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1. Visit me at the ALSC blog

It's Wednesday. I'm blogging for the ALSC Blog today. Stop by and see what you think.

If you're a librarian or book blogger, the Cybils are looking for judges.  Check it out here. I've done it in the past.  It's hard work, but a great opportunity and some fun as well!

Have a great day!

0 Comments on Visit me at the ALSC blog as of 8/27/2014 7:41:00 AM
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2. Aunt Cybil Wants You

The Cybils folk sent out the call for judges this past Monday. I can't find anything about a deadline.

Can't commit time to judge? If you're a blogger, you support the Cybils in other ways.

0 Comments on Aunt Cybil Wants You as of 8/20/2014 10:55:00 PM
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3. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: August 8

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include book lists, growing bookworms, ebooks, apps, KidLitCon, Cybils, reading, schools, libraries, and summer reading.

Books and Authors

I can't believe that people are protesting The Scarecrows' Wedding b/c the bad guy smokes http://ow.ly/zYVlU via @bkshelvesofdoom

Children’s Lit Questions From Beyond the Grave: A Wild Things! Interview of @SevenImp + @FuseEight by @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zZ2fS

Book Lists

es! RT @BookChook: @JensBookPage Think u wd like: @BooksBabiesBows Ten Reasons to Read Aloud During Times of Tragedy http://www.booksbabiesandbows.com/2014/06/ten-reasons-to-read-aloud-during-times.html?spref=tw …

New Stacked #BookList and general thoughts from Kimberly on Matriarchal Societies http://ow.ly/zZ2a2 #yalit

Stacked: Get Genrefied: Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) http://ow.ly/zVYbo #yalit @catagator #BookList

Top Ten Novels in Verse by @katiestrawser @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTWpJ #kidlit

THIS is a great resource | Easy Reader Books That Are Actually Easy, selected by @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/zVXDe

Nice list of Back to School Books for different ages from @bankstreetedu http://ow.ly/zTSEw via @ChoiceLiteracy

Children's and YA books featuring unlikely friendships from the SSHEL #Library http://ow.ly/zRc5C #BookList

5 Superhero Comics with Girl Power | Friday’s Five @5M4B http://ow.ly/zRbP1

25 Contemporary Picture Books To Help Parents, Teachers, And Kids Talk About #Diversity @buzzfeed http://ow.ly/A1RrK via @FuseEight

eBooks and Apps

Eight Apps to Support Early Reading and Writing | Cool Tools @ShiftTheDigital http://ow.ly/zZv6r

Important thoughts from @MaryAnnScheuer | Reading Online: How will it affect developing readers? http://ow.ly/zZ0ED

Smartphones: The Silent Killer Of The Web As You Know It @ow at The Next Web via @cmirabile http://ow.ly/zRkWL

Growing Bookworms

Great advice from @TrevorHCairney | Helping toddlers to develop reading comprehension http://ow.ly/zVXip #literacy

#RT @ReadAloud_org Babies are born learning and parents are a child's first and most important teacher. Download our 15 Books & Tips http://www2.readaloud.org/15ReadAloudTips

Raising Readers: The Power of Rereading from @SunlitPages http://ow.ly/zZ37Y #literacy

10 easy tips for keeping the love of books alive in an early childhood classroom | @NorahColvin http://ow.ly/zYW43


On Poetry Friday, @JoneMac53 has A Couple of Announcements about #KidLitCon + the call for #Cybils judges http://ow.ly/zRdZ3

Various interesting #kidlit tidbits in: Morning Notes: See You in 2114 Edition — @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/A56VN

Kidlit PictureRT @KidLitCon: Check out some of the people who will be at this year's #KidLitCon. Will you be there, too? http://t.co/pk1Xzlpcpw

A #Kidlitcon program teaser @charlotteslib (+a note that the deadline for panel ideas has been extended a week) http://ow.ly/zTWrA

Congratulations to @FuseEight + @SevenImp on the publication of Wild Things! Lots of fun stuff planned http://ow.ly/zYXuu

At A Year of Reading, @MaryLeeHahn + @frankisibberson are Celebrating the fabulous @KateMessner http://ow.ly/zRcCR

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

"Being readers makes us friends" | Happy Esther Day, Nerdy Friends! | @CBethM @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTVLN

Gorgeous post on The State of Photography Illustration in 2014 @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zRewm #kidlit

Interesting: Wikipedia, Amelia Bedelia, and Our Responsibility Regarding Online Sources — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/zRd6s

Programs and Research

New @RalphLauren program has designs to promote kids' #Literacy, 25% of price goes to @ReachOutAndRead http://ow.ly/zYSvJ @Scholastic

Very nice, from SFC Blog: The Y Helps Kids Combat ‘Summer Slide’ http://ow.ly/A1QVQ via @FuseEight #literacy

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain, more important than class time | @NPR http://ow.ly/A5lT5  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Schools and Libraries

Love it! A Librarian's Guide to getting to 10,000 Steps in a day from @abbylibrarian http://ow.ly/zTWjU

TEN TIPS FOR A PERFECT AUTHOR VISIT at school by Michael Shoulders | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zYWTv #kidlit

Nice idea to encourage reading outside of class | The Phenomenon of the 100 Page Club @stephaseverson @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zVXYK

Summer Reading

Rocking #SummerReading and STEAM @RIFWEB http://ow.ly/A56jG

#SummerReading Tip36 @aliposner | As we head into August, take a moment to reflect on your kids’ reading lives | http://ow.ly/zTW4c

#SummerReading Tip37 @aliposner | When in transit to your destination this summer, establish some no technology time http://ow.ly/zTWgh

#SummerReading Tip38 @aliposner | Parents of boys, pay special attention to your boys’ reading this summer http://ow.ly/zZ2QI

#SummerReading Tip39 @aliposner | Consider motivating summer reading with some great graphic novels! http://ow.ly/A2GJN

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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4. Cybils Finalist Review: ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein

Full disclosure: the author of Cybils finalist Rose Under Fire, Elizabeth Wein, is a blogging/writing friend of ours. Yes, that did make me excited to read this companion book to Code Name Verity (reviewed here by Tanita and here by me), which I... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Cybils Finalist Review: ROSE UNDER FIRE by Elizabeth Wein as of 4/7/2014 5:53:00 PM
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5. Cybils Finalist Review: OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys

One of this year's Cybils finalist titles in YA Fiction was Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, who wrote the much-acclaimed Between Shades of Gray. Sepetys seems, so far, to specialize in historical fiction, which is a genre I've come to appreciate... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Cybils Finalist Review: OUT OF THE EASY by Ruta Sepetys as of 3/31/2014 8:13:00 PM
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6. Cybils Finalist Review: ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell

I'm a bit late in coming to this one. I was late in reading it, too, by the time it crossed my desk for Round 2 of the Cybils, and I have to admit—it's often a death sentence (or at least a wrench in the works) when a book has been hyped as much... Read the rest of this post

0 Comments on Cybils Finalist Review: ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell as of 3/27/2014 7:13:00 PM
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7. Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard

Written and Illustrated by: Annette Leblanc Cate

Published by: Candlewick Press

Published on: March 12, 2014

Ages: 4+

Provided by the published for review. All opinions are my own.

On February 14, the winners of the annual Cybils awards for children's literature were announced. I was lucky enough to be on the nonfiction panel and we chose Look Up! as the best nonfiction book of 2013.

Look Up! isn't just a title, it's an invitation to a whole new avian world. Annette Cate gives a plethora of information about birds, how to find them, and what to look for, as well as sketching tips useful to the burgeoning bird watcher.

The detailed information provided by Cate is only improved by the engaging narrator, who adds flair and humour. Look Up! A Guide to Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard is sure to convert plenty of new bird-watchers. It is Cate's unbridled passion which really makes this book.

This post was for Nonfiction Monday, hosted at the Nonfiction Monday blog.

0 Comments on Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard as of 3/2/2014 1:08:00 PM
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8. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: February 14

Cybils2013SmallHappy Valentine's Day, International Book Giving Day, and Cybils Day! You can find the Cybils winners on the Cybils blog, in categories ranging from picture books to young adult fiction and non-fiction. This set of winners is the culmination of tons of work on the part of many bloggers, and is NOT to be missed. You can also find out where to get started for International Book Giving Day at Playing By the Book. Wishing you a wonderful, book-filled day!

