Here is some recent news from around the children's and young adult book blogs, for your long weekend reading. I'll be back sometime Monday night with more focused children's literacy and reading news.
There's nothing like a good book party. On Thursday I attended a book launch party for Mitali Perkins' Secret Keeper at Not Your Mother's Book Club. I didn't get any pictures, but I did get a signed copy of the book, and a couple of excellent samosas. It was great to see Mitali again. I also met some new people (both friends of Mitali's and friends of YA books), and got to chat with Sharon Levin, Susan Taylor Brown (see Susan's write-up about the party), Lynn Hazen, Jim Averbeck, Emily Jiang, and Becky Levine. Fun stuff. Unfortunately, I won't be able to make Justina Chen Headley's upcoming book party for North of Beautiful, because it's up in Bellevue, Washington (and I have guests coming that weekend). But if you're in the neighborhood, it's on February 1st, and sure to be a fun time.
Via Read Roger, the new Notes from the Horn Book is now available. Notes is a lovely little email newsletter about "good books for children and teens". I recommend it. The Horn Book also has a new monthly book list from Claire, this one, fittingly, about American Presidents.
Newbery-winning author Susan Patron has an opinion piece defending the Newbery Award in last Sunday's LA Times. I first saw the link at Educating Alice, Monica Edinger's blog. Franki Sibberson also has a nice reaction to the Newbery-related discussions at A Year of Reading, complete with a defense of prior winner Kira-Kira. See also Denise Johnson's Newbery News round-up at The Joy of Children's Literature, and Betsy Bird's Newbery & Caldecott Predict-o-rama at A Fuse #8 Production.
In other book award news, Tasha Saecker has the shortlists for the 2009 Edgar Awards in juvenile and young adult fiction at Kids Lit. She is always up on the book award news. I was glad to see Eleven, by Patricia Reilly Giff, on the list. It was one of my favorites last year.
Speaking of awards, another blog award has been making the rounds. The Prémio Dardos ("Best Blog Dart Thinker") Award "acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day." Aerin from In Search of Giants and Pam Coughlan from MotherReader were both kind enough to grant me this award. I'm grateful to have them as my friends. But I'm also going to take Lee Wind's example and "instead of passing on any more Prize Darts, remind everyone to check out the blogrolls on the blogs you read - That, in my opinion, is the real Prize Cache!"
Sarah from The Reading Zone is encouraging people to take advantage of the opportunity to download a free copy of Kelly Gallagher's new book, Readicide: How Schools are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It. Sarah, along with several other fabulous, reading-focused blogs, will be participating in Kelly's blog tour this coming week. It sounds like an amazing book, though (not being much of a 21st Century Reader), I'm likely to wait to read it until I can read more comfortably in print. See also Donalyn Miller's response to the book at The Book Whisperer, Mary Lee and Franki's response to the book at A Year of Reading. And don't miss Franki's new blog visits feature, in which she'll be giving us a window into her 21st Century Literacy Thinking: "posting about my current thinking and linking to some great posts that helped my thinking each week-- or whenever I seem to be finding lots of good stuff around the topic."
Finally, four fun quick hits: First, Donalyn Miler emailed me that "January 27th is the 5th annual Rabbit Hole Day in honor of Lewis Carroll's birthday". The original link is from Boing Boing. Second, Longstocking Daphne Grab had a heart-warming experience at a recent middle school visits, when the students rose up in defense of writing for kids. Great stuff! Third, congratulations to our own Little Willow, who has just opened in a world premiere musical: Pope Joan. Fourth, Farida Dowler has a nice post about the five laws of storytelling, with extensive comments.
Happy MLK/inuguration weekend!