I started this blog a year ago today, on the urging of two different friends, who each said something along the lines of "Stop complaining about wanting to do something related to books and start a blog." So one weekend, when I had a little time, I just sat down and started. And I'm so glad that I did! I've read tons of great books in the past year (195 in 2006 to date), many of which I would never have found on my own. I've made friends from around the world, all of whom share this passion of mine for children's and young adult literature. I've been fortunate to develop relationships with publishers and publicists, and have received a bounty of review copies. And I've strengthened ties with some of my friends and family members, who read my Feedblitz updates every day, and talk with me about the books that they and their children are reading.
Despite a sad neglect of my blog these past couple of weeks (due to an insane amount of travel and work), over the year I've published 474 posts, or about 1.3 per day on average. I try to post something every day (though it hasn't worked out that way lately). I've published 121 reviews, mostly of middle grade and young adult books. I've participated, at times, in Poetry Friday and The Edge of the Forest (thanks Kelly!), and was a winner for most time spent reading in Mother Reader's 48-Hour Book Challenge (thanks Pam!). Most recently, I've been the administrator for the Young Adult Fiction category for the new Cybils awards (thanks Anne!).
While I've read and reviewed many books, and participated in the doings of the Kidlitosphere (named by Melissa), I've also tried to keep an eye on a subject near and dear to my heart, children's literacy. I try to draw attention to people and programs that help kids to grow up loving books (like First Book and Reach Out and Read, to name two of my favorites). I also try to provide a sense of community for adult readers of children's books.
The biggest success that I've had on this blog, in terms of responses received, has been my lists of Cool Girls and Cool Boys of children's literature. I hope to have time to do more with those lists (including updating them) in the New Year. And I'm happy that those lists have been joined by others lists, of Cool Teachers (at A Year of Reading), Wicked Women (at Scholar's Blog Spoiler Zone), and Librarians of Children's Literature (at TheBookDragon). Such fun, we fanatical children's literature fans have!
All in all, it's been a great year! My biggest regret, in terms of the blog, is that I don't have more time to work on it. More time to read and review books. More time to visit, and keep up with, the other blogs in the kidlitosphere. More time to perhaps start a newsletter for adult readers of children's books, something I've been wanting to do since the beginning. And if I really had time, I'd like to volunteer somewhere so that I can read with kids. But for now, I'll settle for finding time to check in with you occasionally through the rest of the holiday season, and expect to be back to full strength early next year.
Thanks so much for reading my blog! I wish you all a festive and book-filled holiday season -- Jen
© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.