Previous month:
October 2009
Next month:
December 2009

Posts from November 2009

Sunday Afternoon Visits: November 8: Kidlitosphere Links and News

It's been a fairly quiet weekend on the kidlit blogs, for whatever reason. However, I have run across a few things of potential interest for you.

Jpg_book008 At Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, Terry Doherty shares a monthly roundup of new literacy and reading-related resources. The new resources section was something that we spun out of our weekly children's literacy roundups, in the event of streamlining those, and Terry's been collecting ideas for this monthly column. I hope you'll check it out. She's got lots of useful tidbits.

Ncblalogo The NCBLA blog reports that the fourth episode of The Exquisite Corpse Adventure is now available. This installment was written by Susan Cooper. The post adds: "And if you need further incentive to share the Library of Congress and the NCBLA's reading outreach project with the young people in your life, take a look at Timothy Basil Ering's electric new illustration for Episode Four!"

In the context of a recent graphic novel kick, Gail Gauthier muses at Original Content on how many books are "rigidly" formulaic. She says: "Maybe reading the same formula/pattern/storyline over and over again assists them in some way I've just never heard about." In the comments, Becky Levine adds: "I wonder about this often--how many things we see as formulaic, "old" don't feel that way to a child reading them--since they don't have X number of decades of this kind of reading behind them." What do you all think?

At Books & Other Thoughts, Darla D. wonders whether it's a good idea for parents to "ink out all of the bad words" in books before giving them to their children. Darla says: "A discussion between this parent and child about unacceptable language and why the parent believes it is not a good idea for her daughter to use those words might be more productive than expurgating the text." There are a range of opinions in the comments - it's quite an interesting (and civil) discussion.

At Biblio File, Jennie Rothschild discusses Amazon's new capability to quickly share Associates links on Twitter, in the context of the new FTC disclosure regulations. She notes: "the way I understand it, you'd have to disclose ON YOUR TWEET that you'll make money off the link. But how does one fit a link, why you're linking to the product, and a disclosure all in 140 characters? That, I don't know." I don't know, either. The idea of being able to share a Tweet that says "I'm reading this" and then get a small commission if anyone should happen to click through and buy the book, well, that has some appeal. But I think that the disclosure would be very tricky to pull off in any meaningful way.

Bookwormdock-3-300x249 Lori Calabrese has started a new monthly meme (possibly to become a weekly meme, if there's sufficient interest) in which she'll link to book giveaways around the Kidlitosphere. Don't you love her cute logo for Fish for a Free Book? She says in the launch post: "If you are hosting a children’s- young adult book-related giveaway, sponsoring a giveaway, or just found a really awesome giveaway that you’d like to share with us, please leave it here! (Please make sure it’s children’s book related)".

Speaking of giveaways, I, like Betsy Bird, don't usually link to them in my roundups (there are just too many). However, Betsy recently talked at A Fuse #8 Production about one that I think is brilliant. From the press release: "The YA and MG authors of the 2009 Debutantes are giving away a 46-book set of their debut novels to ONE lucky library, anywhere in the world! In light of recent budget cuts to libraries in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other communities, these debut authors would like to contribute their library to your library, offering up brand new novels for your patrons at no cost." Pretty cool!

Quick hits:

And that's it for today. Hope you're all having a lovely Sunday.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission on purchases (with no additional cost to you).


After Ever After: Jordan Sonnenblick: Middle School Book Review

Book: After Ever After (sequel to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie)
Author: Jordan Sonnenblick
Pages: 272 
Age Range: 10-14 

51tlf8f+FiL._SL500_AA240_ I adored Jordan Sonnenblick's Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, a book that I picked up largely because it had such a great title, and found to be much more than I had expected. Therefore, I was thrilled to learn that Sonnenblick has a sequel to Drums, Girls coming out in February, and even more thrilled to get my hands on an advance copy.

First of all, if you haven't read Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie, please do NOT read this review. Any description of After Ever After includes inevitable spoilers about the end of Drums, Girls. Here's a snippet from my review of Drums, Girls:

"What do you do if you're a thirteen year old boy (Steven), passionate about the drums, struggling to relate to girls, and then your five year old pesky younger brother Jeffrey is diagnosed with cancer? Answer: you pass through numerous stages of denial and rebellion, before coming to terms with your place in the situation. I mean it as a huge compliment when I say that this book feels like it was written by a thirteen year old. Steven's voice is believable and consistent and achingly real."

