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Children's Literacy Round-Up: September 14

Sunday Afternoon Visits: September 14

It's a beautiful day here in San Jose. Of course I've been inside watching the Red Sox. But that doesn't make it any less beautiful. There has been lots of activity around the Kidlitosphere this week. Here are a few highlights:

  • Roald_dahl_day_logo_2I'm a bit late with this news, but yesterday was Roald Dahl Day. I celebrated by re-reading Matilda. Betsy Bird shared lots of other suggestions for celebrating at A Fuse #8 Production (she also posted this great logo, which I have borrowed). Yesterday was also Positive Thinking Day, according to Phil Gerbyshak, a coincidence which I think Dahl would have found amusing. But Phil does share some nice tips for creating a positive attitude. Of course, for members of the Kidlitosphere looking for positive attitudes today, the place to go is the 7-Imps 7-Kicks (today featuring Jody Hewgill).
  • Jill is looking for guest reviewers, especially for YA titles, at The Well-Read Child. Not ready to start your own blog, but interested in writing some reviews? This could be just the ticket. The Well-Read Child is one of my favorite blogs.
  • At Open Education, this post caught my eye: "To Raise Smart and Successful Children, Focus on Developing a Work Ethic". The gist is that, according to Carol S. Dweck, parents should praise their children for working hard, rather than for "being smart." "Dweck insists that praising children’s innate abilities serves only to reinforce an overemphasis on intellect and talent. According to Dweck, such a viewpoint “leaves people vulnerable to failure, fearful of challenges and unwilling to remedy their shortcomings.” The researcher refers to this group as having a “fixed mind-set.”" Interesting stuff!
  • At The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia has a comprehensive post in honor of the upcoming Constitution Day. She says: "In 2005, a federal law established September 17th as Constitution Day. Here are some books and additional resources to help you celebrate the law of the land in your home or classroom. Please note that these are largely focused on the elementary level."
  • Happy 10th Anniversary to Cynthia Leitich Smith's excellent website! In honor of this milestone, Cynthia is hosting a 10th anniversary giveaway at Cynsations. To enter, you have to send Cynthia a question to answer at Cynsations. Congratulations also to Tasha Saecker from Kids Lit. Her library, the Elisha D. Smith Public Library in Menasha, Wisconsin, has won the Wisconsin Library of the Year award.
  • Readingjunky shares recommended "must read" titles from her 8th grade students. I think it's good for we adult reviewers of young adult fiction to stop occasionally and take a look at what the kids say, and I appreciate Readingjunky's reminder.
  • Carlie Webber has an interesting post at Librarilly Blonde about the role of the parent in the YA novel. Compared to the relative absence of parents in past novels, she says: "What I'm noticing more and more is a shift from the dead/missing/antagonist parents to teens who maintain a much closer relationship to their parents, and parents who play a major role in the story. Even if one of the parents is dead or missing, the teen will maintain close ties to the remaining parent and have a positive relationship with him/her, or whose improving relationship is a focus of the book."
  • As has been widely reported, J.K. Rowling won her lawsuit to stop the publication of the Harry Potter Lexicon. If you'd like to understand the implications of the ruling, check out Liz's post at Tea Cozy: 8 Things to Know About the Lexicon Ruling. Liz took the time to read through the full court ruling, and has a law degree (although she is retired from the profession) to lend weight to her analysis.
  • Laurie Halse Anderson has an interesting post about the risks to an author of changing genres. She begins: "This question goes to the heart of the tension between art and the marketplace.
    In an ideal world, we would write the stories in our hearts and they would connect with readers and there would be peace in the land and health insurance for all. We aren't quite there yet. If you want your writing income to pay your bills, then you need to understand the perspective of the sales and marketing departments of your publishers, and you really need to respect how hard their job is."
  • Via The Children's Book Review I learned that Amazon has published their list of Best Books of 2008 so far. It's a pretty great list, actually. Titles from the 10 book list that I've reviewed include: The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker (one of my very favorites!), The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall, Little Brother by Cory Doctorow, and Smash! Crash! by Jon Scieszka. Most of the others are on my radar, too.
  • Stephanie Ford has a nice post at Children's Literature Book Club about building a library for your child. She's certainly building an amazing library for her son. Check out her ideas.
  • And last, but not least, an announcement for teachers and librarians from Rick Riordan. Rick says: "Disney-Hyperion will be sponsoring a Percy Jackson mythology bee this fall. Any school with students ages 10-15 can participate. Each school holds a bee (as I understand it, this can be done school-wide or with a single grade or classroom), using an activity booklet provided by the publisher. One winner from each school will be entered into a national sweepstakes. The grand prize for the winner of the sweepstakes: A trip for four to Greece where you will meet me and my family!" Now, how fun would that be?