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Books Read in July

Friday Visits: July 31: From Blogger Intergrity and Diversity to Librarian-Themed Ice Cream

The Kidlitosphere continues to be full of interesting posts this week, some weighty, some just fun (with most of the lighter stuff towards the end of the post, as seems fitting for a Friday).

BWI_125sq Along with some 500+ others to date, both Tasha from Kids Lit and Amy from My Friend Amy have signed a pledge to blog with integrity. The idea is to "assert that the trust of ... readers and the blogging community is important", and publicly declare a set of standards. Tasha explains: "The integrity badge is a shorthand to openly declare what my blogging ethics are... I see it as a tangible expression of my blogging beliefs. It says what I already do and already believe in. It is not going to change my blogging." Amy says: "Why sign the pledge? Because I believe in proactive measures rather than reactive measures when possible. This issue won't go away and this is a clear and public statement that when I accept review copies, I will let you know and I'll still give you honest feedback." I'm following with interest (though I managed to miss the Twitter discussion).

Kidlitosphere_button And speaking of bloggers and integrity, Pam Coughlan has a post at MotherReader about BlogHer09 vs. KidLitCon (I don't remember who came up with KidLitCon - Laurel Snyder, maybe - but it's sure less of a mouthful than "The Third Annual Kidlitosphere Conference"). Here's a snippet: "What’s going on in the mommy blog community concerns me, not because it’s a direct correlation but because it’s a warning." Bloggers should read the whole post (and think about attending KitLitCon, of course).

Kate Coombs also takes on blogger integrity questions as part of a post at Book Aunt. Though she starts with a light-hearted blogger vs. professional reviewer smackdown, she continues with a balanced look at some of the criticisms being leveled at blog reviewers today.

At the Picnic Basket, Deborah Sloan shares some book reviewing tips from Shelf Awareness' Jennifer Brown. Thanks to Susan Thomsen from Chicken Spaghetti for the link.

Discussion continues in response to the Liar book cover issue (which I talked about last week). There are hundreds of comments and posts out there, far too many to link to. People have, however, moved on this week from venting to suggesting and/or committing to positive courses of action to support diversity in their reading (diversity of race, gender, sexuality, etc.). Here are a few examples:

Kristine from Best Book I Have Not Read has a request for donations to the Make A Wish Foundation, in support of a young friend of hers, fighting cancer, whose wish is to meet author Brian Jacques.

At Just One More Book!, Andrea and Mark interview Horrid Henry author Francesca Simon. In the course of the interview, they talk about "books with universal themes, the penalty of growing old enough to read by yourself and Storybook Dads — breaking the cycle of crime through a literacy and family connection program for convicts in a high-security prison".

Casey from Bookworm 4 Life shares books that she thinks "might be contenders for modern/current teen classics". She has some of my favorites on her list, and I suspect that the ones that I haven't read are all worthy of my attention. Do check it out!

Susan Beth Pfeffer is looking for suggestions for a name for her Life As We Knew It and dead and the gone trilogy. It kind of grew into a trilogy - she thought that LAWKI was a standalone book when she wrote it, so there's no cool, over-arching name. Leave suggestions in the comments here.

At The Book Whisperer, Donalyn Miller asks readers to share memories of their own reading origin stories. She asks: "How did your reading life begin? How does your reading past impact you now as a teacher or parent? What books stick with you now, years later? Who influenced your reading life?" The results (in the comments) make for a lovely ode to reading.

Dogdays Moving on to the stuff that's pure fun, I'm loving the idea of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid ice cream truck tour to promote literacy and celebrate the title announcement for Book 4. I first heard about this on Omnivoracious, but then saw a detailed schedule in School Library Journal's Extra Helping.

In other ice cream news, Cheryl Rainfield reports that there's a petition for Ben and Jerry's to come up with a library-themed ice cream flavor. Cheryl suggests "Anne of Green Gables ice cream, with raspberry and lime swirls."

There's a meme going around by which people design their own debut young adult novel covers. I don't quite understand it, but quite a few people have participated, and some of the results are quite eye-catching and/or humorous. Travis, who I believe started this whole thing, has a round-up at 100 Scope Notes.

And this just in, via A Fuse #8 Production, Jill Davis snapped a picture of the ultimate expression of summer reading: a girl in a park reading while hula hooping. I love it! Betsy Bird called this "the Holy Grail of summer reading spottage." Jill's got some nice summer book recommendations in the post, too. Betsy also shares a press release about a call for photos of literary tattoos. And that, my friends, is why you should never miss your daily dose of Fuse #8.  

Last but not least, this week's Poetry Friday roundup is available at Poetry for Children. Wishing you all a book-filled, fun-filled weekend.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved.

You can also find me on Twitter and at Booklights from PBS Parents.