If you haven't read it, go read. Still here? OK, then. Don't say you weren't warned.

I had high expectations for After Ever After, and it did not disappoint. Apart from a few flashbacks, After Ever After takes place during Jeffrey's eighth grade year. He has beaten cancer, though it's left him with nerve damage in one foot and brain damage that makes school, especially math, a real struggle. On top of his disabilities, Jeffrey is dealing with his best friend Tad's interpersonal issues (Tad is also a childhood cancer survivor), the looming spectre of a statewide assessment exam, the absence of his beloved brother Steven, and his first real crush on a girl.

This is vintage Jordan Sonnenblick. We have an adolescent boy, flawed but well-intentioned, dealing with both mundane and profound issues (See also Becky Levine's thoughts on the nature of Sonnenblick's heroes). I personally think that the secret to Sonnenblick's success is that he "gets" the teen male voice. I can't think of anyone writing now who does this better. (Jordan is a former middle school English teacher - you can read his bio here.)

Jeffrey, like Steven before him, feels real. He is star-struck by Lindsey, the new girl from California. He looks up to his older brother, even after Steven (in a much-delayed rebellion) abandons him. Although he occasionally lapses into self-pity, for the most part he is matter-of-fact about his cancer and his physical difficulties. He is self-deprecating, and uses humor to mask his insecurities. Here are a few examples of Jeffrey's voice:

"He looks at me like I'm a particularly loathsome slice of school-lunch meat loaf and says, "Wow, congratulations! What do you want, a medal?"
That's how I meet my best friend." (Page 3, ARC)

"Sometimes it's hard to know whether I should curl up in a ball and die of embarrassment, or give myself a hearty high five." (Page 24, ARC)

"Mr. Laurenzano gave us a whole spiel about how just because science wasn't on the state test, that didn't mean it wasn't an important subject. Plus, he said, we'd be using tons of math and reading skills in our science work, so obviously we should pay careful attention in his class every single instant. At least, I think that's what he said, but I wasn't paying such careful attention." (Page 38, ARC)

The reason that I loved this book was that it gave me a chance to get to know Jeffrey, a character that I already cared about, from the inside. I love that After Ever After touches on several of Jeffrey's memories from his cancer treatment. We see Jeffrey's perspective on events already described by Steven in Drums, Girls. This made me want to go back and re-read Drums, Girls (which I read nearly 2 years ago).

But I liked other things about After Ever After, too. Tad is an especially intriguing character. He's prickly, defensive, and difficult, yet fiercely loyal to Jeffrey. Here's a passage that sums him up quite well:

"Look, Jeff, when you're all the way at the edge of the action, in a wheelchair, you see things."
"Oh, so all of a sudden having bad legs turns you into the Girl Whisperer."
"No, it's just -- everybody is afraid to stare at me, so they try not to look at me at all. While they're not looking at me, I can study them. And believe me, I think you have a shot with Lindsey." (Page 62, ARC)

Clearly, Sonnenblick has talked with actual kids who have been through cancer, and/or have physical difficulties. I don't have any doubt about that. There's also a fabulous passage (which I'm not going to quote, because you should read it with the book) from Jeffrey about how kids who have had cancer aren't surprised when things go wrong, in the way that other kids aren't. [I've actually found this to be true for adults, too. There is something about a cancer diagnosis that makes future challenges less surprising.]

My only complaint about After Ever After is that I think that Sonnenblick did a bit too good a job in conveying Jeffrey's flawed self-esteem. He sees himself as this short, chubby kid with a limp and a tendency to space out. This makes it feel a tad implausible that the gorgeous, funny, smart Lindsey will fall for him. But that's coming from me as an adult reader. I think that the target audience of middle school boys will probably like it. And certainly I was happy for Jeffrey in his triumphs, just as I felt for him in his tribulations.

After Ever After will be published February 1st of 2010. It is worth the wait, a must-read title for fans of Jordan Sonnenblick's novels. My suggestion, if you can spare the time, is to re-read Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie in January, to be ready for this one when it's available (I'll remind you). Though After Ever After is written from an eighth grade boy's perspective, I think that girls will enjoy it, too. Highly recommended.

Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: February 1, 2010
Source of Book: Advanced review copy from the publisher
Other Blog Reviews: Kiss the Book, Abby (the) Librarian, proseandkahn.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission on purchases (with no additional cost to you).


Rampant: Diana Peterfreund: YA Book Review

Book: Rampant
Author: Diana Peterfreund (blog)
Pages: 416
Age Range: 13 and up 

Rampantjacketforweb Rampant by Diana Peterfreund is a young adult fantasy novel chock-full of strong teen girl characters. We've seen other novels in which the villains are fairies, vampires, and zombies. In Rampant, the villains are vicious, poisonous, clever unicorns. As the story begins, teen Astrid Llewelyn learns that her mother's apparent delusions about the existence of unicorns, and their family's role as legendary unicorn hunters, are actually true. The unicorns, long thought to be extinct, are back, and more dangerous than ever. The only people capable of killing them are women who are a) descendants from a particular set of families; and b) virgins.

Fortunately, or perhaps not, Astrid and her cousin Philippa fit these criteria. They soon find themselves living in a former convent in Rome, with a group of other teens, training to become warriors. And the question of whether or not to have sex with their respective new boyfriends becomes a matter of life or death.  

Rampant has a compelling premise and a delightfully creepy setting (the crumbling convent is filled with old unicorn bones and other artifacts). Astrid is a likable protagonist, a gifted hunter who would rather be studying medicine. I found her a bit of a whiny adolescent in the early parts of the book, but she matured throughout the course of the story. The other characters are realistically flawed and diverse. I appreciated the fact that the girls didn't all become best buddies by the end of the book. I liked the pseudo big sister/little sister relationship between Astrid and her cousin. And I loved the way that Phil referred to Astrid by a variety of "astr" nicknames (Asterisk, Asteroid, Astrodome, etc.). I enjoyed the wordplay, and it made the relationship feel real. Astrid's got an occasionally snarky tone that works. For example:

"I was helping Cory, mostly because Neil's office was one of the few places in the Cloisters that didn't make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. I found the hum of his computer rather soothing, but it was the complete lack of unicorn carcasses that really pulled the room together." (Page 114)

It's also interesting, of course, to read a book in which virginity, or lack thereof, is openly discussed. There's a scene in which all of the girls talk about why they've remained virgins, and the pressures that they've received to change that situation. I think that Peterfreund does a good job of making this a part of the book, and validating the choices that have enabled this set of girls to remain eligible as unicorn hunters, without ever getting even close to moralistic. There are quotes like this:

"Every time we went out was like some complicated game. What he'd try, when he'd try it, and how I'd stop him without making him mad or doing something I didn't want to do. That's the only thing I thought about every time we were together. Not about the movie we were watching or what we were talking about. Just waiting for him to make a move. It wasn't dating; it was preparing for battle." (Page 235)

I also flagged a number of passages about what it felt like for Astrid to be a hunter - a sort of supernatural set of senses. These passages are among the most lyrical in the book. For instance:

"I didn't feel the stairs, the weight of time, the depths of the darkness. I felt nothing but pursuit, fresh and free. Have you ever run on a moving walkway or escalator and felt yourself careening forward much faster than you could possibly imagine? I was a tidal wave of feet pounding, a lightning bolt of pumping arms. My blood boiled and my vision dimmed, until all I could see was the outline of the zhi. My prey." (Page 62)

and:

"And there, in the space between heartbeats, I sensed it. Not a sound, not a sign, not a feeling, but some combination of all three. Was it the whisper of a breath or a flash of dark on dark in the shadows under the hill? Was the air tinged with the scent of embers and decay? Was it that feeling of the night in the forest back home, where I knew something was watching me, and ignored it, and had paid the price?" (Page 81)

If those passages appeal, if the idea of strong-willed, super-fast unicorn hunters catches your imagination, then Rampant is a must-read title for you. I must admit that I personally found the pacing of Rampant to be a bit slow. While there is action early in the book, in context of individual unicorn encounters, I felt like the overall story didn't really get going until much later in the book. This may be true, in part, because Rampant is (apparently) the first book of a series. There's a lot to set up. But I would still recommend Rampant to fans of supernatural, strong-girl stories (like Graceling, the Mortal Instruments series, and Maggie Stiefvater's books, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.).But beware. You'll never look at sparkly unicorn picture books the same way again.

Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 25, 2009
Source of Book: Review copy from the author
Other Blog Reviews: AngievilleStrange Horizons, West Allis Public Library, The Hiding Spot, About Books, Sonder Books, and more.

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission on purchases (with no additional cost to you).


Cookie Monster!

Cookie_monster-hp
Just popping in to say that while I enjoyed yesterday's Big Bird logo on Google, I LOVE today's Cookie Monster logo. Is that not the best thing ever?

Happy 40th Birthday Sesame Street. My childhood wouldn't have been the same without you.

And now, I have this crazy urge to leave the rest of my email unanswered, and go make cookies...


Wednesday Afternoon Visits: November 4: Kidlitosphere News and Views

It's been a pretty active week around the Kidlitosphere. Here are a few links for you.

Bigbird-hp Today is Sesame Street's 40th birthday. Happy Birthday to Cookie Monster, Oscar, and the rest of the crew. One of my earliest memories is of singing "C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me" in the car. According to this news release, "Google, an innovator in the world of technology, has partnered with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street, to create original “Google doodles.”  Starting today, Google will feature photographic depictions of the Sesame Street Muppets with the Google logo on its home page from November 4-10." Fun stuff!

Colleen Mondor has posted the latest installment in her "What a Girl Wants" series (a set of roundtable discussions that she's hosting with a panel of authors) at Chasing Ray. This week's topic is: mean girls in literature. Colleen asks: "did literature create the myth of mean girls or have the reality of mean girls created accompanying literature?" As usual in this smart series, the responses extend in a variety of intriguing directions.

Newlogorg200 The Readergirlz will be celebrating Native American Heritage Month for November, spotlighting Marlene Carvell's novel Sweetgrass Basket at readergirlz. In her customary organized manner, Little Willow has all the details.

At Pixie Stix Kids Pix, Kristen McLean takes on "the Amazon Vine brouhaha kicked off by Betsy Bird over at Fuse #8 last week", saying "I think this discussion has some larger implications for the industry, which is why it’s going to continue to get play." She begins by discussing the lack of transparency in the Amazon program, and moves on from there.

Picking up on another Betsy Bird article (her recent SLJ piece about KidLit blogs), Roger Sutton asks at Read Roger "whether or not there is such a thing as a blog-friendly book", if "some books more than others will appeal to people who like to blog about children's books." He also makes some interesting points about the usefulness (or lack thereof) of blogs for libraries researching for their book collections, in context of "The glory and the bane of book blogging is its variety".

Speaking of Betsy's SLJ article, Liz B. has a fun piece about the photo shoot for the cover at Tea Cozy. Betsy's article also inspired in librarian Ms. Yingling some philosophical musings on why she blogs. She also makes the excellent point that "The more good people we have commenting on books, the easier it is for the rest of us to keep on top of the huge number of new books that are coming out". 

Cybils2009-150px Anne Levy is running a new contest on the Cybils website related to NaNoWriteMo (where people try to write a whole book in November). Well, actually she links to a contest, and then also asks people to share 50 word blurbs from their NaNoWriteMo projects, for publication on the Cybils blog. Fun stuff! 

Mitali Perkins recently announced an ALA Midwinter Kid/YA Lit Tweetup. She says: "Coming to Boston for the ALA Midwinter conference? If you're a tweeting librarian, author, illustrator, publisher, agent, editor, reviewer, blogger, or anyone interested in children's and YA lit, join us on January 16, 2010 from 4-6 in the Birch Bar at Boston's Westin Waterfront Hotel." Still not enough to make me wish that I still lived in Boston as winter approaches, but this comes close...

Alltheworld It looks like blogging friend Liz Garton Scanlon is going to have her picture book, All the World (with Marla Frazee), included in the Cheerios Spoonful of Stories program next year. Congratulations, Liz! Liz shares some other good news for the book at Liz in Ink.

Sixth grade language arts teacher Sarah asked at the Reading Zone for "a few “words of wisdom” for a presentation" on reading aloud to middle school students. There's some good input in the comments. It's an inspiring post all around, actually.

