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1. SURTEX/BLUE PRINT - jennifer nelson artists

The wonderful Jennifer Nelson Artists are going to be showing at Surtex and Blue Print in New York this month. So expect lots of wonderful new art from designers Bee Brown, Jill McDonald, Lauren Lowen, Jessica Swift, Anisa Makhoul, Jennifer Orkin Lewis and fab new arrival Jill Howarth.

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2.


"Once the Pink Lady faced her fears she became stronger, wiser and more yes, fashionable!" Thanks so much Kate Thacker! Facing your fears helps you to move forward with strength, courage and wisdom. It's been inside of you all along! Working on myself and my dreams. It may be a while, but know that I'm thinking of you all!! Be good!

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3. Writer Wednesday: So You Think You Can Edit?

Yeah, I'm cringing at that post title too. ;) You all know I like to amuse myself though, and that's what my brain concocted for the question submitted for today's Writer Wednesday. What is that question? Check it out:

"How does someone go about becoming an editor and how you know how good you are at editing?"

Okay, well answers for this are going to vary, so let me share my journey. First, I went to college to become an English teacher, which is exactly what I was for seven years before switching careers. So, I have a degree in English. While I loved literature, some of my favorite classes were actually grammar courses. Call me crazy but I love grammar rules. Yes, I'm the girl who corrects people's grammar on a regular basis. No, I'm not sorry about it. I love grammar.

From teaching, I moved into proofreading (for a school district actually). That's when I discovered I love to edit. So I set up a page on my website to offer my services, and then I blogged about it with a very special offer. I'd edit up to 10 pages for free so people could try me out. I offered that for one month, and I picked up my first clients. Luckily for me, they were happy with my work and I still work with many of them today, years later.

Once I'd been editing for a while, I started working for several small presses, which looked good on my resume and landed me more freelance clients. That pretty much brings us to today, where I'm in the fortunate situation to have a healthy list of regular clients. I'm busier than ever and even have to turn people away at times because I tend to book months in advance.

As far as how to know how good you are at editing, your clients will tell you. Repeats are happy customers. I can say that in order to be a good editor, you must live on Merriam-Webster and Chicago Manual of Style. I check everything against those sites.

That's my journey. A love of the English language, a degree, some free trials, and now more editing jobs than I could ever fulfill. :) 

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

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4. Author Interview: Donna Gephart on Lily and Duncan

By Cynthia Leitich Smith
for Cynsations
ajudd@penguinrandomhouse.com

From the promotional copy of Lily and Duncan by Donna Gephart (Delacorte, 2016):

Lily Jo McGrother, born Timothy McGrother, is a girl. But being a girl is not so easy when you look like a boy. Especially when you’re in the eighth grade.

Dunkin Dorfman, birth name Norbert Dorfman, is dealing with bipolar disorder and has just moved from the New Jersey town he’s called home for the past thirteen years. This would be hard enough, but the fact that he is also hiding from a painful secret makes it even worse.

One summer morning, Lily Jo McGrother meets Dunkin Dorfman, and their lives forever change.

How would you describe your body of work for young readers? Are there themes you frequently revisit, and if so, what about them fascinates you?

I write for the lonely child I was when I visited the Northeast Regional Library in Philadelphia, looking for a friend inside the pages of a book. I often write on the themes of loneliness and feeling like you don't quite fit in. My books broach difficult topics, like bullying and grief, but always, always conclude on a hope-filled note.

Congratulations on the release of Lily and Duncan! What was your initial inspiration for writing this book?

Thanks! I write about the genesis of both Lily's and Dunkin's story in the author's note at the back of the novel. Lily's story stemmed from an unforgettable documentary I saw about a trans girl, and Dunkin's story emerged from a promise I made to our older son, who deals with bipolar disorder.

What was the time between spark and publication, and what were the major events along the way?

I saw the documentary that inspired me to write the novel in 2012. Recently, I was looking through my mountain of notes for the project and discovered that in 2012 I had written the ending of the novel . . . and that ending remains unchanged from the version that comes out May 3. It took all the time in between to figure out how to get to that ending — lots of research and deep thinking.

Would you elaborate on your research process?

I spent years researching this novel — talking to experts, watching documentaries, reading books, articles, memoirs and novels, etc.

