Outside of a Cat

I just discovered this new children’s lit blog: Outside of a Cat. Which is done by (gasp) a man! He posts reviews of children’s and teen books he has read, including many classic favorites. This one is worth checking out.

LA Times Book Prize

You & You & You by Per Nilsson won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for young adult fiction last night. This is one on my list of must reads!

Jane Addams Book Awards


One of my favorite book award lists has been announced:  The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards that go to books that “effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all reaces as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.” 
This year’s winners are:
Delivering Justince: W. W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights by Jim Haskins.
Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, the Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal.
Poems to Dream Together by Francisco X. Alarcon.
Sweetgrass Basket by Marlene Carvell.

Edgar Award Winners

Mystery Writers of America Announces 2006 ‘Edgar’ Winners and the winners for teen and juvenile are:
Best Juvenile: The Boys of San Joaquin by D. James Smith
Best YA: Last Shot by John Feinstein

Ed Emberley

Ed Emberley has an amazing website. It is filled with information on him and his books. But best of all, it has animations and drawing pages to inspire kids to try art, and pdf files for printable activities. Click on the month you want, and you will find all sorts of things to do from paper airplanes, to mazes, to coloring sheets. And best of all, throughout the entire site, the feeling of an Ed Emberley book is maintained. Nicely done!

Teen Book Packaging

The International Herald Tribune has an interesting article: Teen-lit ‘packages’: Forget the young writer in a garret. It covers the “book packaging” industry responsible for books by the biggest names in teen novels: Cecily von Ziegesar, Ann Brashares and, of course, Kaavya Viswanathan. This is an interesting peek into the latest way to package and sell novels to teenage girls.

Kids vs Filters

Filtering is a hard enough choice for a public library to make but Kids outsmarting Web filters make it that much harder. The article explains many of the ways that kids are getting around filters, so if you are filtering, you may want to be aware of these techniques.

School Libraries Tied to Student Achievement

Many of you may already have heard of the Canadian study mentioned in this article: Better grades? Thank a librarian. The study shows that better school libraries are linked to student achievement. And how do they decide what a better library is? Whether it has a certified teacher-librarian! Hurrah! They demonstrated that having a certified teacher-librarian is the critical component that makes a library more effective. Bad news for those American schools that are getting rid of their school librarians and replacing them with volunteers, or even worse replacing their libraries with computer labs.

Unconscious Copying

I have been following the story of Kaavya Viswanathan being accused of plagiarizing her book How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life from Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty. Now it seems that the Star young author admits ‘unconscious’ plagiarism. I’ll follow her lead and just say, “No comment.”