TwitterLinksMeanwhile, here are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.

Book Lists and Awards

At Stacked: A new #YAlit Mini-trend: Circuses http://ow.ly/tyZ4R

A Tuesday Ten: Speculative #kidlit with A Dash of Romance | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/tyYVq

SLJ’s Battle of the Books’ Contenders Revealed | @sljournal http://ow.ly/tyZt9 #SLJBOB #kidlit

2014 American Indian Youth Literature Awards | @tashrow #kidlit http://ow.ly/twQb8

A roundup of best book lists for different types of readers from @catagator @bookriot http://ow.ly/3h9AMB

On the #cybils blog: The 2013 Cybils Winners Are Coming... http://bit.ly/LFiXo8

Common Core

Meet the Parents: Critical for Implementing the #CommonCore | @sljournal Editorial http://ow.ly/twPKg

New York teachers get five years to fully enact #CommonCore @NYDailyNews http://ow.ly/twPA5 via @PWKidsBookshelf

Diversity and Gender

2014 New Releases: More LGBTQ YA Fiction collected by @molly_wetta http://ow.ly/tumKV #yalit

Resources to encourage girls to be The Next Generation of Coders @oceanhousemedia via Jeff Berger http://ow.ly/tou7V

Black History Month: Strong Women for Strong Girls (a collection of biographies) | @ReadingTub http://ow.ly/totgb #kidlit

Mitali's Fire Escape: "Casual Diversity" Depends on the Unseen Work of the Author @MitaliPerkins http://ow.ly/tunDo


For the Love of Reading | The @bookchook on International Book Giving Day and Library Lovers Day http://ow.ly/tBcUE #literacy

Ibgd-blog-badge200pxMake Valentine's Day Sweeter with International Book Giving Day! says @BooksBabiesBows http://ow.ly/twZTD #kidlit

Love our Library Lollapalooza Honors Supporters and Raises Money, reports Cynthia Cheng in Santa Clara Weekly http://ow.ly/tBahd

Using the Olympics to help teach kids geography from @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/twZYi

Growing Bookworms

Using poetry to help kids learn to love reading, from @ReadingWithBean | "poetry is like a good fling..." http://ow.ly/tx0bX

Good stuff! The importance of the home/school partnership in raising readers by @carriegelson @KirbyLarson http://ow.ly/twQor

This made me think! | A Little Stone: The Rippling Repercussions of Bookshaming by Priscilla Thomas | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/tuo2T

Ideas for using Environmental Print when raising readers @ReadingRockets via @librareanne | http://ow.ly/tqrld #literacy

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

When Adults Read Books For Teens — @lizb | A reminder that "Books for teens are, well, for teens." http://ow.ly/tBrSE

Can Re-Illustration Ever Be Justified? asks @fuseeight (with examples) http://ow.ly/tx01w #kidlit

PercyJacksonPosterCovers for new paperback editions of @camphalfblood the original Percy Jackson series are being announced next week pic.twitter.com/GpM94gu7C5

Pretty neat! Awesome Visual Featuring The Most Popular Books of All Time @medkh9 http://ow.ly/ttJEb via @cmirabile


Another good post from @SensibleMoms | Kids Need the Word "No" | http://ow.ly/tumOI

Schools and Libraries

Mid-Continent Public Library Proves Summer Reading Programs Boost Student Achievement | @sljournal http://ow.ly/tBwJY

Good points | The trouble with calls for universal ‘high-quality’ pre-K @alfiekohn @washingtonpost http://ow.ly/tunbc via @FreeRangeKids

Teachers, "I would encourage you to keep in mind that some readers hate reading" by @booktoss @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/tumAR

Technology and Social Media

It's complicated | Five Myths About Teens, Technology, and Social Media | Peter Gray at Psychology Today http://ow.ly/tB6Lv

The Revenge of the Printed Book (why people, inc young people like books) @StephenMarche @esquiremag http://ow.ly/ttIGt via @cmirabile

How the 'Netflix of books' won over the publishing industry (Q&A) | Internet & Media @cnet http://ow.ly/ttHZE via @cmirabile

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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9. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: January 17

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage.

Book Lists

Anne Ursu’s OVER/UNDER of 2013: The Overlooked, Underappreciated Middle Grade Reader at BOOKYURT via @catagator http://ow.ly/svrMS

Top 13 YA Books for Talking to Teens About Tough Stuff, selected by @halseanderson http://ow.ly/sFhGu #yalit

A Tuesday Ten from Views From the Tesseract, science fiction stories in which a sister plays a key role as a sister http://ow.ly/sCuHq

And the 2014 Contenders for @SLJsBoB = SLJ's Battle of the Books are ... http://ow.ly/sCtGb via @bkshelvesofdoom

Stacked: Reality TV and Documentaries: A YA Book List http://ow.ly/sAu6L #yalit @catagator

2013 “Best of” Lists – The Numbers | The Hub @yalsa http://ow.ly/syfSB #yalit via @CBCBook

New #kidlit book list from @momandkiddo | Chinese Folktales for Kids http://ow.ly/sxI1J

Just wow | 2014 YA Fiction Preview: 60 #yalit Titles for Your January – June Radar | @catagator @bookriot http://ow.ly/svrXl


Cybils2013SmallInteresting reading for anyone who judges books: A Few Thoughts on Being a #Cybils Judge from @aquafortis http://ow.ly/sFnDY

At Stacked: A Cybils Retrospective from SFF judge Kimberly http://ow.ly/sCutK #yalit

January Armchair #Cybils Round-Up from @alibrarymama http://ow.ly/sCtvz

Growing Bookworms

Using Music and Songs to Improve #Literacy from @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/sAtXD

A Worthy Goal: 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten | First Steps | @sljournal http://ow.ly/sFicL #GrowingBookworms #literacy

Ten Ways to Raise Writers by @JulieFalatko @nerdybookclub http://ow.ly/svrcb #literacy

#Kidlit that promotes Fun with Words - Reading with Kids @readingtub http://ow.ly/svqgO #literacy

What it's really like: The Art of Reading with Exuberant Toddlers | For Poops and Giggles via Becky Levine http://ow.ly/stpQi

Saying Yes to letting kids read what they want to read by Jenny Rich @jdrich219 @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/ssZww

Tips for helping your child to become a successful reader from The Bottom Shelf blog http://ow.ly/sFiR0 via @librareanne #literacy


Nice resource: There's a new Weekly Round-Up of #KidLit Reviews + Posts at @MDBookReviews http://ow.ly/svqB5 via @charlotteslib

Books and Authors

Local Bay Area author Tim Myers interviewed by Susan Davis on "The Better Part" about what makes #kidlit powerful http://ow.ly/sFlak

Book review + argument for why boys can + should read @haleshannon 's Princess Academy from @SproutsBkshelf http://ow.ly/sxJnf

I loved Children of Morrow, and enjoyed this look at science fiction by H.M. Hoover at Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/svsbH


I am just speechless. Smart PJs that use iPhone to read bedtime stoires – A Dumb Idea | @tashrow Waking Brain Cells http://ow.ly/str0q

Programs and Research

Engaging with Ebooks Can Aid Children’s #Literacy, Study Finds, reports @ShiftTheDigital http://ow.ly/sFhXe @sljournal

Tablets Make It Nearly Impossible for Kids to Get Lost in a Story - Asi Sharabi - @TheAtlantic http://ow.ly/st1Cr via @LaurelSnyder

Schools and Libraries

Thoughts on egotism vs self worth, and why youth librarians should support one another, from @himissjulie http://ow.ly/sCuZd

ComicBookDaySome options for Libraries that want to hand out comics for Free Comic Book Day (May 3), shared @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/sFmk0

Makes sense to me: The Most Critical Skill for Being an Effective Educator is empathy | @ReadByExample http://ow.ly/st01U

"Would my students still read if I didn’t do this? Some, but not nearly as many" says Lisa Kanute, guest @KirbyLarson http://ow.ly/sFmtT

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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10. Book Review: Shadows


by Robin McKinley

It's not just that Maggie misses her father, or understandably resents her new stepfather, Val. No, it goes beyond that: Val has too many shadows. Whenever Maggie looks at him, she sees him surrounded by wiggly shadow shapes with too many appendages. It can't be magic, because there is no magic in Newworld. Anyone with the potential for magic must have a procedure to snip the gene before they reach puberty, and even though Val is an immigrant, he wouldn't have been allowed in if he had any magic.