Quick hits:

© 2009 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. All Amazon links in this post are affiliate links, and may result in my receiving a small commission on purchases (with no additional cost to you).


Children's Literacy Round-Up: November 2

Jpg_book008 This week’s children’s literacy and reading news round-up, brought to you by Jen Robinson’s Book Page and Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, a Reading Tub blog, is now available here. This week Terry Doherty and I have collected plenty of content for you about literacy & reading-related events; literacy and reading programs and research; 21st century literacies; and grants, sponsorships & donations.

Events

Halloween Saturday, of course, was Halloween. One of my favorite blogger holiday traditions is by Camille from Book Moot. She always asks trick-or-treaters about their favorite books, before giving out candy. Here are this year's results.

November is Family Literacy month! November 1 is National Family Literacy Day, but we can celebrate every day. eHow.com shows you what to do with 5 simple steps. The National Endowment for Financial Education also has a nice article about how to incorporate financial literacy in your activities and discussions. We also found, via tweet from @helainebecker, the Boston Herald's fourth annual Celebrating Family Literacy Month page (link goes to PDF), filled with activities to help families foster a love of learning. Helaine also shared a link to free resources from the National Center for Family Literacy.

Tuesday, November 3rd is Reading is Fundamental's 43rd birthday. We especially enjoyed this post at Rasco from RIF, in which Carol Rasco shares the winners of the RIF Birthday Photo Contest.

Literacy & Reading Programs & Research

A new Booktrust survey in the UK says that although 96% of kids say they enjoy books, "
one in 20 homes has fewer than 10 books, and those with boys tend to have fewer than those with girls. The research also suggested parents and carers with boys were less likely to read with them than they were with girls." The BBC News story (which we found via @HelaineBecker) also reports that "57% of parents and carers agreed that their child now spends more time playing video or computer games and watching DVDs than reading books." Sigh!

Hometown News recently published a feature article by Samantha Joseph about a woman, Betty Mulligan, who retired from teaching, only to find herself starting a children's literacy program. "
Ms. Mulligan started her latest venture as a volunteer at Caring Children Clothing Children or 4Cs, a charity that provides free clothing to children from low-income families. The charity has provided more than 5,300 children with just under 32,200 articles or clothing and 5,400 pairs of shoes this year. But the retired teacher was interested in helping to build its literacy corner, handing out free books to children who came in to "shop" with their parents."

DadSonReading YourHub.com shared an article about the Fathers Reading Every Day (FRED) program in Colorado. "FRED is a four-week program originally designed by Texas A&M University to encourage fathers to read with their children every day. Dads are asked to read with their children for 15 minutes a day during the first two weeks of the month and 30 minutes a day during the second two weeks of the month. By filling out a reading log and pre and post-program surveys on www.coloradodads.com, dads will be entered into a drawing to receive free books or gift certificates to local bookstores. Fathers can also find links to appropriate books and literacy tips on the Colorado Dads Web site." While we've written about FRED before, we liked this article, which includes specific tips for dads reading with kids of different ages.

Ryan Carter at The Record-Herald recently reported on an innovative Ohio competition between school districts. "The county's focus this week is on the Miami Trace-Washington C.H. football game as the traditional rivals slug it out on the field Friday. However, there is another competition brewing between Fayette County's two school districts. This competition doesn't involve helmets and shoulder pads but rather literacy and education. It's a book drive and the two districts are calling it the "Black & Blue Kickoff for Literacy.""

Doret from TheHappyNappyBookseller clued me in to an interesting piece of news this weekend. Edi at Crazy Quilts reported "The Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries Act, or the SKILLs Act, was re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives this week with support from both sides of the aisle. This legislation is intended to ensure that all students will have the support and resources they need for a quality education by establishing a goal that all public school libraries employ no less than one highly qualified school library media specialist."

Little Willow is passing on delzey's request for input from male readers ages 8 to 19. In her post at Bildungsroman, she explains that delzey is a graduate student contucting an informal survey which is, essentially 3 questions: What plots and stories are you tired of seeing in fiction? What can make you close a book within the first three pages? What sort of things make a book or character feel fake? The more males who participate, the stronger we can make their reading voice. Here's the link to the survey query at Fomagram, Delzey's blog.