How did you approach balancing the characters as joint heroes of the story?

This novel is told in alternating perspectives from each of the two characters. I had such familiarity with the mental health piece of this novel that I needed to remind myself to make Dunkin's story as strong as Lily's. When a reviewer recently said Dunkin's story almost eclipses Lily's, I know I have succeeded.

In this dual narrative, each character has a unique voice and tells their story from that very personal perspective. I felt this was the best way to get readers inside the heads and hearts of each character as they navigate very difficult terrain in their eighth grade lives.

What were the other challenges (literary, logistical, emotional, etc.) in bringing the story to life?

This was a difficult story to write because of the emotional intensity of each character's journey, but it was a story I felt strongly needed to be told to help encourage empathy and understanding and end stigma.

What advice do you have for authors in approaching stories with similar elements?

It's important to research thoroughly and tell the emotional truth. And don't forget the humor. Humor has a way of shining light in the darkest of places.

Your co-protagonists are in eighth grade, and the book is marketed to ages 10+. This developmental/literary category sometimes gets lost between middle grade and YA. 

Why should we pay more attention to tween-agers and books that reflect them?

Tween-agers deal with some difficult issues before the adults in their lives are ready for them to do so. I've already had teachers and counselors from elementary and middle schools tell me that students from their schools were transitioning. I know when I was teaching writing to young people, these tween-agers were dealing with some very difficult things that most adults would never have imagined.

It's important that these books be available for those young readers who need them — which is all young readers, to increase empathy, understanding and kindness.

The more we know, the better we do.

What do you do when you're not reading or writing?

Taking long walks, jogs or bike rides in nature always renews me. I love coming across wild turkeys or peacocks strutting around. And I enjoy cooking (and eating!) creative vegan meals. One of my favorite YouTube channels is Cheap, Lazy Vegan.



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5. BLUE PRINT 2016 - designastration studio

And if you are attending Blue Print you will see new designs from Tiffany Laurencio. Tiffany started the  Designastration Studio just a couple years ago and has since had several successful shows at Printsource New York and is looking forward to exhibiting for the first time at Blue Print.

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6. My tweets

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7. happy birthday, little sister!

We love each other, really, but we have odd ways of showing it.

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8. Dare to Dance: Introducing Dance Movements and Music into your Storytimes

Are you ready to energize your storytimes with dancing that goes beyond movement songs? Are you ready to dare to use your body to motivate caregivers while promoting children’s developmental needs for coordination, balance and gross motor skills?

Dancing Girls

Kids enjoy the Music in this Public Domain image from Cane River Creole National Historical Park

Our library expanded the role of our storytimes into a program that offers more than reading books, nursery rhymes and singing songs. We introduced Dance Time to teach children basic dance steps while listening to an age appropriate song.

There is so much librarians can do to enhance the library experience through dancing. Dancing provides opportunities for adults and children to learn to:

  • Follow the beats of the song with their feet and or hands
  • Balance their body parts
  • Coordinate their body movements

Additional benefits of dancing include:

  • Improve muscle tone
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Increase ability to feel comfortable about oneself

Although dancing is a natural channel of expression for many cultures, children from other cultures, including some that are predominant in the United Stated, are hardly exposed to it. In some cultures, babies are exposed to music and dancing from birth, with moms dancing around holding their babies in their arms regularly. Soon baby and mommy-and-baby dancing transforms into a semi dancing lesson with caregivers holding and moving their toddles’ hands and arms while following the beats of a song. As the child’s motor skills develop, the caregiver will now focus on simple steps using the child’s legs and feet. Dance will continue be part of the child’s life in elementary school where different dances are taught in music class.

Coming from a culture where this type of exposure to dance is widespread, in my work as a Youth Services Librarian, I noticed that lack of coordinated body movements following a rhythmic patterns in children attending our programs. Naturally, this observation changes depending on the cultural background of clients.

As a result of my observations, I supplemented our storytimes with a portion of the program called Dance Time. During Dance Time, children and caregivers are encouraged to dance to a tune following three basic dance steps that are reinforced at every storytime. When I introduced Dance Time for the first time, many children and parents were reluctant to follow me. However, after a couple months of Dance Time, these same clients appeared more relaxed and moved happily following the beat of the music.

