So I've been struggling through a bout of laryngitis this week. It's made me a bit cranky (or perhaps general malaise has made me cranky - whichever). But the nice thing about the whole online world is that I can still interact with people, without needing to talk. And so, here are a few tidbits from the Kidlitosphere and twitterverse.
First up, the Kidlitosphere's own Betsy Bird was profiled in Forbes today (online anyway)! Author Dirk Smillie calls her "the most powerful blogger in kids' books". And really, who could dispute that? I think she uses her power for good, though, don't you? I especially liked this part, a quote from Dan Blank: "She channels her oddness into this niche blog, which then extends beyond its niche. Why was she born to do this? Who knows?" But do read the whole article. It's great stuff!
Speaking of Betsy, she's at the halfway point in revealing the results of the top 100 children's books poll, with today's reveal of titles 51 to 55. The list of titles is a wonderful resource in and of itself. And what Betsy's doing with the posts, profiling each book, including cover images and quotes from contributors - it's truly a labor of love. She's made me want to go and read, or re-read, every single one of these titles. See also an interesting analysis of titles 100-71 by Eric Carpenter at What We Read and What We Think. Eric looks at things like distribution of votes, distribution of titles by decade, etc. His post is well worth a look.
While I love many of the titles on Betsy's list, the genre that catches my attention most reliably is dystopian and post-apocalyptic fiction, especially when published for young adults. There's been plenty of activity within my pet genre this week:
- Lenore is still hosting dystopia month at Presenting Lenore. She has a very tempting list of upcoming sequels here.
- Scholastic released the title (Mockingjay) and cover of the third Hunger Games book, due out August 24th.
- Amy Sturgis at Redecorating Middle-Earth in Early Lovecraft has published an update to her tremendously comprehensive list of YA dystopias. (Thanks to Jenny Schwartzberg for the link).
- And PW ran an in-depth feature by Karen Springen today about the popularity of dystopias among teens. (Via PW Children's Bookshelf newsletter)
My fellow Cybils panelist, Sam from Parenthetical.net, has posted mini-reviews of all of the non-winning finalists in our category, middle grade fantasy and science fiction. I'm not sure if or when I'll get to this myself, so I refer you to Sam's comments. They line up pretty well with what I would say, anyway. I'll also note that Joni Sensel's The Farwalker's Quest is a post-apocalyptic title, and thus had my automatic attention. Melissa also has a Farwalker's Quest review at One Librarian's Book Reviews.
Speaking of the Cybils, special thanks to Rocco Staino for a lovely writeup about the Cybils winners at School Library Journal.
The February I Can Read Carnival (an idea launched by Terry Doherty, now in its second moth) is running right now at Anastasia Suen's 5 Great Books blog. Fittingly enough, Anastasia was the category organizer for the 2009 Easy Reader and Short Chapter Book committee of the Cybils. She has lots of excellent links for new readers.
- David Elzey continues his series on the aspects of books that appeal to boy readers. He talks about violence/conflict, action, and emotion in parts 3 through 5.
- At the Spectacle, KA Holt expresses her concern about lexile ratings being used to steer kids away from books that they want to read.
- Travis has a very fun post at 100 Scope Notes predicting what books will be like in 3001. He is ridiculously creative, isn't he?
- The Texas Sweethearts have named their newest Featured Sweetheart: Mitali Perkins. Great choice, wouldn't you say? You can read the interview here.
- Liz B writes again, at Tea Cozy, about why it's wrong to sell advance reading copies, or place them in library collections. If she keeps saying it often enough, perhaps the message will get across. There's an extensive discussion going on in the comments.
And that's all for today. Hope you all found some news of interest. I'll have the roundup of literacy and reading news up on Monday.
© 2010 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. Any Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission (with no additional cost to you).