Lots going on around the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:
This just in! Publisher's Weekly has a first look at the cover of the second Hunger Games book, by Suzanne Collins. Oh, how I'm dying for that book! The article says that: "Fans in the book industry can have their first chance to find out those surprises at the end of May—Scholastic will be giving out ARCs of Catching Fire at BEA in New York City." Alas, I don't plan to be at BEA. But I'm hoping that I'll wrangle a copy at some point... P.S. Lenore posted the cover, too. I'm a bit leery of posting it before Amazon does, so I'll send you to Lenore or PW.
PW also has an article by Judith Rosen about James Patterson's new ReadKiddoRead initiative. I haven't had a chance to check this out myself, but I've been hearing good feedback so far. And you have to love the site's tagline: "Dedicated to making you kids readers for life." The PW article says: "By December, with almost no fanfare except for a mention in an interview with Al Roker and an ad in People magazine, the site attracted 20,000 visitors. It brings together reviews for books for newborns to teens, interviews with bestselling children’s authors like Jeff Kinney and Rick Riordan, and a book blog with reading lists by children’s literature consultant Judy Freeman, author of Books Kids Will Sit Still For." I signed up for the mailing list, and will keep an eye on the whole thing.
And, as reported by Betsy Bird at Fuse #8, the 2008 Cuffies have been announced. These are a series of children's book awards, some in unusual categories, derived from input by retailers. I always find them entertaining, and this year is no exception. You get things like "book with best plot twist" and "book you wish everyone would shut up about".
In honor of next summer's publication of the sixth book in the Ranger's Apprentice series, Penguin is making the first book in the series, The Ruins of Gorlan, available as a free eBook. The site went live last week, and will be available until February 15th. Click here to view the book. As with the recent promotion for Readicide, I spend far too much time online already to be personally excited about a reading a whole book that way. But, I still think that promotions like this are a great way to generate excitement about books.
Assimilating input from various children's literature fans, Jenny Schwartzberg from Jenny's Wonderland of Books has put together a tremendous list of Middle Grade Historical Fiction set in Asia. She also includes extensive notes on the compilation of the list, and the input that she received. This is an amazing new resource for fans of historical fiction and people looking for books set in Asia.
Kirby Larson has an interesting post today about writers and their "fingerprints". Not literal fingerprints, but writing fingerprints, some signature attribute of an author's writing that "marks your work as uniquely yours." Although I'm not an author, of course, Kirby actually made me think about a strength that I display in my regular job, and how that might translate to children's books and literacy.
I have a bunch of other things flagged, but I don't have time to write them up write now. So I'll leave you with these, and be back later with the rest. Stay tuned...