Thinking About Picture Books
Poetry Friday: Prize Contenders

Wednesday Notes, 10.01.08

IMG_1597 Happy October!

Nominations are now open for the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards (the Cybils). Anyone can nominate a favorite book of 2008 in a variety of categories. Click over to the Cybils blog for all the information.

The September Carnival of Children's Literature has been up and running at Jenny's Wonderland of Books. A carnival is a round-up of links to blog posts on a particular subject; in this case, it's kids' books.

Portland, Oregon—home of Powell's Books and Voodoo Doughnut—was the scene of the recent Kidlitosphere Conference of bloggers. The blog Portland Kidlit rolls out the links to all the reports, which are fun to read.

Author Shannon Hale, who writes for both grown-ups and young adults, details "How Reader Girl Got Her Groove Back," at School Library Journal. On the one hand, I know where she's coming from; although I read it in high school, I didn't begin to understand The Great Gatsby until much later. On the other, statements like the following sound defensive. Commenting about her own required high-school reading, Hale writes,  "I still haven't recovered from The Scarlet Letter. Reading Dubliners straight through, all the stories started to sound the same." Why cast classics and young adult literature into an either/or situation? I don't get it.

Also at SLJ, children's book expert Anita Silvey considers "Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?"


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Beautiful photograph, Susan.

Oh, Susan, did you take the butterflies? PRETTY. We took these this weekend ( but don't know if they're butterflies or moths. I think months - they're kind of hairy. But gorgeous.

Also: read the Shannon Hale thing as she was kind of hashing it out in her blog; I know where she was going with it, but I agree: classics from the 18whats and YA lit now are thoroughly different, and both have something to offer that feeds a different part of people. They can't be lumped together.

Thanks, MJN! By the time the monarchs land, they're kind of tired and easier to photograph. Jr. tried to capture one the other day, and I hollered, "Stop! They're going to Mexico!"

Hey, TadMack. I'll go look at your pictures. Yes, I did take that photo. Re Shannon Hale's piece, classics, literary fiction, and YA lit can all work for high-schoolers. I don't think one has to diss The Scarlet Letter in order to praise a good YA novel. If her essay was in response to something, I wish she (or her editors) would have included the context.

Wow, that Silvey article is brave. I have that issue of SLJ, but I hadn't opened it yet. Thanks for pointing it out.

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