Thursday, November 11, 2010

For Your Blogroll

In honor of Veteran's Day today, I want to point you at a neat little blog I heard about at KidLitCon: The Children's War. This blog focuses on current and older books written about kids during WWII.

That sounds like a pretty narrow field of focus, and it is, but they still manage to post really neat books at least once or twice a week. It's a young blog, only since June, but I like the mix of fiction and nonfiction, newer and older, and the in-depth reviews.

Happy Veteran's Day everyone. Go hug a soldier.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

New Award to Speculate About!

. . . Big deal, you say. The ALA thinks up new awards all the time. We've had, like, six new awards added to the roster just in the past decade.

But I think this one is super-special. It will be called the Stonewall Award, "awarded annually to English-language works for children and teens of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered experience." With the rising numbers of gay and lesbian families out there, and also the persistent bullying and misunderstanding of GLBT kids coming out of the closet, this is an important award.

Ooo. Oooooooooooooooo. I'm so surprised by this that I can't even speculate properly. Help me out here, guys - who should win the first Stonewall award? It won't be awarded until January 2012 (remember that the Youth Media Awards, while awarded in January, award for the previous year.) What's coming up that you're really excited for?

By the way, if you're going "Whuh?" about the name, Stonewall refers to the 1969 Stonewall Riots. Maybe you're thinking violence is not the best association for a children's and teen book award, but this particular event is seen as a watershed moment in the fight for GLBT rights.

Thanks to Lisa Jenn Bigelow for the heads-up. Drop by her blog for a much more thoughtful reaction to this award.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Reading Roundup: October 2010

By the Numbers
Teen: 19
Tween: 10
Children: 17

Review Copies: 4
Swapped: 1
Purchased: 2
Library: 14

Teen: Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill
It's a standoff between all the forces of Hell and a seventeen-year-old high school dropout named Bug Smoot with little more than her attitude to defend her. After meeting Bug, I'd say those are pretty even odds.
Tween: Positively by Courtney Sheinmel
It's about an HIV-positive girl who just lost her mother to AIDS. Sounds like all it needs is a C-list celebrity to make a Lifetime movie out of it. But that would be overly dismissive of a tender, reflective novel featuring a prickly and tough young girl adjusting to a life changing almost too fast for her to keep up.
Children: Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca
I admit: I kinda went, "Really? I mean, really?" Not only a picture book for older readers about the making of a ballet, but not even a flashy one like the Nutcracker or Swan Lake. But this nonfiction title about creative collaboration drew me in. I'm not sure how wide the audience will be, but there will be some kids who love this book with all their hearts.

Because I Want To Awards
Way Better Than I Expected: Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund
Made Me Cry on an Airplane, Thanks a Lot: Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler
Too Awesome for Words Nonfic: The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson
Yes, It's Sharon Creech, But . . . : The Unfinished Angel by Sharon Creech (I really wasn't sure what to think about this book, which had more than a whiff of medal-bait about it.)