Music is contagious and is an excellent tool to uplift spirits and transform a library program into a lifelong learning experience. Many librarians already use children’s songs during storytime. However, have you offered a “dance activity” or “movement song” to invigorate your programs? Let us know about it in the comments below.

If you feel ready to dare, try the following dance songs in your storytime:

  • Palo, palo Music Together. Palo, Palo. [Arranged and adapted by Gerry Dignan and K. Guilmartin]. Music Together: Bringing harmony Home [CD]. Princeton NJ: (2007)
  • El baile del perrito (Wilfrido Vargas)

***************************************************************************

Photo courtesy of guest blogger

Photo courtesy of guest blogger

Our guest blogger today is Kathia Ibacache. Kathia is a Youth Services Librarian at Simi Valley Public Library. She has worked as a music teacher and Early Music Performer and earned a MLIS from San José State University and a DMA from the University of Southern California. She loves to read realistic fiction and horror stories and has a special place in her heart for film music.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

The post Dare to Dance: Introducing Dance Movements and Music into your Storytimes appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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9. Hervé Tullet introduces Let’s Play!

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10. This Wed and Thurs: Animated Spirits European Animation Festival in NYC

A free screening series that offers an easy way for New Yorkers to catch up on top festival films from Europe.

The post This Wed and Thurs: Animated Spirits European Animation Festival in NYC appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

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11. Little Girls Breathe the Same Air as We Do review

       The most recent addition to the complete review is my review of Oulipo-author Paul Fournel's 1978 novel, Little Girls Breathe the Same Air as We Do.

       This actually came out in English very quickly, George Braziller publishing it in 1979, and for example the Kirkus review suggested:

(I)t remains an odd, narrow exercise -- significant only as a minor-key promise of things to come from this young French writer.
       Ah, yes, the promise ! And a lot did come -- only not into English, with the recently published Dear Reader the first of his novels to be translated since then, after well over thirty years ! (though there was also that bicycling book in the meantime).
       Born in 1947, Fournel was indeed a promising young 32-year-old when Little Girls Breathe the Same Air as We Do -- and only now returns to the US/UK scene when he is closing in on 70.

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12. How To Be A Pirate

How to Be a Pirate. Sue Fliess. Illustrated by Nikki Dyson. 2014. Golden Books. 24 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Ahoy, landlubber! Come with me. Board me ship upon the sea! Not a pirate? Don't know how? Ye can learn to be one now! Come in closer--I don't bite. A pirate ye shall be tonight!

Premise/plot: The title says it all, this book "teaches" how to be a pirate.

My thoughts: I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would. I like the rhythm and the rhyme of it. It gets that part right at least!!! The plot is simple enough, and, in a way it's predictable enough. There is just something joyful and fun about this one.
Rules for pirates?
Let's just say...
ye can throw all the rules away!
No more toothpaste!
Farewell, bath!
once ye choose the pirate path.
Text: 4 out of 5
Illustrations: 4 out 5
Total: 8 out of 10

© 2016 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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13. Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids

  One of my favorite picture books of 2016 thus far is Lane Smith’s There Is a Tribe of Kids (Roaring Brook, May 2016). I’ve got a review of it over at BookPage. That is here. Today, Lane shares some early studies and sketches, as well as some final art from the book. (Note: Some […]

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14. Beltane on Calton Hill

Scotland is fascinated by fire. Several traditions and ceremonies involve it in very old ways, for instance during the torch parade for Hogmany, Samhain, and the celebration of Spring or Beltane (always on April 30th), with the symbolic joining of the May Queen and the Green Man, who dies and is brought back to life each year. (Click the image to see the website and learn more about the tradition.)

