Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mush and Gush Ahoy!

There's a neat conversation over at the Ya Ya Yas blog about YA romance. I'm all for it! I love romance, I love YA lit, and the combination of the two is maaaaaaaaahv-lus, dahling. But they have a point--where are the YA romances for older teens?

Even better, there's the beginnings of a fair book list in the comments. Wooot! You know I've got my Blue Journal of Things I Gotta Read Before I Die out right now. If you'd like to read a title list, Liz B's got one over at her blog.

I'd say Stephanie Meyers' Twilight and New Moon, but I got seriously annoyed with the Romeo and Juliet vibe in the second one. I have very little patience with doomed lovers. Give me Beatrice and Benedick any day. Speaking of that, anybody know of good YA romances with a dueling lovers theme? Leave it in the comments!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Sing it, Hank!

I was absurdly tempted to bust out my candle lighter and wave it in the air along with this song from Brotherhood 2.0's Hank Green.

Because We All Need A Little Eric Carle

NPR published this slideshow of Eric Carle's art. The narration is Carle talking about his technique, his love for color, and the way his experiences in WWII Germany affected his relationship with color and art. I just wanted to stop and stare at every single slide--the blue horse, the hungry caterpillar, the sun--until I fall in and swim around in it.

Key Quote: "I treat every page like it's a poster." You may now stand up and cheer.

Thanks to Fuse #8 for the link.

Another Kewl News Break

Caridad Ferrer's Adios to My Old Life won "Best Contemporary Romance from the Romance Writers of America. I loved this book about a Cuban-American teen competing in a Spanish-language American-Idol type show called Oye Mi Canto (Hear My Song). The backstage backstabbing, the very genuine Latin flavor, and Ali's passion for her music shine through, and while I was startled to hear that it was recognized by RWA, I think she totally deserves it.

Unfortunately, it's created somewhat of a controversy within the world of romance fans.

Weigh in! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Anne Update

I'm about a third of the way through Anne of Green Gables, and how did I forget how hilarious this book is? Anne's melodrama and love of romantical things, contrasted with the day-to-day sensibility of Avonlea, Green Gables, and Marilla, never fail to crack me up. I think it's more entertaining now that I'm aware of the historical literary context Montgomery is working within. While published in 1908, I think it's supposed to take place around the 1880's or 90's, a time when Victorian melodrama and romanticism was going full throttle.

I was afraid that a book I loved so much as a child would fall flat reading it as an adult . . . but then again, Montgomery actually wrote it for all ages. Probably why it has endured so well.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Anne, Fanny, Librivox, and General Ramblings

The other day I was overcome with the desire to read Anne of Green Gables again, very possibly for two reasons:

1) I haven't read it in years.
2) I don't currently have it in my house.

Two ways to ensure that you absolutely must read the book as soon as possible. I contemplated requesting it from somewhere in my system, (I think our copy is checked out; you're asking me to recall my thought processes?) but then for some unknown reason decided I was going to listen to it in audiobook form.

No, wait, I know. I've been listening to Mansfield Park for a month on my daily walks. Fanny Price is so unremittingly good and sweet that I usually want to hit her by the time my mile-and-a-half is done with. Good for the heart rate, but not so much for the enjoyment. While Anne is not always wise, she is always entertaining.

Then I went to Librivox.org and downloaded the audiobook. I like this website, which archives free audiobooks of works in the public domain. There aren't a lot of children's books on it, but they do have some real gems like Anne, The Secret Garden, and Oz, and they have plenty of grown-up classics. The recordings are done by volunteers, but they have a set of rules about audio quality and a system of "proof-listening" that keeps quality generally high.

Having finished Mansfield Park (still vainly attempting to like Fanny) today, I'll start Anne of Green Gables tomorrow. Now I'm really hoping that Anne-with-an-e stands the test of time. However, considering how long she's been around, I don't think I have anything to worry about.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What Does Your October Look Like?

Other than dressing up as Rapunzel for Halloween (since I have hair that literally reaches my butt, it's either that or Lady Godiva) my October was pretty empty. That is, until I heard about Robin Brande's fabulous idea . . .

The 1st Annual Kidlitosphere Conference

October 6th, Chicago, IL, at a hotel TBA.

Now to see if my brother that lives in Chicago is still talking to me after I forgot his birthday last year.

Will I see you there?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kids' Books and Homosexuality

Heard about the evil gay penguins yet?

This article over at AfterElton.com discusses the "gay penguin book," known to sane people as the adorable And Tango Makes Three, along with several other books that push homophobic buttons. Probably my favorite was the story of a Philly mom who flipped out and accused The Trouble with Babies of having a homosexual agenda, because it mentioned a two-father family. That thonking sound was my head hitting my desk. Because God knows, two gay minor characters in a children's book is enough to twist all the children who so much as walk by it.

Arthur A. Levine (yes, that Arthur A. Levine) makes a good point that so many of our kids are going to grow up homosexual, or will love somebody who is homosexual, that we shouldn't wait until they're 14 or 15 to introduce the idea that it's a viable life choice. By that time, their opinions are pretty well set. Get 'em while they're young! Ahahaha!

Ahem. That was me, plotting to teach kids acceptance and tolerance. Truly, I should be burned at the stake.