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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: Let the wild (mind the gap) rumpus start!

Sometimes I do a little ALA Youth Media Awards wrap-up after all is said and done, but since Lori Ess and I were able to have our say immediately following the awards announcements, I feel like I’ve covered my bases.  Moving on!

  • Lest one be so caught up in the thrilling hullabaloo of the ALA Youth Media Awards, it would do you well to remember that a slew of OTHER awards also came out recently.  Well worth noting would be the Edgar Award nominees, for example, which are going to some darn good middle grade mysteries.  Special hat tip to Lockwood & Co. and One Came Home (lots of love for that little title this year!) for their nominations, as well as the other three.  But seriously, no Wig in the Window by Kristen Kittscher?  I demand a recount!
  • Another award that came out recently was the Charlotte Zolotow Award for outstanding picture book writing.  The winner was The Dark by Lemony Snicket, illustrated by Jon Klassen.  This particular book did not win any Caldecotts this year, much to the chagrin of some.  It has, however, garnered a place on the New York Times Best Illustrated list and now this.  Well done then.
  • And speaking of Lemony Snicket, the man’s a genius.  I tell you nothing new when I say that.  However, while some big name children’s authors will start their own bookstores or reading grants (all of which are fine and upstanding uses of their time) Snicket/Handler has started the Lemony Snicket Prize for Noble Librarians Faced with Adversity.  The kicker?  ALA approved it all the way.  Basically, if you know a librarian who “has faced adversity with integrity and dignity intact” then they are eligible.  The man is paying ’em $3000 out of his own coffers while at the same time doing something that should have been done years ago and getting his name associated with free speech.  Bloody blooming brilliant.  It’s good marketing AND a good cause.  Someone tap this man for National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature in 10 years.  Oh, and the committee for this award *cough cough* will consist of “five people: a chair and four jury members.” *bats eyes in the general direction of the nomination committee*
  • As for the other awards, I’ve been a busy girl.  You don’t think this is the only blog I write for, do you?  No no, over at my other employer, NYPL, I occasionally type up the rare post.  Unfortunately, NYPL’s blogging site recently had a bit of an upgrade and all my pretty posts are lacking their pretty images.  If you don’t mind just reading text you can enjoy This Just In! The Award Winning Jewish Children’s Books of 2013, which covers the National Jewish Book Awards and The Sydney Taylor Awards, as well as Picture Books That Will Never Win Awards (the misleading title is referring to picture books that would never win ALA Awards, and even THAT turned out to be not entirely true), and The Great Multicultural Children’s Books of 2013, a list created by The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature (CSMCL).  Considering how few multicultural books, authors, and illustrators won the big ALA Awards outside of categories designed for that very purpose, the post is necessary.
  • By the way, when we think of the ALA Youth Media Awards, we don’t normally associate them with blind terror.  So thank YOU Odyssey Award committee for freakin’ the bejeezus out of us Monday morning with that clip from Scowler.  I’m still shaking in my shoes.
  • Tentatively optimistic news for those of you who believe in the incipient death of the book.  The Pew Research Center just posted their findings and, all told, we’re slumping but not as badly as we thought.  I’d love to see some hard and fast numbers of this sort for the under 18 set as well.  Thanks to Wayne Roylance for the link.

And the award for Best Hardcover to Paperback Book Jacket Transition goes to . . . Raven in a Dove House by Andrea Davis Pinkney.  From this:

To this:

Wow!  Absolutely gorgeous.  And so nice that they decided to reprint this old 1998 title for today.  Feel free to name for me the other multicultural books of the past you wouldn’t mind giving a jacket update to.  I nominate The Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers.

  • New Blog Alert: Tired of not reading enough children’s literary academics?  Join the club!  I mean, we have our Phil Nel and he produces enough marvelous content to make anyone happy, but it would be nice to see someone else out there.  The answer?  Meet Clementine Beauvais, a recent Cambridge Ph.D. who also writes children’s books.  She has a peppy little blog and as Phil says, “Her The Argument from Parenthood  should be required reading, I think.”  Thanks for the tip, Phil!
  • Ooo!  This is good stuff.  YA author Zetta Elliott just released on her blog a really thorough list of African American speculative fiction (sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, time travel, alternate history, dystopia, horror, etc.) books for children.  The most interesting part to me?  Almost zippo speculative fiction in the 90s.  What happened there, folks?
  • Just say the title of this blog post and it sounds good.  Why I’m Not Sold on the Five Finger Rule.  Aptly synthesizing the problems with leveling as succinctly as humanly possible.  Perfect.  Thanks to Alison Hendon for the link.
  • Daily Image:  I should probably save this for a Halloween post or something but I’m not gonna.

He owns the room.  Owns it.

Thanks to Aunt Judy for the link.

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.