Status Update for Dystopian Challenge
A Sea-Wishing Day: Robert Heidbreder

Sunday Afternoon Visits: May 20

Things have been relatively quiet around the Kidlitosphere this week. The biggest news was the widely reported death of author Lloyd Alexander at 83. There's been an outpouring of people talking about what a huge influence his books were, and how much they still care for the characters (especially Taran). But there have been a few other things going on:

  • Tricia has been reporting the progress of her China trip over at The Miss Rumphius Effect. She is one dedicated blogger. I can barely find time to write when I make trips to Portland and Phoenix.
  • Kristen McLean welcomes her new pixie daughter at Pixie Stix Kids Pix, offering an essential dozen of parenting book mini-reviews. She's an impressively dedicated blogger, too.
  • Kathy offers Summer Reading Part 2 at Library Stew (Part 1 is here). She includes a variety of great links, and also describes her summer reading plans with her own kids. She asks for other people's summer reading ideas, but has received no feedback so far.
  • Liz B. addresses the mandatory nature of summer reading at A Chair, A Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy, saying "I don't think summer reading should be mandatory. And to the extent that it is, I think it should be individual, non-punishing, and persuasive as to the joys of reading." I agree with her.
  • Lisa Yee was in the online edition of Newsweek last week, in an article about book clubs for kids. She draws some funny parallels between herself and Paris Hilton, also in Newsweek.
  • I don't usually highlight individual meme responses, but this one by Charlotte at Charlotte's Library caught my eye. Charlotte shares my love of D. E. Stevenson novels, and is reading Miss Buncle, one of my most-cherished Stevenson titles. If I had to name a favorite book of all time, and I was truly honest about it (not going with things that I think are impressive, or more "important"), D. E. Stevenson's Listening Valley wins for me. Her books are my ultimate comfort reading.
  • Over at The Longstockings, Kathryne has some strong words about book banning, inspired by the recent Bermudez Triangle controversy. Her advice for parents is very simple: "When your kid comes home with a book you don't recognize, READ IT. Then, when it turns out to be full of ideas you'd rather your kid not absorb, TALK ABOUT IT." So simple, but think of the positive impact of a plan like this. You'd have parents reading the books that their kids read, and talking about the books with the kids, arguing, discussing, sharing, being open. Why wouldn't anyone want that kind of relationship with their kids?
  • Becky writes about The Dangerous Book for Boys at Farm School, and muses on some other potentially "dangerous" books. This is a must-read article for parents of 7-12 year old kids, at least for those who wish their children could have an "unfettered" and old-fashioned childhood experience.
  • In celebration of National Independent Bookseller's Month, Shrinking Violet Promotions is compiling a list of "The Ten Best Reasons to Shop your Independent Bookstores". Head on over and help them out.
  • Per Rick Riordan's blog, the next book selected for Al Roker's Book Club for Kids at the Today Show is The Lightning Thief. What an excellent choice! And how great for the new fans who will discover this title, to find that there are two more published books in the series.
  • Monica Edinger, member of the 2008 Newbery committee, will be using her blog, Educating Alice, to "work out (her) ideas about what a great book really is, more specifically — what a great American children’s book really is." She starts what I'm sure will be a fascinating series with an analysis of Newbery quality animal fantasies.

And that's it for today. The Red Sox are in rain delay in Boston, but it's a beautiful day here in California, so I won't keep myself or anyone else tied to the computer any longer.