76 posts categorized "Kidlitosphere" Feed

48 Hour Book Challenge: Finish Line

48hbc_newI am just about at the end of my 48 Hour Book Challenge, finishing at 29 hours and 30 minutes of reading, blogging, and connecting over the past 48 hours. Had I known I would end up so close, I might have tried to stay up later last night, to make it to 30 hours. But really, I'm just thrilled that I was able to spend as much time as I did (and with thanks to a herioc spouse). 

I read and reviewed 10 books (9 in print, one on Kindle), listened to about half of an audiobook, and read about 1/3 of another book on my Kindle. Out of the 29+ hours I spent 2 hours networking (commenting on other blogs, responding to comments on my own blog, and chatting with people on Twitter). I spent 5 hours and 25 minutes writing reviews (and this post), 3 hours and 20 minutes listening to audiobooks (and eating, flossing, etc.), which leaves, if my math is correct, 18 hours and 45 minutes reading print and Kindle books. 

My general pattern was: read (~2 hours), review (~30 minutes), network (~15 minutes), with breaks for eating while listening to audiobooks.

All in all, it was a great and recharging experience. I wouldn't want to do it every weekend, but it is quite a treat to do this once a year. I am grateful to my supportive spouse and reasonably patient child for the opportunity, and to MotherReader for creating and maintaining the 48 Hour Book Challenge in the first place. Now, I am off to shower!

RIF_Primary_VerticalI almost forgot the most important part. I had decided to donate $5 to RIF for every hour that I spent on the challeng. So, rounding up slightly, that's $150 that I just donated to RIF, in honor of Pam. Book People Uniting!!

MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge: Launch Post

48hbc_newI have:

  • A stack of middle grade and young adult books from various publishers*
  • Caffeine and a fresh bar of Trader Joe's Belgian chocolate
  • Assorted Post-It flags
  • A notebook (for tracking time)
  • An MP3 player (I use the Sansa Clip), fully charged**
  • A Kindle, fully charged and with two unread middle grade books***

Looks like I'm ready to start MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge. I look forward to this all year, and I'm so happy that it's finally here. Many thanks for the opportunity / motivation, Pam!

*I find that for me personally, it's better to read books that are on the shorter side. One of my greatest enemies to success during the #48HBC is falling asleep - variety helps, as does stopping more frequently to write reviews. I also try to read from a range of publishers, to keep things fresh.

**Audiobooks are invaluable in continuing to read during times that would otherwise be lost (making lunch, flossing teeth, etc.). This is something I try to do all the time, but especially during the #48HBC.

***This will be the first year that I may mix in Kindle books. Then again, I may not, since I'll be at home with my big stack of books anyway. The Kindle books are very useful in reading while out and about, but I hope not to be out and about for the next 48 hours. Still, I did add a couple of new titles to my virtual drive.

RIF_Primary_VerticalNew this year, MotherReader has asked that participants pledge to donate to RIF's #BookPeopleUnite campaign for each hour of reading. Like Pam, I hope that together we can make a positive impact for RIF, an organization that has been making an impact on children's literacy for longer than I've been alive. RIF (particularly CEO Carol Rasco) has been a huge supporter of the Kidlitosphere for years, and I love that we can use the 48 Hour Book Challenge to give something back. 

Happy 48 Hour Book Challenge weekend to all! I am in as of 9:38 am Friday (Pacific Time).

Cybils, Kidlitcon, and Carnivals, Oh My!

Cybils2011 There's a lot going on out there in the Kidlitosphere right now. Today's big news is that the call for judges for the 2011 Cybils is up. Children's and young adult book bloggers are invited to apply as panelists for round 1 or round 2 of judging for the 2011 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (Cybils). You can find more details about being a panelist here. Or, if you're already familiar with the Cybils, you can click straight through to the Cybils judge application form here.

The deadline to apply as a panelist is Sept. 15th. However, Cybils founder Anne Levy urges you not to wait -- many organizers begin filling slots immediately. One important change this year: if you wish to judge in the new Book App category, you must have access to an iPad (more details about the new category here).

Speaking as the Literacy Evangelist for the Cybils (i.e., cheerleader and long-time organizer), I can tell you that being a panelist is a lot of fun, and is a chance to make a real contribution to the world of children's literature. It is a lot of work, especially for round 1 panelists, but well worth the time. Nominations open October 1st.

