Nothing but the Truth: Justina Chen Headley
Children's Literacy Round-Up: March 6

Sunday Afternoon Visits: March 4

Another week, another business trip. Such is my life these days. For the brief interval that I've been home this weekend, I've been rushing around trying to catch up on work, laundry, and bills, and so on, before I have to leave again. I did manage to get in one book review this morning, but I'm sadly out of touch with the Kidlitosphere. However, here are a few things that have crossed my path:

  • A Fuse #8 Production brings to light a fascinating theory about the link between the television series LOST (to which Mheir and I are addicted) and the classic children's books about the Moomin family, by Tove Jansson. I haven't read the Moomin series, so I can't comment, but I must admit that the tidbits mentioned by Betsy are very persuasive. I do love the way the LOST episodes regularly reference books, especially children's books.
  • The results of Colleen Mondor's compiled list of favorite coming of age novels are now posted at Chasing Ray. This is a must-read list, filled with everything from tried and true classics to brand new titles. I'm amazed at the number of nominations that people made, and at the effort that Colleen took to categorize and sub-categorize the various titles. This list should be a wonderful resource for kids, parents, and librarians, not to mention readers at large, for years to come.
  • I am with Colleen in lamenting the relatively light representation of books with multicultural and gay characters. But maybe drawing attention to this shortage is an early step in changing the situation. I know that the readergirlz divas are thinking about similar issues, because I have emailed with them about it. And Tricia touches on the same issues, when she writes at The Miss Rumphius Effect about the need for "librarians and teachers to diversify their collections so that every child can see himself or herself reflected in the books they read." Mindy also addresses multi-cultural books at, noting "Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved to read about people in other lands or people from other lands who’ve decided to keep their culture alive." She gives several examples, including the destined-to-be-a-classic Nothing but the Truth (and a few white lies), and offers lists of recommended multicultural books by age range.
  • Jennifer gave me some food for thought over at Snapshot with this post, about treating words, and writing, as a hobby. She's generated lots of discussion. My favorite phrase: "Words, in any form, are my leisure activity of choice." I so agree with that!
  • Bookseller Chick also wrote earlier this week about writers as bloggers, and what we expect from writers who blog. She asks readers "what you get out of blogging as a reader or a writer of one and specifically what you get (if anything) out of reader vs. writer vs. personal blogs. What gets you to a blog? What brings you back? And, if you have one, what do you expect from your own blogging?" Excellent questions, and there are a number of thoughtful responses in the comments, too.
  • Speaking of blogging writers (and of the limited sub-set of my Kidlitosphere friends who I've met in person), Chris Barton just announced that he's sold his second book. Congratulations, Chris! Everyone else can head over to his blog, and try to guess what the book is about, based on the initials S.V.T.
  • New book blogger Lectitans, who I think will be around and offering insightful comments for the foreseeable future, was kind enough to set up a syndicated Live Journal feed for my book page, so that she could read it more easily. If you are a LJ user, and you'd like to link to the feed, you can find it here.
  • On a non book-related note, I enjoyed this post by Occidental Tourist (who I met at last year's BlogHer conference, making her part of the select, but hopefully increasing, circle of blog friends who I've met face to face). She is a graphic artist who is currently staying at home with her daughter, and muses on a recent comment by a new acquaintance "So you're just a mom."
  • Speaking of motherhood (funny how certain themes seem to be echoing around the Kidlitosphere this week), there's a lovely essay at Whimsy Books about Motherhood and the Importance of Reading to Kids. She refers extensively to The Read-Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease, stating firmly that "The best way to make a lifelong reader/learner is to make reading a pleasant experience while they are still very impressionable." That certainly seems to be what the research says.
  • And for a different take on motherhood (really, on parenting in general), MotherReader's post entitled Be the Parent is a must-read. With her trademark wit, she tackles the serious issue of parents who put too much power in their kids' hands, by refusing to take charge. My favorite line: "But tantrums by themselves are not nearly as bad as seeing a mom hand over control to someone who hasn’t even maintained control of his bowels yet."
  • Ilene Goldman writes about the Cybils and virtual book tours in The Prairie Wind, the newsletter of the SCBWI-Illinois chapter. She notes "The Kidslitosphere grows, like my toddler, exponentially every month. Moreover, it encapsulates the wild evolution of online communities."
  • Liz B. at Tea Cozy muses about and links to an interesting mix of articles about the age range of young adult novels, and literary vs. genre fiction. I especially liked the Mary Pearson post that Liz linked to, which likens genre fans to members of high-school cliques (an idea originally posited by author Melissa Marr).
  • The Scholar's Blog Book Discussion group is about to begin discussion (March 6th) of their second title: Penelope Lively's The House in Norham Gardens. Don't miss it!

There are literally hundreds of other unread posts in my Google Reader list, but I simply have to stop and eat dinner. So, while this week's post is not as comprehensive as I might have liked, I hope that I've given you some interesting directions for your blog reading. And at least I don't feel totally out of the loop.