Fusenews: America, Read This Man
Bad news for my husband. I have just fallen head-over-heels in love with James Kennedy, author of the YA novel The Order of Odd-Fish. Ladies and gentlemen of the liking men variety, I advise you to be very careful in reading this blog post of his which tells (in a fashion) of his experience with the last ALA Media Awards. He had me at "conniving sidelong lope" and now I feel compelled to read every damn word the fellow has ever written, starting from the early scribbles he scrawled out as a toothless mewling babe. Ba-bump goes my little heart. I also feel inclined to give him a bad review with the sole intention of hoping that he will write about me and do complicated things with my name. As I read through it I almost want to dedicate this entire post solely in the purpose of getting you to read this blog. Go. Now. Read. This. Man. I, for my part, am off to read his book. Even if it is YA.
A great big thank you to my four presenters this past Saturday for participating in my New York Times reviewers’ literary panel. Thanks, of course, to the elegant Julie Just for her intelligence and forthright answers. Thanks too to Leonard Marcus for his gravity and presence, Rebecca Zerkin for her smarts and insights, and Ned Vizzini for that completely fabulous story about the letter slush pile and the invitation to an orgy. And thanks to everyone who came out! You battled fire (true) and flood (not true) and the incredibly enticing Neil Gaiman event at Books of Wonder (I forgive you for luring people away with your awesomeness, Neil) to pack the room. I tried recording some of the talk for a podcast (gotta start getting back to that) but I’m not sure if it went through. Fingers crossed then.
A fun idea. "Notes" of one sort or another float about on Facebook all the time. Follow the steps in a note and you’ll be able to use your iPod to create the soundtrack of your life, or you can press random buttons to create a great album cover. 100 Scope Notes takes the idea one step further with the challenge to Create Your Debut Fantasy Book Cover. You follow the steps he has ascribed and you come up with some truly wonderfully awful fantasy books. A couple of them have been sent to the site and posted here. I still like the first cover created best.
There’s a really excellent post over at writer/teacher Kate Messner’s Livejournal blog about a recent virtual author visit her school conducted with writer Laurie Halse Anderson. The kids read Chains and then proceeded to speak, in a fashion, with Ms. Anderson using Skype. Messner’s piece is great reading for anyone interested in doing something similar with their own kids in a school or library setting. It covers the good, the bad, the ugly, and the awesome. Thanks to Kate Messner for the link.
Alvina Ling, editor of Ed Young’s Wabi Sabi (am I the only one who always misspells it Wabit Sabi on a first go?) has a lovely piece up called Child Friendly? If any of you have ever wondered if editors take child-friendliness into consideration when they help to produce beautiful works of art, here is your answer. And she has a query for you too: "A question: have you ever been surprised by a book, either one that you thought would be a no-brainer in terms of kids liking it, but they turned out to not be interested, or vice versa–a book you were pretty sure they would hate, that it turned out that they loved?" I sure have. One of the big shocks of my library career came in discovering that Dr. Seuss picture books don’t always translate beautifully when read aloud in a storytime. Oh, Horton Hatches the Egg. You broke my heart when I tried to read you to preschoolers (I’m clearly in a romantic mood today).
In the same vein, here is a rather illuminating look at a French cover of our recent Newbery Award winner:
My French is rusty, but if I don’t miss my guess doesn’t that say The Strange Life of Nobody Owens? Thanks to Neil Gaiman for the link.
Filed under: Fusenews
About Betsy Bird
Betsy 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.
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