My Name Is Not Isabella: Jennifer Fosberry
Growing Bookworms Newsletter: September 23

Tuesday Tidbits: Cybils, Punctuation Day, and L. M. Montgomery

I just did a Kidlitosphere round-up post on Sunday. But since then, a bunch of things have come up that I'd like to share with you.

CybilslogosmallFirst up, in Cybils news, the middle grade/YA nonfiction committee has been announced. Also, my official new title within the Cybils organization was announced: Literacy Evangelist. I'm not sure who thought of it, but I do love it. I might get business cards made up. But seriously, I'll be working to get the word out about the Cybils, so that more people can participate in nominating titles, and more people will learn about our fabulous winners and short lists. Evangelizing, if you will, for the Cybils and for literacy. And finally, do check out Liz B's reasons for liking the Cybils, and seeing them as important, at Tea Cozy.

  • At Grow Wings, Laini Taylor shares some reasons for authors to blog. Laini and I will be discussing the bridge between authors and reviewers at the Kidlitosphere Conference in Portland this weekend, and I'm sure that we'll be talking about author blogs as part of that discussion. Some additional logistical details about the conference from Jone MacCulloch can be found here.
  • Franki shares the first of what promises to be a series of "Books I Could Read A Million Times" at A Year of Reading. She's learning about these books because she's working as a librarian, and reading the same book to several different classes. She explains "I got this idea from Bill at Literate Lives. My hope is that by reading the same book to all of the kids in the school, we have anchors to talk about--books that can be talked about at dinner tables at home, books that can be talked about with friends in other classes, etc."
  • At Kid Lit Kit, Hannah Trierweiler shares some thoughts on boys and reading. While she acknowledges variation in readers, she highlights two titles that she thinks will work particularly well for boys.
  • I almost forgot! Tomorrow is National Punctuation Day. I was reminded by a post at the International Reading Association blog. Here's the first part of the press release on the topic: "Why is punctuation important Jeff Rubin the Punctuation Man and founder of National Punctuation Day explains that without punctuation you would not be able to express your feelings in writing not to mention know when to pause or stop or ask a question or yell at someone" ... and so on.
  • Also via the IRA blog, applicants are being sought for the Teachers in Space program. "The nonprofit Teachers in Space program is seeking two Pathfinder Astronauts who will become the first astronaut teachers to fly in space and return to the classroom."
  • At TheHappyNappyBookseller, Doret shares some concerns in response to an article by Denene Millner, the author of the new young adult series Hotlanta (and people who dismiss the series as street fiction because of how the cover looks).
  • I don't like to write about politics on this blog. But I did want to mention a post by TadMack at Finding Wonderland that expresses some concerns about the recent launch of the YA for Obama site. TadMack's issue (and there is a great discussion going in the comments) is not about the candidates themselves, but about whether or not a group of popular YA authors talking with teens in this way about a particular candidate constitutes "undue influence". Colleen Mondor summarized the part of this that bothers me: "This is a bunch of YA authors who have joined together to do two things: get under-18s interested in democracy and help Barack Obama get elected. TadMack wonders if you accomplish both those goals while not allowing any room for positive discussion of John McCain (and the folks who support him)."
  • The sad news came out this week that L. M. Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series (and other beloved books) committed suicide. I first heard about this at Sarah Weinman's blog, and I've also seen reactions at Charlotte's Library and Bookshelves of Doom. You can find the full story in the Globe and Mail, in which "Kate Macdonald Butler reveals a long-held secret about her grandmother, one of Canada's most beloved authors." Butler says "I have come to feel very strongly that the stigma surrounding mental illness will be forever upon us as a society until we sweep away the misconception that depression happens to other people, not us – and most certainly not to our heroes and icons." I completely respect her decision to share the news, but it is sad to think that someone who brought so much joy to the world was that depressed.
  • On a brighter note, I know that I mentioned it before, but the Just One More Book! interview of Jon Scieszka, our National Ambassador for Young People's Literature, is simply fabulous. Do give it a listen, if you can spare a few minutes.

And that's all for today. Hope you find some food for thought!