Kidlitcon_logo2 In other news, registrations for KidLitCon continue apace. The updated (though still tentative) schedule is here. The current list of registered attendees is here (with some time lag, since registration fees are sent by mail). And no, it's not too late to register. It's going to be a great time!

Also, the August Carnival of Children's Literature is now available at Great Kid Books. Host Mary Ann Scheuer (who is also the organizer for the new app category for the Cybils) has put together a fun and festive assortment of children's book-related posts. Or, as Mary Ann calls it, "a tasty schmorgesborg of delicious reading".

I-can-read-meme2 And, finally, the August I Can Read Carnival is now available at Jean Little Library. Host Jennifer has links to an assortment of posts about easy readers, beginning chapter books, and picture books aimed at new readers.

There are doubtless lots of other great things going on around the Kidlitosphere today. But there events should give you a great start. Happy reading!

KidLitCon Plans Are Shaping Up!

Kidlitcon_logo2 The 2011 Kidlitosphere Conference (being held at the Hotel Monaco in Seattle on September 16-17) is shaping up nicely. The multi-talented author and artist Sarah Stevenson created the beautiful logo to the left. Our hardworking co-chairs Jackie Parker and Colleen Mondor have scored a great hotel, and put together an amazing (tentative) agenda (including a keynote presentation by Scott Westerfeld). Colleen reported on Twitter that as of Friday, 68 people were registered. You can see some of them here - registration coordinator Pam Coughlan has been traveling, but should be updating the list soon.

And I'm delighted to report that I finalized my own travel plans this weekend. I'll be arriving at KidLitCon on Thursday afternoon, September 15th and leaving late Saturday night. Things won't really get started until Friday at noon, but I wanted to squeeze in an extra evening talking about everything and nothing with my KidLit peeps. For me, that's what KidLitCon is all about. But I am scheduled to present twice:

Friday 3 – 3:50 pm

One is Silver and the Other’s Gold: A Discussion on Blogging Backlist vs. New Releases, and Why It Doesn’t Have to Be Versus

Presented by Maureen Kearney, Terry Doherty, Melissa Madsen Fox, Jen Robinson

Four reviewer-bloggers will discuss the different advantages to blogging the backlist and blogging about newer titles, and how having a variety of books strengthens your blog and your voice.

Saturday 3:00 – 3:50 pm

Moving Beyond Google Reader: Taking Your Blog to Where Your Readers Are

Presented by Jen Robinson and Carol Rasco

Because of the large number of blogs in the Kidlitosphere these days, it is difficult, if not impossible, for people to follow them all, even when using a blog reader. Fortunately, a variety of tools and services, new and old, exist to help bloggers take their content to where their audience is. These include Feedblitz, Twitter, Facebook, and the new Google+ service. In this session, we will share tips for using these tools effectively, to get your blog posts into the hands of people who are interested in them, without oversaturating and turning off your audience. We’ll also include some tips for blog readers on how to use these tools to cut through the clutter, and find interesting content.

There are tons of other sessions planned, and all of them look interesting. Here is the full schedule (without session descriptions - click here for those). Note that this schedule is tentative, and likely to change a little bit. But it should give you a nice picture of what the conference will be like.

KidLitCon 2011 Schedule

Friday, September 16

12:00 – 12:50 pm

Registration begins. Regardless of whether you are attending the day’s sessions, you can register for any portion of the conference during this time.

 1 – 1:50 pm

Bloggers and Writers and Pubs! Oh My!

Presented and facilitated by Pam Coughlan and Liz Burns

2 – 2:50 pm

Managing the Privacy Line: Your Blog, Your Kids, Your Readers, and You

Presented by Marcia Lerner, Andrea Lampman, Eden Kennedy

The Future of Transmedia Storytelling: Angel Punk, Pottermore, and Skeleton Creek

Presented by Amber Keyser, Devon Lyon, Matthew Wilson, and Jake Rossman

3 – 3:50 pm

One is Silver and the Other’s Gold: A Discussion on Blogging Backlist vs. New Releases, and Why It Doesn’t Have to Be Versus

Presented by Maureen Kearney, Terry Doherty, Melissa Madsen Fox, Jen Robinson 

Group Blogging: Strategies for Success

Presented by Elissa Cruz, Wendy Martin, Rosanne Parry, Katherine Schlick Noe

4 – 4:50 pm

Building a Better World With Your Book Blog

Presented by Chris Singer

5 – 6 pm

Wine Reception

Hotel Monaco offers a complimentary glass of wine during their nightly wine hour. It’s another great opportunity to linger in their beautiful lobby, mingle with guests and your kidlitosphere colleagues.

