My (Late) Response to the ALA Youth Media Awards
The Five Lost Aunts of Harriet Bean: Alexander McCall Smith

Thursday Afternoon Visits: January 17, 2008

There's lots going on this week, so I thought I would share a few links today, rather than waiting until Sunday.

  • First up (I've been meaning to mention this all week) Julie defended the honor of KidLit bloggers at ALA this week. She recaps a discussion on her blog, Reader's Carousel. Make sure you read the comments. There's a lot of discussion about what additional value blogs bring to book reviewing (like the ability to discuss books via the comments).
  • And, for a somewhat quirky, yet interesting, discussion, check out Books & Other Thoughts. Darla asks: serendipity - does it influence what you read? In other words, if you keep seeing a particular book in different contexts, do you decide it's a sign that you should read the book? Personally, I think that this form of serendipity just means that a book has captured your attention, so you notice it more when you run across it. But of course, that is a sign that you should probably read the book.
  • Via Publisher's Weekly, great news! Square Fish, and imprint of Macmillan, is reissuing the Melendy Quartet, by Elizabeth Enright (The Saturdays, The Four Story Mistake, Then There Were Five, and Spiderweb for Two). These are among my all-time favorite books, and I'm delighted to see them getting fresh attention. (They've been available in hardcover, but these will apparently be new paperback editions, with the original artwork.) According to the article, Square Fish publisher Jean Feiwel "believes that the books, despite being more than 50 years old, will continue to resonate with children. "The kids don't come across as dated," she says. "Whether they're filled with mischief or a sense of independence, the feelings are true. Spending a Saturday afternoon in a way that's an adventure--that has an appeal no matter how old you are."" That's pretty much what I said when I reviewed The Saturdays in 2006. I adore Elizabeth Enright's books.
  • In other book news, Wands and Worlds reports that a release date has been set for the third book in the Christopher Paolini's Inheritance series: Brisingr!. It will be released on September 20th, 2008, complete with midnight bookstore parties. I know that lots of kids will be thrilled, and that makes this great news, too (though I'm personally more excited about the Melendy books).
  • I just wrote about the ALA Awards, but I forgot to mention this post, in which LibrariAnne recaps the details of the Best Books for Young Adults session at ALA, complete with teen comments on the books.
  • The Brown Bookshelf team has come up with the list of 28 authors and four illustrators that they'll be highlight during their 28 Days Later feature: a black history month celebration of children's literature. You can download a PDF of their poster here.
  • The PaperTigers blog is starting The Tiger's Bookshelf: A Community of Readers. But they need your input. The post says: "In addition to providing an online book group where children and adults can discuss books that they love, PaperTigers also would love to provide a spot where experienced book group participants give pointers to those who are beginning to explore the pleasures of reading and chatting with others of like mind." They have a bunch of specific questions about book groups, so if you have something to share, do head over.
  • After attending a reading workshop at ALA last week, Cloudscome wrote a couple of great posts about reading over at a wrung sponge. The first one is about Reading and the Elementary School Library Media Specialist. She talks in particular about "the connection between the growth of reading comprehension, vocabulary development, school success and the sheer volume of pleasure reading children partake in by their own selection." She adds: "Reading for pleasure in open free time is not just for fun. It's how lifelong readers develop. It is essential. Not many of the studies referenced in NCLB legislation mention that, but more and more researchers are bringing it up. Kids can and should read above and below their "level" in a wide variety of materials just because it interests them." But click through to read the whole article. It's great stuff. Her second post recaps several references on reading and libraries from the conference, with links.
  • In case you've somehow missed it, there have been tons of posts around the Kidlitosphere this week about planned reads in 2008, with many of the posts emphasizing new books that will be released this year. Colleen Mondor kicked things off, and has a roundup of related links at Chasing Ray. So many great books ... where on earth am I going to find the time to read them all. Hmmm... perhaps if I spent less time reading blogs...
  • And speaking of planned reads of 2008, our own TadMack from Finding Wonderland just sold her second book. Her upcoming first book popped up on lots of the planned 2008 reading lists. 
  • Also not to be missed: Jules and Eisha interview Camille Powell from BookMoot over at 7-Imp. Camille is one of my favorite bloggers, and not just because we share a high degree of fandom for the man she calls "Rockstar Rick Riordan". When kids come to her house for trick-or-treating, she makes them tell her the name of one of their favorite books, before she gives them candy. Don't you love that?
  • This one is for Kelly Herold, who I know is a fan. The Book Witch has an article about author Henning Mankell. She also has a follow-up post about Mankell's Sofia trilogy, a fictionalized children's series based on a real girl (now woman) who was devastatingly injured by a landmine in Mozambique. I'm a fan of Mankell's adult mysteries (set in Sweden, very dark police procedurals, but tautly written and atmospheric), but haven't yet read this series, or any of his other children's fiction.
  • Trisha has an intriguing post at The YA YAs about the difference between popularity and appeal in young adult fiction. Since Trisha was one of the people who selected the Cybils YA Fiction shortlist, I was especially interested to hear what she had to say about this. She says "Ultimately, this is what I came up with: books that are popular with teens obviously have teen appeal, but unpopular, or not yet popular, books don't necessarily lack teen appeal. And just because a book has teen appeal does not automatically mean it will be popular." Well said.
  • Speaking of the Cybils shortlist titles, did you see the cool widgets in my left-hand sidebar? They were assembled by Adaptive Blue, which also offers SmartLinks functionality for blogs. Read more at the Cybils blog.
  • And last, but not least, it's somehow become Friday at Farm School as I write, and Becky has the beginnings of the Poetry Friday roundup.

And that is quite enough for a sharing "a few links". Happy Friday, friends!