So, I thought I'd be back to blogging normally this week, but I was stymied by a combination of business travel and flu. But I did at least get some reading done... And now, on the tail end of Easter Sunday, I'm catching up a bit on the doings of the Kidlitosphere.
First up, Terry Doherty continues her amazing work promoting literacy. Don't miss the gorgeous new redesign of the Share a Story - Shape a Future website. Is that not the cutest RSS feed logo in the world? (Image credit to Share a Story - Shape a Future).
Lenore has what I think will be a useful post for authors at Presenting Lenore, talking about what makes a good pitch when an author is approaching a blogger about a potential review. There's quite a bit of discussion in the comments, too.
And a post that I think will be of interest to bloggers is this one from Janssen at Everyday Reading, about the difficulty of explaining to people who don't blog the fact that other bloggers can become real-life friends. This has certainly been the case for me (people I know through my blog becoming genuine friends). And if any of you would like to see this in action, I urge you to attend the next Kidlitosphere conference in October, and observe the bonds between people who interact virtually for 364 other days of the year.
Jennie from Biblio File reports that "kidlit is taking over the world." She says: "Of ALL books purchased Jan-Mar of this year, the top 5 sellers? Were kidlit. Twilight took the top 4 spots and Diary of a Wimpy Kid took #5." Apparently (original source: Galley Cat), 16% of all books sold in Q1 were written by Stephenie Meyer.
Meanwhile, over at Wands and Worlds, Sheila Ruth is on a quest for undiscovered gems in a bestseller world. She says: "I want to hear your input about the best undiscovered gems of 2008. Please post in the comments your favorite children's or YA books published in 2008 that were not widely buzzed, reviewed, or awarded. I'll compile all the suggestions into a book list and post it on my blog, with permission for anyone to copy it and post it elsewhere." Do take a few minutes to contribute, if you have a below-the-radar book that you loved last year.
At Kids Lit, Tasha Saecker takes exception to some of exclusions from VOYA's recently released list of best sci fi, fantasy, and horror for teens. Do check out Tasha's list of suggested adds, as well as the original list. And, speaking of a book that did make the list, Jessica Freundel at Kid Lit Kit shares two pieces of news about The Hunger Games. Hint: "Scholastic is giving one lucky fan a chance to sit down with Suzanne (Collins) for a private lunch in NYC".
In other award list news, the short lists for the E. B. White Read-Aloud Awards were announced recently. I saw this news on various blogs, but am linking to the list as posted on nominee Lois Lowry's blog. I was extra pleased to see Bonny Becker's A Visitor for Bear nominated for picture books, and to see The Willoughby's nominated for older readers.
Speaking of reading aloud, Sarah Mulhern has a great post at The Reading Zone about Nuts and Bolts of Reading Aloud. She begins: "Reading aloud to my students daily is one of, if not the most, important aspects of my classroom. I extoll the virtues of classroom read alouds to anyone and everyone who will listen, yet I realized I never broke down the nuts and bolts of it here on my blog!" And so she does.
I don't normally highlight author interviews, because there are so many, but I was taken with this Q&A between Paul from Omnivoracious and Joshua Mowll, author of the "Guild of Specialists" trilogy. Paul points out that this sounds like an extremely boy-friendly series for middle grade readers. The author responds, however: "The trilogy has some very strong female characters such as Becca and Liberty da Vine, so I’d always hoped both boys and girls would enjoy it. The narrative style moves everything along at speed... and it’s a big, big story after all. It is what it is--a full throttle adventure story. I know it’s exactly the sort of book I would have loved when I was young." I think I'd like to check these books out.
Camille from Book Moot has two pieces of good news for New England children's literature fans. Blueberries for Sal will be available for purchase again soon (original source Wizards Wireless), and the duckling (of Make Way for Ducklings fame) that was stolen from the Public Garden in Boston has been returned to his family. In other good news, I'm sure you'll all be happy to know that Betsy Bird and Winnie-the-Pooh have been reunited at last.
Lori Calabrese has a great post at her new Get in the Game -- Read! blog, about the value of sports and books. She recaps benefits of playing sports, and reading books, and then talks about the ways that sports and reading go together, all with very cute illustrations. This is a blog that I'll be following closely!
Meanwhile, Melissa at Kidliterate makes a plea for more sports books for girls, saying: "Where is the awesome middle-grade girls’ series about friends who play soccer/ice skate/play field hockey/shoot hoops? Where’s the stereotypical girls’ sports series, for that matter? Most days I’d give my left arm for a fair-to-middling book about short girls on a gymnastics team."
As I mentioned previously, there's a lot going on all across the blogs in honor of National Poetry Month. I haven't been able to keep up with it myself, but Elaine Magliaro is on the job at Wild Rose Reader. This post recaps activities as of a few days ago, and I think that it's safe to say she'll share other links going forward.
And, last but not least, don't forget that School Library Journal's Battle of the (Kids) Books starts tomorrow morning. Match 1 will be The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves vs Ways to Live Forever, judged by Roger Sutton. You can download the full brackets here.
Wishing you all a peaceful week!