Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I mentioned this in passing at #kidlitchat tonight (transcripts of the chats are here, by the way), but I think it bears repeating: I really think Jason Shiga's Meanwhile is quite something.

I have yet to meet a kid who wasn't fascinated by it and enjoyed reading it/interacting with it. It works in groups, too. It's not a perfect book (what is?), but boy I am so happy it exists.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Poetry Re-Issue: Hello, Summer!

Summer began this week and school ended hereabouts, too. Seems like a good time for this re-issue....

Hello, Summer!
Gregory K.

Goodbye, classroom!
Goodbye, Teach!
You can find me at the beach...
Or in the park or at the pool
Or any place that isn’t school.

Goodbye, quizzes!
Bye, reports!
Hello days packed full of sports
And days when I’m just lazybones
While eating melty ice cream cones.

Goodbye, homework --
Lunchroom, too.
There’s so, so much I wanna do.
I know the school year flew on past…
But please, please summer -- last and last.

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Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Here a link, there a link....

Everywhere a link, link!

The 2010 edition of KidLitCon has been announced (October 23 in Minneapolis). You can follow the conference blog for more info. I've been to the first three, and I highly recommend attending if you blog in the broad children's literature space.

Guess who's blogging? No. No. Not her. No... not him. Keep guessing. Give up? Arthur A. Levine, that's who! This is exciting - he's a wonderful writer (with a new book out in 2011 in fact) and now I don't ever have to feel guilty blogging since my editor is doing it, too. (Right????)

And finally... why not check out the first trailer for a documentary about children's literature? It's called Library of the Early Mind, and it will be premiering in October at Harvard, no less! You can follow the movie's blog to stay up to date. I think it looks great.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Brainstormer!

I apologize because I can't remember where I initially saw this link. I know it was on Twitter (and it might have been Colleen Lindsay (and if it wasn't this time, you should follow her anyway regardless)), but that is all I know for a fact.

Anyway, here's The Brainstormer by Andrew Bosley. Is it art? Is it a tool for writers who need to brainstorm ideas or plot points? Is it both? It doesn't matter, frankly... I just think it's cool and will keep you all busy all weekend!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Of possible interest...

Over at my other site, The Happy Accident, I've been yakking a bit about the idea of "branding" when it comes to authors. Or, perhaps NOT branding, as it's a word that rubs a lot of folks the wrong way AND is mighty hard to define anyway.

But for all you authors and illustrators (and maybe even bloggers), whether you like the word 'brand' or not, there are some real opportunities... and pitfalls, too... that you can take advantage of. It's a choice, but ignoring options because you don't like the terminology doesn't seem like a good approach to me.

I'd be curious to hear what you have to say, particularly when it comes to the various suggestions we all seem to hear that we HAVE to be out there helping out books sell. Or is that just a rumor after all?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Packing books. PACKING?!?!?! Again??!!!!

Another school year is coming to an end... and once again, we're moving chunks of our library. A couple thousand books will need to be boxed and moved... then unpacked... then other boxes packed up and moved elsewhere. Sigh.

Five years ago, at one point, I'd vowed never to move another box of books for the school. Currently, I have three boxes here at home that have to be brought in to the library, so you can see how well I've done on that pledge! Still, it's all worth it.

Except for the packing and moving, that is.

I'll be talking about this more as the summer goes on, I imagine, but the newest task our all volunteer library committee has is to start a middle school library. Yeah, that's right. Start another library. For middle school. From scratch.

Any ideas appreciated. Any books are, too. ( And, as always, a hat tip to all of you have sent books over the years (I can almost always cover media mail postage, by the way!). And if you've got a lot of middle grade lying around, be sure to get in touch!

Meanwhile... I'll be packing. Gah!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Go hither and thither....

I actually went thither (to Orlando for the SCBWI Florida Mid Year Conference, where I had the pleasure of presenting with Ed Masessa, author and Scholastic Book Fair guy, and Cynthia Leitich Smith, author and blogger extraordinaire), but in this case I actually mean I've got a few links for ya.

Over at Publishers Weekly's Shelf Talker blog, Elizabeth Bluemle has a thoughtful, action-oriented piece called The Elephant in the Room, all about diversity (or the lack thereof) in publishing. It's a good read... and important, too.

And then, to keep ya busy, over at her Writers Digest blog, Jane Friedman posts links to the articles from the first half of 2010 that she thinks all writers should read. They are gooooooood. I think you should read them, too :-)

Monday, June 07, 2010

Middle Grade Fabooness!

How cool! 26 middle grade authors have teamed up to launch a blog all about middle grade novels. And what a title - From the Mixed-up Files of Middle Grade Authors.

They say they'll be offering up booklists and interviews and behind-the-scenes glimpses and giveaways and more. Doesn't that sound great? Well, it does to this middle-grade loving author and reader, anyway. Go on over and check it out!