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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Fusenews: “What’s the matter with kids today?” – with apologies to Bye, Bye, Birdie

Giving birth!  All the kids are doing it these days.  And you know what giving birth means, right?  It means having a little extra time to blog and get my non-work related projects done.  Though, naturally, I wrote 50% of this post a day ago and then must have failed to save the darn thing.  *sigh*  C’est la vie, kids.

  • I was called upon recently to speak with a writer from the National Endowment for the Arts.  The topic?  Why Children’s Books Matter.  Done in conjunction with Leonard Marcus’s exhibit at the main branch of NYPL I answer all sorts of questions.  Mind you, it was a oral interview so I wasn’t able to parse my own speech.  Read it and you’ll get a real sense of what it sounds like to talk to me (weirdo grammar and all).
  • Let’s talk exhibits again.  This time, those in Chicago.  Particularly those in Chicago involving Edward Gorey.  You lucky midwesterners.  Thanks to Mr. Schu for the link.
  • And going back to the topic of NYPL, I recently interviewed middle grade author Claire LeGrand.  Claire is the organizing genius behind the upcoming Kids Authors Carnival happening this month on the 31st.  Talking with me, she answered some of my questions about the carnival, the authors who will be there, and where the idea came from in the first place.
  • Summer Reading is coming up.  Want a reading list for your kids?  ALSC came up with this one and it’s rather nice.
  • Hat tip to Travis Jonker for the hat tip to my book (co-written with Jules Danielson and Peter Sieruta).  It’s coming out in August fer sure, fer sure, and Travis included it in his 10 to Note Summer Preview 2014.  Thank you, man!!
  • Oh, I rather love this.  25 Movie Cameos by the Authors of the Original Books.  Because there are children’s book adaptations included that I never knew about.  Michael Morpurgo?  Louis Sachar?  They forgot Wendy Orr in Nim’s Island, Brian Selznick in Hugo, and David Levithan and Rachel Cohn in Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist but no one’s perfect.  Love the snarky comment about Stephenie Meyer, by the way.  Thanks to Cynthia Leitich Smith for the link.
  • Woo-hoo!  The next Kidlitosphere Conference (the greatest, biggest, best conference of children’s & YA literature bloggers) is nigh.  Nigh, I sez, nigh!  The focus is on diversity, the location is Sacramento and the guests include everyone from Shannon Hale to Mitali Perkins.  Don’t miss it.
  • New Podcast Alert: Little, Brown & Company’s School & Library division has their own podcast channel?  Well, who the heck knew?  Not I, said the fly.  And then there’s the podcast Dear Book Nerd which appears to have some connection to the great and grand Brooklyn children’s librarian Rita Meade.  I am so out of it.
  • Kids aren’t reading!  No way, no how, not happening.  Unless of course they are.  Common Sense Media recently decided that kids weren’t reading anymore and they went and made a huge deal about it.  Two alternate takes on the study are worth noting.  The first is from Forbes.  The second, from Liz Burns.  And quite frankly, I probably don’t have to tell you that it’s Liz’s take that I prefer.

Nothing I love more than a new children’s book prize.  Particularly when I get to help to narrow down the contenders.  The New York Historical Society was looking for great books of American history, either fiction or nonfiction for kids.  The winnerThe Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine.  She gets a $10,000 prize and is the inaugural winner.  Check out the other finalists here and an interview with Kristin about the book here.

The big news last week, aside from the birth of my baby Bird, was the Rush Limbaugh win at the Children’s Book Choice Awards.  It wasn’t a surprise but it did make for some good think pieces.  And Travis Jonker, bless his soul, rounded them up for you.  Amusingly, I had to miss the banquet because of back pain.  Had I attended I not only would have gotten to see that particular person give a speech but there was a fire scare that made everyone go outside.  Methinks this was not the worst year to miss.

Wait just a minute there . . . there’s a children’s literature conference in Hawaii and I’m only NOW hearing about it?  Man!  Now there’s a place I’d love to speak.  Pity I’d have to win a Newbery Honor to do it.

  • Daily Image:

It was St. Martin’s Press that advertised this one originally.  I don’t know where they got it, but it’s such a brilliant display that I just had to share it with you.  Libraries and other bookstores take note (and copy at will!).

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. Dear Elizabeth,
    First, Congratulations on your the birth of your little boy! I have a little boy who is now 11. (Remember how you helped me find the Three Investigator series?) I wish you so much happiness!!! Second, thanks for all the great sites to check out today! And, I love that display! Too funny!

  2. I have to make it to that Jefferson Market event! It looks amazing!

  3. Congrats on the new baby Bird by the way!

  4. The fantastic photo of “It’s Blue” is from the Amazing Houston Indie Booksellers at Blue Willow Bookshop. As a former employee and current librarian I’ve answered that question many a time!!

  5. The photo of the Blue display that went viral is from Blue Willow Bookshop here in Houston. They are fantastic! And congrats again on the newest Bird to your little flock!

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Well that just makes perfect sense. Thank you Tara and Diandra for the clarification!

  6. I saw that Lions of Little Rock had gotten the NY Historical Society award and was thrilled. I really liked that book and like the new cover a lot.