There is so much going on around the Kidlitosphere this week that I hardly know where to begin. But here you go:
- The 2008 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards were just announced. You can find the details here, at Read Roger. Also, the Association of Jewish Libraries has just named the 2008 Sydney Taylor Manuscript Award winner. The press release is here. And, for a different type of award, the Queen's Birthday Honours List in in England includes people who received honors for services to Children's Literature and Children's Literacy. The Old Coot has the details.
- Never one to shy away from expressing opinions, Betsy has posted her early 2009 Newbery and Caldecott predictions at A Fuse #8 Production. There is much discussion in the comments.
- Colleen Mondor has a must-read post over at Guys Lit Wire in response to a discussion between Ted Bell and Glenn Beck about whether or not books that feature strong female protagonists are emasculating for boys. Colleen says things like this (in response to the notion that the boy needs to save the girl in fiction): "I'm sure the sociologists would have a field day over all this but I can't believe that anyone in the 21st century would believe that such antiquated notions of what it means to be a hero have any place in a worthwhile discussion. Save the world - yes! Save the animals, save the environment, save whatever needs saving in your books. But the girl MUST be saved by the boy for the boy to feel powerful? How do these gentlemen think it makes the girl feel to have to wait to be saved? Have they ever thought about that at all?" Click through for more details. It's well worth your time.
- Did you notice how I just quoted Colleen above? If Colleen wrote for the AP, however, I could have been in big trouble for quoting her so entensively. It seems that the AP is going to try to start charging bloggers if they quote more than four words, and possibly even if they link to AP articles. I first heard about this from Kelly Herold at Big A little A, where Kelly linked to the story at Boing Boing. Melissa Wiley then linked to Michael Arrington's response at the Washington Post's TechCrunch blog. It seems pretty clear to me that they're trying to overstep the bounds of Fair Use, but the whole thing is pretty scary.
- Another controversy around the blogs was started by Frank Cottrell Boyce, who recently made some very negative comments about YA as a genre. He said (as quoted on Tea Cozy): "We have already ghettoised teenagers' tastes in music, in clothes and - God forgive us - in food. Can't we at least let them share our reading? Is there anything more depressing than the sight of a "young adult" bookshelf in the corner of the shop. It's the literary equivalent of the "kids' menu" - something that says "please don't bother the grown-ups". If To Kill a Mockingbird were published today, that's where it would be placed, among the chicken nuggets." Needless to stay, this has stirred up a host of responses, at Read Alert and Bookwitch, for example. But start with Liz B's remarks in defense of YA reading. I'm with her.
- A Year of Reading has a nice interview by Franki of Shelley Harwayne, author of the upcoming professional book Look Who's Learning to Read. I don't normally highlight reviews, but this was has lots of great information about raising readers, including suggestions like: "Children need choice. They love to be part of making decisions" and "Children deserve the finest literature. We need to be fussy about the books we borrow or buy for them."
- And at Lessons from the Tortoise, Libby links to another interview that talks about raising readers. She says "In Literary Mama this month, Lisa Harper interviews Lewis Buzbee about his writing and his parenting. It's a fabulous interview." I agree with Libby. It's a great interview. Buzbee (a middle grade author) says things like "What I enjoy so much about middle readers is not merely the complexity of vocabulary or complexity of ideas, but also the complexity of emotions." He talks about why he writes for this age range, and the importance of letting kids read the books that they're interested in.
- Over at Bookshelves of Doom, Leila is collecting suggestions of classics that are likely to please a voracious teen reader. There are tons of suggestions in the comments.
- The First Book Blog has a guest post by Dale Brown from LDOnline about "encouraging reading this summer with some particular emphasis on supporting children who have a hard time in the classroom during the school year" (e.g. kids with dyslexia and other learning disabilities).
- Also along the lines of summer reading, Anna M. Lewis at I.N.K. recommends some of her favorite nonfiction titles "to help keep kids happy this summer".
- In the interest of "practicing what (they) publish", staff members from Charlesbridge spent Friday picking up trash along the Charles River.
- Over at the Tiger's Bookshelf at PaperTigers, Janet shares book recommendations from two British boys (aged nine and a half and seven and a half).
- And speaking of books that boys like, Charlotte shares some thoughts at Charlotte's Library about boys and reading. Specifically, she talks about the difficulty that she sometimes has as a parent purchasing books for her sons that aren't the sort of thing that she would ever want to read, saying "it is hard, sometimes, for me to put the books my boys want into their outstretched and eager hands. It is much easier to buy books that appeal to me, than books that really truly don't." I actually think this dilemma is a major issue for a lot of people in getting boys reading - often the books that boys want to read just aren't the ones that inspire the people who are guiding their reading choices.
- There's a bit of a mixer going on right now between Readergirlz and Guys Lit Wire. Via Guys Lit Wire, I learned that Readergirlz Diva Justina Chen Headley has invited "the readergirlz to list YA novels they wish all guys would read to understand girls". Little Willow has asked on GLW for readers to head over to the Readergirlz MySpace forum and make the discussion a two-way street. She says: "Tell us what YA novels you wish girls would read to understand guys, and vice-versa! Also tell us what YA novels "get" BOTH sides of the story.
- At Pixie Stix Kids Pix, Kristen McLean has a series of tips for success in the children's book industry. She has links to tons of great resources about writing and publishing children's books.
- And finally, sadly, I learned via Sharon Levin that author/illustrator Tasha Tudor passed away today. I'll never forget her for as long as I have the editions of The Secret Garden and A Little Princess that she illustrated (well, that copy of The Secret Garden was lost, but I just ordered another one). She leaves a truly magical legacy.
That's all for today. I think I'm going to go look through my copy of A Little Princess now.