I was home this week, but somehow still wasn't able to keep very caught up on the blogs, or do much reading. I think it was the Carnival, combined with a lot of miscellaneous work-related things. But I spent some time this weekend catching up, while watching the Red Sox / Yankees series (Go SOX!). And I managed to find quite a few things for you.
- First and foremost, don't miss posts by Meg Cabot and Robin Brande, inspired by the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech, about what to do in a crisis. The short answer: do SOMETHING. But please do read both posts. I don't know about you, but I'm still teary-eyed over the whole thing, and it's good to see some words about action.
- Kelly asks readers for their top "Am I alone here?" titles at Big A little a. "You know, those books everyone loves but that you end up sorta liking, disliking, or downright hating." There are tons of responses in the comments. Mine was Octavian Nothing. Zee Says extends the question to discuss "am I alone here?" titles for movies (which I found via Kelly).
- GuusjeM at Of Life, Education, E-bay, Travel & Books writes about efforts to maintain enthusiasm for reading and learning among fourth graders, a dangerous drop-off age for literacy.
- Praba writes glowingly about the book Mama's Saris at Saffron Tree, calling it "an eloquent and colorful presentation of a story that celebrates the beauty of saris, and the special role they play in an East Indian family."
- The whole discussion about professional reviewers vs. blog reviewers really took on a life of its own this week. You can find an excellent take on it (beyond what I already mentioned here) at Becky's Book Reviews. Becky also has a comprehensive list of other posts on the topic, so I won't list them all here. But I did especially enjoy Camille's take at Book Moot, in which she discusses the different voices that we all bring to our reviewing.
- As part of the blogger vs. professional reviewer discussion, Colleen announces the "Summer Blog Blast Tour" that she's organizing at Chasing Ray. I'm pleased to be one of the 18 bloggers who will (collectively) be interviewing some 25 authors. The tour will take place in June. And don't miss Colleen's discussion about exactly what defines a professional reviewer vs. an amateur reviewer.
- At HipWriterMama, Vivian recaps the 70 books that she's reviewed this year for her wonderful Sunday series about Strong Girl Role Models in Children's Literature.
- And on a more frivolous note, LibrariAnne features a set of Scrabble furniture that is simply to die for. You have to see it to believe it.
- Inspired by the Carnegie of Carnegies list in the Guardian, Betsy offers up her list of "top ten children's books written in the last 70 years that also happened to win the Newbery Award" at Fuse #8. They are both excellent lists, well worth checking out. Also, don't miss your chance to vote for the next Hot Man of Children's Literature.
- Via Fuse #8, Kirby Larson announces a new, and long overdue series, Hot Women of Children's Literature. Her inaugural selection is our very own Mitali Perkins, who Kirby calls "smart, sassy and hot. Not just on the outside, but on the inside where it really counts."
- I learned via Publisher's Weekly Children's Bookshelf about a promotion that author James Patterson is undertaking. The third book in his Maximum Ride series is due out this summer, and Mr. Patterson has said that he'll only write a fourth book in the series if he gets one million votes at www.MaximumRide.com. The counter is already up over 900,000, so another book seems likely. But here's the cool part. He's also donating one book to First Book for every 100 clicks. I haven't seen a lot of reviews of this series around the Kidlitosphere - they are best-sellerish, rather than literary fiction. But the books are action-packed, and a huge hit with reluctant readers, and I for one will be glad to see the series continue.
- I enjoyed a recent series at Shrinking Violet Promotions (subtitle: Marketing for Introverts) about using positive karma in the Kidlitosphere. Robin LaFevers (author of Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos, which I reviewed recently) started with her post The Good Karma Networking Approach. Mary Hershey continued the topic with Karma Kontinued. They both take the approach that it helps tremendously in the long run to do good things for people, and give people positive feedback, when you have the chance. Send good karma out into the Kidlitosphere, and all will be well.
And that's quite enough for one day. Quite a week it's been in and around the Kidlitosphere.