SLJ Battle of the Books!

SLJ’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books starts tomorrow and I can not wait!  I’ve been dying for it to start because I am a March Madness junkie.  Something that combines my love of kids books and the Madness?  Perfect!  And there is even a People’s Choice Poll!  So go vote for your favorite among the 16 contenders here and check out the standings here.  Don’t let your favorite book be left out in the cold. :)

News Around the Kidlitosphere

It’s been a busy day here- I was visiting a sick friend after school and didn’t get home until late!  But here are a few links I have been saving up for a few days.

  • Check out the trailer for Where The Wild Things Are.  I think it looks great!
  • SLJ kicks off Battle of the Books!  As an avid fan of both March Madness and children’s books, this sounds like it will be a lot of fun.  Be sure to check it out!  I’m rooting for quite a few of the books.
  • It’s National Poetry Month!  There is a lot going on out there, so here are a few great links-  30 Poets/30 Days over at Gotta Book sounds like it is going to be awesome.  30 different poems by 30 different poets!  He’ll be posting a previously unpublished poem by a different poet for each day in April.
  •  The Miss Rumphius Effect features Poetry Makers.    She’ll be interviewing thirty-six awesomepoets during the month of April. The schedule is here.

February Carnival of Children’s Literature

Be sure to set aside some time to check out the February Carnival of Children’s Literature this weekend.  Chock-full of great posts, you don’t want to miss this one!

 

In other news, I am sick. Again.  I have been sick for almost a month straight now.  Whatever is going around right now is awful.  Hoping I feel better tomorrow!

Books I am Looking Forward to Reading in 2009

I’ve been so caught up in the awards bonanza of late that I realized we are almost out of January and I haven’t posted the books I am looking forward to reading this year.  This is by no means a complete list, but just a few that caught my eye from publisher’s previews, blog reading, and reviews!

  • A Butterfly Fable (Adios Oscar!) by Peter Elwell- A monarch butterfly book? Count me in!
  • Being Nikki (Airhead) by Meg Cabot- I loved AIRHEAD so I am really looking forward to this sequel!
  • Yes, I Know the Monkey Man by Dori Hillestad Butler- I saw this at a publisher’s preview and it sounded like a great mystery. A daughter who believes her mother and twin sister are dead when they really are not? Sounds awesome!
  • Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd by Holly Black and Cecil Castellucci- As a self-professed and proud geek, I can not wait to get my hands on this collection of geeky stories from some of the greatest in YA writing!
  • The Enemy by Davide Cali- The sample F&G I saw of this book was so powerful that I wanted to take it home and share it with my class immediately. This fable is about two lonely soldiers facing each other across a barren battlefield. What each discovers, as the story unfolds, is that the enemy is not a faceless beast, but rather a real person with family, friends, and dreams.
  • The Beef Princess of Practical County by Michelle Houts- This is the Delacorte Press MG Fiction contest winner. It’s the story of a small town girl raising steers for the county fair. When she becomes attached to them, despite their eventual fate of being sold to the slaughterhouse, problems arise.
  • The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee- This Australian import was compared to THE LOVELY BONES and VIRGIN SUICIDES.
  • The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan- We all know how much I love my apocalyptic survival stories.
  • Bones of Faerie by Janni Lee Simner- Another apocalyptic tale. This one blurbed by Jane Yolen!
  • My Life in Pink & Green by Lisa Greenwald- A Class of 2k9 debut that really caught my eye.
  • A Mirror to Nature: Poems About Reflection by Jane Yolen and Jason Stemple- Yolen’s poetry is some of my favorite writing. I can’t wait to read this!
  • Emma Jean Lazarus Fell in Love by Lauren Tarshis- Emma-Jean was my favorite character from 2007. I had no idea Tarshis was writing a follow-up until I saw a preview in the publisher’s catalog! I can’t wait to get my hands on this!
  • Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson- You could tell me that Anderson was rewriting the phone book and I would read it. Can’t wait to read her latest YA!
  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins- Not due out until September, I am dying to scoop up an ARC at BEA this spring. I have been waiting to find out what happened to Katniss since the end of The Hunger Games!
  • Soul Enchilada by David Macinnis Gill- Ever since traveling to Mexico I have been fascinated by the Dia de los Muertos.
  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians: Book 5: The Last Olympian (Percy Jackson and the Olympians) by Rick Riordan- I love Percy and am excited to see the conclusion of this hysterical series.
  • Shades of Grey: A Novel by Jasper Fforde- I don’t remember who first mentioned this on their blog, but it immediately went on my Amazon wishlist. The summary reminds me a bit of THE GIVER, so I am looking forward to reading it.
  • Falling Down the Page: A Book of List Poems by Georgia Heard- My inspiration when it comes to poetry, Georgia Heard really connects with kids.

 

This is just a sampling of some of the books I want to read this year, and mostly for the next season. What are you looking forward to reading in 2009?

39 Clues Live Webcast December 1st!

While checking out my Scholastic Book Clubs order, I saw the following ad for a live webcast with Gordon Korman, author of the next 39 Clues book, 39 Clues: One False Note .

Watch the Live Webcast with Author Gordon Korman!
Tune in as Whoopi Goldberg interviews Gordon Korman, author of The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note, in a LIVE webcast on Monday, December 1, at 1 pm ET.

Kids from around the world submitted questions for Gordon Korman . . . VOTE ON THE FINAL 5! 

After the webcast, continue the conversation with Korman in an online chat. Tune in here to join: December 1, 3–4 pm ET. (To participate, you’ll need a STACKS account. Register now.)!

 

I know my students will be thrilled!  We are 39 Clues-a-holics in my classroom, so this will be great.  As most of my students will be in math during the live webcast, I am hoping that Scholastic puts the recording up online later in the day.

M.T. Anderson Defends Teen Intelligence

Today’s Washington Post has a wonderful profile of YA author M.T. Anderson.  As I was reading the article I found myself (mentally) cheering, “Hoo-rah!”.  

“It’s insulting to believe that teens should have a different kind of book than an adult should,” says the author of “Feed” and, most recently, “The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation.” Teens like challenges, he says. They know the world is complicated, and “they can tell when a book is simplifying life.”

Thank you, M.T. Anderson!  While he is specifically speaking about teens, in my experience this quote applies to all young readers, tween and teen alike.  Kids hate to be talked down to, preached at, and treated like babies.  All too often, publishers choose to market books that do all of these things.  My 6th graders want to think, they want to argue, and they want to learn.  They just don’t want to feel like they are being explicitly taught in a fiction book.  And to be honest, the same goes for me.  And I would assume most adults feel the same way.  We want a great story, awesome characters, and ideas we would not have thought of on our own.  Why do so many publishers and authors think that kids should  be treated any differently?  

So Mr. Anderson?  Please keep writing.  And keep treating kids like the intelligent beings that they are!  My 6th graders will someday graduate to your books, and I can’t wait until they do.  

 

Oh, and the best part of this article?  It finally pushed me to order The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume I: The Pox Party and The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves .

Busy as a Bee

It’s been a crazy last 36 hours and the insanity continues for the rest of this week.  I am loving the constant NCTE updates from those attending and can not wait to go to Philly for the convention next year!  Right now I am exhausted but just want to share some news I have gathered from the blogosphere today:

 

-Franki shares the news of a new Georgia Heard poetry book!  I need this yesterday!  Georgia Heard is one of my mentor writers and I can not wait to get my hands on this one. 

-Love Meg Cabot?  Well, for the next 30 days you can read The Princess Diaries online!

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