The Edge of the Forest, August Issue
A Bit More about Adults and Young Adult Books

Saturday Afternoon Visits: August 26

Usually I don't get around to this until Sunday, but I seem to be a bit ahead of schedule this week. Here are a few tidbits for you from around the kidlitosphere:

  • Nancy over at Journey Woman brings us a new term to describe (among others) those of us who are technically adults, but who enjoy reading children's and young adult books: rejuvenile.
  • Via Book Moot (and also commented upon by A Fuse #8 Production), Brendan Fraser will be playing Mo (Meggie's father) in the movie version of Inkheart. I read in an interview a while back that author Cornelia Funke actually based the character of Mo on Brendan Fraser, and that she's long advocated for him to play the role. I personally found Fraser's narration of the second Inkworld book, Inkspell, distracting. He did a good job - it was just that I kept thinking "that's Brendan Fraser", and it distracted me from my immersion in the story. But maybe this will work better with the movie...
  • Continuing the discussion of required summer reading books, Franki over at A Year of Reading discusses her daughter's summer reading, in the absence of a required books list. She concludes, after watching her daughter choose and read books for pleasure all summer, "I am now 100 percent sure that I would rather my child spend the summer being a reader than reading required books on a school list. I want her to read for more than a course requirement." This made me think that maybe what schools should do is put together a list called something like "Really, really great books that other kids have enjoyed", and then make the list optional. Thus giving the kids who do need a push some ideas, but leaving the kids who already enjoy books to make their own choices. But of course I'm not there in the trenches, so I don't really know what would work.
  • An excellent list of books for reluctant grade school readers is developing over at Big A little a, in response to a plea for suggestions from Kelly's Mom. Definitely check out the comments.
  • Fred Charles has a great post on his blog titled: The Truth About Writing: It's a Pain in the Ass. It's a bit cynical (as Fred admits), but filled with useful advice and universal truths about writing as art, craft, and job. I also enjoyed Fred's follow-up post about why Bloggers are Writers Too. You should definitely check it out! It brightened my day.
  • Annette Simon was pleased to learn that her picture book Mocking Birdies was used as a prop in a recent Pottery Barn catalog. You can see a picture here (right column, midway down). My review of Mocking Birdies is here.
  • Chris Barton publishes, with a sigh, a listing of books about the planet Pluto.
  • A Fuse #8 Production links to LibriVox, a site that posts free audio recordings of books that are in the public domain. The audios are created by volunteers, so the quality is likely mixed. But you can't argue with the price! Here is the link to the LibriVox Children's Literature section.
  • Tasha Saecker from Kids Lit has started a page where she is "compiling a list of those of us who blog about children's literature." It's a great link list, growing all the time, and includes many blogs that I wouldn't have found on my own. You can also likely find some new to you kid lit blogs at JacketFlap, which currently indexes 131 blogs related to children's books and publishing.
  • The Boulder Public Library Teen Web team has compiled a bunch of great lists of non-frumpy recommended reading for teens. For instance: "Classics That Won't Kill You: Boring? Dusty? Not these" and "Don't Know Much About History. Historical fiction that won't make you snore....". Such fun! I found this link at Cynthia Leitich Smith's blog, Cynsations.
  • Liz B. has an interesting post at Pop Goes the Library about where certain books for teenage girls are shelved in bookstores. She recommends sources for booksellers looking to shelve the books, to help determine appropriate age ranges. She also offers this advice for parents, who don't know which are the right books for their kids: "use me. Use my young adult colleagues. Come in, ask for me, tell me what your child is reading and what she likes and let's see what we have to make you both happy. We can exchange emails, I'll look out for books she may like, we'll talk about what worked and didn't."
  • Anne-Marie at A Readable Feast calls on readers to help kids get the books that they need. She includes some alarming statistics about the number of books that children living in poverty have in their homes (or rather, don't have in their homes). For example, "Sixty-one percent of the children in low-income families have no books at all." No books at all. How sad is that? She suggests some programs that you can support to help, if you're interested.
  • If you're prepared to read something disturbing, I refer you to Jackie's post over at InteractiveReader. She writes of a recent incident with a 9-year-old bully at the library, with the kid having just returned after a one-year ban from the library. What kind of an 8 year old is so out of control that the library has to ban him? Scary stuff.

Hope that you're all having a great weekend!