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Nominations are now being accepted for the third annual Cybils Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards so pop over to www.Cybils.com and nominate your favourite book of 2008 in each of nine categories from picture books up to young adult fiction.
Nominations close on October 15 2008 so do it today, since, as Horrid Henry says, later often happily turns to never…
This year, I have the honour of joining the following fabulous KidLit Bloggers on the Non-Fiction Picture Books committees :
First Round Judges:
David Judge of Adventures at Wilder Farm
Tricia Stohr-Hunt of The Miss Rumphius Effect
Becky Bilby of In the Pages
Debbie Nance of Readerbuzz
Jone MacCulloch of Check It Out
Fiona Bayrock of Books and ‘Rocks
Candice Ransom of Ellsworth’s Journal
Andrea Beaty of Three Silly Chicks
Andrea Ross of Just One More Book!
Emily Mitchell of Emily Reads
so be sure to nominate some great non-fiction and make our job a tough one!
Cybils nominations open tomorrow, October 1st. How can you participate? Jen Robinson, Literacy Evangalist for the 2008 Cybils award, has several ideas.
This year, awards will be given in nine categories (Easy Readers, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Novels, Non-Fiction Middle Grade/Young Adult Books, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, Young Adult Novels). Anyone can nominate books in these categories (one nomination per person per category). Nominated titles must be published between January 1st and October 15th of this year, and the books must be in English (or bilingual, where one of the languages is English). To nominate titles, visit the Cybils blog between October 1st and 15th. A separate post will be available for each category - simply nominate by commenting on those individual posts. If you are not sure which category to choose for a particular book, a questions thread will also be available. The Cybils were founded by Anne Boles Levy and Kelly Herold. This year's winners will be announced on February 14th, 2009.
First, the Jack & Jill poem. This is one of those strange blog serendipities that I love. A few months ago, I wrote a post in which I was lamenting my tendency to complicate everything I write. As I said recently, "Give me a ball of yarn and I will tangle it." Well, in that post I said this:
I could take Jack and Jill and turn it into an epic with interweaving storylines, and then decide I need to learn ancient Greek in order to do it justice, and that it needs to be told alternately from the perspective of the hill and the pail. In five volumes. You know. I just can't help it.
And yesterday I got an email from someone who took that as a challenge, and wrote a poem (luckily not in ancient Greek), and now it is published at Strange Horizons. It's the darkest, creepiest retelling of Jack & Jill imaginable -- how cool is that? You never know when you throw something out on the internet what will happen. So, cool! Thanks for the heads up, Mary!
Now, Banned Books Week. This event, started by the American Library Association in 1982, is a celebration of our precious freedom of expression, and a nose-thumbing to all the Sarah Palins of the world who would like to control what we put into our minds. How to celebrate it? Flaunt your freedom: read a banned or challenged book! (Sheesh, they're still trying to ban The Chocolate War??? That book was published when I was two years old. Get over it, already! Forget that: Huckleberry Finn! The unfathomable depth of ignorance it takes to try to ban this important and perfect book. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in those people's heads.) Also, according to Maureen Johnson, book banners will eat your hamster!
And now, the CYBILS! That is: the Children's & Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards! If you haven't heard of them, basically these are book awards in 9 categories, and they were started because of a perceived need to fill the gap between the Newbery Award (which goes for books with high literary merit, though not necessarily the most child-beloved) and the Quills (pure popularity). This is the 3rd year and I volunteered and was selected as a panelist in the Fantasy & Sci-Fi category (yippee!) which means: I will be reading a lot of books in the next few months. I read a lot of books anyway, but now for the forseeable future they will be sci-fi and fantasy which, well, to be honest, they mostly are anyway. (Though I just finished this at breakfast and it was a great read. I love stories of naturalists in the Amazon, and this one has mystery and murder and lots of sweating and Englishmen wearing inappropriate clothing in the jungle!)
So here's the cool thing about the Cybils: YOU nominate the books. You can nominate one in each category, and we panelists will read them and select a short list to hand on to the judges, who will then select the winners. So, come on over to the blog to nominate your favorite books of the year, between October 1 and October 15. Jen Robinson has more details on nominating HERE. Please help spread the word to teachers, librarians, and young readers to get their favorite books nominated and be part of the process. (And please, for my sake, only select really good sci-fi and fantasy!!!)