7 – 10 pm

Meet and Greet

Come meet and mingle with your peers! We’ll provide light appetizers and access to a cash bar. SCBWI of Western Washington will provide entertainment in the form of a lightning-fast intro to attending and local authors. Think speed-dating, only quicker – we’re going to pack in as many authors and illustrators as possible in 30 minutes (if you are an author interesting in participating in this, contact Joni Sensel: sensel [at] earthlink.net).

Saturday, September 17th

7:15 – 7:55 am


8 am

Keynote by Scott Westerfeld

9 – 9:50 am

Forming Author – Blogger Collectives to Support Book Promotion

Presented by Stasia Ward Kehoe

Who Are You Online? Social Media and the Professional Persona

Presented by Karen Kincy, Chelsea Campbell, Denise Jaden, and Mindi Scott

9:50 – 10:15 am


10:15 – 11:05 am

Going Deep: The Hows and Whys of Blogging Critically

Presented by Kelly Jensen, Abby Johnson, and Janssen Brandshaw

Tears, Sweat, and True Blood: DIY Marketing in a Post-Twilight World

Presented by Holly and Shiraz Cupala

11:15 – 12:05 pm

Give Your Blog a Voice: Podcasting in the KidLitosphere

Presented by Michelle Ann Dunphy and Allison Tran

Building Your Online Brand

Presented by Amanda Hubbard

12:30 – 2 pm


2 – 2:50 pm

Convergence: Social Media Life, the Publishing Universe, and Everything

Presented by Greg Pincus

Finessing Your Inner Zoo

Presented by Richard Jesse Watson

3 – 3:50 pm

Moving Beyond Google Reader: Taking Your Blog to Where Your Readers Are

Presented by Jen Robinson and Carol Rasco

Teaming Up: How Authors and Bloggers Can Work Together for Successful Promotion

Presented by Suzanne Young and Sara Gundell

3:50 – 4:15 pm


4 – 4:50 pm

The Fantastic New World of Book Apps for Children

Presented by Mary Ann Scheuer, Elizabeth Bird, and Paula Wiley

Teaming Up with S in SCBWI

Presented by Joni Sensel

5 – 5:50

Blogging Diversity: Prejudice and Pride

Presented by Lee Wind

7 pm


The Bottom Line

It's going to be great, I tell you. Click here to register. Discounted registration has been extended to August 15th. If you're on the fence, and not sure whether or not KidLitCon is worthwhile, see my thoughts on why KidLitCon IS worthwhile here. Or search on Twitter for KidLitCon - you'll find lots of reasons to attend. I hope to see you all there. I'll be the one in the lobby with a glass of wine Thursday night, ready to talk life, blogging, and kidlit.

MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge: The Finish Line: #48HBC

48hbc_new I'm so glad that I decided to take on MotherReader's 6th Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge this weekend. I feel like it recharged me as a reader and a blogger. I got into such a groove on the first day (when I had a babysitter during the day, and a cooperative spouse in the evening). I was just reading, reviewing, tweeting, reading, reviewing, tweeting, etc. I wanted to be able to keep that cycle up forever. Of course real life isn't going to allow that. But the take home message for me is that if I set my mind to it, I CAN find ways to fit in more reading, even with a 14-month-old Baby Bookworm in the house.

Anyway, here are my final stats:

  • Reading time (print): 11 hours, 40 minutes
  • Listening time (audiobooks): 1 hour, 6 minutes (exact b/c I had just started a new book on MP3)
  • Reviewing time: 4 hours, 55 minutes
  • Social networking time (following the #48HBC on Twitter and commenting on other blogs): 55 minutes (I plan to spend more time on that today)
  • Book completed: 6 (plus part of an audiobook)
  • Total time: 18 hours, 36 minutes

Considering that my goal was 12 hours and 4 books completed, I'm quite pleased. I actually started hoping to get to 20 hours on Saturday night, but my daughter chose not to cooperate with that plan. By the time I could get her down for the night, I was too tired for book 7. Still, 18 1/2 hours and 6 books read and reviewed makes me very happy. Perhaps I can shoot for 20 hours next year...

And here my six completed books:

I also listened to part of Live Wire, by Harlan Coben, and read the first couple of chapters of Oggie Cooder, Party Animal, by Sarah Weeks.

