I find myself with a bit of time to spare this afternoon, before what promises to be a hectic weekend, so I thought that I would share a few Kidlitosphere links with you.
Fresh off the comment challenge, MotherReader has been coming up with her usual amazing lists of ways to give a book. These are lists pairing books with something else, "to give it that fun factor". You can find the lists here, here, here, here, and, the newest one, here. The suggestions include things like "What else can go with Monkey With A Tool Belt but a tool belt?" Can't argue with that one, Pam! You can also find links to tons of other lists of holiday book recommendations at Chasing Ray. Seriously. There is no excuse for NOT buying books for the holidays, with all the energy people have been putting into providing gift ideas through Colleen's 12 Days of Christmas event. I'm especially appreciating Sarah's Tween Book-Buying Guides at The Reading Zone, and Susan's tracking of "best of" lists at Chicken Spaghetti.
SolvangSherrie has a lovely little post about the joy of raising readers at Write About Now. Her first grade daughter reads aloud to the Kindergarten class every week, with great pride.
There are author interviews all over the place this week. But two interviews that I particularly enjoyed were of fellow bloggers. Maureen at Kid Tested, Librarian Approved interviewed Anastasia Suen, organizer for the Cybils Easy Reader committee, about what makes a book an easy reader, and how adults should use them with kids. Jon Bard at Children's Writing Web Journal interviewed Abby (the) Librarian about what she's learned from her blog, and what she likes to see in books. I'm completely with Abby about didactic books, and her recommendation of The Hunger Games.
Jill has a must-read guest post at The Well-Read Child. Author Maxwell Eaton shares 10 Tips for the Parents of Ricky the Reluctant Reader, in comic strip form. The tips for dealing with reluctant readers are dead-on, and the format is funny and engaging. As fellow commenter Jeremy said: "this 10-tips comic should be distributed far and wide." I really like the way Jill has been branching out from doing traditional author interviews to ask authors abut literacy and raising readers.
Authors thinking about starting a blog, or about what their goals are for their blog, might appreciate this sixth blog anniversary post by Shannon Hale. She talks about her goals for the blog, and her struggles. I especially liked: "I blog to promote ongoing literacy. I love to recommend books I'm passionate about, so that readers who like my books don't stop here but keep reading, or parents and teachers can get good suggestions for all kinds of readers." That's the kind of thing that keeps someone like me coming back.
There have been a few tempests in the normally cozy teapot of the Kidlitosphere this week. One was started by The LiteraBuss, with a post called "Must NOT Read List For Elementary School (Books That Were Once Great But Have Become Irrelevant)". I mean, anyone who is going to call To Kill A Mockingbird "trash" (admittedly in the context of classroom reading, but still...) is going to raise a few eyebrows. See follow-on posts at The LiteraBuss here and here, and at Charlotte's Library.
A School Library Journal article by Gail Giles has also triggered some conflict. Addressing the question of why boys generally don't read as much as girls do, Gail comes to the conclusion that boys don't have enough male role models demonstrating reading. She's pretty blunt about it: "Now, this is purely my opinion, but children copy their elders. They want to be what they see. A boy doesn’t want to be a woman. He wants to do what a man does. And if he doesn’t see a man reading, he won’t read." Colleen Mondor begs to differ at Guys Lit Wire, saying "I do not think that boys (or girls) read or don't read because of what other people do (or don't do) in their homes." Carlie Webber, on the other hand, thinks that Gail raises a valid point, concluding "I think that male role models are only one of many factors in getting boys to read, but they're an important factor." Tricia at The Miss Rumphius Effect asks "Why do we give boys so little credit? Why the gross generalizations?" She has a bit of a discussion going in the comments, if you'd like to participate.
In other interesting chat, there's discussion about why "girl books" focus on home (see Kids Lit), what girls want in literature, and when a personal area of expertise leads to a "fail" moment when you're reading. Lisa Chellman has links for those last two. Doret also writes about what's NOT urban lit at TheHappyNappyBookseller. And, though this isn't particularly controversial, Stacy DeKeyser proposes a definition of young adult fiction at Reading, writing, and chocolate.
In closing, two reminders to appreciate each day. Well-known blogger Dewey from The Hidden Side of a Leaf passed away over Thanksgiving weekend. There have been various tributes across the blogs, and you can read an outpouring of comments at Dewey's blog. And, as if she hadn't had enough loss for one year, Amanda from A Patchwork of Books lost her mother, unexpectedly. Amanda expects to be back to blogging soon, though, because it helps her to have something normal in her life. So, in memory of Dewey, and of Amanda's son and mother, show a little extra appreciation for the people in your life this weekend. You won't regret it.