Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 5
Numbers: Rachel Ward: Young Adult Book Review

Thursday Afternoon Visits: January 7: Kidlitosphere News and Views

I'll tell you - leave the computer behind for a few days, and hundreds of posts pile up in the reader. But I found digging out to be a good excuse to also spend some time weeding out inactive feeds. Anyway, here are a few highlights from the Kidlitosphere of late:

JkrROUNDUP Terry Doherty just published this month's roundup of new resources for literacy and reading at The Reading Tub. This monthly series is an offshoot of the weekly Children's Literacy Roundups that Terry and I do together, one that Terry has largely taken responsibility for. This month, she focuses on several resources related to literacy and reading, including a new service for recording books for your kids.

MotherReader has provided a FAQ for the upcoming 2010 Comment Challenge (co-hosted with Lee Wind, and which I previously described here). You can sign up tomorrow (Friday) with either MotherReader or Lee Wind.

Blogiesta This weekend is also Bloggiesta, hosted by Natasha from Maw Books. As MotherReader put it, "It’s a chance to spend some time improving your blog, catching up on your reviews, and taming your Google Reader." I don't know that I'll be formally participating in this one, since I've been catching up on my blog quite a bit this week already (and because I really MUST do some reading this weekend). But I'll be there in spirit.

Foreword125x125 The deadline is approaching to submit titles for the ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards. You can find more information at the ForeWord website. "ForeWord Magazine’s Book of the Year Awards were established to bring increased attention to librarians and booksellers of the literary and graphic achievements of independent publishers and their authors."

It's also time to submit titles for Betsy Bird's Top 100 Children's Fiction Chapter Books poll at A Fuse #8 Production. This is a follow-on to the previous Top 100 Picture Books list that Betsy compiled. Readers have until January 31st, 2010 to submit their top 10 middle grade fiction titles of all time (NOT just 2009 titles). No early readers, no young adult books. This poll is focused squarely on middle grade fiction. You can find more details here. There's also a young adult poll brewing at Diane Chen's School Library Journal blog, Practically Paradise. Diane says "These are the titles that appeal to teens including young adult novels, nonfiction, and picture books for teens (ages 13-19)".

John Green has an interesting article in School Library Journal about the future of reading. It's quite long, but well worth the time to read. For instance, in regards to the future of book distribution, he says: "Just this: if, in the future, most books are sold either online or in big box stores like Costco and Wal-Mart, you (librarians) will become even more important to American literature. How you choose to build your collection, whom you buy from, and how you discover the works you want to share with your patrons will shape what Americans—whether or not they ever visit libraries—will read and how they will read it." And "There’s no question ... that librarians are to thank for the astonishing growth of YA fiction over the last decade." Oh, just read the whole thing. I found this link at The Miss Rumphius Effect.

Cybils2009-150px As previously mentioned, the Cybils shortlists are now available, and the Cybils judges (myself included) are reading away. For those in need of more reading suggestions, however, Cybils Deputy Editor Sarah Stevenson has a compilation of recommended reading lists from Cybils panelists. She notes that they are "not predictions, DEFINITELY not hints, and probably not prophecies, but certainly a great source of reading material if your TBR pile is getting low." Now, this is not a problem I ever expect to have again in my life. But still, they're nice lists. Elaine Magliaro also has a roundup of some more "official" best-of lists at Wild Rose Reader. And Sherry Early has a roundup of reader-submitted year-end booklists at Semicolon, 138 and counting. And last, but definitely not least, Betsy Bird has a scaled back version of her must-read Golden Fuse Awards (including such helpful categories as Best Swag of the Year).

Speaking of the Cybils, in response to the previously mentioned discussions about lack of diversity in the Cybils shortlists (more a symptom of a larger issue than any criticism of the panelists themselves), Colleen Mondor calls upon readers to demand diversity in publishing. She says: "We have to make this a big deal. No more holding a diversity challenge and thinking that is enough. No more having an event where we look at books by POC or with diverse protagonists. No more making diversity something we look at on special days or for special reasons." See also Doret's take at TheHappyNappyBookseller. What do you all think?

On a lighter note, Laini Taylor today described a Reader's Retreat in New Hampshire, organized by Elizabeth MacCrellish, that sounds (and looks - she has photos) wonderful. Here's the gist: "Reading reading reading, a juicy stack of wonderful books, and taking breaks for yummy meals prepared for you, in the company of other lovely kindred spirits who have also been living inside books all day?" This event, a Squam Arts Workshops (SAW) session scheduled for September 1-5, sounds amazing to me. Perhaps someday...

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