Thanks so much for hosting the 48 Hour Book Challenge again this year, MotherReader. It was a privilege to participate. I will certainly be back next year, and will try to keep my reading/reviewing/networking groove in the meantime.

MotherReader's 48 Hour Book Challenge: Launch Post: #48HBC

48hbc_new I am thrilled to be participating in the 6th Annual 48-Hour Book Challenge from MotherReader. The idea is to select a 48-hour period out of this weekend, and spend as much time reading as possible. A little social networking time is allowed, and you can spend as much time as you like blogging about the books that you've read. But really, the idea is to read, read, read. To prioritize reading above other things, just for one weekend, in the hope of finding it easier to continue to prioritize reading afterwards. 

I almost didn't participate this year. Baby Bookworm is 14 months old, and requires constant attention. And my husband is on call this weekend, which means that his time can't be relied upon (though he's supportive in spirit). But I just couldn't let another #48HBC go by without participating (I missed last year's event completel). So I decided to use my precious babysitter time for reading today, and to fit in whatever other time I can find through Sunday morning. Fortunately audiobooks count (or one, anyway), so I can "read" while taking the baby for a walk. I would think I can even read chapter books aloud to her while she plays, right? My humble and hopeful goal is to at least meet the 12 hour minimum set by MotherReader.

It's 8:48 am on Friday. This is my 48 Hour Book Challenge launch post. I'm in! Are you?

April Carnival of Children's Literature Now Available

Maypole1 The April Carnival of Children's Literature is now available at Rasco from RIF. I hope that you'll take a few minutes [or hours ;-) ] to check it out. Carol Rasco has anchored the carnival with a lovely photo of a maypole, and taken the time to include images throughout the carnival. [Image credit: Rasco from RIF]

Not sure how I let this one go by without submitting an entry, but I'm happy to have this opportunity to catch up on other people's posts for the month. I was especially taken by Aaron Mead's comprehensive post on Finding the Best Children's Books: Reviews, Lists, and Blogs.

RIFF_logo In light of Carol's efforts on this carnival, and all of her support of the Kidlitosphere in recent years, it's been especially nice to hear about the upcoming KidLit drink nights organized in New York and Nashville in support of RIF. As Jules explains at 7-Imp, "Since a bill was recently signed that eliminated funding for RIF, the nation’s largest organization providing free books and literacy resources for children, this cut means that they need folks’ support now more than ever."


Two Quick Kidlitosphere Tidbits

Just a couple of quick updates from the Kidlitosphere:

First up, MotherReader and Lee Wind are once again hosting the Comment Challenge. Pam explains that January is "the perfect time of year to make a new resolution to connect more with your fellow bloggers. Since it is said that it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit, we’re going to run the Comment Challenge for the next three weeks — starting Thursday, January 6, and running through Wednesday, January 26, 2011. The goal is to comment on at least five book blogs a day. Keep track of your numbers, and report in on Wednesdays with Lee. We’ll tell each other how we’re doing and keep each other fired up. On Wednesday, January 26, I’ll post the final check-in post for the Comment Challenge. A prize package will be involved".

Also, Colleen Mondor just announced a new survey for past and future KidLitCon participants (survey developed by the multi-talented Sarah Stevenson). If you've ever attended KidLitCon, or you've thought about attending, or you might attend if only x,y,z change was made to the planning, please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with this year's organizers.

Things like the comment challenge and Kidlitcon are what make the Kidlitosphere a real community, instead of just a random collection of self-referential blogs. I hope that some of you will decide to participate in these events.

Wishing everyone a book-filled/comment-filled/fun-filled weekend!

December Carnival of Children's Literature

Carnival I'm a little bit late, but wanted to be sure to bring to your attention the fabulous December Carnival of Children's Literature, hosted by Lori Calabrese (her logo to the left). Lori has a host of great links to book reviews for various age levels, as well as to a variety of literacy and news-related posts. Best of all, she shares an original take on The Night Before Christmas, kidlit blogger-style. Don't miss it!

Five Years at Jen Robinson's Book Page

Byear5c Today is the fifth anniversary of the day that I started Jen Robinson's Book Page. I remember exactly where I was, sitting on the couch in our old rental duplex (2 moves ago) with the computer on my lap, figuring I'd give this whole blogging thing a try. [Image credit About.com Guide to Web Clip Art]

I never would have though that I'd still be here blogging five years, 1935 posts, and ~470,000 page views later (so says Typepad). But it's funny. When I look back on my early posts, I find that what I'm trying to do with this blog hasn't changed much at all. In the first couple of weeks I published:

In January of 2006 I published my first children's book reviews, made lists of "comfort books", and highlighted a range of children's literacy and reading topics. So, yes, I think I've stayed pretty true to my blog's roots over these five years. I still focus on children's literacy news and organizations, children's books, and the joys of reading.

