It's a beautiful weekend here in San Jose - summer arrived all at once yesterday. I wish I could say that we were here relaxing and enjoying it, but we spend yesterday working on "window treatments", and today we're off to buy a new mattress and some patio chairs. And the bookshelves still aren't fully set up, after I kind of lost heart earlier this week (Many thanks to those of you who shared your support and your own stories about lost books. You helped a lot). But I saved a bit of time for my Sunday blog visits, nevertheless.
- First up, for those of you who contributed reading suggestions for my young friend Matthew (who recently discovered the first books that really hooked him - the Wimpy Kid books), thanks. In the comments of the original post, Matthew's Dad expresses his appreciation, and gives us an update on Matthew's next set of selected books. Encyclopedia Brown appears to have the edge, but he's going to also try Holes by Louis Sachar and one of the Shadow Children books by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I like to think that we've done our small part in encouraging Matthew as a reader (though of course his parents are the ones making a real difference).
- Via Read Roger, the E.B. White Readaloud Awards were announced recently. "For picture books, the winner is When Dinosaurs Came with Everything by Elise Broach and David Small (Simon & Schuster) and for older readers, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (Little, Brown)." The Mysterious Benedict Society, which I reviewed here, just came out in paperback, and would make an excellent spring break or summer trip book for middle grade readers (and up).
- Read Roger also took up Colleen Mondor's recent lament from Chasing Ray about the shortage of mysteries written for young adult audiences. There is an extensive discussion in the comments of the post. That discussion thread prompted Colleen to throw out a few plot ideas for realistic teen mystery series. Take heed, aspiring young adult mystery authors. Also, don't miss Colleen's musings on the literary purpose of the Internet, and how the soon-to-launch Guys Lit Wire will differ from Nan Talese's planned publisher-funded review effort.
- Jenny from Wildwoood Cottage shares "links to a lot of the websites where (she) find(s) ideas about books." Many of the resources she lists are familiar to me (not least my own blog - thanks, Jenny!), but I found interesting the No Time for Flashcards blog, "a resource of activities for young children that promote learning, play, and discovery". Many of the activities discussed include books.
- Over at Wizards Wireless, Susan asks readers: do you remember the first book you ever read? I can't say that I do - I pretty much remember reading for as far back as I have memories. But the first books that I clearly remember choosing, and then sitting down to read them, were the Little House books, from the classroom library of my third grade teacher, Miss Fodera. Meanwhile, Aerin at In Search of Giants has put up a list of books that she doesn't like that other people seem to love, and asks readers to share their unfavorites.
- Saffron Tree is launching a new project. They "plan to bring to you a newsletter of events called "Bloomwatch" centering around children's books and diversity each month on the first Sunday." They proclaim "Together, let's grow our little bookworms and sprout their tastebuds by reading an eclectic variety of books!" Now there's a goal worth supporting! The newsletter issues will be available as blog posts (the first one is here).
- Jules and Eisha from 7-Imp have been guest blogging this week at School Library Journal's Practically Paradise blog. They have three posts (self-described): "Intro post about what 7-Imp does and why; Jules interviews Eisha (in which Eisha may or may not tell you about her robotic past); and Eisha interviews Jules (in which Jules may or may not reveal the secret to karate)." Do read them - it's an excellent opportunity to learn more about Eisha and Jules, who are usually busy interviewing the rest of us.
- A collection of bloggers, organized by Liz Garton Scanlon, has undertaken a collaborative poetry project. They've written a string of seven interconnected sonnets, called a Crown Sonnet, called Cutting a Swath. You can find the Crown Sonnet, and the links to the other six participants comments, here. It's a very brave and impressive project, not to be missed. Yay Poetry Princesses! See also Elaine Magliaro's recap of week 2 of National Poetry Month at Wild Rose Reader.
- Mélanie Watt and Scaredy Squirrel finished up the US leg of their blog tour this week at MotherReader, where we learn WhenWhereWhoWhatWhyHow. The tour continues in Canada. "On Monday read about the progression of Scaredy at KidsSpace Blog, on Tuesday check out kids’ questions at HRM Parent, and on Wednesday learn about Mélanie’s creative process at Shelf Elf Reading Blog." (links copied from MotherReader's post).
- Lisa Chellman explores the origins of "rainy day" nursery rhymes at Under the Covers. She has lots of great links for those who wonder "where did that come from?"
- And, just in time for summer, Abby (the) Librarian has a post her favorite books about cows. Cows do seem to be quite the universal hit. I can actually see cows from some of my windows where I live now (sometimes, they move around a bit). It is oddly fascinating to watch them. I might need to stock up on cow-related books, so I'll keep Abby's list handy.
- Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer) has a lovely post about books as a light in the darkness. In the presence of a power failure, she and her family read books by flashlight and candlelight, and she recommends the experience. She then broadens her topic, to discuss the way that "Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are". She says "Books are a candle of solace when we suffer, a warm friend when we need one, and a neon sign marking exits from the confines of our mundane existence." Do read the whole post - it will brighten your day (and it just might make you get a flashlight out for reading tonight).
- Following up on yesterday's Drop Everything and Read Day, Becky from Becky's Book Reviews shares a list of reasons to read aloud to your child, along with links to books on the topic. It's a great list, well worth checking out.
- Jill from The Well Read Child just reminded me that the Readergirlz/YALSA community event Operation Teen Book Drop is this Thursday. Ten thousand books will be donated to teen patients in pediatric hospitals. Want to participate: "You can contribute to Support Teen Lit Day by donating your own YA book(s). Just download a bookplate (get them here), paste it in the book, and drop it off in a place that teens frequent on April 17th." Don't miss it!
And that's turned into more than a few posts, hasn't it. Thanks, everyone, for providing such interesting posts to link to!