This week I've done quite a bit of mulling over how I should be structuring this blog to make it more useful to people who are looking for book news and recommendations for kids. What's become clear is that if what I care about is helping to grow bookworms, then I should be spending more of my time on the core content that this blog provides: book reviews and news about literacy and raising readers.
Although I've enjoyed my "Sunday Visits" posts, in which I recap various items from around the Kidlitosphere, I have reluctantly decided (and with thanks to Kelly Herold for her advice and her example) that they aren't contributing very much to my core mission. I think that many of my readers would be better served by my writing an extra review or two each week than by my spending all of Sunday afternoon working on this recap post.
So, what I've decided is to re-focus the post a bit, so that it primarily includes news from the blogs that will specifically help people who are out there getting books into the hands of kids. I will also still be continuing my weekly children's literacy round-ups, which include children's literacy and reading news from newspapers and literacy sites like Literacy News and FirstBook. I won't rule out ever including Kidlitosphere news in this post. But I am going to try to make it more focused.
I have some other ideas about focusing the site and making it more useful (including my new Growing Bookworms newsletter), and I'll be working on those in the coming weeks. I welcome your feedback. Meanwhile, here's the news from the blogs for this week:
- Book lists abound. Inspired by Halloween, Adrienne of What Adrienne Thinks About That has put together a list of favorite picture books designed to empower. Over at The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia lists (and blurbs) favorite books and poems about fall. The Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) blog has a phonological awareness list focused on "the power of repetition, alliteration, rhyme and play on words in books to teach children language." It's more fun than it sounds, with lots of books with great rhyme and rhythm. And finally, this one is not exactly a book list, but Kathryne from The Longstockings has asked for "favorite books for a seventh-grade girl who just discovered that reading is fun". There are lots of great suggestions in the comments.
- Also available this week (I first saw the list at Mitali's Fire Escape), YALSA has published the Teens' Top Ten list, as voted on by more than 6000 teen readers. Number one on the list is New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer (second in the Twilight series, and which I reviewed here). Life As We Knew It, one of my favorites, is number seven.
- In a different sort of list, Alpha Mom lists her favorite online resources for finding children's books (including Book Buds and Three Silly Chicks). Several others (including my blog - thanks Genevieve!) have been suggested in the comments.
- My fellow Readergirlz Postergirl Miss Erin recently made a video book trailer for Sarah Beth Durst's novel Into the Wild (and which is not be confused with Jon Krakauer's non-fiction title Into the Wild). But seriously, if you're interested in learning about this middle-school aged fantasy, check out Erin's video trailer.
- Just as I've been waxing introspective about focusing my blog efforts, so have Kelly from Big A little a, Libby from Lessons from the Tortoise, and Colleen from Chasing Ray. All three posts are well worth checking out if you're interested in how children's book blogging is evolving for individuals, and how children's book bloggers are trying to make a difference through their efforts.
- And speaking of Kelly Herold, she has a new format for her blogrolls. She's put them into various separate, categorized posts, instead of listing everything in her sidebar. So now if you want to see the list of all of the children's book blogs that Kelly knows about, just click here. There is definitely something to be said for this approach - my sidebars in the blog are very very long.
- The Reading Tub website (and blog), which I have mentioned previously, is adding a new feature to their children's book reviews. Instead of a single recommended age range for each book, they will publish two age ranges, one for reading together (with a parent) and one for the child reading alone. I think that this is a brilliant idea, don't you?
- If anyone is looking for a family-friendly audio series, Sarah Miller highly recommends the Little House books on CD. She says: "I don't even know what to say about these audiobooks, except that they're so darn good, if I ever meet Cherry Jones I'm going to ask her to sign my ears." Funny!
And in closing, all I have to say is: "How about those RED SOX!!!!!"