do. BEA also featured a blogger signing booth this year. Pam Coughlan and Sheila Ruth are scheduled to be there tomorrow, and Lenore was there earlier in the weekend. (And perhaps others - I’m too demoralized from not having been at BEA to read any more coverage.)

Betsy also recently received her first author copies of her upcoming book: Children’s Literature Gems, Choosing and Using Them in Your Library CareerShe has pictures here. And she was recently interviewed by James Preller.

CybilsLogoSmallAnd still speaking of Kidlitosphere members doing great things, the Cybils were included in a recent list of the Top 100 Poetry Blogs (along with several of our other friends). Sarah Stevenson has the full scoop, with links, at the Cybils blog.

The Book WhispererEsme Raji Codell recently reviewed Donalyn Miller’s The Book Whisperer last week at PlanetEsme. She begins with: “I don’t usually stray from reviews and recommendations of books for kids, but in the interest of children’s literacy I need to shout out about a title that might do for independent reading what Jim Trelease’s READ-ALOUD HANDBOOK did for read-aloud.” She moves on from there to compare and contrast Donalyn’s results with her own teaching experience, concluding on a positive note with “Oh, Donalyn Miller. You go, girl.”

At Jenny’s Wonderland of BooksJenny Schwartzberg traces a history of ghosts in children’s literature, from the 1600s through the 1960s (I remember Ghosts Who Went to School, too) right up to 2008 Newbery winner The Graveyard Book. She concludes: “Over the last two hundred years children’s books have shifted from showing ghosts as frightening images used to teach morals to ghosts as a common theme in all kinds of books for children, whether they be scary or friendly.” Like many of Jenny’s posts, this one is well-researched, and well worth checking out.

I recently discovered the blog YAnnabeKelly has a fun post called 5 Ways You Can Convert YA Scoffers, about methods for getting other adults to start reading young adult books. She begins: “We all know adults who read YA have nothing to be ashamed of. But I’m not content to read YA just for my happy little self. You see, I’m a pusher.” In addition to Kelly’s five tips, there are other reader-suggested ideas in the comments.

At the Reading Rockets Sound It Out blogJoanne Meier shares several “relatively painless ways for teachers to stay in touch with teaching and learning this summer, besides of course browsing Reading Rockets!” I was honored to be included (along with Anastasia Suen) on Joanne’s recommended resource list.

One_lovely_blog_awardSpeaking on honors, Mrs. V awarded me a One Lovely Blog award at Mrs. V’s Reviews, for new blogs and blogging friends. She agrees with my mission statement, about how “helping establish life long readers has the power to change the world.” It’s always a joy to find a new kindred spirit.

And that’s it! After resorting eventually to “mark all as read” in my reader, I’m declaring myself caught up. Happy weekend 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).

Sunday
Apr122009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: Easter Edition

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Kidlitosphere_buttonSo, I thought I’d be back to blogging normally this week, but I was stymied by a combination of business travel and flu. But I did at least get some reading done… And now, on the tail end of Easter Sunday, I’m catching up a bit on the doings of the Kidlitosphere.

FeedFirst up, Terry Doherty continues her amazing work promoting literacy. Don’t miss the gorgeous new redesign of the Share a Story - Shape a Future website. Is that not the cutest RSS feed logo in the world? (Image credit to Share a Story - Shape a Future).

Lenore has what I think will be a useful post for authors at Presenting Lenore, talking about what makes a good pitch when an author is approaching a blogger about a potential review. There’s quite a bit of discussion in the comments, too. 

And a post that I think will be of interest to bloggers is this one from Janssen at Everyday Reading, about the difficulty of explaining to people who don’t blog the fact that other bloggers can become real-life friends. This has certainly been the case for me (people I know through my blog becoming genuine friends). And if any of you would like to see this in action, I urge you to attend the next Kidlitosphere conference in October, and observe the bonds between people who interact virtually for 364 other days of the year.

Jennie from Biblio File reports that “kidlit is taking over the world.” She says: “Of ALL books purchased Jan-Mar of this year, the top 5 sellers? Were kidlit. Twilight took the top 4 spots and Diary of a Wimpy Kid took #5.” Apparently (original source: Galley Cat), 16% of all books sold in Q1 were written by Stephenie Meyer.

