The Crossroads: Chris Grabenstein
Nominee List for 2009 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Available

Sunday Afternoon Visits: September 7

Do you find that you still remember important birthdays from your childhood, even if the people in question aren't in your life anymore? I have trouble getting new birthdays to stick in my head, but the ones from childhood, up through college, are stored in my permanent memory. So, as I wrote the date today, it reminded me that it was my childhood best friend's birthday. I'm not sure where she is now - we haven't been in contact in several years - but I still think of her every year on September 7th. Happy Birthday, Carol!

Anyway, it's been a quiet weekend on the blogs, and I just did a round-up on Thursday, so I only have a couple of tidbits for you this afternoon.

  • Doret has an extensive round-up of baseball books at TheHappyNappyBookseller. She includes links to reviews of many of the books (her own reviews and reviews by others). I had already flagged this post to link to (because I love baseball books) when I noticed that Doret had linked to my reviews of My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kluger (which she rightly categorizes as a book that "include some beautiful baseball") and No Cream Puffs by Karen Day. If you like baseball books, do check out this post. I would also add Heat by Mike Lupica.
  • I'm a pretty laid back person about recommendations in general, and I don't like to get into politics on this blog, but Maureen Johnson has written a post that I really think should be required reading for teenage girls. Inspired by the media response to Bristol Palin's situation, Maureen takes on, in detail, the issue of sex education for teens. She is blunt and passionate about this topic, but she keeps her discussion couched in language that teens will relate to. For example: "The simple, plain old fact is . . . you really don’t have to get pregnant. No, REALLY. We have had the technology for MANY, MANY DECADES now to prevent pregnancy." But go and read the whole post. There are already more than 150 comments, and I hope that hundreds of other teenage girls read this post, too. I think that Maureen does a nice job of respecting choice, while urging education.
  • At The Miss Rumphius Effect, Tricia has more to say about the "canon" of literature and its relevance to teenage readers. Responding to a Washington Post article by Jay Mathews, Tricia says "my concern is not for the kids who enroll in A.P. English. It's for all those kids still struggling to read (decode) and comprehend. Unfortunately, many of them exist at the high school level. How do we select books that will help them improve their skills as readers while learning to appreciate the written word? This is where I think all the arguments fall short." Libby responds in the comments, suggesting that the place to work on this is actually in the earlier grades, so that kids don't get to high school unable to decode complex literature. I don't have any answers, but I've been following the discussions between these two caring educators with interest and hope.

And that's all for today. Happy Sunday!