Maggie tries not to think about it, and avoids Val as much as possible by throwing herself into her work at the local shelter, which isn't hard, since Maggie loves animals anyway. Then a cobey — a "coherence break" in the universe — opens nearby, and with one revelation after another, Maggie begins to discover that the world — and Newworld specifically — is full of surprises, among them that Val is not such a bad guy. When the situation goes from bad to worse, Maggie and her friends set out to set things right, accompanied by five very large dogs, a cantankerous Maine Coone cat, a friendly shadow named Hix, and one stubborn algebra book.

Shadows is a fun book with loads of teen appeal. Maggie's voice as the narrator is authentic and entertaining, if a bit rambly in parts, and there's gentle humor woven throughout the book. The pacing is excellent, perfectly balancing character development, excitement, humor, and reveals. All of the characters are interesting and well-developed, including animals, shadows, and semi-animate objects. Even the dogs each have distinctive personalities. Although Maggie finds she has some unusual abilities, she can't do it alone - it takes the combined efforts and abilities of everyone to succeed. There is romance, but it's not overdone and I like the direction that McKinley went with the it.

There are dystopian elements, such as soldiers in the streets with scanners, roadblocks, and forced genetic manipulation, but I wouldn't call this a dystopian book. The focus is not on fighting against a dystopian government, although there is certainly some of that. Instead, it's more about finding yourself and discovering that the world is a different place than you thought.

Shadows is a 2013 Cybils Awards Finalist in the YA Speculative Fiction category.

Who would like this book:

Readers of both traditional fantasy and dystopian stories will enjoy this, as it has elements of both. Dog lovers, cat lovers, and origami artists will also find a lot to appreciate.

Get it from:
FTC required disclosure: Reviewed from library copy. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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11. Fusenews: Book Baths and Far Side – What More Could You Want in Life?

Cybils2013 300x177 Fusenews: Book Baths and Far Side   What More Could You Want in Life?Huh!  Well I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.  In spite of the sheer swaths of time I’ve had since I completed my last Fusenews, I am surprisingly bereft of information for you this week.  Whodathunkit?  Ah well.  NYC was recently hit with a bit of the old snowstorm, so while we stare mournfully at the unshovelled sidewalks in front of our homes, let me recount in the briefest of briefs the situation of the world as it stands.

  • First off, The 2013 Cybils Finalists have been announced!  I’ve panned through the books listed and they’re lovely.  Not a single title I’d seriously object to being on a list (well… maybe one, but that’s still a pretty darn good track record).  Well done to all the hard working judges that had to cull the endless submissions down down down.
  • One of my favorite podcasts Pop Culture Happy Hour has a segment called “What’s Making Us Happy This Week”.  If I might purloin their phrase, this, right here, is what has been making me happy for more than a week.  Artist Mike Holmes came up with the concept of illustrating himself and his cat (Ella) in the style of a different cartoonist every day.  I’ve seen folks do this sort of thing before.  The difference with Holmes?  He is AMAZING.  Example A: This version of The Far Side.  He even got the tone right.

FarSide Fusenews: Book Baths and Far Side   What More Could You Want in Life?

Now please, someone go tap him for a picture book.  I’ll just sit over here patiently and wait.

  • A good In Memoriam piece here at SLJ.  None of the losses make me happy but particularly painful was Ned Vizzini.  It was one of those deaths you hear about on Twitter before you hear anywhere else.  Doesn’t make it any less terrible.
  • On a lighter note, SLJ also released its top posts of 2012 and one of my blog posts ranked at #5.  Which one?  The Complete Listing of All Public Children’s Literature Statues in the United States. Admittedly I haven’t finished posting all the suggestions I’ve received but I solemnly swear to get back to it one of these days (or anytime someone wants to offer me a book deal – ho ho!).  In other news, the #1 post was also mine in a roundabout way.  It was a link to NYPL’s 100 Great Children’s Books which I culled together with a co-worker.  Small world, eh?
  • The holiday gift giving season may be over, but if you ever want to see the most insane present in the world (and you have just oodles of time on your hands) then you must see how my sister put together a Personalized Monopoly Game.  Dear God, woman.
  • Daily Image:

Why, yes.  I will take a library with my bathtub, thank you.

BookBath Fusenews: Book Baths and Far Side   What More Could You Want in Life?

I’ll leave the specifications and, uh, payment to you.  Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.

share save 171 16 Fusenews: Book Baths and Far Side   What More Could You Want in Life?

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12. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: January 3

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter over the past two weeks @JensBookPage. The top two stories for me this week were the announcement of the 2013 Cybils finalists, and the announcement of the new National Ambassador of Children's Literature, Kate DiCamillo. 

Book Lists

I can't share everyone's year-end list, but Tasha's is strong | Top 25 Picture Books of 2013 from @tashrow Waking Brain Cells http://ow.ly/sdVjB

Good stuff! Young Adult Sci-Fi That Will Get Readers Psyched About Science | Lydia Kang http://ow.ly/sdskg @HuffPostBooks via @tashrow

Let’s Get Metafictional (books that show the audience that they are aware of themselves as a created work) http://ow.ly/sc3wb from SSHEL

Top 10 Picture Book Lists for Kids from @momandkiddo at What Do We Do All Day? http://ow.ly/sa5FE #kidlit

Top Kids' Book Lists of 2013 {Chapter Books} - What Do We Do All Day? from @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/s69Xt #kidlit

Books for Kids: Favorite Easy Readers from 2013 - @growingbbb http://ow.ly/s6a2u #kidlit

A Tuesday Ten: Invention in Picture Books | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/s68KN #kidlit

20 Of The Best Children’s Books Of 2013 @buzzfeed by @colbysharp + @donalynbooks http://ow.ly/s1EJo #kidlit #yalit


Cybils2013SmallOn the #cybils blog: Author and Publisher Reactions to Being @Cybils Finalists #kidlit http://bit.ly/1kh6ZB9

On the #cybils blog: The Ones that Got Away: Favorites that Didn't Make the Shortlists #kidlit http://bit.ly/190Bzdl

RT @ixtumea: My Top Cybils' 2013 YA Nonfiction picks: http://kimbacceliasweblogfantasy.blogspot.com/2014/01/my-top-5-ya-nonfiction-picks.html …

Stephanie @scharle4 has rounded up all 77 #CYBILS Finalists!! Her goal is to read them all. Join her! http://ow.ly/se2T5 #kidlit

GottaBook: The Cybils' Short Lists Announced (and I'm on one!) from @gregpincus http://ow.ly/sdVae #kidlit

ScholasticcdaRT @ScholasticCDA: We're thrilled to see some Scholastic books among the finalists for the 2013 @cybils awards! http://bit.ly/19MQ7vw pic.twitter.com/aDdjX7cbO5

Some fun #Cybils Statistics in advance of the short list announcements (tonight at midnight mountain time) http://ow.ly/sblQU #kidlit

Countdown! to the #Cybils shortlists (coming New Year's Day) from @aquafortis Finding Wonderland http://ow.ly/sa3oX @Cybils


Great resource: Rounding Up The Diverse Middle Grade Speculative Fiction Books of 2013 @charlotteslib http://ow.ly/se3fB #kidlit

Just in from @FuseEight - #kidlit for 2014 featuring Kids of Color: Things Are Looking Up http://ow.ly/s1BCb

Seeking Wonderful Young Adult Novels That Deal With Race @NPRBooks | They already have LATTE REBELLION by @aquafortis http://ow.ly/rY3l7

Growing Bookworms

Fun stuff! 12 Days of Christmas - A #Literacy Feast @readingtub Family Bookshelf http://ow.ly/s68QQ

Hooked on books: Author James Patterson wants kids to share his love of reading : Herald Student News http://ow.ly/rY5yH via @tashrow

