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1. 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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2. KidLitCon 2013: Connecting with Kindred Spirits

KidlitCon2013I'm back after spending four days in Austin for KidLitCon. I lived in Austin for 3 1/2 years a while back, and I am always happy to have an excuse to visit. Of course I would go almost anywhere to attend KidLitCon, but it was a bonus that it was held somewhere that I wanted to visit anyway. An extra bonus was that I got to spend some time with close friends who live there. 

For me, and I've stolen this idea from Leila at Bookshelves of Doom, what sums up the KidLitCon, and the Kidlitosphere in general, is the phrase: "kindred spirits". I go to KidLitCon every year so that I can hang out with my children's book-loving tribe. Something that became clear during this year's conference is that what distinguishes the Kidlitosphere from other book blogger communities is that, much as we love the books, most of us are out there blogging, week after week, because we think that it's important to connect kids with great books. We share a common passion for children's books and literacy. 

What this means when we come together for a conference is that we're not having sessions about how to "monetize" our blogs, or retire from our day jobs, or get our hands on more sought-after ARCs. No, what we talk about is:

  • Community (welcome speech by Pam Coughlan from MotherReader)
  • Authenticity, and understanding your own mission and philosophy of blogging (keynote by Cynthia Leitich Smith). 
  • Overcoming burnout by getting back to your blogging roots (Sarah Stevenson and me).
  • Ways that you as a blogger/reviewer/author can work to increase diversity in children's publishing (Lee Wind).
  • Ways that you as an author can build relationships with people who may help you to spread the word about your books, rather than trying any "hard sell" tactics Molly Blaisdell). 
  • The difference between writing a negative review and writing critical reviews, and why critical reviews are important (and exhausting) (Kelly Jensen and Kim Francisco from Stacked)
  • Things authors and illustrators need to know about digital art (Laura Jennings).
  • How authors and illustrators can become involved in the online community of children's and young adult literature (MotherReader)
  • How to spice up your blog with HTML and CSS (Sheila Ruth).
  • Reviewing middle grade books when we, the reviewers, are not the target audience for said books (Charlotte Taylor, Melissa Fox, and Katy Manck). 
  • The past, present, and future of the Kidlitosphere, and how we can keep our community a welcoming, connected space (Sarah Stevenson, Jen Bigheart, Leila Roy, Sheila Ruth, and Lee Wind). 

Instead of taking notes during the sessions that I attended, I was live-tweeting the conference. While I could theoretically share all of those tweets with you here, I prefer to send you off to follow the #KidLitCon13 hashtag on Twitter. Just set the view to "all" instead of "top" and scroll down to November 9th, and read upward. You will find many useful tips, like: 

For more details about the sessions and events around KidLitCon, here are some excellent recaps:

  • Charlotte at Charlotte's Library says: "The main thing I learn every time I go to Kidlitcon is how much fun it can be to talk to people. Sure, I talk to my family and co-workers and friends in real life, but rarely do I talk to them with passionate interest about really interesting things like children's books and blogging and candy crush."
  • Kelly at Stacked says: "If I had to give three words that summed up the biggest themes talked about during the event, they would be diversityauthenticity, and burnout."
  • Sherry from Semicolon shares 10 things she learned at KidLitCon. My favorite: "Sheila Ruth (Wands and Worlds) and Charlotte (Charlotte’s Library) are NOT the same person in disguise, but they are both authorities on fantasy and science fiction".
  • Sarah says at Finding Wonderland: "You are all the most lovely people. We have such an amazing community, I can't believe it sometimes, but Kidlitcon always reminds me how incredible it is."  
  • ... more to come

My session with Sarah on overcoming blogger burnout was well-received. We could perhaps have spent a bit less time on the reasons for burnout, and a bit more time on our tactics for overcoming it, but we did share a nice little one-page handout (compliments of Sarah). When our schedules allow, we'll turn that into an Infographic. I'll also share more details about the session (including our recommended burnout-recovery tactics) later this week. 

