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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Found When Not Reading HP

Now is a dangerous time to be a kidlit blog reader. Venturing out in the murky waters of the Internet requires a skillful avoidance of anything and everything Potter-related (particularly if you haven’t finished the book yet). In a way it’s worse for me at work, though. I’ve a page who is a fanatical fan and keeps almost letting slip info about the book. She already told me the title of the chapter that was initially leaked online (consarn it) so I’ve no choice put to stick bright pink Peeps in my ears whenever she walks by. And it’s only a matter of time before some kid comes walking up to my reference desk spilling every bean that they have about what happens.  I’m almost halfway through (just got my copy yesterday) and I appreciated the opening to last night’s Colbert Report very much indeed.  The kidlit blogs have quieted down since we all began reading.  Soon enough they’ll spark up again.  Until that time, here’s some news.

  • For those of you eager to see some Best Books lists early in the 2007 season, Kirkus has released their list of new Science Fiction and Fantasy. I was pleased as punch to see the inclusion of Evil Genius, which I’d better get around to reviewing one of these days. Thanks to Kids Lit for the link.
  • A member of this year’s Newbery committee considers the importance of voice in children’s literature. It’s Monica, so she’s not going to go about talking about voice in this year’s books. Simultaneously (and, it seems, independently) the Misrule blog posts a similar query. I was a big fan thus far of the "voice" used in Elijah of Buxton and, most recently, the remarkable No Castles Here by A.C.E. Bauer. Not to mention, The Baptism by Sheila P. Moses.  I’d like to hear other people talk about good uses of this style in 2007.


You can’t avoid two major names this week in the news. One is a fictional character (that doesn’t need to be named) and the other is a super-star-hunk-husband-father who just so happens to play football soccer as a new member of the L.A. Galaxy team .

We can’t help but wonder what the soccer world will be like a year from now, but we want you to be sure you have copies of Superteam and the rest of the titles in the Australian soccer series on hand for when this super-sport becomes the next new thing."

  • There’s a veritable plethora of kidlit related movies out these days. The Water Horse is apparently coming out this holiday season. For those of you unfamiliar with the title, the original book was by Dick King-Smith. This will probably be a relatively small release, but I do feel more inclined to pick up the book to see how it fares. Elsewhere, the made-for-TV production of Pictures of Hollis Woods starring Sissy Spacek actually sounds like a good idea to me. Or am I just growing soft in my old age? Hard to say. Thanks to Kids Lit for the link.
  • Al Roker lost my respect when he made Swordbird one of his summer reading pics. I tried to find a blog review that echoed my "meh" feelings on the title, but none were forthcoming. *sigh* However, in terms of Al he has almost regained my love by making Bud, Not Buddy his fourth summer read. Jolly good show, Al.
  • And I’ve been tossing around the idea of doing a regular podcast feature on my old blog site. Not that there is any lack out there of great podcasts on the web. comes to mind. And Just One More Book is a kind of standard bearer. Still, wouldn’t it be fun to have a daily children’s news update? I’d enjoy doing it. I just need to figure out the logistics. Anyone have any ideas on how to accomplish such a feat?
  • Hey look! It’s The Joker! I don’t understand… Brian Selznick suddenly hits the stratosphere in terms of bookselling (i.e. Hugo Cabret) and suddenly you’re taking his illustrations OFF your covers? Are you nuts? Simon and Schuster, baby, I love you but you’re not making any sense here.
About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. david e says:

    Re: the change in covers for Clements, I noticed that his latest, No Talking, came out without a Selznick cover and thought they were trying to avoid having his books look like a series. That said, if you’re going to change the cover why have art that’s a riff on another artist’s image? Are all the older titles now going to be variations on a Selznick cover, too? That’s weird.

  2. Chris in NY says:

    Use of voice in 2007- Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of A Tree. I really understand who Emma Jean was and why she was unique/different. At one point I didn’t love the alternating view points with Colleen, but then I realized it gave the average person someone to whom they might be able to relate more directly. I loved this book, by the way, and think you liked it a lot too.

  3. Fuse #8 says:

    I did like “Emma Jean”, true. I’d forgotten how nice the voice was. Let’s keep the buzz on that one building.

    I’m reviewing “No Talking” tomorrow and I thought that despite the fact that the art wasn’t done by Selznick, the cover is distinctly Selznickian (to coin a truly awesome phrase). Which made the leap backwards with a new cover on “Frindle” all the odder.

  4. Sarah Miller says:

    So many people loved Emma Jean Lazarus, and I just don’t get it. By all means a perfectly decent book, but not a standout for me. What am I missing?

    Swordbirds. Ugh. Sure it was good — for a 12-year-old. But I like my books to be just plain good, without having to tack on any qualifiers or special considerations. I think the author’s got talent, but I’m afraid that if she keeps writing, 15-20 years down the road she’ll look back at Swordbirds and wish it was still in a notebook under her bed. I know I’d be mortified now if any of my 5th grade stories were in print alongside my current book…

  5. Fuse #8 says:

    I like to think that that’s how Christopher Paolini feels too. He’s said as much in interviews.

  6. Little Willow says:

    I enjoyed Pictures of Hollis Woods. I hope the movie does it justice. I’ve been a Giff reader since the days of Fourth-Grade Celebrity. I was so pleased when they reprinted The Kids of Polk Street School series a few years ago.

  7. Elizabeth Fama says:

    I’m glad you’re taking your time with HP and plan to review it when you’re good and ready. I’m sort of fascinated by the reviewers who flew to London to get a copy 6 hours early and turned in reviews to their newspapers the next day. I would think as a reviewer you’d want digestion time, or simmering time, or whatever.

  8. Fuse #8 says:

    Well, there’s also the fact that I’m not done with it yet. I only got the book on Monday and I’ve worked every day since. Cuts into my reading time, that does. But I appreciate the thought.

  9. says:

    OK, now you have won my undying love! I have been waiting for someone to say the emperor has no clothes about Swordbird, which is quite a feat for a 13-yr-old but absolutely as you put it “meh” –thank you. Also, because Bud Not Buddy is one of my favorites. AND, most of all, because Mark and Andrea at Just One More Book are the bomb and it’s about time more people said so!
    Amy (author of The Call to Shakabaz)