Why Reading Sucks: Talking honestly with kids might make them more passionate readers @PernilleRipp @sljournal http://ow.ly/rY3Kr

Kidlit News (inc. National Ambassador Announcement)

NatAmbInterview with Kate DiCamillo, New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature by @100scopenotes @sljournal http://ow.ly/sdSXf

Kate DiCamillo Named New National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, 2014-2015 @CBCBook http://ow.ly/sdsDh "Stories connect us"

Don't miss the December Carnival for Children's Literature 2013 @MoloneyKing http://ow.ly/sa3wn #kidlit

See all of the 2013 Nerdies from @NerdyBookClub via this link: http://ow.ly/sfDoC | some #cybils overlap, different goals, all #kidlit

Rest in Peace, Ned Vizzini. The #yalit world is sorry to see you go. Nice piece @Vulture http://ow.ly/rY4Fd via @bkshelvesofdoom

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

RT @tashrow It Seems Weird How Cheap Amazon Kindles Are — Until You See This Crazy Stat – Business Insider http://buff.ly/1fmuJh6 #ebooks

Food for thought: Nancy Drew + the Case of the Politically Incorrect Children’s Books @TabletMag via @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/rVtGo


This, I like: Secret Parenting Tip: Get Your Kids To Leave You Alone for 10 Minutes from @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/sdUqV

Programs and Research

eScienceCommons: A novel look at how reading novels changes the brain (+ has a lasting effect) http://ow.ly/sa5di via @bkshelvesofdoom

Schools and Libraries

Why Is the Only Way Up to Go Out (of the classroom)? asks @thereadingzone http://ow.ly/sc3Fn

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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13. Growing Bookworms Newsletter: January 2

JRBPlogo-smallHappy New Year! Today I will be sending out the first 2014 issue of the Growing Bookworms email newsletter. (If you would like to subscribe, you can find a sign-up form here.) The Growing Bookworms newsletter contains content from my blog focused on children's and young adult books and raising readers. I usually send out the newsletter once every two weeks, but I skipped last week because of Christmas, so this issue has a bit of extra content. I'm also sharing my goals for 2014 in this post, so read on if you are interested. 

Cybils2013SmallNewsletter Update: In this issue I have seven book reviews, ranging from picture book through young adult. I also have a new literacy milestone post regarding my daughter, and a post with my reactions to the just-announced Cybils shortlists. I have two posts with links that I shared on Twitter recently. Not included in the newsletter this time around I published:

Reading Update: In the last three weeks I read one middle grade, three young adult, and two adult titles. I read:

For the entire year my total was 143 books read (not counting picture books): 42 early reader to middle grade, 54 young adult, and 47 adult titles. You can view the full list here. Seems like going for 50, 50, 50 for 2014 would be a good goal, doesn't it? One book a week in each of my 3 categories, with a couple of weeks of slack. I doubt it will work out quite that way, though. I read more adult books than usual in 2013 because I was sick a lot, and I hope that situation will not be repeated. 

I'm not making formal resolutions, but I do have 3 goals for 2014:

  1. Get more/better sleep
  2. Read more
  3. Exercise more

I have these goals for my daughter, too. Regarding #2, it's not that I want reading to be a contest, or that I'm really going to pay attention to exactly how many books either of us reads. It's more that when I'm deciding how to spend my time (and my daughter's time), and I have a choice, I'm going to try to steer us towards sleeping, reading, or getting exercise. This morning, for example, before starting work I spent 40 minutes reading on my Kindle while riding my exercise bike, thus working on 2 of my goals at the same time. 

I'm currently reading Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord (due out in late February) and Reality Boy by A.S. King. I'm hoping to get a post up tomorrow about the new books that my daughter received for Christmas, so I'll tell you more about what she's reading then.

I'm also keeping a promise that I made to a follower of my Facebook page, and attempting once again to track all of the books that I read aloud to my daughter in 2014. I've started with a typelist in the right-hand sidebar of my blog, but will transfer to a page of the blog later on. 

Wishing you all a happy and book-filled 2014! Thanks for reading, and for growing bookworms. 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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14. It’s Cybils Day!

The 2013 Cybils finalists have been announced. So many good books, I’m positively giddy. Enjoy!

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15. Happy New Year! The 2013 Cybils Finalists Are Here

Cybils2013SmallAs I promised yesterday, the 2013 Cybils shortlists have been announced, and they are fabulous. Cybils Editor-in-Chief Anne Levy says: 

"Happy Cybils New Year! Really, when all the confetti is swept up, the champagne bottles put in recycling, and your hangover nursed back to a semblance of sobriety, what else is there? Us, that's what!

We're back again with another list of books that kept our panelists riveted through the holiday season. We sifted through more than 1,300 books and apps this year. Phew! We have this down to a science by now, but even so, there have been a few changes." (Click through for more detail about the changes, and trends we've observed in this year's crop of finalists)

Some highlights for me: 

The Fiction Picture Books list includes 3 of my favorites: Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, Open this Little Book, and Sophie's Squash (links go to my reviews). Kinda glad I'm not on the Round 2 panel that has to select between those and several other well-regarded titles. But one day, I would like to be a Round 1 judge again in this category. So many wonderful books.

Penny and Her Marble on the Easy Readers shortlist (how have I not reviewed this one?). With, of course, an Elephant & Piggie title, and several others that I look forward to checking out with my daughter. I see this category becoming increasingly important for reading suggestions for my household in the next couple of years, along with the Early Chapter Books category. 

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library and The 14 Fibs of Gregory K on the Middle Grade Fiction shortlist. I'm extra-happy for Gregory K author Greg Pincus, who is a real-world friend. 

The Young Adult Speculative Fiction list is chock full of books that I've been wanting to read, and one that I did read and enjoy: Dark Triumph from the His Fair Assassin series. 

But really, all of the lists are amazing. Need recommendations for nonfiction? YA graphic novels? Poetry? Book apps? The Cybils organization has your back. But don't take my word for it. Click through and see. You won't be disappointed. Happy New Year and Happy Cybils Day! 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

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16. What Happens On New Year's Day? The Cybils Finalists Are Announced.

And this New Year's Day is no different. The 2013 Cybils finalists.

I read one of the YA finalists back in December, but haven't had a chance to respond to it here. That will be coming up soon.

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17. The Cybils Shortlists Are Nigh!

Cybils2013SmallTonight at midnight (Arizona time), the Cybils shortlists will be announced in all 11 categories (plus some sub-categories). Stay tuned at Cybils.com for the finalists. 

I truly believe that the Cybils shortlists are one of the finest resources that the Kidlitosphere has to offer. They are the result of > 50 round 1 bloggers (teachers, librarians, parents, authors, and more), who have read their way through more than 1300 nominated titles across the various categories. These tireless readers have winnowed each category down to a list of five to seven titles that believe are the most kid-friendly and well-written of the bunch. 

The Cybils shortlists are available by age range and genre (poetry, graphic novels, non-fiction, fiction, speculative fiction, book apps). Each list offers a wonderful starting place for anyone who is looking for great new books for a particular child. You can browse past shortlist by going to Cybils.com and following the links in the upper right-hand corner. For this year's lists, as I said, stay tuned. They are coming in just a few short hours. And they are fabulous! 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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18. Reflections on 8 Years of Blogging

JRBPlogo-smallToday marks the 8 year anniversary of the day that I started my blog. Here's what I said in my very first post:

"Hi! I'm Jen Robinson. Here are three things that you should know about me.

  1. I love stories, especially in book form, and most especially mysteries, thrillers, and children's books. To that end, I would like to offer support to the people who produce stories (writers and publishes), and offer ideas to the people who love stories.
  2. I strongly believe that all children should be given the opportunity to learn to love books and reading for pleasure. I'll be on the lookout for suggestions for parents to help raise children who read, inspirational success stories, and literacy news and resources.
  3. I think that many adults could benefit from reading children's books, too. I think that if more adults read children's books they would a) find them enjoyable, b) help to support the children's book industry (thus bolstering item 1 above), and c) offer tremendous validation to children (thus supporting item 2 above).

I'm saddened by the declining rate of reading for pleasure in the our adult population in the U.S. I'm even more saddened when I hear of children growing up illiterate, or literate, but too busy to take time to read. I've started this blog as a tiny step to do something about that. Thanks for reading! More to follow..."

