Growing Bookworms Newsletter: June 3, 2008
48 Hour Book Challenge - Launch Post

Thursday Afternoon Visits: June 5

I'm getting ready to participate in MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend, which means that I won't have a lot of time for round-up type blog posts. But I will be blogging about the books. For those not participating in the book challenge, I leave you now with a few quick links:

  • The next Carnival of Children's Literature, to be hosted by Susan Taylor Brown, will focus on fathers in children's literature. Submit your posts here. This is fitting both because of Father's Day, and because Susan wrote about a wonderful father in her novel Hugging the Rock. Links for the Carnival are due Saturday, June 21st.
  • Speaking of Father's Day, see this post at the FirstBook Blog by guest blogger Tina Chovanec about the importance of fathers in getting kids reading. Tina reports, for example, that "studies show that when fathers participate in learning, their children receive higher marks, enjoy school more, and are less likely to repeat a grade."
  • Sally Apokedak's blog All About Children's Books was one of the first blogs that I read when I discovered the Kidlitosphere. Sally signed off a year or two ago for various reasons, but recently brought her blog back online. She's also started a new project called Through the site, she'll be coordinating various blog tours, during which a collection of people all blog about the same book over a two- to three-day period, to raise the buzz level for those books. The posts can be reviews or other mentions of the book - they don't have to be interviews (though interviews are typically what I think of when I think of a blog tour). Publishers will be asked to provide review copies (and apparently will be paying the organizers for the service). If you're interested, check out the requirements for participating, here. I've decided to sit this one out, because I find that organized blog activities, where other people set the date, turn out to be stressful for me [updated to admit, after reading more about it, that something didn't feel quite right about it], but Sally already has a number of bloggers and authors lined up. [Updated to add: if you're going to consider this, please do see Colleen Mondor's post about it first. She raises some serious concerns.]
  • The ESSL Children's Literature Blog has a great list of baseball books and related links, posted by Nancy O'Brien.
  • The Horn Book's Web Watching with Rachel column, a companion to the new print issue of The Horn Book, is now available.
  • Guys Lit Wire has been off to a strong start, with tons of interesting post (and I've heard positive feedback from several people outside of the target teenage guy audience). I was especially intrigued by this post from Mr. Chompchomp about speculative nonfiction, which "addresses “what if” questions, but instead of turning to wacky stories about aliens and dragons, answers them with research and facts and just a little bit of educated surmising."
  • Melissa from Book Nut is looking for book suggestions for her bibliovore daughter, who reads so rapidly that they're having trouble keeping her in books. It is, as she says, a good problem to have. But if you have any book suggestions for "a precocious reader, reading at a 10th grade level (who is) not quite 12" do share. Or, if you need book suggestions, check out the already-extensive comments, which include titles old and new.
  • I learned from A Fuse #8 Production today about a new blog by NYPL librarian Kiera Manikoff called Library Voice. I love it already, especially this post about The (Reluctant) Reader's Bill of Rights. Kiera includes things like "The right to choose whatever book you want," and asks for other suggestions.
  • And speaking of librarian blogs that I like (of which there are many), check out this post by Abby (the) Librarian, about attending a local elementary school's family reading night. Abby includes observations like this: "The evening started off with 15 minutes of silent reading in the school's gym. Families were asked to bring books, and books were provided for those who forgot. I think this is a simple activity that says a lot. It's important for kids to view reading as a pleasurable activity. Kids look up to their parents and caregivers and if they see grownups who love to read, they'll want to join in the fun."
  • Another blog that I've recently discovered is debrennersmith: Writing and Reading Lessons. Deb is a literacy consultant. She had a post the other day called: Any Place a Child is Reading, about her joy in the fact that her children love books: "I am thankful that my two children never had to be coaxed to read! Read. Read. Read. Read. They read over the 2 million words by reading over 41 minutes a day so they developed a life long habit. The kids are reading for the joy of being lost in a book." I'm happy for Deb, but I wish that every kid could have the chance to feel this way about books...
  • Just in time for summer reading, Cheryl Rainfield has a round-up of various contests for free books. Personally, I'm feeling pretty well set for books at the moment, but perhaps I'll check the list out again after I finish the 48 Hour Book Challenge.
  • Stephanie Ford from The Children's Literature Book Club is working on a very cool project: a Children's Literature Alphabet (E is for Eloise, etc.). She's looking for suggestions for some of the less common letters (like Q and X). But it's worth visiting just to see all the great pictures she's already included (not sure what she can actually do with this, given copyright issues, but the idea is just for flashcards to use at home).
  • I'm not sure when I'll get my next Children's Literacy Round-Up ready, but in the meantime, do check out Terry's latest Reading Round-Up at the Reading Tub blog. She's got all the top literacy and reading news stories from the past few days. 
  • Over at Tea Cozy, Liz B. has the scoop on a reading news controversy - the plan to label children's books by age range in the UK. Actually, Liz summarizes the controversy, and shares the relevant links, and then goes into detail about the more general need for readers advisory and book matching. She argues "We (librarians) -- not an age on a book -- are the best help to someone who is looking for the right book for a child. And we need to let more people know that." But even among the comments on Liz's post, it's clear that age-banding of books is not a clear-cut issue.

That should give anyone who needs it some reading material to tide you over this weekend. Or, you could always watch the NBA playoffs instead. (How 'bout those Celtics?)