This week, I didn't have nearly as much time to spend visiting other blogs as I would have liked (in part because I spent a lot of time on my Cool Girls from Kit Lit list. I'm trying to catch up today, before leaving tomorrow morning on yet another business trip. Here are some things that especially caught my eye:
- I was pleased to see that for the first time since 1999 a girl won Scripps National Spelling Bee. Congratulations to Kerry Close from New Jersey! There's a nice post about the contest at the BLTeens blog.
- Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace and a Tea Cozy posted a great summer reading list for seventh and eighth graders this week. My favorites from her list are Shakespeare's Secret, The City of Ember, and Uglies. There are several others that are on my to read list, and many others that I'm sure should be on my list. I also liked Liz's interview with author Ally Carter.
- I was also pleased to see that Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief won the 26th Red House Children's Book award. I found this gratifying, as I've been recommending it to anyone who will listen for months now. Thanks to Kelly at Big A little a for this link.
- Kelly also once again has her Tuesday/Wednesday review round-up. If you're looking for book reviews, this is the place to start. There seem to be a ton of young adult book reviews this week. So many books, so little time... I'm a bit delinquent on doing reviews lately, myself, but I do have a bunch of books that I've read that I intend to review soon. There's also an interesting discussion at Big A little a about why people would buy an audio recording of a picture book (be sure to read the comments).
- As previously announced on several sites (e.g. here at Big A little a), there's a new children's book blog on the block: The PlanetEsme Book-A-Day Plan. Esme Raj Codell is the author of How to Get Your Child to Love Reading: For Ravenous and Reluctant Readers Alike, which I've read and highly recommend. Esme is a huge advocate of reading aloud. In fact, her profile says: "Anyone who says they care about kids and schools and doesn't read aloud is lying, or about to make the discovery of a lifetime." She plans to feature a book every day, so you should certainly bookmark her site.
- Esme's blog also inspired something of a mini-rant on the part of Tadmack at Finding Wonderland about how important is for people, especially kids, to read. My favorite lines: "If people read ANYTHING it would change the world...Also, I am appalled when I realize just how much I got from reading as a kid, and just how many kids are getting by and raising themselves without having books read aloud to them, and without gaining an interest in books as a key to expanding their worldview." I second all of that!
- Chris Barton has a new list of books about U.S. history, this one focused on the time period from 1875 to 1925. This was quite an eventful time period, with the Wright Brothers, WWI, the Titanic, and the construction of America's first subway in Boston. I've certainly ridden on the subway in Boston, but I never realized that it was the first. So much to learn! Check out Chris's list (where he has links to lists for other time periods, too).
- Anne at Book Buds issued a blog challenge this week, one that I certainly couldn't resist. She asked for help with book recommendations for a 10-year-old girl seeking summer reading suggestions. So, if you know of a good book for girls, or you're looking for suggestions, check out Anne's post. Lots of suggestions are in the comments already.
- Bookshelves of doom has a funny post questioning how the women on the television show Lost are able to keep their eyebrows perfectly tweezed and their legs shaved, while on their tropical island. She offers no solution, of course (Lost is much more about questions than answers), but the comments are pretty funny.
- Also Lost-related, A Fuse #8 Production links in passing to a site that lists all of the literature references from Lost in one place. It's fascinating stuff, if you're a Lost fan and a book fan.
- But back to books, Little Willow has another book list, this one of well-written dystopian stories. This is a genre that I've had a particular weakness for ever since I took a Utopian Literature class during my freshman year in college. I couldn't resist the Uglies trilogy, and I loved The Giver. If you like this sort of thing, you should definitely check out Little Willow's list. I'm putting The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix high up on my list.
- And for another excellent book list, check out Don Tate's list of black males in children's books. He came up with the list in response to the question that he had after reading more than 100 picture books: "Where are the books for African American boys, those who fight off dragons; who defeat the bully; who spend their summer vacations bucking broncos?" Be sure to read the comments - there's some great stuff there! Don seems to have really hit a chord with people, much the way my recent cool girls from kid lit list did. I'll be mining his list when I start my "cool boys" list (so many ideas, so little time).
- Melissa Wiley at Here in the Bonny Glen has a post linking together several articles on secrets of the bloggers. I've had to bookmark it to revisit later, because I'm going out of town tomorrow, but I'm definitely interested in ideas for increasing traffic to my blog, making it more relevant for people, etc. So, if you know of a way that I could make my blog more useful to you, please let me know.
- MotherReader has another post about her, how shall we say it, obsession with Mo Willems. This one includes the text of some emails back and forth with Mo himself, and the whole discussion is simply hilarious. My favorite part, from Mo: "My wife would like to ensure that I give your husband my best." You'll have to read the entire post for context.
- MotherReader has also had a tremendous response to her 48 hour reader challenge (scheduled for the weekend of June 16th). You can see a list of the participants signed up so far here. I really must get started selecting my books to read that weekend. There's also an interesting post about the 48 hour book challenge on the new Readable Feast blog (part of the ClubMom network), proposing that people extend the challenge to their families.
- I don't link to reviews much (because Kelly does such a great job with that), but I did want to mention Michele's review of The Eyre Affair over at Scholar's Blog. If you're a person who loves books madly, you really will find The Eyre Affair (and sequels) irresistible. They're set in this parallel world in which society reveres books, and a few people can actually enter into, and change, books. Even if you don't normally read fantasy/science fiction, these books are hilarious, and carry lots of treats for the book lover. And by the way, although I don't link to reviews much, I do love to read them, and I use them to add to my ever-growing to read list.
And that is quite enough for one day. Hope you all had a great weekend! I'll be back later in the week with updates to my "Cool Girls" list, and hopefully some reviews.