Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 27th
New Blog Feature: ShareThis

Wednesday Afternoon Visits: January 28

I've received many comments on my recent blog post about encouraging more people to read aloud to kids. Many thanks to everyone who has participated in that discussion, and to the people who posted about it on their own blogs (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here, for instance). I think there's a tremendous collective energy to at work here, and I find this heartening.

There are lots of other things going on around the Kidlitosphere, too, however. Here are a few quick highlights: 

Becky from Becky's Book Reviews reports that the ALA's Best Books for Young Adults (BBYA) list, and top 10 list, have been posted. Also newly available are the ALA Notables list for younger readers, and the 2009 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. These are great lists - a bit more broad than the Printz list, and filled with excellent suggestions.

Graveyard BookSpeaking of the ALA Awards, Just One More Book! scored a real coup yesterday. They interviewed brand-new Newbery winner Neil Gaiman. It's more comprehensive than the Today Show interview, that's for sure. Well worth listening to.

And speaking of interviews, Natasha over at Maw Books recently interviewed our own Becky from Becky's Book Reviews. Here's the part that made me envious. Asked what she does for work, Becky said: "My work is all play. I don’t have a paying job. I just blog full-time. Which is probably why I’m able to maintain three blogs." How cool is that? But seriously, this is what enables Becky to share so many wonderful book reviews, and I'm happy for her. Thanks for a great interview, Natasha!

I'm a bit late with this, but Lee Wind reports that this is No Name Calling Week, "a week of educational activities aimed at stopping name-calling and verbal bullying in schools."

Jennifer Donovan at 5 Minutes for Books has a nice post about encouraging tweens to enjoy reading, so that they'll become lifelong readers. She says, in reference to hear 10-year-old daughter, "Like me, reading is first in her heart, but other interests can easily crowd it out. What trumps things like friends, TV and other hobbies? A good book will do it every time." Her conclusion (after some specific discussion) is that "It's the combination of time set aside for reading and getting the right books in her hands that keep her reading."

I also enjoyed this post by Susan Stephenson at The Book Chook, about the need for finding kid-friendly children's books. She says: "If we want our kids to enjoy reading, we need to give them access to material they want to read. Checking a book to see if it has won a literary prize is probably not the best way to filter books. Rather, let your child choose, and make sure she has plenty of books to choose from." She concludes: "And the very best thing about books? They stay our friends for life." I agree, and am pretty sure I've used that exact wording myself.

ReadicideDonalyn Miller has the latest installment in Kelly Gallagher's Readicide blog tour at The Book Whisperer. I especially like Gallagher's statement that: "If you teach students to read and write well, they will do fine on exams." Seems logical to me.

And finally, Don Tate recently passed along a call to action in light of the "well-intentioned but terribly written law (that) could very well put an end to independent publishing, result in thousands if not millions of books being pulled off store and library shelves across the country, and leave our culture with much less diversity in books for our kids." I really hope that Congress can fix the CPSIA law in time to avoid this crisis.

That's all for today. Thanks for reading! -- Jen Robinson