One last things: Pushing Daisies starts tomorrow night! Get some pie to eat while you watch it!
(Did you know there's been a mobile Pie Hole traveling around the country serving free pie? Why the heck didn't it come here??)
About a year ago, I found out (to my great excitement) that I was going to be on the nominating committee of the Cybils Awards in the YA category (it got even more exciting as it became clear that we would have well over 100 books to read).
One of the first that I read was Red Glass, by Laura Resau (here's my review). Many of the books nominated were generously sent to us by their publishers, but for whatever reason, we didn't get our own copies of this one. So I read my library's copy three times.
But now I might win a Signed Copy! Yes, a signed copy is being given away at the blog of Yat-Yee Chong, as a follow-up to her great interview with Laura Resau.
nb: the deadline has been extended till October 8.
And speaking of the Cybils, nominations will be opening in October...anyone is welcome to enter their favorite books in a variety of categories!
I'm quite excited to be judging the Cybils, once again, as one of the poetry judges. I can tell that the first round judges are gonna hand us fabulous books, but then it'll be up to me, John Mutford, Sylvia Vardell, Jama Rattigan, and Liz Garton Scanlon to pick the Cybil winner. I can't wait, frankly, as it's always invigorating (and good reading, too!).
Nominations open October 1st, so get yourself ready to be part of the process, too.
Anticipation is building for the third annual Cybils awards. For newcomers, “Cybils” stands for The Children’s and YA Bloggers’ Literary Awards, and it still seems that it’s the only book award of any sort from the blogging community. So, yeah kids’ lit!
Nominations open to the public on October 1 at cybils.com. Anyone 13 or older authors and publishers included may nominate a book in one of nine genres. But note that there is a one-book-per-category rule for nominations. Books published in English between January 1 and October 15, 2008, are eligible. (Books that come out later than October 15 will be eligible next year.) The books will go through two rounds of judging. Finalists will be announced January 1, 2009. Winners will be announced February 14, 2009.
I’ll be organizing the category of Fiction Picture Books and serving as a first-round panelist. I’m excited to be part of the Cybils team this year. Start thinking of your best book choices now. Yes, right now.
Ooh, cool! I'll be on the judging panel for the Cybils
' nonfiction picture book category this year. After two years doing middle-grade/YA nonfiction, it'll be nice to look at shorter books for a change. And I get to be led by my favorite bubble expert, Fiona Bayrock
(Of course, I harbor a secret wish that I'll have to recuse myself, since the finalists will surely all be Charlesbridge
books . . . )
The Cybils is the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. It is now entering its third year!
In a nutshell: during the fall, various genre and age committees are formed. Books in various genres are nominated: poetry, science fiction, middle grade, etc. One panel reads all the nominations and selects five books. The second panel then reads those five books and picks one winner. Panelists are made up of people who blog about children's and young adult books. The specific rules are at the Cybils website.
I have been asked, why the Cybils? Why a need for yet more awards when there are so many other ones out there?
And here are my reasons for liking the Cybils, and seeing them as important. They are in particular order. They represent my opinions, not the official opinions of the Cybils. And yes, I was involved with the Cybils for the first two years. Other commitments made it necessary for me to not be involved this year.
1. Not everyone who is interested in books is a librarian; there is a world outside the ALA awards. Yep, I love the ALA awards, obviously -- I'm on this year's Printz Committee. But ALA and librarians is not the start and end of children's and YA books. Book bloggers in this neck of the woods include many varied types of people, not all librarians, and not all want to join ALA. That said, I would hope that some people who get involved with the Cybils consider joining ALA and getting involved with them. It's like Cybils fun, but year round!
2. It's as much about the process as it is about the award. It pushes participants to think about books beyond "what I liked" and "what I didn't like"; to do more than accept genres at their face value. It's about obtaining and circulating copies of books and making sure each book gets read. I'm a firm believer in that we learn as much from doing something as we do from the end result. Being involved in any aspect of the Cybils is a wonderful educational opportunity for anyone involved.
3. It provides a ton of opportunities for participation. While the Cybils cannot say "yes" to everyone, it can say "yes" to a lot of people. With coordinators, two sets of panels of five to seven individuals, and nine categories, well over 100 people are involved.
4. It pushes readers to read beyond what they 'want' to. We book bloggers are a "me me me" lot. We don't answer to anyone else when we blog, so we blog what we want to. We read what we want to. You don't have that luxury with the Cybils, and that is a great thing! When I am pushed to read outside of my own choices, I can discover some real gems.