I was very excited to see this so we bought our tickets early. Stan jogs up Calton Hill several times a week, but for Beltane, the hill was restricted to manage the enormous crowd. Gates opened at 8:00. We bundled up and began our journey, which became more and more magnificent as the sun set over New Town and the Firth.
And we saw some hints of what was to come.
This was going to be interesting.
The ceremony doesn't begin until the sun goes down, so you walk around for a while, listening to the story of Beltane and admiring the amazing costumes. It makes you think an alternate reality isn't that hard to believe.
When it's completely dark, the ceremony begins. By then, it was very crowded and very cold.
The May Queen is introduced and the procession begins...
With the Green Man just behind. (I'm so sorry I didn't get a better photo of him - he was grand!)
Behind them, follows the court.
With their drums. Click the image to go watch and listen on YouTube.
We followed the procession for a bit and saw the fire arch and dancing birds, but I have to admit, by then I was cold to the core and we went back down the hill in search of hot toddies (which we found). It took me until the next afternoon to warm up, but I'm happy to say that according ancient tradition, Spring is officially here. More on that soon...

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15. Some of My Favorite Online Reading in April

I've read lots of great things online in the last several weeks. Here are some of the more important things I read--pieces that gave me lots to think about.

I love all things Kristine Mraz as she always reminds me what is important for our children. Her March article, Building Ecosystems of Joyful Growth is a must read. There are so many things mandated in schools these days but Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz remind us that there are still many things that we control and it is the choices we make that determine the kind of experiences our children have.

I also loved this article by Bobby Dodd, How to Tell If You Love What You Do.  Loving what you do doesn't mean loving every day or that the work will be easy.  These insights are definitely worth thinking about --very smart way to think about our life's work.

I enjoyed this article as a blogger--On Reviewing Bad Books When You're Part of the Literary Community by Sarah Knight at Book Riot. Being thoughtful and kind and honest to readers is important to me as a blogger and Sarah brings up some important things to think about.

I found Hard Truths: Examining How Students Spend Their Time in Our Classrooms to be a great source for reflecting on my teaching and my classroom--what matches and what doesn't. The author says "When I reflect on whether my actions line up with my beliefs, I just take a close look at the past day, week, or month in my classroom."

My Worst Nightmare--What if I Accidentally Raise the Bully? is a must-read also, in my opinion. It gave me a lot to think about in the classroom-nothing new but really thinking about giving kids opportunities to get to know each other and to really go beyond the things that happened so easily in this story when it comes to bullying and kindness.

And just another reminder that yes, independent reading is worthwhile in NEA's recent article.

Ana Menendez Mourns Her Four-Year-Old's Childhood is an important read if you are a teacher of young children.

I loved the article Visualizing 21st-Century Classroom Design. I am a little obsessed with classroom design theories after reading The Third Teacher and The Language of School Design.

If you have not had a chance to listen to Donalyn Miller's podcast interview at Book Love, it is fabulous!

And this--On the Heartbreaking Difficulty of Getting Rid of Books. If you have read Marie Kondo's book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but can't seem to make it work for your books, then this article is a must-read!

I love this article about understanding the types of mistakes. Fascinating!

And if you are a teacher who is feeling tired at the end of the year. Dear Teacher on the Tired Days is something you may want to put someplace where you can read it often during these last few weeks of the school year.

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16. Paul Auster

       Eric Clement had the scoop in La Presse last week but it seems to have (entirely ?) escaped English-language notice so far (or no one cares ?): that we can look forward to Un roman de 925 pages signé Paul Auster, Auster's forthcoming novel a near-thousand-pager he expects to have out in early 2017.
       No word as to the title of the just-finished work, or any of the details beyond its (great) length:

L'écrivain préfère ne pas dévoiler l'histoire de ce nouveau roman. Il souhaite que la surprise soit totale pour ses fidèles lecteurs. Il consent toutefois à dire qu'il s'agit d'une sorte de «saga».
       They follow up this week with a proper Q & A -- no additional clues about the book, but more general odds and ends (including about American politics).

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17. Student-Writen Mentor Text: Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts

Before I engage students in any unit of study, I begin by surrounding students with what it is they will be studying. I place books of the genre being explored in book baskets,… Continue reading

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18. Hervé Tullet | MIX IT UP!

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19. I Found a box of Parrots on my doorstep.

A big box of shiny new books landed on my doorstep. Memoirs of a Parrot is the fourth "memoir" book, written by the very talented Devin Scillian and published by Sleeping Bear Press.

"Yay, new books!"

When I read that a parrot would be the main character, I had to choose an African Grey parrot. I have fond childhood memories of my grandpa and his African Grey, named Chico. I chose a Hyacinth Macaw as the other parrot in the story. Mostly because of the color. I live in Ohio and Devin Scillian lives in Michigan, so it just made sense to use Ohio State (scarlet and grey) and Michigan colors (maze and blue). Plus, my wife's family is from the state up north (we're a "blended" family).

