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Quick Hits: Teen Book Picks, Thurber House, and Pumpkins

Quite a few things worth mentioning have come up around the blogs since I prepared my Saturday Evening Visits post the other day.

Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer, lists eight "fiction books that include readers and books in their plotlines.. all-time favorite books about books and readers". She asks readers "Do you have any favorite books where readers, writers, librarians, or books take center stage?" She does, of course, mention the Inkheart series. I would add The Thirteenth Tale, by Diane Setterfield.

Just in time for fall, Sherry from Semicolon shares nearly 100 "pumpkin suggestions for reading, eating , creating, and just goofing around." She has pumpkin-themed activities, books, and foods to choose from.

Alan Silberberg (Pond Scum author, Thurber House Children's Author in Residence, and fellow Red Sox fan), writes that Thurber House is currently accepting applications for the 2009 Author in Residence. Alan says: "Why would you want to apply? Well, unless you don't need 4 weeks of uninterrupted writing time, your own apartment in the historic home of one of America's funniest Writer/Cartoonists, and the opportunity of a lifetime - let me try and help with some possible reasons..."

The Longstockings are having a "knock our socks off contest". They explain: "every month we will ask a short, off-the-wall, book related question. Not trivia questions, but creative ones where you try to make us laugh out loud with your supreme cleverness. And if your answer knocks our socks off, you win!" This month's question is: "What would your very favorite book character dress up as for Halloween?".

Jen Funk Weber just announced: "The Needle and Thread: Stitching for Literacy 2009 Bookmark Challenge is just five months away. My goal for this year is to have at least 1,000 bookmarks stitched, turned in to shops, and donated to libraries and schools." If you're interested, or have ideas to help her promote the event, you can comment at Needle and Thread to let Jen know.

Yalsanew2_2Tasha reports at Kids Lit that the 2008 Teens' Top Ten has been announced by YALSA. It's an interesting mix, from Stephenie Meyer's Eclipse to Jennie Downham's Before I Die.

Jill just issued a reminder that submissions are due for the October Carnival of Children's Literature, to be hosted at The Well-Read Child. She says "please submit it at this site by this Friday, midnight EST."

Gwenda Bond links to a NY Times article about "Columbia's self-appointed people's librarian, Luis Soriano, and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto". Or, as Gwenda says "Viva la biblioburro!"

Responding to a Chicago Tribune article by Tara Malone about the challenges faced by English teachers, Mitali Perkins asks how teens are getting their story fix, if they are reading fewer books. She suggests "they're filling the universal human hunger for story through films and video games instead of books." Click through to see her other links and ideas on this topic. Mitali also shares an impromptu discussion that she's been having with some other writers about whether or not authors should discuss a character's race.

The Boston Globe reports, in an article by John Laidler, that library use is rising as the economy falters. ""As the economy takes a turn downward, more people are rediscovering their local public libraries and the services and resources they offer," said Kendra Amaral, chief of staff to Amesbury Mayor Thatcher W. Kezer III." Thanks to the International Reading Association blog for the link.

Hope you find something of interest!