My blog vacation ended up lasting a bit longer than I originally planned. Turned out I kind of enjoyed just reading and relaxing and not trying to keep up with reviews and other blog posts. I've been reading some great books. But several things have cropped up that I simply must highlight here.
- Sheila Ruth recently put out a call for help at Wands and Worlds. She's hoping to encourage authors and illustrators, and other interested parties, to donate books as prizes for The Brightspirit Relief Fund's upcoming auction. The fund was started in honor of 10-year-old Emmy Grace Cherry, who died, along with her parents, in a tornado in February. There's a whole connection (including the name Brightspirit) with the Warriors series, by Emmy's favorite author Erin Hunter, but I'll let Sheila tell you the whole story. Please do click through and read Sheila's moving words about this young booklover, who didn't get to read nearly enough stories.
- While I was away, I was nominated by several wonderful people for blog awards. Abby (the) Library nominated me for the Brillante Weblog Premio Award (which I had also received previously from Andrea and Mark at Just One More Book!). And then Lenore also awarded this to me at Presenting Lenore.
- Stacey from Two Writing Teachers and Megan Germano from Read, Read, Read then each awarded me the Arte Y Pico Award, "based on creativity, design, interesting material, and contribution to the blogger community." I was overwhelmed by this outpouring of support, especially during a time that I was not even blogging. This Kidlitosphere is such an amazing place to be. I know that I'm supposed to pass on the awards, but I'm sticking to my standard response - if I mention you in one of my Visits or Literacy Round-Up posts, then I admire your blog, and feel that it makes an important contribution to the blogger community. Many, many thanks!
- Getting back to business, I enjoyed this post by Bill at Literate Lives, about creating lifelong readers. Bill says "I think sometimes we're too hard on ourselves as teachers and parents. I also think some of what is seen as best practice sometimes does more harm than good." He follows up with some concrete examples from his own experiences, about what does and doesn't make reading a pleasurable experience. This is must-read stuff!
- I'm late in pointing to this, but there are many interesting posts in this month's Carnival of Children's Literature, hosted by Jenny at Read. Imagine. Talk. Jenny offers personal comments regarding many of the posts, making this one a fun, chatty version of the monthly carnival. Next month's carnival will be hosted by Susan at Chicken Spaghetti.
- Speaking of the community of children's and young adult book bloggers, have you registered yet for the Portland KidLit Conference? The conference will be held on September 27th, at the Sheraton Portland Airport. I know that airfares are high these days, but the conference fees and hotel fees are quite reasonable. If you can at all swing it, do come! I promise that you'll be glad that you did.
- Our very own Liz Burns from Tea Cozy has a book coming out this week (with Sophie Brookover). It's called Pop Goes the Library: Using Pop Culture to Connect With Your Whole Community. There's also a new companion blog to the book, and a wiki with tons of resources. And, as if that wasn't enough, Pop Goes the Library (the blog) got a recent shout-out from NPR. Congratulations, Liz!! I look forward to celebrating with you at the KidLit Conference.
- Speaking of NPR, our own Gwenda Bond from Shaken and Stirred was recently featured in NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, talking about Anne of Green Gables. She says, among other things, "It's almost impossible to imagine what children's books would be like without this book and its history".
- Online Education Database recently published a list of 100 Places to Connect with Other Bibliophiles Online. The list includes 10 sites for Children and Teens, though the list doesn't seem to distinguish between which are truly sites for kids, and which are site about books for kids (as Tricia also pointed out at The Miss Rumphius Effect).
- Rick Riordan recently linked to a Wall Street Journal article about engaging boys as readers. The title of the article is: Problem: Boys Don't Like to Read. Solution: Books That Are Really Gross. Rick concludes: "I'm not sure I agree that a "boy-friendly" book has to be gross. I think plot, humor and action are a lot more important, although as a male reader, I certainly don't mind a little grossness now and then. Still, this article is definitely worth a read!"
- The latest pick in Al Roker's Today Show Book Club for Kids is Rapunzel's Revenge, written by Shannon and Dean Hale, and illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation). You can read Shannon's response here. Seems to me that they've done a nice job picking fun, kid-friendly titles for this book club.
- Open Education has an interesting post about how "our risk averse culture continues to undermine the development of children."
- And finally, tomorrow (Sunday) I'm scheduled to have a guest post up at 5 Minutes for Books, with thanks to Jennifer Donovan from Snapshot. It's a republication, slightly edited, of my Read the Books that Your Children Read post, one of my all-time favorites. I hope that you'll check it out, along with the other great resources at 5 Minutes for Books.
And that's all for today. I hope to get to reviews of some of my vacation reads tomorrow.