Oh, I've branched out here and there, participating in cross-blog efforts, like the Cybils, BooklightsKidlitosphere Central, Mother Reader's 48 Hour Book Challenge, Kidlitcon, Share a Story/Shape a Future, and (a while back) the Winter Blog Blast Tours and Readergirlz. I've started working together with Terry Doherty and Carol Rasco on the literacy roundups. I've published quite a few reviews. I've become active on Twitter. I created an email newsletter version of the blog. Etc..

I've found it necessary to refine my focus (this is a recurring activity), deciding that interviews and giveaways weren't my thing, and honing in on the particular sub-categories of books that most interest me. But still, I'm pleased when I see that the things that were important to me when I started the blog remain important to me today.

What's changed the most, in terms of my blog, is that I no longer feel like I'm one person sitting on the couch sharing my thoughts out into the world. I feel instead like I'm part of a community of people who care about children's books and growing bookworms. And I've become a person who has friends (whether I've met them in person or not) all over the world who share these same interests. What an amazing gift!

Not to mention the other gifts that my blog has given me, like:

  • The chance to go to Kidlitcon every year.
  • The stacks of books.
  • The opportunities to meet and chat with authors.
  • The chance to make a difference to organizations like RIF and Reach Out and Read.

The blog has been a bit on the back burner for me this year, following the birth of my daughter (10 weeks early) in April. Ironic, that having a child of my own makes me less able to review and discuss children's books, but that's life, and I wouldn't have it any other way. (Growing a bookworm of my own is changing how I blog in other ways, but that's a topic for another post.)

But even when I don't have the time that I would like to spend on my blog, rest assured that it's never far from my heart. And it's comforting to know that the friends that I've made over these five years are still out there, ready to talk books and growing bookworms with me when I'm able to pop in.

My thanks to everyone who has stopped by Jen Robinson's Book Page these past five years (or followed me on Google Reader, or Twitter, or Facebook, or wherever). You've all changed my life for the better, and I am grateful. Wishing you all a joyful holiday season, and lots of great books in 2011.

November Carnival of Children's Literature

The November Carnival of Children's Literature is now available. Host Wendy Wax has done a remarkable job, with everything from a custom-designed graphic to poetry to cheerful multicolored fonts to quotes from all of the posts. I don't know where she found the time, but the result is not to be missed. There are tons of book reviews this month, as well as author interviews, posts about how illustrations are made, and even a few writing tips. Fans of children's literature and literacy will not want to miss the November Carnival.

Cybils, Carnival of Children's Literature, and Kidlitcon

I have three can't miss pieces of Kidlitosphere news to share today:

Cybils2010small 1. Nominations opened for the 2010 Cybils Awards this morning. Anyone can nominate titles (published from October 16, 2009 to October 15, 2010), one title per person per category. Here is the direct link to the nomination form. From the Cybils blog you can find up-to-the minute lists of nominated titles in each category (for example, Young Adult Fiction is here). Hundreds of titles have already been nominated. You have until October 15th to make sure that your favorites have been included. If you read a children's or young adult book this year that you think was well-written and chock-full of kid-appeal, nominate it for the Cybils!

2. The September Carnival of Children's Literature is now available at Great Kid Books. Host Mary Ann Scheuer has assembled a host of links from all around the Kidlitosphere, from news tidbits to book reviews to posts about writing. Mary Ann even took time to include cover images for the reviewed titles - a very nice touch! For fans of children's literature, this Carnival is not to be missed.

3. The schedule has been announced for Kidlitcon 2010, the fourth annual conference for children's and young adult book bloggers. Author Maggie Stiefvater is the keynote speaker. I have read and loved all of her books published to date, and am looking forward to meeting her. I'll be participating in a few of the sessions (more details closer to the conference). But do check out the whole schedule. Kidlitcon has something for everyone involved in children's book writing and blogging. And it's not too late to register! As hosts Andrew Karre, Ben Barnhart and Brian Farrey note: "This conference belongs to bloggers and will only be as strong as those who make it happen." I hope to see you all there!

Great times in children's and young adult literature land. Wishing you all a book-filled weekend.