Weekend Links on a Tuesday

  • The recent discussion of literary awards that use race as a criterion started over at Planet Esme.  We’ve heard from Roger Sutton, Mitali Perkins (twice!), Yuyi Morales, and back to Esme again.  I don’t think there’s an easy answer here – there are legitimate points being made on all sides of this conversation.  In the end, I think the quoted fact that less than 3% of children’s books in 2007 were authored by African Americans is a good indicator that there is still a need for these awards.  Kids should not only be able to see themselves reflected in the books they read, but also in a visible profession like writing.  We talk a lot about reading role models – why not writing role models?
  • BookMoot explores the way that authors use video and book trailers to reach out to online audiences, with some great examples.
  • Over at Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Jen has started a conversation about how we can encourage reading aloud.  She mentions President Obama in her ideas – and it just so happens that today he slipped away on a surprise visit to do a read-aloud in a classroom.
  • On the Powells site, Sara Zarr has some really great thoughts about recurring themes in an author’s body of work.   Are your favorite authors writing the same thing over and over – and does it really matter?  (Hat tip to Confessions of a Bibliovore)
  • Buy Valentines featuring art from children’s authors, support Save the Children.  This is win-win, people!
  • Chasing Ray wants to know whether there are really topics that can’t be addressed in a YA novel.  I absolutely agree with what Colleen has to say here.  And Margo Lanagan herself stops by in the comments to clarify some things about her book, Tender Morsels.
  • Haven’t seen anything creepy yet today?  Fix that right here.  Coraline comes out this weekend!
  • Why won’t teens ask for help when they need it?  What can we as librarians do to help them without scaring them away?  Join in the conversation at the YALSA blog.
  • Kenneth Oppel’s new Matt Cruse book is going to be amazing.  Can I have a space elevator please?
  • The brilliant Walter Dean Myers talks to Public School Insights about his upcoming book, and about our responsibility to at-risk young people.  The take-away quote: “The first thing we have to do is change the norm. When these kids go to school, their norm is depressed. It’s been dislocated downward. So they have these low expectations of themselves–not of their abilities, but of what’s acceptable.”  The first three chapters of Dope Sick, Walter Dean Myers’ new book, are available for download here. (Hat tip to Guys Lit Wire)
  • Libralilly Blonde has some concerns about doing readers advisory over email, and some advice about improving RA.
  • Watch it for the Karate Kid Medley.  Watch it for the amazing author cameos.  Watch it because Jarrett Krosoczka is adorable.  Just watch it.
  • Finally, in case anyone out there needed another reason to love John Green: he’s buying free drinks for librarians on Friday.  Seriously.

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