Meanwhile, over at Wands and Worlds, Sheila Ruth is on a quest for undiscovered gems in a bestseller world. She says: “I want to hear your input about the best undiscovered gems of 2008. Please post in the comments your favorite children’s or YA books published in 2008 that were not widely buzzed, reviewed, or awarded. I’ll compile all the suggestions into a book list and post it on my blog, with permission for anyone to copy it and post it elsewhere.” Do take a few minutes to contribute, if you have a below-the-radar book that you loved last year.

At Kids Lit, Tasha Saecker takes exception to some of exclusions from VOYA’s recently released list of best sci fi, fantasy, and horror for teens. Do check out Tasha’s list of suggested adds, as well as the original list. And, speaking of a book that did make the list, Jessica Freundel at Kid Lit Kit shares two pieces of news about The Hunger Games. Hint: “Scholastic is giving one lucky fan a chance to sit down with Suzanne (Collins) for a private lunch in NYC”.

In other award list news, the short lists for the E. B. White Read-Aloud Awards were announced recently. I saw this news on various blogs, but am linking to the list as posted on nominee Lois Lowry’s blog. I was extra pleased to see Bonny Becker’s A Visitor for Bear nominated for picture books, and to see The Willoughby’s nominated for older readers.

Speaking of reading aloud, Sarah Mulhern has a great post at The Reading Zone about Nuts and Bolts of Reading Aloud. She begins: “Reading aloud to my students daily is one of, if not the most, important aspects of my classroom.  I extoll the virtues of classroom read alouds to anyone and everyone who will listen, yet I realized I never broke down the nuts and bolts of it here on my blog!” And so she does.

I don’t normally highlight author interviews, because there are so many, but I was taken with this Q&A between Paul from Omnivoracious and Joshua Mowll, author of the “Guild of Specialists” trilogy. Paul points out that this sounds like an extremely boy-friendly series for middle grade readers. The author responds, however: “The trilogy has some very strong female characters such as Becca and Liberty da Vine, so I’d always hoped both boys and girls would enjoy it. The narrative style moves everything along at speed… and it’s a big, big story after all. It is what it is—a full throttle adventure story. I know it’s exactly the sort of book I would have loved when I was young.” I think I’d like to check these books out.

Camille from Book Moot has two pieces of good news for New England children’s literature fans. Blueberries for Sal will be available for purchase again soon (original source Wizards Wireless), and the duckling (of Make Way for Ducklings fame) that was stolen from the Public Garden in Boston has been returned to his family. In other good news, I’m sure you’ll all be happy to know that Betsy Bird and Winnie-the-Pooh have been reunited at last.

Lori Calabrese has a great post at her new Get in the Game — Read! blog, about the value of sports and books. She recaps benefits of playing sports, and reading books, and then talks about the ways that sports and reading go together, all with very cute illustrations. This is a blog that I’ll be following closely!

Meanwhile, Melissa at Kidliterate makes a plea for more sports books for girls, saying: “Where is the awesome middle-grade girls’ series about friends who play soccer/ice skate/play field hockey/shoot hoops? Where’s the stereotypical girls’ sports series, for that matter? Most days I’d give my left arm for a fair-to-middling book about short girls on a gymnastics team.”

NationalPoetryMonthLogoAs I mentioned previously, there’s a lot going on all across the blogs in honor of National Poetry Month. I haven’t been able to keep up with it myself, but Elaine Magliaro is on the job at Wild Rose Reader. This post recaps activities as of a few days ago, and I think that it’s safe to say she’ll share other links going forward.

And, last but not least, don’t forget that School Library Journal’s Battle of the (Kids) Books starts tomorrow morning. Match 1 will be The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves vs Ways to Live Forever, judged by Roger SuttonYou can download the full brackets here.

Wishing you all a peaceful 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).

