Children's Literacy Round-Up: July 21st
The Dark Hills Divide: Patrick Carman

Sunday Afternoon Visits: July 23rd

It was a fairly quiet week in the kidlitosphere, with quite a few people on vacation, and the heat wave that seems to be everywhere keeping people from their computers. I do, however, have a few tidbits for you.

  • If you haven't checked it out yet, I highly recommend visiting the new Children's Book Reviews site that Kelly Herold set up last week. The idea is to organize children's and young adult book reviews by category, with links to each original review on the contributor's own website. There are already links to approximately 75 middle grade fiction reviews, plus many in other categories. You can find a list of reviewers who have agreed to participate in this effort at Big A little a. Kudos to Kelly for taking on this excellent project!
  • Continuing a discussion that I mentioned last week, about the difference between one's online persona and one's real persona (initiated by Jennifer at Snapshot), Jen Rouse discusses the use of one's real identity on a blog, vs. using cute fake names. Jen also has a horrifying picture on her site, from the new Pottery Barn catalog. I can't bear to describe it. You'll have to click through to see.
  • Miss Snark has published (with some help from Publisher's Weekly) a list of upcoming book festivals for the fall. Hat tip to A Fuse #8 Production for the link.
  • Maryrose Wood quoted from my review of the delightful Sex Kittens and Horn Dawgs Fall in Love on her blog. It's so nice to be in the Kittens' good graces! 
  • Rick Riordan has announced the title of his third Percy Jackson and the Olympians book. Rick also includes several hints about the story. Fans should definitely head on over to check out this post. Thanks to Camille at Book Moot for the link.
  • And speaking of authors, Gail Gauthier takes on the question of whether or not young adult novels should include messages of hope and redemption. In response to a New York Times Book review by Polly Shulman, Gail says "when I read Shulman's review, I couldn't apply it to anything I'd learned about providing redemption and hope for the young. All I could do was think, "How condescending."" You go Gail! I've always hated books that try to convey some overt message to kids. I think that children's books should be about the story. The inclusion of positive values like bravery and loyalty is absolutely great, as long as they're part of the story. I don't personally think that books should have some sort of carefully contrived message regarding future expected behavior. I can't wait for my expected copy of Happy Kid!
  • Shannon Hale has posted the first chapter of her upcoming book, River Secrets. However, she warns of spoilers, for those who haven't read The Goose Girl or Enna Burning. I have Goose Girl high up on my to be read list, so I'll have to wait a bit.
  • PJ Librarian at The Magic of Books laments the impact of her reading habit on the behavior her now book-obsessed (and book-eating) 17-month-old. It's fun stuff!
  • Buried in the Slush Pile asks readers to contribute tales of bad school visits. So far the winner is Alan Silberberg (author of Pond Scum), forced to discuss body odor with 11-year-olds.
  • And last, but definitely not least, the Fifth Carnival of Children's Literature is now available at Big A little a. Be sure to check it out! I've only just caught a glimpse, but it looks like a lot of fun.