And more has followed. This is post #2697 at Jen Robinson's Book Page. Typepad says that I have >800,000 page views and >10,000 comments (including my own responses to other people's comments). I now have my own snazzy logo, designed by the talented Sarah Stevenson.

Cybils2013SmallI'm involved with the Cybils, Kidlitosphere Central, KidLitCon, and the Children's Book Review Wiki. I've participated in dozens of Carnivals of Children's Literature. Pretty good, for someone who's not much of a joiner. I've participated in these things because in the Kidlitosphere, I've found my people, and I love interacting with them. The community of children's and young adult book bloggers has become something of an extended family for me, and this makes me very happy. 

I'm still reviewing children's and young adult books, and sharing literacy news and tips. In many ways, my blog hasn't changed much over the years. I think the two biggest changes are:

  1. LiteracyMilestoneANow that I have a child, my literacy tips and musings, as well as some of my reviews, include a more personal component. I've been sharing my daughter's literacy milestone, for example, and the books that she loves (even when I don't love them myself). This may make the blog a bit less "professional" (if it ever was), but I think it adds something, too. 
  2. When I run across blog posts or news articles about literacy, I no longer post about them directly on my blog. These days I share those things out on Twitter (and, to a lesser extent, Facebook) right away. Then I round up the links once a week in a single blog post, without any commentary. I'm not sure whether this is a good change. I don't discuss these stories as much as I would like these days. On the other hand, I'm able to share more of them, and with a broader audience. So there are pros and cons. But really, it doesn't matter whether it's good or not, because this is what I can manage right now. And if there's one thing I've learned in 8 years of blogging, it's that you have to do what you can, and not let the things that you can't do stress you out. 

As I said in my first post, I am a person who loves books, and who believes strongly that kids should have the chance to love them, too. But I'm also a person who chose to go into engineering and start a software firm (from which I make my living). Even though I chose a different career path, this blog allows me to do something constructive with my love for books and literacy. For that, I am very grateful. And I expect that I'll be here blogging for a long time. Whether you've been with me for the whole 8 years, or are just popping in today for the first time, or anywhere in between, thanks so much for reading. 

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook. This site is an Amazon affiliate. 

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19. One Of The Reasons I Like Cybil

Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach was the 2011 Cybil winner for YA fiction. It illustrates one of the reasons I like the Cybils. Stupid Fast is not a a paranormal romance or fantasy or part of a dystopian or apocalyptic trilogy, all of which attract big sales. Nor is it a heart-warming overcoming-adversity-in-a-small-town-filled- with-eccentric-characters-story, which attract awards. It has the overcoming adversity thing but with an edge, maybe even a desperate edge. Books like Stupid Fast don't fit into the standard marketing molds used right now.

Neither does the Cybils. It is made for books like Stupid Fast. The book was well reviewed, but I would never have heard of it without its Cybils win. What's more, it has two sequels that I only heard about a couple of hours ago when I started preparing this post.

Felton Reinstein is limping through adolescence when he suddenly starts to grow. And that growth spurt makes him fast. It's a life-changing event because his speed makes him desirable to the coaches at school as well as to the student athletes who had never been part of his world before. Felton is evolving. He is in transition. He's in a liminal state, as the anthropologists might say, he is most definitely in some state that is neither one thing or another, neither child nor man.

This makes Stupid Fast so a YA book. I say that because it's not unusual for me to read a YA book that is perfectly decent as a story, entertaining, but what about it is YA? You definitely know why Stupid Fast is YA.

Now, while Felton is doing his transitional thing, he is living with a parent who is descending into mental illness and a brother who is in need of help in dealing with her. It's as if he's living two different, simultaneous lives, one in which he is becoming more and more desperate, and another in which he is becoming more and more competent and part of the world outside his home. Something similar happened in Alice Bliss where Alice was dealing with her father's deployment while continuing to grow up, because that's what adolescents do. Adolescents have to grow and change. They can't help themselves. It's the nature of the beasts.

I think someone could argue that Stupid Fast's ending is a little too much of a turn around. A deus ex machina type character shows up to make everything right, and things work out really well for Felton. But this adult reader also felt that Felton could have his good moment because things weren't going to stay that way for him. If I ever get around to reading the sequels, I suspect I'll find out that I'm right.

While reading Stupid Fast I kept wondering about YA problem novels versus the adult equivalent. Stupid Fast probably could be described as a problem novel. When adult novels deal with characters with problems, what are they? Are they ever referred to as problem novels or as something else?

1 Comments on One Of The Reasons I Like Cybil, last added: 10/6/2013
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20. 2013 Cybils Awards: Suggested Nominations

There are only about five more days to nominate for the Cybils Awards, and while there are some great books nominated, I'm surprised at some of the books released in the last year that haven't been nominated yet. If you haven't nominated yet, here are some suggestions for books that you might want to nominated in the Young Adult Speculative Fiction category. I don't have the patience to compile a comprehensive list like Charlotte's Library's amazing lists for Elementary/Middle-Grade Speculative Fiction, (here and here) so these are just some books that I'd like to see nominated. Some of them I've read, but most I haven't read yet, but would like to. Don't forget that the deadline to nominate is October 15 at 11:59pm (Pacific). More information on how to nominate is on the Cybils blog, and please do read the eligibility rules and category descriptions!

Suggested Nominations

MacHale, D J 
Rebel Heart ( Dust Lands Trilogy #2 ) 
Young, Moira

Raven Flight ( Shadowfell #2 )
Marillier, Juliet
Obsidian Mirror ( Obsidian Mirror - Trilogy )
Fisher, Catherine
Fire & Ash ( Rot & Ruin #4 )
Maberry, Jonathan
The Shade of the Moon ( Life as We Knew It )
Pfeffer, Susan Beth
Stohl, Margaret
Shadow on the Sun 
Gill, David Macinnis
The Madman's Daughter
Shepherd, Megan
The Final Descent ( Monstrumologist #4 )
Yancey, Rick
The Watcher in the Shadows 
Ruiz Zafon, Carlos

For more YA Speculative Fiction suggestions, see Finding Wonderland and Miss Print

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21. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: October 11

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. There are a large number of Cybils links (because Cybils nominations end early next week), so I have moved those to the end of the post.

Book Lists

Our Favorite Picture Books about Monsters, Vampires, Mummies, Ghosts, Carrots, and Pigs for Halloween | @thepbreview http://ow.ly/pK1hg

A Tuesday Ten: Man’s Best Friend | SFF stories with dogs front and center from Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/pHJEh

A few Rainy Day Reads from @NoVALibraryMom http://ow.ly/pHHMr |I'd add The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool.

Book list: Bewitching Tales | Great Books for Halloween | @sljournal http://ow.ly/pHuNN #kidlit

The Ultimate List: Our 100 best children's books | @Booktrust http://ow.ly/pERQe via @medinger #kidlit

Book list: Great Beginnings | Books for Emergent Readers | @sljournal http://ow.ly/pCEpv #kidlit

Stacked: Horror Reboots: A Look at New, Revived, and Repackaged Scary Books @catagator http://ow.ly/pCyMb #yalit

Book list: So You Want to Read Middle Grade: Bobbie Pyron @greenbeanblog http://ow.ly/pCyek #kidlit

And Now . . . Introducing the WORST #kidlit Parents of 2013! — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/pAhBD

20 Gentle Chapter Books for a Young Girl (advanced reader for her age) suggested by @PragmaticMom http://ow.ly/pAhvj #kidlit

Book list: 11 Picture Books for Kids Who Like to Tinker and Invent from @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/pAg4Z #kidlit #stem

Ten Picture Books to Help Build Community by Dawn Little | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/pygsf #kidlit

Growing Bookworms

Neat post with "Read Every Day. Lead a Better Life." Videos + Posters @MrSchuReads http://ow.ly/pERpj @scholastic

Great ideas from #Literacy Lalapalooza 12 - Plenty of Ideas for Fall • @readingtub http://ow.ly/pCxRx

The Key To Smarter Kids: Talking To Them The Right Way « @AnnieMurphyPaul http://ow.ly/pyfp5 via @ReadingRockets