Thursday
Jan222009

Thursday Afternoon Visits: January 22, part 1

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

Lots going on around the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:

This just in! Publisher’s Weekly has a first look at the cover of the second Hunger Games book, by Suzanne Collins. Oh, how I’m dying for that book! The article says that: “Fans in the book industry can have their first chance to find out those surprises at the end of May—Scholastic will be giving out ARCs of Catching Fire at BEA in New York City.” Alas, I don’t plan to be at BEA. But I’m hoping that I’ll wrangle a copy at some point… P.S. Lenore posted the cover, too. I’m a bit leery of posting it before Amazon does, so I’ll send you to Lenore or PW.  

ReadKiddoLogoPW also has an article by Judith Rosen about James Patterson’s new ReadKiddoRead initiative. I haven’t had a chance to check this out myself, but I’ve been hearing good feedback so far. And you have to love the site’s tagline: “Dedicated to making you kids readers for life.” The PW article says: “By December, with almost no fanfare except for a mention in an interview with Al Roker and an ad in Peoplemagazine, the site attracted 20,000 visitors. It brings together reviews for books for newborns to teens, interviews with bestselling children’s authors like Jeff Kinney and Rick Riordan, and a book blog with reading lists by children’s literature consultant Judy Freeman, author of Books Kids Will Sit Still For.” I signed up for the mailing list, and will keep an eye on the whole thing.

And, as reported by Betsy Bird at Fuse #8, the 2008 Cuffies have been announced. These are a series of children’s book awards, some in unusual categories, derived from input by retailers. I always find them entertaining, and this year is no exception. You get things like “book with best plot twist” and “book you wish everyone would shut up about”.

Ranger's ApprenticeIn honor of next summer’s publication of the sixth book in the Ranger’s Apprentice series, Penguin is making the first book in the series, The Ruins of Gorlan, available as a free eBook. The site went live last week, and will be available until February 15th. Click here to view the book. As with the recent promotion for Readicide, I spend far too much time online already to be personally excited about a reading a whole book that way. But, I still think that promotions like this are a great way to generate excitement about books. 

Assimilating input from various children’s literature fans, Jenny Schwartzberg from Jenny’s Wonderland of Books has put together a tremendous list of Middle Grade Historical Fiction set in Asia. She also includes extensive notes on the compilation of the list, and the input that she received. This is an amazing new resource for fans of historical fiction and people looking for books set in Asia.

Kirby Larson has an interesting post today about writers and their “fingerprints”. Not literal fingerprints, but writing fingerprints, some signature attribute of an author’s writing that “marks your work as uniquely yours.” Although I’m not an author, of course, Kirby actually made me think about a strength that I display in my regular job, and how that might translate to children’s books and literacy.

I have a bunch of other things flagged, but I don’t have time to write them up write now. So I’ll leave you with these, and be back later with the rest. Stay tuned…

© 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
Sep042008

Thursday Afternoon Visits: September 4

From Jen Robinson’s Book Page

I would normally wait until Sunday to do my round-up of Kidlitosphere news. But I’ve flagged so many links to highlight that it seems ridiculous to wait.

