I have lots of interesting links for you this week, despite the blog vacations of several Kidlitosphere stalwarts.
- The RSVP list for the First Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, to be held October 6th in Chicago, is growing by leaps and bounds. Robin Brande started this by talking about a fantasy potluck, and then, when people were enthusiastic, she turned it into a real potluck/party. One more revolution, and she has recast it as a one-day conference for kidlit bloggers and friends, to include round table discussions on various topics. It's been neat to watch this idea grow and evolve. I know that I'm looking forward to the conference and party, a chance to meet friends face to face who I email and comment with every week. I hope that many more of my blogging friends will decide to come. Consider this my invitation to you.
- Emily Beeson from Whimsy has declared July 16th TELL AN AUTHOR YOU CARE DAY. She has concrete suggestions for how we, as readers, can support authors, and let them know that we appreciate their work. This idea seems to be resonating with people around the Kidlitosphere, as you might expect, since we'd all be lost without books to read.
- Tricia (The Miss Rumphius Effect) links to a Steve Inskeep NPR interview of Nancy Pearl, in which the two talk about great summer reads for kids. Tricia shares first lines from several of the books discussed. They all look fascinating, in different ways.
- Over at A Patchwork of Books, Amanda, stuck in an unsatisfying job, asks readers for advice on how she might in some fashion get paid for blogging. I can relate to this desire - it would be wonderful to be able to make a living doing something that I enjoy and would do even without the money. But it's not easy. My Amazon referral commissions are wonderful (with many thanks to anyone who has clicked through!), but they keep me in books - they are a long way from paying the rent. (See also MotherReader's recent comments on being an Amazon Associate.) I also attended a session on this at last year's BlogHer conference, and I do know of a couple of people who have received paying gigs based on their blog performance. But that's pretty rare.
- The Scholar's Blog Book Discussion group will start a new discussion on July 3rd. The group will be reading Louis Sachar's The Boy Who Lost His Face, one last "realistic" title before delving deep into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for August and September.
- My friend Cory sent me a link to an interesting article in the LA Times, about how children will tend to believe what they read, even if you give them false information.
- Meg Rosoff writes about children learning to face fear through books, in a Telegraph (UK) article. She talks about why she writes relatively dark books (Zeitgeist), and notes that "In the end, there's nothing for it but to recommend a complex mix of literature for children, just as one would for adults - one that combines Streatfeild, Joseph Heller and McCarthy. Because facing fear vicariously, through literature, has to be one of the healthiest ways of processing the terror that goes with being human."
- Leila from Bookshelves of Doom links to another interesting Telegraph article, this one about the parallels and differences between England's two biggest selling children's authors: Enid Blyton and J. K. Rowling. Enid Blyton has sold about 400 million books so far, while Rowling is rapidly catching up with 325 million (not counting book 7 pre-orders). I was a big Enid Blyton fan as a kid, and still enjoy some of the books (though others are a bit too gender-stereotyped for me today). My favorites as an adult are the "Adventure" series, The Valley of Adventure, The Island of Adventure, etc., though as a kid I adored the Famous Five. I've bought a number of Blyton books while on business trips to England.
- Vivian is discussing books for boys vs. books for girls over at HipWriterMama, after posting about a great book for girls (The Tail of Emily Windsnap), and a couple of great books for boys (Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and How to Eat Fried Worms). She asks some penetrating questions about whether there are more books written today for girls than for boys, and if so, why that is.
- There's an interesting discussion going on over at Tea Cozy about comments, and the rights of bloggers to delete comments made to their blogs. Liz also links to a useful article about 12 Important US Laws Every Blogger Needs to Know, posted at Aviva Directory.
- Themed lists abound this week! The ESSL Children's Literature Blog just posted a list of "fiction and non-fiction resources for further exploration of immigration history, or the experiences of a particular ethnic group", as well as some web links about immigration. And author Justine Larbalestier just posted a list of "Australian gay and lesbian young adult books." (Whoops, there goes my PG rating.) Justine adds "This list is definitely not complete and is not annotated. It's just a start. If you can think of any more titles, please let me know!". For another list worth including, and not only because it has a great name, read Beginning Readers that Don't Make Me Want to Fall Into a Stupor (part 1 and part 2) at What Adrienne Thinks About That. And finally, if you need more lists, check out Melissa Wiley's list of her favorite booklists at The Lilting House.
- Cynthia Lord's picture with Bill Clinton, and the accompanying story, made me laugh. It's great that she's a writer, because she is so funny. Really, you should read all of her ALA articles - her sense of wonder at being a Newbery Honor winner shines through. Kirby Larson is less prolific about it, but also shares her joy about the Newbery ceremony.
- Sophia Masson, guest blogger at the Australian publication Good Reading Magazine, has a lovely post about why she writes for children. She says that she writes for kids "because I enjoy it more. Not because it's easier--it's certainly not--but because it's freer in terms of imagination and invention, more fun, more versatile, more elastic. It's the way my imagination works." There's a lot of great discussion in the comments, too. Thanks to Judith from Misrule for the link.
I'm hoping that the coming week will be relatively quiet work-wise, with the U.S. July 4th holiday, and that I'll be able to spend some time reading and reviewing. Happy July 4th to all!