WelcomeTableWhile I found all of the sessions that I attended interesting and rejuvenating, the real reason I go to KidLitCon is to spend time with kindred spirits. (See photo to the left, which Sarah took, of Pam and me manning the registration table.)

FiestaHighlights from this year's conference included meeting Leila, Sherry, Jennifer, Katy, Maria, Kim, and Rosemond for the first time, after visiting with them on blogs and Twitter over the months and years. I also enjoyed meeting new blogging friends, like Daniela, Allie, Emilia, Jen, Holly, Julie, Molly, and Heather, and finally meeting authors that I've wanted to meet, like Margo Rabb, P.J. Hoover, and of course Cynthia and her husband, Greg. (Photo is of the entrance to our Friday night function room at El Mercado.) 

But what brings me back to KidLitCon year after year, is spending time with my peeps, like Pam, Sarah, Lee, Sheila, Charlotte, Maureen, Melissa, CamillePaula, Chris, and Kelly. Especially Pam, without whom this year's KidLitCon would never have gotten off the ground. I can't say it enough. Spending time with people who "get it" -- who share my passion for getting the word out about great children's and YA books, and getting each of those books into the hands of the right reader at the right time -- is a gift. 

Stay tuned for more KidLitCon recaps. And before you know it, we'll be planning for KidLitCon 2014. I hope to see you all there! 

© 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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3. ALA 2010: Children's and Young Adult Book Blogs

Children’s and YA Book Blogs: Enhancing Library Services.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
8 a.m – 10 a.m.

I presented with Travis from 100 Scope Notes and Pam from MotherReader. Despite competing popular programming, such as the YALSA “speed dating with authors” coffee klatch, as well as an 8:00 a.m. start date, 130 people attended this panel on using book blogs to assist in library services such as collection development, readers advisory, and programming.

The PowerPoint, should you want to look at it, is available at SlideShare at http://www.slideshare.net/eaburns/ala-presentation

Travis has a terrific video at his website; and Pam also reports on ALA at her blog. The Photo is from Mitali Perkins. (Thanks Mitali who doesn't know I borrowed it...well, she knows now.)

Blogs mentioned in the PowerPoint, in order they were initially mentioned. All were accessed and live as of June 2010; I added a couple of updated URLs were appropriate.

Elizabeth Burns, A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy, http://yzocaet.blogspot.com/

Pam Coughlan, MotherReader, http://www.motherreader.com/

Travis Jonker, 100 Scope Notes, http://100scopenotes.com/

Melissa Wiley, Here in the Bonny Glen, http://melissawiley.typepad.com/bonnyglen currently blogs at http://melissawiley.com/blog

Cybils, http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils and http://www.cybils.com/

Robin Brande, http://www.robinbrande.com/

Annual Kidlitosphere Conference, www.kidlitosphere.org/kidlitcon and information about the October 2010 Conference is at http://kidlitcon2010.blogspot.com/

Kidlitosphere Central, http://www.kidlitosphere.org/

A Fuse # 8 Production at School Library Journal, http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/afuse8production

Kids Lit, http://kidslit.menashalibrary.org/

American Indians in Children’s Literature, http://americanindiansinchildrensliterature.blogspot.com/
Charlotte’s Library, http://charlotteslibrary.blogspot.com/

From the Mixed Up Files . . . of Middle Grade Authors, http://www.fromthemixedupfiles.com/

Little Willow, http://slayground.livejournal.com/

Scrub-a-Dub-Tub, http://childrens-literacy.com/

Color Online, http://coloronline.blogspot.com/


5 Comments on ALA 2010: Children's and Young Adult Book Blogs, last added: 7/9/2010
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4. ALA 2010

Putting together your ALA plans?

I will be presenting at two, yes, two programs!

