Wednesday, June 20, 2007

David Levithin, I Am Not Worthy

Totally amazing speech from YA author David Levithin about why it's important to have GLBT lit in your library's teen section. He talks about the kids who need these books, and the fears of librarians and booksellers that might prevent them getting to those kids.

This is one of the authors on my automatic-read list. I want to blog about every single thing he's ever written, down to his grocery list.

Thanks to Maureen Johnson's blog for the link.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is pretty cool

Colleen over at Chasing Ray has organized a Summer Blog Blast Tour! Check out the list of authors that are going to be interviewed at various blogs in the kidlitosphere. Red hot damn.

I would envy those lucky bloggers, except that I suspect if I got the chance to interview, say, Gene Luen Yang (author of jaw-dropping Prinze winner American Born Chinese), I wouldn't interview so much as babble incoherently and grin like a fool. So overall, it's probably better that classy folks like Little Willow and Liz B are doing it instead.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Booktalking . . . it works!

One of my favorite classes visited the library today, their last visit of the school year. I always describe them as "freakishly well-behaved" because they are the only fifth grade class I've ever met that does not throw the entire library into chaos upon stepping inside. Seriously, though, they're great kids.

A kid came up to me and told me that he really enjoyed a book I booktalked on their last visit. Not only did he devour it, so did his friend. And their other friend. And that one other guy. And . . . apparently, the book is being passed around the male population of the class like a cigarette in the hoosegow. Hah! My existence is thus validated.

For anyone interested, that book is Steve Young's 15 Minutes. If I get time soon, I might write a review, but for now, I just wanted to share that.


This is the kind of thing that makes my head explode.

Thanks, I think, to Bookshelves of Doom for the story.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Books of the Century

Interesting post (from a while ago, I know) at Monica Edinger's blog about children's books of the century. It's in response to a Guardian article from even longer ago, about defining literature of the 20th century.

I think if I had to pick . . . well, I'm not sure what I would pick for some decades.

1900s - ??
1910s - Anne of Green Gables, although that always seemed to epitomize late-19th century Canada. But apparently it was published in the teens, and has to be counted. Contemporary lit is nothing like historical-looking-back, after all. I'm sure it's a topic for countless theses, what Montgomery's remembered late-19th century Prince Edward Island says about 1910s Canada.
1920s - ??
1930s - The Little House books, Laura Ingalls Wilder, another historical-looking-back. (Okay, they were partially published in the 40's, too, but let's not be lazy here.)
1940s - ??
1950s - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, by CS Lewis
1960s - Harriet the Spy, Louise Fitzhugh. Also Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. I love that both these titles have some subversity to them.
1970s - Judy Blume . . . either Forever or Are You There God, It's Me Margaret
1980s - ??
1990s - Harry Potter. Who else? It was like a gigantic bombshell, hitting a children's lit market gone stale and sleepy.

And now another question. Why is it that so many greats of children's lit are fantasy, which by adulthood has been relegated to the paperback stacks of dateless dweebs, at least in popular imagination? And a number of the others are historical. Why do so many amazing books take kids to another place and time, whether real or imagined?

This would be a really cool children's lit/history seminar.

Suggestions for the missing decades welcome! Or even additions to the ones filled.