A drawing that I did in High School of my grandpa and his parrot, Chico.

Also, the main character (human) in the story plays a ukulele. I said, "hmmm, I need to get a ukulele (as reference) and begin my career as a ukulele rock star". Then I met Emily Arrow, a true ukulele rock star, so I bought one. Now I need to start practicing my ukulele licks.

"Hey, I think that I need a ukulele."


Anyway, you must take a look at Memoirs of a Parrot. It's got parrots, ukulele players and a very funny story.

End papers from Memoirs of a Parrot.

Thank you, Heather Hughes, Felicia Macheske and Sleeping Bear Press

Now, back to the drawing board. -Tim

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20. Tinker, Breathe, Create, Play

DSC_0966

I’ve written often about Valerie Geary around here, my critique partner I met when we both started blogging in 2009. We’ve seen each other through a number of manuscripts, a million emails about the writing life, and one glorious writing retreat that included mid-morning runs, lots of good conversation, and a bottle of wine I received when May B. sold (thanks, Helen Theriot!).

I don’t know how I’d keep chugging away without friends who understand this weird and wonderful process, who encourage me when I need it and let me do the same.

Here’s a recent exchange:

me: I’m tinkering with the new book. Very slowly. Long hand and then some typing. Two and a half hours gave me something like 200 words.

Val: Keep tinkering, friend. No rush, no urgency. Breathe, find small moments to create. These first few steps are so small and feel like they take us nowhere, but they are important to building a book. We’ll take bigger steps later on down the road. For now…play.

 

The post Tinker, Breathe, Create, Play originally appeared on Caroline Starr Rose

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21. What I Read in April


In terms of having a general fulfilling, happy life, April was a huge success.  Luke and I took our first vacation with just the two of us since our first anniversary.  That's right, in seven years we haven't traveled alone.  So this year, for anniversary #8 we went to Durham.  He had a Netrunner tournament (don't judge) and I...went to the farmer's market and all the bookstores and had the best massage of my life.  Oh right, and we also got to hang out just the two of us - we raced go-karts, went paddle boating, ate EVERYTHING, and played board games in our hotel room.  




In spite of (or maybe because of) all of the fun we were having outside of books, this reading month was dismal.  I cannot remember being in a book slump of this magnitude, ever.  I am reading almost nothing and the things I'm reading I'm not loving.  My average star rating in the month of August was 2.5.  Bleak, bleak, bleak.  I've tried everything to break my slump but it's just not happening.  Here's what I read in April:

The Pocket Wife by Susan Crawford
The Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan
Some Day You'll Thank Me for This by Gayden Metcalfe
The Rattler by Jason McNamara
Tragedy Girl by Christine Hurley Deriso
After the Woods by Kim Savage
The Girl Who Fell by Shannon Parker
Golem by Lorenzo Ceccotti
The V-Word by Amber Keyser
The Widow by Fiona Barton

So there you have it.  It was a sad month for books - everyone cross your fingers that May brings me a new energy for reading and some amazing books!

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22. A Yummy THANK YOU from the Texas Sweethearts & Scoundrels!

Thank you for sharing TLA 2016 with us!
Thank you so much to all those who stopped by to see us at TLA! We adored sharing our TLA reception with you! Congratulations to the winner of the custom Sweethearts cake, Robbi Lenox of Cimarron Elementary in Galena Park ISD, who celebrated her birthday at TLA and was able to share the cake with some friends. Also a huge thank you to our cake illustratrator Akiko White


The cake!


Sweethearts with the cake!
(L to R: Jessica Lee Anderson, Cory Putman Oakes, Akiko White, P. J. Hoover, Jeanette Larson, Bethany Hegedus, Christina Soontornvat, Nikki Loftin, and Carmen Oliver)



Akiko White with our cake winner, Robbi Lenox!

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23. BLUE PRINT 2016 - jane farnham

Jane Farnham will also be showing new designs at Blue Print this May via her agents Cinnamon Joe. The show runs just before Surtex on 12th-16th May at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York.