First, I'm part of the YALSA Preconference, Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools. Last time I checked, there was still room in the precon. It's Friday, June 25th, from 12:30 to 4:30. I will be talking about fanfiction. Description from the press release: Librarians, reporters and academics will explore teens' daily use of technology and the interaction of digital and print reading channels, including fan fiction and gaming. YA authors will discuss leveraging readership through social networking channels. Speakers for the preconference include Kami Garcia,Margaret Stohl, Malinda Lo, John Green and David Levithan.

Second, I'm part of the panel for Children's and YA Book Blogs: Enhancing Library Services, 8:00 AM. Also on the panel are Pam "MotherReader" Coughlan and Travis "100 Scope Notes" Jonker. : From ALA Conference Program.

Hope to see you there!

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

6 Comments on ALA 2010, last added: 6/11/2010
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5. INTERVIEW WEEK Mo Willems & Mother Reader -- together again

It's interview week here at Cybils, and we're bringing you the best Q&A tidbits from around our cozy corner of the blogosphere.

Portrait_2 What more fabulous way to start off than revisiting the great romance of MotherReader and Mo Willems? Though we could probably shorten that to just Mo' R and Mo W by now. She's been practically cyberstalking the kidlit uber-celebrity (and fiction picture book finalist) since way back, and it's likely only her smart-alecky humor--and wry humility--has kept her out of jail so far.

She's even indexed her posts on him.

Mo' R was first to nab a reaction after Knuffle Bunny Too won two medals from the American Library Association--a lovely Caldecott honor and a Carnegie Medal (descriptions here).

In her short, sweet post, Mo' R gets right to the point:

In dashing off a note of congratulations to Mo, I slipped in that I might want to ask a few questions. Gracious man that he is — and wise as well — he shared some thoughts about the awards.

[Mo' R]: When did you get the call and what did you say? And then when did you get the second call and what did you say?

[Mo W]: I can’t really recall. Let’s assume I was witty and clever and charming and modest and kind and thoughtful and erudite with clear diction on one call and a dumb jackass on the other, shall we?

Read the rest here.

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6. A Retrospective of Posts

I was on Bethany’s Blog this morning and came across a meme. Since I woke up around 4:00 a.m. this morning (couldn’t sleep), I decided to give it a whirl. So, here I am! Here’s the drill with the meme: Go back through your archives and post the links to five of your [...]

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7. Obama on Writing

MotherReader (aka Pam Coughlan) attended an event where Barack Obama was asked about what advice he would give to young writers.

His answer is one that should be passed along to parents, educators, employers and pretty much anyone interested in the future of our young people.

0 Comments on Obama on Writing as of 7/15/2008 9:23:00 AM
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8. Blog Comments: Let’s Get into the Habit

Usually when we think of habits, we think about breaking them–nail-biting, smoking, snacking in front of the TV– but what about forming good habits?

The folks at MotherReader have invented a great new habit and are eager for all of us to pick it up as well–they have vowed to visit five children’s literature–also known as kidslit–blogs every day for 21 days and–this is the crux of the matter–leave a comment on each one that they visit!

With the knowledge that it takes 21 days to form a habit, they have issued a challenge to their readers to do this for three weeks. There is even the hint of a prize at the end for those who report their progress to the issuers of the challenge at MotherReader.

Comments are the life blood of a blog. If bloggers weren’t attempting to create a discussion and a continuing conversation with their readers, they would not use a blog format for their ideas and reviews. This is such a fabulous challenge because it will create conversations between bloggers and their readers–and will create relationships in the kidlit blogosphere!

If you haven’t already done so, pick up this gauntlet and embark upon this challenge–it’s never to late to pick up a new habit, especially one as good as this one!