21st Century Literacies

Lauren Barack recently reported in School Library Journal's Extra Helping that "Librarians and media specialists are secretly saying "I told you so" about the Walt Disney Company’s decision to issue a full refund on the Baby Einstein videos that parents have bought by the millions over the last five years. While stopping short of admitting that the 30-minute videos, which often feature classical music or introductory sign language lessons, didn’t turn babies into geniuses, the extensive refund offer from Baby Einstein does acknowledge a growing dissatisfaction and skepticism among researchers, educators, and certainly parents, that the DVDs are unlikely to speed up developmental pathways among infants."

At Literacy is Priceless, Anna Batchelder shared a 21st century update to a 1998 article by Jim Burke on Reading Rockets titled, "103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading". She said of Burke's article, "rest assured, the recommendations are still 100% relevant. That said, I thought it would be useful to create a supplement to Jim’s article that includes a few ideas on how recent software and web applications can be used to get kids excited and thinking about what they read Before/During/After a book!"

Booklights Last week at Booklights, Terry wrote a great post for parents about using a digital recorder to record and share books with kids when parents are traveling. She said: "Ultimately, this is an easy, fun way to get in that daily dose of read aloud. Any book that is fun to read together is perfect. The sound of your voice is what makes it special. In sharing a recorded book with a child, you are enriching their world. Not only are you giving them wonderful memories, you are helping them grow as readers. Because the recorders are portable, kids aren't tied to their computer or their boom box and they can carry that little bit of love with them anywhere!"

Grants and Donations

The First Book blog has a post by Greg P. about how volunteers from Barclays Capital recently donated 2000 books to the North Star Academy in Newark, NJ. The volunteers also spent a morning reading with first-grade students. Describing the event, Greg said "The intellect and enthusiasm of the students blew us away, and the incredible devotion of the teachers and staff members was obvious. The North Star students already shine, and with Barclays generously providing more resources to these curious, motivated learners, their futures are brighter still."

Speaking of First Book, we also found a Paramus Post article by Mel Fabrikant that said that "Jaguar Land Rover North America and the Tata group of companies in the United States announced a donation of 10,000 books to children throughout New Jersey as part of the companies’ partnership with First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides new books to children in need. Representatives from the premium-niche luxury automobile company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Sons Limited, will gather today with the first graders of Jackson Avenue Elementary School to kick off the first distribution of 1,000 new books."

The Success Won't Wait blog recently reported receiving a donation of 1000 new children's books from WilBooks. Success Won’t Wait "is a not for profit literacy program based in Wilmington, Delaware. The organization’s mission is to encourage reading, particularly by children, and services Delaware and the surrounding states." The donation will help the organization to "further our mission and fulfill the needs of the local community!"

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that "The Queensland government has pledged $500,000 in new funding for a literacy program for indigenous children in the state's far north... The funding also provided books for the readers and encouraged parents to read to children from the day they are born".

Terry_readingtubfinal_1Terry will likely have a last-minute link or two at The Reading Tub. I also have a new article available today at Booklights. It's the start of new series that I'm going to post over there on Tips for Growing Bookworms. It won't surprise any of my regular readers that Tip #1 is to Read Aloud.

Wishing you all a book-filled National Family Literacy month.


This Blog's for You: Ten of the Best from Betsy Bird

Betsy Bird has an excellent article about children's literature blogs in this month's School Library Journal (it's actually the cover story). She discusses how and why she started her own blog ("a magazine article changed my life"), and the difference between what blogs offer and what professional journals offer. She says:

"Blogs replace nothing and will never replace professional review journals. They supplement them instead. And if the publishing world happens to be listening that's wonderful, but it's not what's driving these sites. Bloggers blog because they love literature written for youth, and they want to share that love with others who feel the same way."

I agree completely.

The article is accompanied by a list of "ten of the best blogs for folks who take kids' lit seriously (but not too seriously)". I don't envy Betsy at all in having to come up with a list of only ten, and I think that she did a great job.

I also love the photo in the article, as well as the cover photo. Click through to see.

Articles like this are important, because they reach out to a broader audience (in this case the readership of the print School Library Journal) and give them entry points into the Kidlitosphere. Kudos to Betsy and SLJ for doing such a great job with this one.