Oh, what fun we shall have now that the weather is better. Here in New York spring sprang yesterday and all the New Yorkers, as one, exhaled in relief. We are perfectly aware that it can’t last (can anything?) but we’re enjoying it while we can. So sit back and glue your eyes to a computer screen instead of enjoying the respite. Unless you have outdoor wi-fi, of course. Then go wild.
- I don’t think I can go any further without bringing up the dual Myers pieces in the Times this past Sunday. As Walter Dean Myers says in his article Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?, “There is work to be done”. That may be so, and certainly we’re hardly at a reasonable level, but I’ve been very impressed by what I’ve seen in 2014. As I mentioned in an earlier post this year, I’m already seeing an uptick in the number of African-American kids not just in books but on the covers as well. Then I looked at Scholastic’s fall list and saw five different middle grade novels with black kids front and center. Five is nice, but that hardly means we’re out of the woods. Note that Walter Dean Myers wrote a somewhat similar piece for the Times in 1986 called I Actually Thought We Would Revolutionize the Industry (thanks to Debbie Reese for the heads up). In it he basically says that there were only 450 books on the black industry in the mid-80s. One shudders to think what the number is at this precise moment in time. Oh wait. According to the CCBC it’s 93. Now go read The Apartheid of Children’s Literature by Chris Myers and think upon that a bit.
- I don’t like to pick favorites, but if I had to select my favorite blog post from the last few days, the vote would have to go wholeheartedly to the 100 Scope Notes piece The 33%: 2014 Books from Newbery Winners. The premise is simple. After doing the math Travis determined that a full 33% of Newbery winners go on to win again. He then goes the logical next step and collects all the middle grade novels out this year by previous winners. There was stuff I had no idea about in there (a new Christopher Paul Curtis?!?!). Required reading of the day then.
- New list time! So it would seem that the National Science Teachers Association has come up with their list called Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K–12: 2014 (Books published in 2013). Not a common topic but a necessary one. I was happy to see a lot of favorites on there. Well done, winners! Now go ye, my pretties, and spread this info to every science teacher struggling with Common Core that you know. Thanks to Amie Wright for the link.
- Speaking of lists, the site List Challenges came up with their 50 Best Books for Kids. I was all set to pooh-pooh it when I saw they’d included Anna Hibiscus AND The Arrival. Shoot. They did their homework really well. I’ve read all but two (and it won’t be the two you think). How did you do?
- Meanwhile, it’s an interesting list and well worth looking at. They’ve released the contenders for the 2014 E.B. White Read-Aloud Award. Lots of good books there, but you probably know who I’ll be supporting. It’s a tough call but I’m Team Unicorn. Go team!
This has absolutely nothing to do with anything else, aside from the fact that everyone’s clamoring for children’s books on WWI this year thanks to the 100 year anniversary. With that in mind, here’s a sense of what it would have looked like If WWI Was a Bar Fight. Or you can just do what I’m doing and wait for the latest Nathan Hale book Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood. Can’t wait to see that one!
Utterly fascinating piece in Arcade this week equating the changes happening at the main branch of NYPL with the movie Ghostbusters. It’s not as nutty as it sounds. Check out Para-Library Science at the NYPL if you don’t believe me.
- Then, to wash the academe from your gray cells, you can read eharmony’s 15 Reasons to Date a Librarian. It’s a rather optimistic view of our profession (while I would love to believe that we ALL have predictable hours . . .) but still cute. Thanks to Amie for the link.
- Looking for a summer job? Have a MLIS degree (we’re all about the librarians today, folks)? Well SUNY Maritime College is looking for a Ship’s Librarian aboard the Training Ship Empire State VI during the 2014 Summer Sea Term. Need a summer job? Want to see the world? You’re welcome.
- Man, that Marjorie Ingall’s one smart cookie. She watches that new Neil DeGrasse Tyson show Cosmos and what does she do? She comes up with a complimentary reading list for kids. That is how you DO IT, people!
- Daily Image:
If you haven’t seen this already then I’d like you to guess as to the identity of this children’s book author dressed up as his favorite children’s book character.
A hint: The character is Badger from The Wind in the Willows. And no. This isn’t Alice Cooper. *pictures what an Alice Cooper children’s book might consist of* The answer is here.