KidlitCon2013Tidbits on why you should go to #KidLitCon included in 5 & Dime Friday at Finding Wonderland http://ow.ly/pJZ9p

3 ways to contribute to our online kidlit community, the #KidLitosphere, from @MotherReader http://ow.ly/pHIao #cybils

KidLitRadioLogoToday I learned via @aquafortis that our own @leewind is producer for #KidLit Radio with @LisaLoeb | http://ow.ly/pHInB

Stacked: Kid Lit Con 2013: Join Us! http://ow.ly/pyhqb @catagator #kidlitcon


28_days_later28 Days Later, 2014, Call for Submissions from The Brown Bookshelf |http://ow.ly/pAf0u #kidlit #BlackHistoryMonth

Fabulous!! 10 Awesome Secret Passage Bookshelves @bookriot http://ow.ly/pyheG via @tashrow

Strong stuff from @EllenHopkinsYA | On Finding My Missing Grandchildren (Part One) http://ow.ly/pEPto

Delightful! 23 Signs You Are The Ron Weasley Of Your Friend Group http://ow.ly/pHLql via @PWKidsBookshelf

On Reading and Writing

Interesting concept: Developing Your Reading Voice by Adam Lehrhaupt @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/pAhdK #GrowingBookworms

An Adult YA Addict Comes Clean -- @Vulture from New York Mag http://ow.ly/pCXk5 via @PWKidsBookshelf #yalit

Interesting ideas: Articles and Studies I'd Love to Read About YA Lit from @catagator @bookriot http://ow.ly/pJYB1 | I like #3

Books Saved Me Growing Up—And Now My Books Help To Save Others by @CherylRainfield @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/pCyn0 #yalit

8-year-old flags 'sexist' children's books; bookstore takes notice @today http://ow.ly/pCXyF via @PWKidsBookshelf

Horror in YA Lit is a Staple, Not a Trend | @catagator in @sljournal http://ow.ly/pCEy3 #yalit


Jeff Bezos likes print, and thinks readers will pay for a bundle of news — but is he wrong? @gigaom http://ow.ly/pCoDh via @cmirabile

Self-Publishing Is Growing Up - Zach Schonfeld - @TheAtlanticWire http://ow.ly/pCpxc via @cmirabile

How Did Newspapers Blow It? Not Enough Engineers, NYT Publisher Says | @Xconomy http://ow.ly/pCoZH via @cmirabile

Programs and Research

Study finds U.S. adults lag behind in job skills « @NCFLiteracy on implications for our kids http://ow.ly/pHIWQ

Link to Libraries Program Matches Schools with Local Business Sponsors | @sljournal http://ow.ly/pHumE #literacy

‘Magic Tree House’ Author @MaryPopeOsborne to Launch Reading Buddies Week tomorrow | @sljournal @randomhousekids http://ow.ly/pHuzJ

Schools and Libraries

Going to a @Scholastic Book Fair? Download the free Book Fairs App to help find the right book for your child. http://bit.ly/GOX5o5

Thought-provoking: Time Management Tuesday: Wish I'd Learned Self-Control In Kindergarten from @gail_gauthier http://ow.ly/pCwTS


#Cybils 2013 Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books | nomination suggestions from Semicolon http://ow.ly/pygq3 #kidlit

The #kidlit SFF books reviewed by @sljournal that aren't in the Kirkus list I made for #cybils ideas http://ow.ly/pygms  @charlotteslib

Wendie's Wanderings: Time to nominate your favorite books for the #CYBILS Awards http://ow.ly/pAfHd  #kidlit

Some MG SFF books I'm surprised haven't been nominated yet for the #Cybils, with commentary from @charlotteslib http://ow.ly/pHNlX

"With the Cybils there's a chance that books that might not be getting much attention will get some" @gail_gauthier http://ow.ly/pHKa0

Randomly Reading: #CYBILS Nomination Countdown http://ow.ly/pK0Xd

Wands and Worlds: 2013 #Cybils Awards: Suggested Nominations from @SheilaRuth http://ow.ly/pHJPO #yalit #kidlit

Nominations for #Cybils 2013 Middle Grade Fiction | from @semicolonblog http://ow.ly/pHJJ1  #kidlit

RT @miss_print: There are still lots of books that need #Cybils nomination ? I have a few suggestions http://wp.me/p6kfM-2zy @cybils

On the #Cybils blog: More suggestions for books you've forgotten you read! http://ow.ly/pHJdG  #kidlit #yalit

Nomination ideas for #Cybils 2013 Middle Grade Speculative Fiction |@semicolonblog http://ow.ly/pCyUE  #kidlit

Finding Wonderland: "Hasn't _____ Been Nominated YET?" A #Cybils Post by Tanita Davis http://ow.ly/pCyrC #kidlit

#CYBILS Nominations: Only a Week Left! Some nomination suggestions from @brandymuses http://ow.ly/pCxM3  #kidlit

#Cybils Nominations! — @lizb A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy http://ow.ly/pAhIM  #kidlit

#Cybils Nomination Ideas for Elementary / Middle Grade #Nonfiction from @readingtub http://ow.ly/pAhOj  #kidlit

Original Content: One Of The Reasons I Like #Cybils by @gail_gauthier http://ow.ly/pygTM #yalit

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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22. Time is Running Out: Kidlitosphere Edition

Cybils2013SmallThere are two important deadlines in the Kidlitosphere today. First of all, nominations for the 2013 Cybils close tonight, October 15th, at midnight PST. This is your last chance to give props to the well-written children's and young adult titles that you think will most appeal to kids. Don't know what to nominate? Bloggers from all around the Kidlitosphere have been publishing lists of titles that they would like to see nominated. Start here and here for links. Many thanks to everyone who has nominated, suggested titles, and/or generally spread the word about the Cybils this year!

KidlitCon2013Second of all, today is the deadline to obtain our group discount for the KidLitCon hotel (the Sheraton in downtown Austin). You can still register for the conference until October 24th, but you may find it harder to find a hotel nearby. MotherReader (who negotiated our hotel discount) adds:

"Yes, other hotels around will be cheaper but this one is about .5 miles from the conference site, and is between the conference and dinner location. It looks lovely and has a lounge where we can hang out! I'm sorry, I mean where we WILL hang out." 

I have to tell you that one of my very favorite parts of KidLitCon is sitting around a hotel lobby or lounge late into the evening, with a glass of wine in hand, talking with my peeps about all things books (and life). If you'd like to join us, today is the day to sign up, and lock in the discounted hotel rate. Contact me if you need more details. 

We've also finalized some details about the conference, and the Friday pre-conference event. See the beautiful flyer below for details (with thanks to Tanita Davis and Sarah Stevenson). 


In case you're having trouble viewing images, here is some of the key information in text form:

Join keynote speaker Cynthia Leitich Smith, readers, bloggers and friends at the 2013 Kidlit Con at Austin. Kickoff meetup will be held Nov. 8 at the UT-Austin iSchool Campus, Tocker Lounge 1-4 p.m. The main conference will be held November 9, with coffee starting at 9:15, and the keynote at 10 a.m. Rekindling Your Love of Blogging. Panels and discussion, catered luncheon. Round out the day with a buy-your-own group meal at Scholz Beer Garten in downtown Austin. Conference Fee: $65. Registration deadline: October 24. See Kidlitosphere Central for more information. Register here.

So, get your Cybils nominations in, and book your hotel room for KidLitCon today. And don't delay registering for KidLitCon, because that deadline is approaching soon, too. I hope to see you there. 

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23. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: October 18

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Note that I'm not including various links to suggested Cybils nominations, since the public nominating period for the Cybils ended October 15th.