5. We don't all think alike. While our blogs are like conversations, they aren't really. And this soon become apparent as the Cybils panelists and judges discuss books, when real conversation happens. And this means discovering the book you love is the book someone else hated, and now having the discussion to see hash out the book, and apply more objective rules than love/hate. Blogging is about talking; the Cybils is about listening.
6. It forces you to be more articulate. As you discuss the books, emotional reactions and whether you personally like or don't like a book just won't cut it. You have to dig deeper and encourage others to dig deeper as well.
What about you? What do you like best about the Cybils?
The Cybils 2008: The Children’s & Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards
The time has nearly arrived when people will be able to nominate their favorite children’s books for the 2008 Cybils Awards. We have a new category this year: Easy Readers. Read about it here.
I will be serving, once again, on the Cybils poetry-nominating panel. We have a great group of kidlit bloggers serving as panelists and judges.
The 2008 Cybils Poetry Panel
Organizer: Kelly Fineman Writing and Ruminating
Panelists (Round I judges)
Kelly Fineman Writing and Ruminating
Elaine Magliaro Wild Rose Reader
Bruce Black Wordswimmer
Laura Purdie Salas
Julie Danielson Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Judges (Round II)
John Mutford The Book Mine Set
Gregory K. Pincus Gottabook
Sylvia Vardell Poetry for Children
Jama Rattigan Alphabet Soup
Liz Garton Scanlon Liz in Ink
And on the Poetry Front across the Atlantic Ocean
Here’s a little tidbit about Andrew Motion, the British poet laureate, who is planning to resign next year: Britain's Poet Laureate Has Writer's Block.
The Seldom-Ever Shady Glades: Poems and Quilts by Sue Van Wassenhove is one of the most beautiful books ever created. I kid you not. Unbelievable in its scope, the book uses intricate, gorgeous quilts as the backgrounds for poetry about the Florida Everglades. I can’t imagine ever being able to create even one of these quilts and there are, like, twenty of them! Just amazing.
The poems vary in style, with some long and elegant, others light and funny. Here’s one I particularly liked about the tricolor heron:
The Tiny Shy Tri
the tiny, shy tri
can find fish each day.
should scare fish away.
But each flapping
snags a fish as its pay.
The accompanying quilt features three herons and is so detailed that it shows the rippled reflections of the birds and the marsh grasses in the blue water. Honestly, I don’t know whether to read this book or frame it. I had heard about it from poetry-lover Kelly Fineman, and based on her glowing review
I requested a copy from the publisher. I rarely do that, but I had to see it for myself and I was not disappointed.
The focus is mainly birds, but the alligators and palm trees make appearances too. My favorite page is an absolutely breathtaking undersea quilt that features a poem perfect for a poetry slam.
patrol the shore.
Oh, don’t you wish
moon jelly fish
had jelly bellies?
Weren’t so smelly?
Had no stringy
things that sting?
You know, this book would be a lovely gift for quilters, poets, and birders. And with the holidays just around the corner...
Today, Poetry Friday is hosted by Author Amok
. Also, the Cybils announce the Poetry panel
for this year! And hey, there I am as the organizer and panelist for Picture Books
! Yeah, okay, I knew that, but I’m still excited to be part of the Children’s and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Awards. I’ll be back Monday with more Cybils stuff, but for now check out the site
as I take off for one last trip to the beach.
Now headed into its third year, the team behind The Children's and Young Adults Literary Awards, also known as the Cybils, has begun the process of finding and recognizing the best books of 2008. And now I can count myself as part of that team! I will be serving as a panelist on the Easy Reader Group. This is a new category for the Cybils, and I'm psyched to be a part of bringing recognition to
I'm excited to be a part of the Cybils again this year. I'll be serving as a Fiction Picture Book judge.
It's almost Cybils time again, bookfans! That's the Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. It's the 3rd year.
They have a spiffy new logo:
(here it is)
They've added a new Easy Reader category this year. Nominations in all categories open on October 1st.
I was on the YA panel last year, and it was an awesome experience. So many good books out there, which I had to read. Poor poor me. ;)
So rev up your reading engines again, and get ready to nominate your favorite book!