0 Comments on Blog Comments: Let’s Get into the Habit as of 11/17/2008 4:05:00 AM
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9. Mother Reader's 48 Hour Book Challenge

If you are in to reading, which I am assuming you are, please take a moment to consider entering into a challenge. It is the Mother Reader's 48 Hour Book Challenge. You can read all about it by clicking on that fancy little button to the side.
Meanwhile, I should let you know that the Kidlitosphere Bloggers of Central Ohio will be getting together the morning of June 6th to enjoy a breakfast together and a visit to the wonderful book store Cover to Cover. (This has become a little tradition for celebrating all kinds of book related events) Since part of the 48 Hour Book Challenge this year challenges you to make a donation to something you feel strongly about, the Central Ohio peeps have decided to donate to Mary Lee of A Year of Reading. She is participating in a Fish-a-thon to rasise money for
a nonprofit organizaiton that offers no-cost retreats for breast cancer survivors. Long story short, I don't think I can make the trek up to Columbus that morning so I am pledging $1 for every book taken out of Cover to Cover by ALL the Kidlit Bloggers of Central Ohio. So tally up your books, gang, and send me a bill!

5 Comments on Mother Reader's 48 Hour Book Challenge, last added: 5/28/2009
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10. November 7. NYPL. Be There Or Be Square.

Come to the Children's Literary Cafe!

I'm doing a cut and paste from Fuse #8's post/ press release:

We've a simply magnificent gathering here at the library in November, and it's all about The Cybils. Join if you can!

The Children’s Literary Café at the new Children’s Center at 42nd Street is pleased to announce our event on Saturday, November 7th at 2:00 p.m.:

Cybils Kick-Off: Blogging in Style

Pam Coughlan of the sublime MotherReader children's literary blog (www.motherreader.com) headlines a panel of representatives from the greater Kidlitosphere. Each year the online children's literary community bestows child and teen novels their own awards: The Cybils. Pam and other bloggers will discuss the state of children's literature online today including ethics, publisher/blogger relations, transparency, influence (or lack thereof) over published titles, and what it means to represent an online community of children’s literary enthusiasts.

Elizabeth Burns in the Youth Services Consultant for the New Jersey State Library Talking Book & Braille Center. She blogs at A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy (yzocaet.blogspot.com). She is the co-author of Pop Goes the Library: Using Pop Culture to Connect with your Whole Community. She blogs about children's and young adult books, television, and movies.

Susan Thomsen writes about children's books at her blog, Chicken Spaghetti (http://www.chickenspaghetti.typepad.com). A freelance writer and onetime editor, she is the mother of a fifth-grader.

Anne Boles Levy is the co-founder and director of the Cybils Awards. Her day job is as a news writer on the National Desk for Metro Networks, a radio newswire based in Scottsdale , AZ. She's married to another starving journalist and they're raising two bookworms.

The Children’s Literary Café is a monthly gathering of adults who are fans of children’s literature. Professionals, librarians, authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, teachers, and anyone else interested in the field are welcome to attend our meetings. The Literary Café provides free Advanced Readers galleys, a rotating series of talks with professionals in the field, and great conversation. This program is for adults only.

New York Public Library
Children's Center at 42nd Street
Room 84
42nd Street and 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10018

I'm looking forward to November 7th!

Amazon Affiliate. If you click from here to Amazon and buy something, I receive a percentage of the purchase price.

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy

0 Comments on November 7. NYPL. Be There Or Be Square. as of 10/29/2009 8:59:00 PM
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11. All my Friends!

Look at this!!!! Look at all my friends! I am so excited for all of you who are listed. If you check out my sidebar, you will find MANY of these blogs listed as the Best 100 Book Blogs for Kids. I think it is WONDERFUL!
(I tried to tag all my cyber buds, but there were too many!)

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12. Looking Ahead to the Book Blogger Convention

Book Blogger ConventionThis is just to say that I am getting very excited about a certain Book Blogger Convention that will be taking place in New York City on May 28th. You won't be surprised to learn that the fine readers/writers behind My Friend Amy, Galleysmith, Maw Books, Linus's Blanket, MotherReader, The Book Lady's Blog, and Hey Lady! Watcha Readin' are masterminding this event, nor that some truly terrific book bloggers, agents, and authors are already registered. I'll be there, too, on a panel now being crafted. I'll be the one who is happiest, above all else, to finally be able to thank some angel-winged people in person.

7 Comments on Looking Ahead to the Book Blogger Convention, last added: 1/31/2010
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