Book Lists and Awards

New Beyond the Bestsellers series @bookriot from @catagator | Post 1: So You've Read DIVERGENT http://ow.ly/pOkbK #yalit

And now, the 2013 National Book Award SHORTlists..., reported by @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/pUOmj #yalit

A Tuesday Ten: Post Apocalyptic Middle Grade Science Fiction | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/pT7CC #kidlit

Tricks and Treats - 3 Halloween Books Full of Spooky Fun! from @SproutsBkshelf http://ow.ly/pQTwC #kidlit

Latest So You Want to Read Middle Grade installment from Mike Jung @greenbeanblog http://ow.ly/pQSpe #kidlit

8 Books for 8 Year Old Boys (and Girls), favorites of @momandkiddo 's son http://ow.ly/pO9r0 #kidlit


Cybils2013SmallRegular #Cybils Nominations are now closed, but we are accepting publisher + author submissions thru 10/25: http://ow.ly/pT5fw #kidlit

#Cybils nominations close tonight, and a shout-out for Armchair Cybils 2013 from @charlotteslib http://ow.ly/pR5uh #kidlit

Growing Bookworms

Reading out loud to kids is "the single most important thing that anybody can do with a child" http://ow.ly/pOjhT LubbockOL via @tashrow

Helping Young Children Love Chapter Books: Read Aloud Tips from Amy at Sunlit Pages, a guest post @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/pUUHK

Leveled Early Readers: Valuable Tool or Marketing Ploy? asks @delightchildbks http://ow.ly/pSVDK #literacy #kidlit

UK Children's Laureate Malorie Blackman: 'Children should be encouraged to read ebooks' @TelegraphNews http://ow.ly/pOj0a via @tashrow

Specialists agree reading to children is necessary for development @TimesDaily http://ow.ly/pOiHD via @tashrow #GrowingBookworms


Re-Sendakify Sendak Project: The Results (fun stuff!) — @fuseeight @TheNiblings4 http://ow.ly/pQSWl #kidlit

At Finding Wonderland: #KIDLITCON: Where Everybody Knows Your Name (Or, the name of your blog) http://ow.ly/pT4k2

KidlitCon2013RT @JenBigheart: TEXAS: KidLitCon is heading our way next month! https://www.facebook.com/LiteraryLonestars?ref=hl …

Additional details about the KidLitosphere Conference, including precon event on 11/8, now up: http://ow.ly/pOK2t #kidlitcon

Just announced. Friday evening social event during #kidlitcon, Nov. 8th, at 5 pm at El Mercado, Austin. Details here: http://ow.ly/pTc4J

On Reading and Writing

ReadItForwardOn Facebook I shared the image to the left, via Read It Forward. I am happy to be in the 5%. 

The first online issue of Middle Shelf: Cool Reads for Kids Fall 2013 by @shelfmagazine is now available http://ow.ly/pOJ0w #kidlit

RT @tashrow More gadgets, more reading: Survey suggests e-reader and tablet owners read more books – http://buff.ly/15RTgtY #ebooks

I quite like this @HealthyLiving post on 7 Unconventional Reasons Why You Absolutely Should Be Reading Books http://ow.ly/pO8gT

Oyster’s “All You Can Read” ebook Service Now Available For iPad & Invite No Longer Required to Register | @sljournal http://ow.ly/pVmDR 

Programs and Research

FirstBook.jpgRT @FirstBook: Want quality books for your kids, but have no budget? You can now start your own Virtual Book Drive! http://bit.ly/19M2KV9 

Must read post from @GatheringBooks | Does the Accelerated Reader Program help develop Lifelong Readers? | http://ow.ly/pO73Q

Oh to be an avid 5th grade reader in Donalyn Miller's Review Club @NerdyBookClub @donalynbooks http://ow.ly/pT6Cs

Brought by Bagels. . .Bound by Books, a simple book club idea that works, from @PaulWHankins @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/pOa61

UK National @LiteracyTrust partners with @McDonalds to provide "reading tips" | The Bookseller http://ow.ly/pT0v6 via @playbythebook

McBooks Make Happy Meals Happier! — Annoyed Librarian @LibraryJournal is NOT a fan http://ow.ly/pQQJl #literacy

Schools and Libraries

RT @ReadingRockets: Diagrams, maps, tables & timelines: helping kids learn from graphics http://ow.ly/pUNZi  #elemchat #STEM

Stacked: Observations Upon Weeding: What My Teens Aren't Reading from @catagator http://ow.ly/pUWpx #yalit

Stacked: Baby Got Backlist and Don't Ever Forget It, on reader's advisory including older titles by @catagator http://ow.ly/pQTqs

True! Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming by @neilhimself | @guardianbooks http://ow.ly/pR0KP via @PragmaticMom

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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24. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: November 15

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter for the past week or so @JensBookPage. Please note that I'm not including my various Tweets from last weekend's KidLitCon (you can find those under the hashtag #KidLitCon13). I'm also not including links to the other KidLitCon recap posts, because I have been rounding those up here. There are still plenty of links to share!

Book Lists

Stacked: Contemporary YA Books Featuring Humor http://ow.ly/qNs27 @catagator #yalit

Moxie and the Art of Rule Breaking by Erin Dionne, with list of other "art theft" #kidlit books | @semicolonblog http://ow.ly/qNv47

Best Audiobooks: 20 Must-Have Titles for Tweens and Teens (includes nonfiction) | @sljournal http://ow.ly/qPMBh #kidlit

It's time again for agreat resource: @Susan_Thomsen Best Kids' Books 2013: A List of Lists and Awards http://ow.ly/qNrVR #kidlit

Fun! A Tuesday Ten: Little Folk (miniature book in #kidlit) | Views From the Tesseract http://ow.ly/qNvAk

PW's Best Children's Books of 2013 http://ow.ly/qIgkV via @100scopenotes #kidlit @PublishersWkly

Stacked: Contemporary #YAlit Books Featuring Mental Illness from @catagator http://ow.ly/qIf7E

Reading with Kids - Let's Make Some Noise • Favorite books featuring sounds from @readingtub http://ow.ly/qIeVU #kidlit

So You Want to Read Middle Grade, Strong Girls Edition by @CStarrRose @greenbeanblog http://ow.ly/qvW6P #kidlit

What To Read Next after Percy Jackson « Fat Girl, Reading http://ow.ly/quaZi #kidlit via @catagator

Book Awards/Cybils

CBW-coast-FINALGet young readers ready! Voting for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards will open March 25: http://bit.ly/17U9Mey ! @cbcbook #ECAR

Great poem from @carwilc on the madness and joy that is life as a round 1 #cybils judge http://ow.ly/qPJzM

A Year of Reading: #CYBILS: Picture Book Biographies by @frankisibberson http://ow.ly/qKgDF #kidlit


Huge list of SLJ Resources for Diversity in Kid and YA Lit | @sljournal via @tashrow http://ow.ly/qIg1G

Literary Agents Discuss the Diversity Gap in Publishing « the open book http://ow.ly/qIiUC via Wendie Old

DiverseComing this weekend--A More Diverse Universe, with a list of the books I hope to read http://ow.ly/qNuLJ from @charlotteslib #kidlit

Growing Bookworms

Nice guest post by Jake Ball on Reading with Dad | @wendy_lawrence http://ow.ly/qNtPE #literacy

RT @ShareaStory 12 Ways to Help Your Kids Break Free From Electronics and Get Outside http://buff.ly/1eJk96E via My Kids' Adventures

This is awesome! A Bookish Advent Calendar (25 xmas picture books) from @delightchildbks http://ow.ly/qPW7i

That's a lot of turkeys! 60+ turkey themed activities, crafts, + books for kids from @bookblogmomma http://ow.ly/qKC6y

Top Ten Go-To Authors for Reluctant Readers by Brooks Spencer @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/qIjDp #kidlit

Excellent post by @katsok on how she is Raising Readers at home and school http://ow.ly/qIjkV #literacy

Advice on Helping Reluctant Readers from @ReadingWithBean http://ow.ly/qIivY #literacy

Good stuff, and includes a great book list! Reading to the Bump: Tips & Books for Expecting Parents @rebeccazdunn http://ow.ly/qvZvf

Advice on how to use the pictures when reading picture books aloud, from @readingwithbean http://ow.ly/quaiu #literacy

Movies and Entertainment

I find this kind of creepy: Lionsgate Pursuing 'Hunger Games' Theme Park Opportunities - TheWrap @BrentALang http://ow.ly/qKYP7

ThebookthiefposterI believe that Jennifer @5M4B has convinced me to see #TheBookThief Movie with this review: http://ow.ly/qPTaY @BookThiefMovie

Interesting! Promoting 'The Book Thief' with Help from Little Free Library, report from @PublishersWkly http://ow.ly/qKYBZ