This is Just to Say: Poems of Apology and Forgiveness
by Joyce Sidman
, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
I'm leading the DC Kidlit Book Club discussion this month, and our selection is the Cybils award winning
title This is Just to Say
. (I was on the Poetry judging panel
.) You can participate virtually in the comments anytime, or if you live near DC, we'd love to have you join us this Sunday. Email Susan
at wizardwireless [at] gmail [dot] com for more information.
Sneak preview of our discussion questions:
1) How did you read this book? I was surprised when my husband read it in a completely different way than I did, but I think that's one of the charms of this title---that it can be read/used in multiple ways.
2) The original "This is Just to Say" by William Carlos Williams is NOT a contrite poem. Did this book make you think about the nature of apology itself, and how hard it is to do, and how it isn't always met with acceptance? How does adding the forgiveness element expand the book's theme? Did this book make you reflect upon current or past stories of forgiveness or apology in your own life?
3) How do Zagarenski's illustrations add to the feel of the book? Did you think the use of text within
the illustrations was an effective technique? How did individual illustrations pair with individual poems to bring new insight into each fictional poet's apology or offer of forgiveness?
4) Did you begin reading and then flip to the front to see who really
wrote the book? How hard is it to pull off authentic sixth-grade poetic voices? Do you think Sidman succeeded?
5) Not all the poems in the book are free verse, as the original poem obviously is. Does the addition of form poetry strengthen the book?
6) What did you think of the multi-cultural elements of the book? Were they successful?
7) Did reading this book make you want to try your own "This is Just to Say" poem?
A super funny interview with Kelly Herold today, over at Big A little a! I love when I get these kinds of questions, unrelated to publishing… and Kelly is a dynamo, someone I long to be in another life. If you don’t know her many inspired projects (Cybils, Edge of the Forest, etc) , you SHOULD!
I am an enthusiastic reader of my blog stats--today was made more joyful by learning that mine is the second entry that Google shows when asked to find "experiences with demonic birds at sea." On a slightly more mundane note, it's become obvious that many students were asked to read Roland Smith's book, Peak (2007) for their summer reading, and that they didn't (lots of searchs for "plot summary peak" etc). I myself successfully read Peak last fall when it was nominated for the Cybils*, and I enjoyed it enough (here's my review) to see what else Smith had written. Another 2007 book, Elephant Run (Hyperion, 318 pp), caught my eye, and I recently made the time to read it.
London is being blitzed, and 14 year old Nick's mother thinks that it would be a good idea to get him out of there. So she sends him off to his father's teak plantation in Burma, where he hadn't been since he was a child. Turns out this was a bad, bad idea--almost immediately, the Japanese invade Burma, take over the plantation, and send Nick's father to a prison camp. Nick remains behind in servitude to the plantation's new Japanese overlord, until, with some unlikely companions, he escapes on elephant-back to rescue his father and race for the border into India.
This story makes for an exciting read, and I'd be happy to recommend it (probably more to boys than to girls), in large part because of its unusal subject matter and setting. There aren't, as far as I know, any other YA books designed to appeal to boys that address the Japanese conquest of east Asia in WW II. If I were a high school teacher of WW II history, I would defiantly put this book on my list of optional reading.
But I didn't find Nick believable as a boy from 1941 England--he came across as an out-of-shape contemporary American teenager (which perhaps means that the book will have more appeal to that audience). I felt that the relationships between the characters only existed to further the plot, not as things of interest in and of themselves (and as a result, I found the ending a bit contrived). This made it feel to me (possibly with complete injustice) as though Smith had set out to write a Book for Boys (see above), and therefore didn't bother too much with the interactions of his characters, which is the sort of thing that Girls like to read about. Although most of the story is told from Nick's point of view, several chapters are told from that of Mya, a teenaged Burmese girl who dreams of being an elephant trainer. This was useful plot-wise, but it didn't make Mya much more of a believable character in my eyes, and (cynic that I am) I found myself thinking that Smith had given Mya her own chapters to add Girl Appeal to his Boy Appeal. There is also a friendly and poetry-loving Japanese soldier, so that we don't fall into the trap of assuming everyone in the Japanese army is Evil.
I did enjoy reading it though--it is strong on setting and story! I guess my dissatisfaction comes from my hope that this would be comparable to Neville Shute's (a wondhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.giferful book), and (since that is such a wonderful book) I was bound to feel a bit let down.
