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Growing Bookworms Newsletter: Christmas Edition

Sunday Afternoon Visits: Christmas Weekend Edition

Turned out I had a small slice of time for blog visits today after all. In truth, things are pretty quiet out in the Kidlitosphere this weekend. Here are just a couple of things that I noticed:

  • Shelf Elf was kind enough to grant me a Roar for Powerful Words award from the Shameless Lions Writing Circle. I am honored, and will be back with a full post about this and who I would like to nominate for the award after the holidays. But meanwhile, it was a very nice thing to have happen this week.
  • Read about poverty and class in YA literature at Tea Cozy, Bildungsroman, and Finding Wonderland. The posts were prompted by this discussion at The YA YAs, which was in turn inspired by a comment from Sherman Alexie at Pop Candy. I agree with Liz's point that "If a child lives in an affluent suburb, books are one way for them to know that other people live different lives." Of course this is true for books about characters of different races, ethnicities, sexual preferences, political views, etc., too. Anyway, if you have YA titles about class to share, head on over to The YA YAs to add to their list.
  • This week's Poetry Friday was hosted at AmoXcalli. Not surprisingly, there are lots of holiday and winter poems floating about.
  • Gail Gauthier expresses her joy about the fact that PBS will begin broadcasting the complete Jane Austen in January. You can find Jane Austen movies and mini-series' on TV every Sunday starting on January 13th. And yes, they will be broadcasting the Colin Firth version of Pride and Prejudice starting on February 10th (that one I recently purchased, so I have less need of it on TV, but I would still bet that if I start watching, I won't be able to turn it off). And of course, I'll be guest blogging for PBS Parents for their Expert Q&A feature in January. Could I have better company at PBS than Jane Austen? I don't think so.
  • I haven't posted about it in a while, but the Saturday Review of Books of still going strong at Semicolon. Every Saturday, participants can link to a book review that they posted during the week. Next week will be a special year-end edition of the Saturday Review of Books, in which participants can link to book lists. Sherry says: "December 29th, will be a special edition of the Saturday Review of Books especially for booklists. You can link to a list of your favorite books read in 2007, a list of all the books you read in 2007, a list of the books you plan to read in 2008, or a list of the books you read for the Saturday Review of Books Reading Challenge. Whatever your list, it’s time for book lists." I will be publishing my list of books read in 2007 at some point, hopefully by the 29th, so that I can include it in the round-up. Or, I can include the list of my favorites that was published this week at Chasing Ray.
  • I was impressed by this tidbit from Wizards Wireless. She said that a 12-year-old boy named Dickie Berkenbush helped author Virginia Lee Burton to think of the ending to Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, and Ms. Buxton credited the boy right there in the text (not in an acknowledgment, but there on the page). As Susan said, "in an age where plagiarism is rampant and and children's ideas aren't always taken seriously... I find what Virginia Lee Burton did to be inspiring."
  • First Book (a great organization that gets books into the hands of kids) has been getting lots of attention lately. See this post with links to several recent magazine references and awards.
  • Oz and Ends has a balanced take on Caleb Crain's recent NY Times Twilight of the Book article. See also this post. I must confess to not having read the article yet - I'm just not interested in doom and gloom about reading rates right now.
  • Rick Riordan comments at length in response to the people who ask him what it's like to be "an overnight success." He concludes (and I'm sure many authors will be able to relate): "People ask me what I think about getting so much attention, and how it’s changed my life. It really hasn’t. I’m the same guy who sat in Waldenbooks for two hours (ten years ago, at a signing for Big Red Tequila), giving directions and smiling vacantly at a stream of shoppers who were trying to ignore me. I’m the same guy who stared at countless rooms full of empty chairs in countless bookstores for ten years. I am still amazed every time I get a crowd at an event. I take nothing for granted." It's the people who don't take success for granted that we're most happy for when they do succeed, isn't it?
  • Speaking of success that doesn't really happen overnight, congratulations to the Kidlitosphere's own Andrea Beaty for having her book Iggy Peck, Architect named one of the Time Magazine top 10 best kids' books of 2007! Way to go, Andrea (and Iggy). I must confess to not having had a chance to read Iggy yet, but I have heard great things, and will doubtless buy it for my next gift-giving occasion. See other Iggy kudos here.
  • Inspired by the new Pippi Longstocking translation, Daphne writes about her fondness for the more rebellious girls from children's literature at The Places You Will Go. I have always adored Pippi, though I myself was much more like Annika.

For those of you who celebrate it, I wish you a Merry Christmas. And whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a weekend of peace and joy.