On Reading and Writing

Must-read from @charlotteslib | Consternated about gender and #kidlit with reference to two sessions at AASL meeting http://ow.ly/qPYcF

Powerful! Sometimes The 'Tough Teen' Is Quietly Writing Stories : Matt de la Pena @NPRBooks http://ow.ly/qKZ7n via @PWKidsBookshelf

Top tips for a scary story by @JonathanAStroud @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/qKgXq #yalit #kidlit

'Stephen King Saved My Life' says @robinwasserman in @TheAtlantic essay http://ow.ly/qKeHx via @bkshelvesofdoom

Reading and Writing Feed One Another: 8 Key Illustrations from @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/qIltZ #literacy

Must-read at Stacked: A Closer Look at The New York Times YA Bestsellers List, Part 2 by @catagator http://ow.ly/qvZdO

Well done piece | Who Buys (And Who Reads) Teen Novels, by Elizabeth Wein | @WriteTeenNovels http://ow.ly/qubhI via @catagator


Refreshing words of sanity from @MotherReader in response to "pinkwashing" controversy and right book at right time http://ow.ly/qPTH9

I liked this post @SensibleMoms on how Ellen handles her child reading more mature book content http://ow.ly/qNqk0 via @bkshelvesofdoom

I like this article from Kara Corridan in Parents Magazine on how more worry doesn't equal more parental love http://ow.ly/qNujr

Common-sense guidelines: Much ado about media | Sound It Out by Joanne Meier | @readingrockets http://ow.ly/qyNEk

Programs, Research and Events

Authors and Illustrators for the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan, and online auction via @TarieS http://ow.ly/qNssu

NNRW_main-with-dateI learned via @cjfriess that it's National Nursery Rhyme Week - what will you be reading? http://ow.ly/qIh4d #kidlit

Early Warning (on importance of reading by end of grade 3) Confirmed | Annie E Casy Fdn via @tashrow http://ow.ly/qyOXO #literacy

Let's Celebrate with Picture Books! urges @bookchook for #PictureBookMonth http://ow.ly/quaKc #kidlit

Sigh! New Study Finds Language Gap Between Rich and Poor Children Begins Earlier Than Previously Thought | @CBCBook http://ow.ly/qpA8G

Schools and Libraries

Reading in the Wild by @donalynbooks | Ideas for Your Library from @abbylibrarian http://ow.ly/qKeUZ #literacy

Reading teachers take note! Reading in the Wild by @donalynbooks – Reviewed by @katsok @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/qIlDX

How are books judged? @postlocal rips apart Accelerated Reader as applied to #CommonCore titles http://ow.ly/qyOJR via @100scopenotes

Uncommonly Good Books (and more!), resources for Common Core Instruction | Hi Miss Julie! http://ow.ly/qphZV #literacy

Social Media and Communication

Very useful article, I thought: How to Get Busy People to Take Action When You Send an Email @msuster http://ow.ly/qI08O via @cmirabile

Thoughts from @bonnyglen on why she likes the Facebook "Like" button (and Twitter Favorite) http://ow.ly/qNvqS

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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25. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: December 6

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. As we near the end of the year, there are lots and lots of lists! Also several posts with book and literacy-themed gift ideas. Of course any of the book lists could be a fertile source for gift ideas, too. (And don't miss MotherReader's 150 Ways to Give a Book, updated for 2013.)

Book Lists and Awards

The 2013 @HornBook Fanfare list is here, #picturebooks, fiction, and nonfiction http://ow.ly/rsgkK via @tashrow #kidlit

The finalists for the 2014 William C. Morris Award... in #yalit, from @bkshelvesofdoom http://ow.ly/rsbw5

Favourite reads of 2013 as chosen by 25 (children’s) authors and illustrators (and @playbythebook ) http://ow.ly/rqn64 #kidlit

The Stacked #yalit genre of the month is Humor http://ow.ly/rqigr

Two thumbs up for the ALSC Tween Book List from Stacy Dillon. I like it too, and I love tween books http://ow.ly/rqgqe #kidlit

The #kidlit + #yalit Categories for the 2013 GoodReads Choice Awards, reported by @tashrow http://ow.ly/rqh4t

Children's Literature at the SSHE Library: Winter Wonderland: Books About Snow and Cold http://ow.ly/rnp5b #kidlit

A varied list: Best Teen Books of 2013 from @KirkusReviews http://ow.ly/rnnSI via @bkshelvesofdoom #yalit

20 Magical Children's Christmas Books To Read Aloud from @buzzfeed http://ow.ly/ruY0K via @PWKidsBookshelf #kidlit

Top Ten Hanukkah Picture Books for Elementary Classroom Read-Alouds | Raising Great Readers with Great Books http://ow.ly/rl0RH

Our 2nd Nerdversary and The 2013 Nerdy Award Finalists | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/rl0kf

Gift Ideas

Cybils2013SmallBetter late than never! Shop #Cybils for Black Friday (or CyberMonday, or anytime) http://ow.ly/rl1br

Looking for unique gifts? “Lunch Lady” Author @StudioJJK Hosts Scholarship Auction for Art Education | @sljournal http://ow.ly/ruQnT

Another #YAlit subscription service, this one from @soho_press + why @bkshelvesofdoom loves subscriptions! http://ow.ly/rqfrA

Why You Should Give a Book and Help Raise a Reader, from @SheilaRuth with links to book ideas like @MotherReader http://ow.ly/rqf94

Fun stuff! Top 10 #Literacy Stocking Stuffers for Kids from @growingbbb http://ow.ly/rl0XV

Growing Bookworms

Great idea from @LiteracyLaunch | Have kids help hunt for books by call no. at the library http://ow.ly/ruV1w

YES! Mo Willems @The_Pigeon on how parents can create readers: "Just make it fun" http://ow.ly/ruXb0 @OnParenting via @PWKidsBookshelf

#Literacy Ideas + Book Recommendations for the Christmas Season from @ReadingTub http://ow.ly/rqhbN

Expanding Our Ideas About What it Mean to Be a Reader (with audiobooks) | @clareandtammy @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/rffTm

I could relate to @StaceyLoscalzo's daughter asking for "Books With a Story, Please"http://ow.ly/ruWgM #literacy


Carnival_logo#Kidlit fans, check out the November Carnival of Children’s Literature Roundup | Lindsey McDivitt http://ow.ly/rkZjv

On Reading and Writing

Happily Ever After? — @lizb muses on #yalit romance and whether readers require a happy ending http://ow.ly/rnoFT

Wherefore Art Thou Fly Guy Read Alikes? asks @100scopenotes (early readers w/ attention-grabbing characters) http://ow.ly/ruWzw #kidlit

Programs, Events, and Research

JK Rowling + Henry Winkler among top 10 #literacy heroes named by charity http://ow.ly/ruXw7 @BBCNews via @PWKidsBookshelf

BookstoreDayTake Your Child to a Bookstore Day Returns December 7th http://ow.ly/rdq6z via @PublishersWkly

Guys Lit Wire: Spread Some Holiday Good Cheer With Ballou High School & Pledge To Read 5 Books With the Students http://ow.ly/rffHF

NationalLatino-500x329Timely! The 2014 National Latino Children’s Literature Conference is coming reports @fuseeight http://ow.ly/ruWoN #kidlit

Schools and Libraries

Questions Matter! Helping Children (& Teachers) to Ask Good Ones by @TrevorHCairney http://ow.ly/rsbje #literacy

For those looking to hold great storytines, @lochwouters links to a Storytime Brain Trust http://ow.ly/rsa5t #literacy #libraries

Does your library offer a Winter Reading Club for kids? @abbylibrarian describes hers at @alscblog http://ow.ly/rs8Do

A great idea for building family #literacy: Bedtime Reading at School by Jenny Orr @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/rqhWr

author, author! | Advice from @himissjulie on arranging author visits at libraries http://ow.ly/rqg3U

Sad. Thoughts from @himissjulie on being suspect as a childless woman who works with kids in a professional capacity http://ow.ly/rl0xu

On sharing your reading life with students, to get them hooked on reading | @DebKrygeris@KirbyLarson http://ow.ly/ruVUq

© 2013 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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