*The Cybils are awards given by the kidslit blogging community to the best books in several categories. Nominations for this years awards (anyone can nominate their favorites) will be starting in October. Here's the Cybil's website for more info.
There's been lots of Cybils news this past week because they're getting the ball rolling for 2008. In my humble opinion, the most exciting Cybils news by far is the addition of a new Easy Reader category. I have gone on at great length about how I think books for younger readers don't get the attention they deserve. A Cybil is just the thing to show respect for books for new readers.
By: Chris Rettstatt
Blog: Chris Rettstatt
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, children's literature
, story telling
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, fairy tales
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, Shannon Hale
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The other book I was pulling for in deliberations for this year’s Cybils award was Book of a Thousand Days, by Shannon Hale. For me, this book was all about the details: the grit of daily life in the tower, the details of Dashti’s previous life on the steppes, the relentless believability that ran from the first page to the last. It was a fantastic story, and I’m so glad it was one of the two winners in the fantasy / science fiction category.
Shannon has two young children, and so I promised to keep the interview short.
Chris) How did you go about researching Mongolian culture for Book of a Thousand Days?
Shannon: My parents lived in Mongolia for a year and a half, so I had some great first hand knowledge, and I sent questions for their Mongolian friends. i also read books, especially the fantastic Ghengis Khan and the Making of the Modern World.
Chris) In Book of a Thousand Days, how satisfying was it to heap so much hardship on a fairytale princess?
Shannon: Ha! Yes, there was some of that. I wanted to make sure I was being honest, and fairy tales sometimes slant things in favor of the well-born. One attraction of this story for me was its difference from Goose Girl–a chance to see a maid’s POV and hear her voice.
Chris) As a father of 7-month-old twin girls, I have to ask: how the heck do you get any writing done? (I’ve finally learned to hold one on my lap while I’m typing, but the problem is she starts typing too).
Shannon: I don’t actually write anymore. I bid on manuscripts on ebay and hope I win. No, it’s all a balancing act. I take a little time here and there. No waiting for a muse–grab whatever time I can! And I’ve slowed way down. I get into more detail about that on my site: http://www.squeetus.com/stage/mince_mother.html
Chris) What are you working on now?
Shannon: My husband and I co-wrote a graphic novel for young readers, Rapunzel’s Revenge, which will be out this fall (the illustrations are so freakin’ cool). I’m working on a fourth Bayern book and a new contemporary book for adults.
Rough, Tough Charley
by Verla Kay
Tricycle Press, 2007
Category: Picture Book Biography
Here's another gem I discovered while serving on the Cybils Nonfiction Picture Book Nominating Panel.
Rough, Tough Charley tells the story of Charley Parkhurst 1812-1879---indeed, a rough, tough character---who drove stagecoach in the Old West. Verla Kay, in her signature "cryptic verse" writing style, skillfully plucks events and detail from Charley's life in a way that captures the historical attitudes and gritty feel of the time. Gustavson's wheaty, earthy palette adds even more Old West feel. The stagecoach dust all but poofs out of the book.
Picture book biography is one of the most challenging genres to do well. So many pieces to get right. The author must first choose a suitable subject, high in kid-appeal and relatively free of scandal. . . someone who has accomplished something significant that kids would care about. Bonus if the accomplishment is a logical result of the subject's childhood characteristics or choices, and another bonus if the subject hasn't already been written about to death. Then, the author must decide on an appropriate scope---what goes in, what doesn't. . . the whole life or just a slice, and if a slice, which one and how big---and select representative events that will accurately portray the subject and his/her emotions and accomplishments. Pacing is critical, the writing must be engaging, and the whole thing has to be captured in a few hundred words and fit in 32 pages, while still leaving room for illustration to tell part of the story. Whew! That's a tall order.
Verla Kay delivers on all counts in this book. Her subject is fresh with a great kid-friendly story full of action and topped off with a satisfying surprise ending (which I won't reveal here). The scope is perfect, showing how Charley's accomplishements grew from childhood and adult passions and experiences. The sparse cryptic verse gallops along in pace with the stagecoach---a delicious match. All around...picture book biography well done.
Anastasia is once again hosting the roundup of Nonfiction Monday posts today.
by Anastasia Suen
Category: Nonfiction Picture Book
Another gem I discovered while serving on the CYBILS Nonfiction Picture Book Nominating Panel.
