Children's Literacy Round-Up: April 3
Cam's Quest: Dian Curtis Regan

Quick Hits on Wednesday

First things first, Happy Birthday to Cory! And belated Passover greetings to my Passover-celebrating friends. Here are a few things that caught my attention, that I didn't think should wait for the weekend:

  • First of all, don't forget to make your submission for the lucky 13th carnival of children's literature. Submissions are trickling in, but there are many blog friends who I haven't heard from yet.
  • LitLove has an interesting post at Tales from the Reading Room about the future of the book, written in response to an Economist article. She particularly takes exception (and rightly so, I think) with the idea that "Certainly, some types of fiction – novels as well as novellas – are also likely to migrate online and to cease being books. Many fantasy fans, for example, have already put aside books and logged on to “virtual worlds” such as “World of Warcraft”, in which muscular heroes and heroines get together to slay dragons and such like. Science fiction may go the same way, and is arguably already being created by “residents” of online worlds such as Second Life."  She's evoked some vehement responses in the comments.
  • Vivian has issued a challenge over at HipWriterMama. She asks us: "What Would You Do If You Knew You Could Not Fail? Create your own Mission Statement and be as specific as you can. Identify the who, what, where, when and how, if possible." She's offering prized for people who share their mission statements and hold themselves accountable. Strong stuff! I wish her well in her own stated goal, too. I was especially taken by Robin Brande's words of encouragement to Vivian and others in the comments. Well worth checking out.
  • If you are interested in the present and future of young adult publishing, Liz has a can't miss post over at Tea Cozy. She discusses two articles on the subject, and posts her own opinions, and has many other shared opinions in the comments. See also TadMack's response to these articles, and her passionate and informed response to yet another article about YA books at Finding Wonderland.
  • I also recommend Colleen Mondor's Stories for Boys column at Booksl*t. How did I miss that Robert Parker just published a YA mystery? Oh, maybe because it won't be released until later this month. But Colleen reviews several other titles, too. If you're looking for books to recommend to older boys, it's well worth reading. 
  • Tricia continues her insightful posts over at The Miss Rumphius Effect. First, she writes about the amount of time that teachers spend focused on reading in the classroom, and whether or not science and social studies are getting short shrift. Her mantra is now "Where's the science?" See also A Year of Reading's response. Tricia also has a non-book-related post that I identified with about the fact that children don't play outside as much now as they did when we were children. I find it sad, too. Some of my best childhood memories are of climbing trees, and exploring woods.
  • Fans of Beverly Cleary (and really, who isn't?) should definitely check out this post by Jennifer at The Kiddosphere. She says "In celebration of Beverly Cleary’s 91st birthday, I am challenging myself to read all of her books by her birthday, April 12. It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least." She proceeds to discuss several of the books, complete with nostalgic cover pictures.
  • At Fuse #8, Betsy revisits the frequently-addressed question of whether or not book reviewers should write negative reviews, with a new twist inspired by comments from Gail Gauthier. Gail said that while she would prefer not to have bad reviews, at least they tell a writer that their book is worth discussing. Betsy asks whether or not it might help the author for us to publish negative reviews, as compared to the current widespread policy of not writing at all about the books that we don't care for. It's the old "all publicity is good publicity" thing. I have done this a couple of times (written about a book that I wasn't personally wild about because I thought that even my luke-warm words would at least get some exposure for the book), but I think that it's tough on author and reviewer.
  • Check out Blog from the Windowsill for a hilarious Kidlitosphere-based spoof of the Little House books. I rarely actually laugh out loud while reading blog posts, but this one did it for me. Here's a tiny example, but you really should go check out the whole post: "Miss Robinson told them she was a tutor for a young girl in the nearby town, but when she wasn't busy Educating Alice, she loved to share books with her neighbors. "Prairie life is so busy" she said with a smile, "But There's Always Time for a Book."" You do have to be a Kidlitosphere aficionado to appreciate it.
  • Cynthia Leitich Smith reviews a book that I simply must read. It's called Don't You Forget About Me: Contemporary Writers on the Films of John Hughes. Since I know many of these movies by heart, more or less, this is a book that I'll simply have to read.

OK, so this wasn't so very quick. But there's some interesting stuff. Happy reading!