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24. Small gang


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25. Default: White

Alternate Title: The Call Is Coming From Inside the House

So yesterday at lunchtime I trotted out my neat little stack of periodicals to read while I munched a ham sandwich.  I picked up the latest Kirkus (1 May 2016) and there I saw the Vicky Smith article: “Unmaking the White Default”.  As many of you may have noticed recently, Kirkus made a significant shift in the way that they review.  Normally, a children’s or YA book review will eschew mentioning the ethnicity of a human character unless that character isn’t white.  The implicit message to this is that white is the default and anything that isn’t white is the exception rather than the rule.  To combat this problem, Kirkus has taken to mentioning the ethnicity of all human characters, or at least making note of their skin tones.  In this article, Vicky discussed the change.

When this switch was initially made, the responses were mixed.  I’ve listened to the Horn Book Podcast that discussed the decision, noted the mistake in the Kirkus review of The Night Gardener (the 2016 picture book, not the Jonathan Auxier gothic middle grade), and taken an interest in the SLJ reviewers’ online course on diversity & cultural literacy (so far they have 125+ registered).

Imagine me reading all this while twiddling my thumbs.  Dum de dum.  Toodle-oo.  Hum hum hum.  Not really thinking too hard.  I review for Kirkus so, like all reviewers there, I’ve been adjusting my reviews as I write them.  There’s an art to it, really.  Some folks have been concerned that this sort of thing just reinforces how obsessed we are over skin color.  I see that, absolutely.  And I look forward to the day a Kirkus editor writes an article rescinding this reviewing method because we’ve come so far as a nation that we don’t need it anymore.  At the same time, I’m pretty sure the publishing industry isn’t quite there yet.  Or, for that matter, the nation.

I suppose it’s because I review for Kirkus that it took me this long to come to a very personal realization.  First off, do I agree with what Kirkus is doing?  Actually, I do.  The white default is more annoying than the old italicize-all-foreign-languages trope and hardly less bothersome than the describe-darker-skin-tones-entirely-in-terms-of-food method.

As Vicky Smith mentioned, it’s hardly a change everyone likes.  I saw that one commenter on the Horn Book podcast site wrote, “Why stop at hair color, eye color, skin color, DNA? Perhaps in the digital book future, we will move toward even greater specificity. A child could be placed at the center of each book she reads, the details customized to be about herself, the most interesting subject in all the world.”  A comment placing the whole debate in the context of how personalized electronic information leads to narcissistic youth sort of misses the point.  There may be kids out there that only want to read books about kids of their own races, but Kirkus isn’t doing this for them.  Would you find fault in a review mentioning a character’s chosen gender?  As a librarian, I need to know precisely what each book I read or need to read contains.  Characters are more than their ethnic backgrounds, but at the same time your race informs your life.  Not everyone has the luxury of ignoring it.

So.  We come to it.  If I agree with Kirkus, would I apply their method of mentioning all skin tones to the reviews I write on this blog?

Huh.

Hadn’t really occurred to me before.

I mean, the reviews that I write for this blog are my brand.  If this blog dropped off the face of the earth tomorrow, it would be the reviews I’d really miss writing.  And in the time that I’ve been writing them I’ve settled into a nice comfortable little format.  Opening paragraph, description of the book, mentions of writing, mentions of art (if applicable), concerns, closing paragraph.  Easy peasy.  And in my time reviewing I don’t think I’ve made an active change to the format at all.

Is white the default when I review?  Yes indeed.

Could I change this?  Yes indeed.

Now let me be clear about a couple things right off the bat.  When Kirkus first started applying this method to their reviews, it was awkward.  They got the details wrong on some books and shoehorned the mentions into some of the reviews.  I have a theory, and I could be completely off, that there’s been a learning curve since then.  There is an elegance to how you describe a character in any review.  Done correctly and with careful consideration and the mention feels natural.  Done wrong and it feels almost didactic.

In the end, and when you boil it all down, this is an easy switch to make.  I’m going to give it a try and see how it goes.  Plus, I have a distinct advantage over Kirkus.  While they must bring up racial skin tones within a scant 225 words, I have all the time in the world in my own reviews to make the mentions.  In a way, bloggers are in a better position to try out this change than professional review journals.

Die, default.  Die.

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