I confess. . . when I pulled this book out of the mailing envelope, I did so with some trepidation. You see, Anastasia is an online acquaintance, and Wired is not only published by my publisher, but was edited by my editor! What if it wasn't any good? What if I didn't like it? As long as I hadn't read it, I could remain honestly opinionless, but once those covers were cracked, there'd be no goin' back. I'd have to say something if writer or editor cornered me with a "So, what did you think?"
I held the book in my hand for a few minutes,
. . . turned it over and read the author and illustrator bios,
. . . noted the pleasant texture of the matt cover.
I wanted to open it, but lining up the nerve was taking some time.
Hmm... I thought, Great cover. Original. Warm, inviting colours. Nifty close-up image (I'm a sucker for those). Nice perspective. And that groovy bent metal title font cleverly reflects the subject matter. Before I knew it, the cover had sucked me in. The book was open.
Well---big relief---it turns out I had fretted for nothing. This book is great. Another fabulous Charlesbridge addition to the collection.
Wired is the story of electricity---how it's created, where it comes from, where it goes, and how it gets there. Electricity isn't a simple concept. I'd be willing to bet that when most adults flip a light switch or plug in the kettle, the source of the electricity and how it travels remains a mystery. In Wired, Anastasia Suen untangles that mystery, laying it all out one step at a time, in clear, simple terms. From the power plant generators right through to the flick of the switch on the table lamp, Suen explains it all and then tops everything off with a catchy poem that threads through the book like an electrical wire. More points for cleverness.
in the wires
in the wires. . ."
Paul Carrick's acrylic mixed media illustrations are a perfect match.
Okay, so Anastasia and Emily, if you're reading this, you don't need to ask, "So, what did you think?" because the answer is: Well done!
The Nonfiction Roundup of blogposts is hosted here today.
So here's a quote from a Newsweek article about Anne of Green Gables that's been on quite few blogs recently: "The literary smart girl is still showing up in literature, but she's often the sidekick," says Trinna Frever, an "Anne of Green Gables" scholar. "It is a reflection of a culture that's placing less value on intelligence, and also treating intelligence as a stigmatized quality."
I started thinking since last December about heirs to Anne, after reading Undercover, by Beth Kephart (Harper Teen,2007). This book, which was nominated for the YA Cybils awards, is about Elisa, a very engaging "literary smart girl" who writes poetry, falls in love, gets depressed about her family situation, ice skates alone on a frozen pond at night, has a great English teacher, and keeps a notebook of words. It's a lovely book--I just re-read it more peacefully than I had a chance to last fall (what with the other 120-ish ya books to read for the Cybils*), and I highly recommend it to anyone who likes metaphors, words qua words, and books about teenage girls.
I have been meaning to write about Undercover for Poetry Friday since reading it seven months ago, but I wanted to try to find other books about girls writing poetry, to provide context. It is easy to find lots of smart, sassy girls, but harder to find the girls who love words and writing, the same way that Anne, and her literary sister, Emily (the girl featured in LM Montgomery's other series) do. The only slightly modern one I can think of is Julia, in A Room Made of Windows, by Elinor Cameron (1971)(a fine book that, if you've never read it). But are there no other examples of fictional girls writing poetry from the mid 20th century on? I'll be the first to admit that I'm probably missing other obvious ones, but it is a hard thing to google.
Elisa's own poetry, examples of which are given in Undercover, are very good for a young writer. But the poem I like best in the book is one the English teacher makes her students read:
One Art, by Elizabeth Bishop (from Geography III, 1977)
The art of losing isn't hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother's watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn't hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn't a disaster.
---Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan't have lied. It's evident
the art of losing's not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.
I remember my English teacher in high school giving us Geography III to read (pretty avant garde of him to do so in 1983), and how my adolescent self found deep dark resonance in her words...I want to go back, and re-visit her again. And viz Undercover-isn't that a nice thing, when a book you like leads you to a poem you like, and inspires you to go read more?
And if anyone can think of other books about girls writing poetry, let me know!
* just wanted to say thank to Harper Teen, and all the other publishers who sent books for us Cybils committee people to read. Out of all the books I was sent, Undercover was one of just a handful I kept for myself, knowing that I'd want to re-read it...the rest found a good home at the library.
With a snappy new logo and new rules. Check out the details here.