  • The title of Rick Riordan’s fifth (and final) Percy Jackson book has been announced. The book will be called The Last Olympian and will be published on May 5th, 2009. And if that’s not enough RR news, check out Becky Levine’s post on a writing thought from Rick Riordan. I got a particular kick out of reading this post because I was standing next to Becky when she heard the tip.
  • I also got a kick out of this post by Gail Gauthier about how she made a book recommendation that went viral (from her hairdresser to several others). The book was Twilight, and whether you like the Twilight books or not, it’s still neat to for Gail to be able to trace the path that her recommendation made.
  • Have you been reading YA Fabulous? This is a relatively new blog, but the author’s dedication to young adult literature shines through. A feature that I particularly like is the regular YA Links Posts (most recent one here), in which YA for Great Justice rounds up various links to book reviews (with excerpts) and author interviews. The ones so far have been very comprehensive, and are not to be missed by YA fans.
  • Another new blog that I like is Muddy Puddle Musings, written by a middle school literature teacher named Chris. Chris recently announced “This year I’m going to try to go to the Teachers as Readers Book Club, which is sponsored by the Tucson Reading Association… The reading list for the year has been chosen from the IRA 2008 Young Adult Choices list.” How great is that? A Teachers as Readers Book Club, reading great YA titles!
  • The Book Whisperer is back, after a bit of a summer break, talking about connecting kids with booksDonalyn Miller says: “I realized that I am not engaged in a race with a shaky start in August and a finish line taped across June. I am traveling an endless journey with my students, all of us readers together, with no beginning and no end. There is only the next child, the next book, and the next opportunity to connect the two. Teaching kids to love reading is not about me and what I can (or cannot) do; it is about the children and what they can do.” Do go read the whole post - Donalyn is always inspiring.
  • At Librarilly BlondeCarlie Webber takes on the recent discussion around the blogosphere about an article in Good Magazine: Anne Trubek on Why We Shouldn’t Still be Learning Catcher in the Rye. I especially enjoyed Carlie’s take on people who reject all books sinceCatcher in the Rye as not relevant: “One would never teach history and ignore events that happened after 1955. One would never teach science and stop at discoveries made after 1955. Music history doesn’t stop with John Cage. Film studies classes include Fellini and Hitchcock, but they also include the Coen brothers. Given all this, why do you deem it all right and even a best practice in education, to not teach literature with teen protagonists written after 1955? I have never understood this need to teach classics and only classics and classics all the time.” Me neither.
  • At The Places You Will Go, Daphne Lee takes on the question of whether or not children’s authors are required to be role models. She says: “I don’t see (and fail to see how anyone could see) what a writer’s personal life (although for some, personal and public are one and the same) has to do with the work he/she produces. If a writer is responsible for stories that inspire and excite, intrigue and provoke, touch and move, it can hardly matter what his hobbies are, how many wives he has, or what he likes to stick up his nose (or other body parts, for that matter). Of course I realise that as mere humans its not easy for us to be totally objective… ” I feel the same way that Daphne does on this subject.
  • new issue of The Prairie Wind, the newsletter of the SCBWI-Illinois Chapter, is now available. I especially enjoyed Margo Dill’s interview with our own Betsy Bird from A Fuse #8 Production. The post includes some recommended KidLit blogs and also has advice “on blogging and how it can help a children’s author’s career.”
  • Over at Tea Cozy, Liz B. has a bit of a rant going, inspired by a new children’s book by a celebrity author (well, the author is the wife of a celebrity, anyway). My favorite part: “Just once, I want a celebrity author to say, “you know, as I was reading with my kids, I fell in love with children’s books, and rediscovered just how awesome children’s books are” or something like that, rather than “the books suck, so I was forced to write.”” I think that Liz has a pretty good idea for a consulting service to offer celebrities, though (at the end of the post).
  • Little Willow has the scoop on the Readergirlz plans for September, featuring “Good Enough by Paula Yoo and celebrating the theme of Tolerance.”
  • I’ve seen several blogs address the results of the recent poll that found Enid Blyton the UK’s “most cherished” writer (followed by Roald Dahl and then J. K. Rowling). I especially enjoyed Kelly Gardiner’s post on the topic at Ocean Without End, which includes some lessons learned by the selections. Like “The books we love as children - the books that introduce us to reading as a mania - stay with us forever.” So true. I adored Enid Blyton’s books when I was a kid, even though they were relatively hard to come by in the US. When I traveled to England for work when I was in my mid-20’s, I bought up every book that I could find from certain Blyton series. I also still read Inez Haynes Irwin’s Maida books on a regular basis. I have no idea if they’re any good or not, but I love them anyway.
  • Speaking of classics, Leila from Bookshelves of Doom is hosting the third edition of The Big Read, focusing on A Tale of Two Cities. You can find the details here. I’m not personally up for a re-read right now, but I listened to the book on tape a few years back and enjoyed it quite a bit. If you’ve ever wanted to read A Tale of Two Cities, this would be a good time…
  • I don’t usually highlight book giveaways, but Cheryl Rainfield is giving away three copies of one of my absolute favorite titles from recent memory: The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. You can find the details here. My review of The Hunger Games is here. All you have to do to enter is comment at Cheryl’s.

And that’s all the news for today. I’ll most likely be back with more over the weekend (though I’m also a bit behind on my recent reviews, so that will take first priority).

© 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).