Justina's Fab Five Ways to Support Your Local Bookstore
The Complete Jane Austen on PBS

Sunday Afternoon Visits: Pre-Newbery Announcement Edition

This week was crazily busy in the Kidlitosphere. The final set of Cybils shortlists came out. (Don't miss this podcast interview with the nonfiction picture book panelists at Just One More Book!). The class of 2k8 launched with a big splash. There were carnivals and new blogs and interesting posts galore. Here are some of the many, many highlights.

  • Speaking of the Cybils, Sherry has an interesting post about the gender gap in the middle grade fiction nominees at Semicolon. There were almost twice as many nominees in which the main character was a girl than in which the main character was a boy. This is particularly disturbing, given that the conventional wisdom says that girls are more willing to read books where the main character is a boy than vice versa. On a brighter note, Sherry also reports that a Penderwicks sequel is coming out in April.
  • Just in time for cold season, Librarian Mom Els Kushner shares a list of books about illness. I hope that none of you need this list any time soon, but it's there just in case.
  • Kris B. reports at Paradise Found that it's National Delurking week. So, if you're reading this and haven't commented before, consider dropping a quick little comment, to let me know who you are. Or you could even just email me, if that's easier for you.
  • At Tea Cozy, Liz B. writes about the Cassie Edwards plagiarism debate, and the notion that yes, you are supposed to credit material that you take from another source. There is an impassioned discussion going on (in favor of giving credit, of course) in the comments. Also, congratulations to Liz and Carlie for getting a proposal accepted for the YA Literature symposium, to be held in Nashville in November.
  • Robin Brande offers her blog readers a chance to help literacy and have some free coffee. She says "I’m part of an auction going on to benefit the great non-profit group Kids Need to Read, the charity project founded by author PJ Haarsma (The Softwire series) and actor Nathan Fillion...  Money raised through these auctions is used to purchase books for schools and libraries in need." In addition to a copy of her book, Robin is throwing in some goodies, if you're interested.
  • Just in time for the upcoming ALA book award announcements (Monday!), A Year of Reading has assembled links to a collection of Newbery prediction posts from around the web. I made a couple of predictions/wishes in the comments over at PBS, in response to someone's question, but there's only one that I have a true feeling will get the nod. Oh, and don't miss Mary Lee and Franki's interview at Tales from the Rushmore Kid.
  • Speaking of awards, Kelly proposes a Pen and Pencil award at Big A little a. Kelly asks "Which writing instruments would you award for their faithful service and why?" Me, I favor Dr. Grip pens, because they have nice cushioning for when I have to take lots of notes.
  • Colleen discusses the relentless pessimism in futuristic YA fiction at Chasing Ray. Personally, I enjoy these sorts of books (I've reviewed two of them in the past week, and I have strong pessimist tendencies). But I'm cool with Colleen pointing out a couple in which the future looks a bit more hopeful.
  • Little Willow has been on a tear this week at Bildungsroman, posting interesting topic after interesting topic. I especially enjoyed a short post that she did on the concept of Reader Resonance: "the reaction after completing the book - Does the story stay with the readers? Do the characters stay with the readers?" She's also written a well conceived rant on book banning, or actually, putting warning stickers on YA books. Also not to be missed is the 2007 Cybils Middle Grade Hall of Fame and her interview with Meg Cabot.
  • Mitali Perkins reports (having heard about this from the Washington Post) that "during the Writer's Guild strike, Hollywood creative minds are writing books for children." Most people I've seen respond are less than enthusiastic. I think it's the 'well, we can't do real work right now, so we might as well do something easy like write children's books' impression given by this announcement. Still, some of these writers are pretty funny...
  • Jules has started a new feature over at 7-Imp: Alice's Seven Picture Book Tips for Impossibly Busy Parents. She says "The idea is that I will list seven new picture books for busy parents as often as I can pull it off." She pledges to be brief, and to focus on books that are currently available for purchase or in libraries. I think that this is going to be a very useful new resource for parents.
  • Edward Champion has a blog post at the Guardian Unlimited Arts Blog asking publishers to Stop Bowdlerising Books for Kids. The subheading says it all, really: "Children are much more sophisticated readers than today's squeamish editing allows for". But the rest of the article is interesting reading, and has inspired quite a few comments. Thanks to Monica Edinger for the link.
  • Congratulations to Andrea and Mark from Just One More Book!. Their site was recently featured in Learning Magazine. And congratulations to Cheryl Rainfield. An anthology in which she has a short story has been nominated for a Preditors and Editors award for best anthology of the year.
  • Sara Lewis Holmes has a nice, Kidlitosphere-friendly post about how she hears (in a virtual sense) the voices of her Kidlitosphere friends when she's browsing in the bookstore these days. She sparked quite a bit of discussion in the comments when she posited that, just maybe, "the root of the boy reading problem is that boys hate to shop". Check out the comments on this idea, especially the input from David Elzey, who shares a bookseller's observations, and Colleen Mondor, who talks about the importance of fathers as reading role models. Sara follows up with a post about Bookstore Design for Boys. I don't know how feasible it is, but there are some great ideas for making the book selection environment more friendly for boys. Lots of useful comments here, too.
  • For all of you obsessive Life As We Knew It fans out there, Susan Beth Pfeffer has started brainstorming about a possible third book in the series. It's quite a glimpse into the brainstorming process of the author, and offers tantalizing glimpses into the future of the LAWKI/d&g universe. Of course if you're someone who wants the book (if there ever is one) to be a complete surprise, then don't click through. Generally, I'm very anti-spoiler, but I also have a poor memory, so I think I can safely read, and still enjoy the book if (hopefully!) it's eventually published.
  • Walter Minkel reports at The Monkey Speaks on an editorial by a man who "says that he was thrown out of the main branch of the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library simply for sitting and doing some research in the children’s area". Speaking as an adult who is frequently in the children's area of the library, unaccompanied by any child, I am sympathetic, and find it sad that people like that library's security guard feel that they have to react this way. Then again, I don't sit and do work in the children's section at my library, because it's posted that those tables are reserved for kids. I would be more bothered if the man was prohibited from selecting a few books off of the shelves.
  • The 7th Edition of the Bookworms Carnival is now available at Reading with Becky. The theme is Best Books of 2007, and it is a veritable smorgasbord of book suggestions.
  • Speaking of carnivals, the deadline for the next Carnival of Children's Literature is January 18th. The carnival will be held at Wizards Wireless. The theme is book awards. You can find more details here.
  • Saddened by the lack of science books on the BCCB Blue Ribbon Awards in Nonfiction list, Tricia has published her own list of Outstanding Science Books Published in 2007 at Open Wide, Look Inside.

I've been collecting these links all week, and I feel SO much better having them all written up in usable fashion. I hope you find something here that catches your eye. Oh, and what do you think: does bolding the names make this easier or harder to read?