We’re once again seeking 80 masochists, er, volunteers for two rounds of judging. Eligibility rules are tighter this year, so please suffer through this whole memo before jumping in.
If you don’t know what the Cybils are, please read the previous post.
There are two rounds of judging, and two types of judges.
- Panelists are the first-round judges. You start work when nominations close on Oct. 15th, sifting through scores of nominated books in your chosen genre.
- You’ll join a Yahoo! Group or similar list and use a database to keep track of what you’ve read.
- Although we make every effort to obtain review copies for you, you may have to track down some copies via interlibrary loans, or plop yourself on the floor of your bookstore of choice (though we cannot reimburse you for purchases).
- We have a 50-page rule. Each panel commits only to making sure every nominated book is read to at least the 50th page by at least one person. This prevents wasting time on marginal books.
- You turn in a shortlist of 5-7 titles in late December and then collapse in an exhausted heap.
You must contribute to an active kidlit blog, podcast or v-log
started no later than Jan. 1, 2008. By “active,” we mean updated
regularly with no long absences (vacations don’t count). There’s no
magic number of posts, we just need to see a steady commitment.
By “kidlit” we mean some aspect of children’s or YA literature or
publishing. It can feature news, reviews, ruminations on the writing
life, doodles, Deep Thoughts, etc. But it can’t be, say, a Mommy blog
that occasionally describes reading to your kids.
You must commit to doing the work. That might mean a novel a day
for six straight weeks. It means logging your activity and joining
discussions. It means forming opinions, defending choices and finding
diplomatic ways to settle differences.
You should also offer some degree of expertise in your chosen genre, as evidenced on your blog.
Judges pick up where panelists leave off. You start work on Jan. 1, 2009 and will present us with a winner by Feb. 12th.
While we make a Herculean effort to get review copies to you
extra speedy fast, it is UP TO YOU to make sure you read EVERY SINGLE
BOOK ON THE SHORTLIST in a timely fashion. We have plenty of librarian
volunteers who can familiarize you with interlibrary loans, and there’s
always that cozy spot on the floor of your bookstore of choice. Sorry
for the harsh tone, but it’s been an issue, y’know?
You don’t need to be Super Extrovert Blabbermouth, but you should
be willing to engage the other judges as soon as you’ve read 2 or 3 of
the finalists. Jump in there. Go ahead. Please.
We’ll be issuing more specific guidelines for panelists and judges as soon as they’re chosen.
How to volunteer:
Email both Kelly Herold and Anne Levy. Kelly is at kidslitinfo (at) gmail (dot) com and Anne is at anne (at) bookbuds (dot) net.
List “Cybils judge” in the subject line.
The body of your email should include an URL to your blog and
your 1st and 2nd choice of genres. Let us know if you prefer panelist
or judge or no preference.
If you’ve had any absences from your blog longer than, say, a few
weeks, let us know. It all depends on the reason and how active you’ve
been since you returned. We all need a break sometimes.
If you haven’t run off screaming yet, a few last words:
The contest is fun. At least, people tell us it’s fun, and we don’t want to accuse them of lying.
We’ll be taking our time reading blogs, so please don’t expect news until mid-September, possibly later.
Please don’t stop the love if we cannot find a place for you on a
panel. We’re not judging your looks. It doesn’t mean all your
blogging efforts have come to naught.
But, yes, it’s ultimately a subjective decision who to take on and
where to place them. Here are a few of the more obvious criteria, in
no real order:
A demonstrated expertise in the genre
A demonstrated enthusiasm for blogging
A blog that has built a following (not necessarily a huge one—loyalty counts too)
The blogger’s prestige (ie, you might be an award-winning illustrator, or have a Ph.D. in children’s poetry)
Note that prior experience with Cybils isn’t on the list. Not that
we’re mad at last year’s crew (who were all fabulous, of course), but
we want to make room for new folks too. A good
balance of veterans and newbies is our goal.
Email us if you’re still interested.
Anne and Kelly
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Have you ever said to yourself, "Gosh, I wish I could help out with the Cybils, the only blogger-run literary awards, now going into its third year of pure awesome, but I just don't know if I'm cool enough?"
Rest assured, you are.
We’re once again seeking 80 masochists, er, volunteers for two rounds of judging. Eligibility rules are tighter this year, so please suffer through this whole memo before jumping in.
The rest of the memo can be found here
Even if you can't judge, you sure can nominate.