Readergirlz 31 Flavorites: Week 1
Wicked Cool Overlooked Books (III)

Sunday Afternoon Visits: September 30

There's a lot of excitement brewing around the Kidlitosphere in October. The Cybils start accepting nominations starting TOMORROW. Readergirlz are hosting 31 authors, one per day, as part of the YA-focused 31 Flavorites event. Banned Book Week started yesterday and goes until October 6th. The First Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, brainchild of Robin Brande, is taking place in Chicago next Saturday. I'll be there, and hosting a panel on Promoting the Kidlitosphere. Jules and Eisha are guest blogging at ForeWord Magazine's Shelf Space starting a week from tomorrow. They also have the Robert's Snow event starting on October 15th, with a fabulous schedule. Teen Read Week is coming up October 14th to 20th. (See also TadMack's play by play of the exciting October kidlitosphere events at Finding Wonderland.)

There's a lot going on, but I do have some other posts of interest for you, as the clock ticks down to the Cybils and 31 Flavorite events:

  • Interested in learning more about Banned Book Week, and the 10 Most Challenged Books of 2006? Anne-Marie Nichols has the scoop at A Readable Feast
  • Via Jackie at Interactive Reader, the film rights to Meg Cabot's YA novel The Mediator have been optioned by "the producer of The Spiderwick Chronicles and Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events." Now that's a movie (or movies? It's unclear) that I'm looking forward to.
  • Cheryl Rainfield tagged me for a cool meme about the love of books this week. I'm not sure I'll find time to do it, given everything else that's going on, but I did want to point you to her answers. We share a common affection for The Forgotten Door, by Alexander Key, which is one of my all-time favorite re-reads. Cheryl also pulls together a collection of links to children's book review and discussion podcasts.
  • Gail Gauthier introduced me to a neat site called KidderLit. The idea is that the people who run the site put up the first line from a children's book every day. You can visit the blog, or sign up to receive the lines by email. Then you click through to Amazon to see what book it is. As Gail says: "KidderLit is probably going to attract a lot of adult kidlit book geeks... But I think it's also an opportunity to make the literary world a little more attractive to kids. You're combining books with e-mail." I think it's going to be fun.
  • Via Tea Cozy, Sam Riddleburger has put up a Kidlit Blogger Word Find. Lots of familiar names to be found.
  • Ms. Yingling Reads calls on parents to "Let Them Read Captain Underpants", in a defense of letting kids read books that they're interested in. She laments that "we lose kids as readers in middle school. We make it not fun to read." She concludes: "So, parents out there, take a deep breath. Let them read Captain Underpants. They are challenged enough at school. Let them enjoy their reading!"
  • Becky introduces the concept of ReBooks, or Reading DNA. ReBooks are "books that have such a powerful impact that it's not enough to remember them -- you have to reread them." I like this concept, which is similar to a concept introduced by Steve Leveen called "personal classic books." I wrote about my personal classic books here. Becky has a cool animated graphic of hers.
  • Esme Raji Codell has written a powerful thank you for and explanation of her Chicago Reading Room, which closed last winter, but is opening soon in a new guise. You have to scroll down a bit in the post to find it, but it's worth finding. The original bookroom was "a private, non-circulating library and literary salon geared toward parents and elementary school teachers, dedicated to the principles found" in Esme's fun and important book, How to Get Your Child to Love Reading.
  • Congratulations to Els Kushner from Book, Book Book for getting a paid weekly blogging gig at's website for parents! She'll be blogging as Librarian Mom. I wish her much success!
  • Did you hear that a "New biography claims the beloved children's author [Enid Blyton] hid a secret code in her work to make cruel jokes at the expense of her first husband"? Guardian link via bookshelves of doom.
  • MotherReader has published the Megalist of Best Books of 2007 (so far), as well as links to all of the contributing blog posts. This list is an amazing resource for anyone looking for new titles, handily classified by age range and category.
  • Via my friend from Austin, has an article about Why Women Read More than Men. According to the article, "Theories attempting to explain the "fiction gap" abound. Cognitive psychologists have found that women are more empathetic than men, and possess a greater emotional range—traits that make fiction more appealing to them."
  • Read All About It! has an article about the Donkey Mobile Libraries in Zimbabwe. They say: "The Donkey Mobile Libraries were developed to provide library extension and outreach services to remote communities in the Nkayi District in north-western Zimbabwe. It is estimated that the literacy rate in this district is around 86% and this is largely attributed to the established and emerging library services."
  • Inspired by a book that she's reading with her 12-year-old daughter, Laura Salas asks if other parents have encountered awkwardness in reading aloud scenes that include mature topics. This is a question I haven't heard asked before, but I think it's great that she's still reading aloud with her 12-year-old. What a wonderful opportunity for discussion, in addition to placing importance on reading, and spending quality time together. 
  • Charlotte offers pointers for shopping at library book sales at Charlotte's Library.
  • Ananka's Diary has a photo of the cutest two-headed turtle you ever saw.
  • Finding Wonderland is having a contest through October 11th. The gist is this: "Have you ever wished you could spout some clever one-liner in response to people asking you where you get your ideas? Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to think of your own snappy answer to that question." The prizes are one of a kind, too.
  • If you're in Massachusetts, you have a couple of opportunities this month to view the snowflakes from the Robert's Snow fund-raising effort. Details are at the Jimmy Fund site.
  • And finally, I'd like to bring to your attention the new online children's bookstore, Through the Magic Door. According to a message that the founder send me: "Through the Magic Door is a children’s book e-commerce site from which most books in print can be purchased... The overall objective of TTMD is to foster a life-long love of reading in children and to kindle or reignite that love among parents. The focus of the site is five-fold: 1) Help busy parents find the right books (given their children’s interests) quickly through a sophisticated database; 2) Focus on the back-list of books, great books of proven worth that don’t receive a lot of marketing attention; 3) Bring awareness to international children’s authors who write great books but aren’t all that well known in the US; 4) Serve as a repository for web based resources that might be of assistance to parents and educators (such as links to awards, journals, author and illustrator sites, literacy programs, etc.), and 5) Create a community of people enthused and inspired by children’s books." I hope that it's a huge success. They also offer gift packages, where you can books sent regularly to kids over various time intervals - excellent gift ideas for grandparents and the like.

And in non-Kidlitosphere events:

  • The Red Sox go into the playoffs as the top-seeded AL East Champs, for the first time in a very long time.
  • It's my brother's birthday, my sister's birthday, two of my nieces' birthdays, and my parents' anniversary this month.

It's going to be a tough month to focus on work. See you all (well, some of you anyway), at the Kidlitosphere conference next weekend!