Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Freedom to Read

This being Freedom to Read Week, I thought I'd fill you all in on a few of the off the wall challenges to books that have come my way--

  • The little black book for girlz: a book on healthy sexuality was challenged for being "obscene and for containing explicit instructions for sexual acts"" among other things! Hello...how on earth can you have a book that explains sexuality without being explicit!
  • My friend Flicka, the classic by Mary O'Hara was challenged because the book uses the word "bitch" to refer to a female dog. Ok, so go ahead and check with any breeder for the acceptable term for female dog. Big surprise...it's "bitch"!
  • Here's a good one; The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier was challenged because it promotes defiance of authority. Who knew a Canadian classic picture book about hockey could be so controversial!
  • And the one I like the best is The tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter. which was challenged for portraying only middle-class rabbits and by consequence is "classist".
For more information on challenged and banned books, check out the Freedom To Read website

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Graveyard Book Trailer Narrated by Neil Gaiman

Here is the book trailer for The Graveyard Book narrated by the author. it's kind of cool.

2009 Newbery and Caldecott Awards

2009 ALA Award Winners have been announced. Visit ALSC for more on children's book awards sponsored by the American Library Association.

Newbery Medal

"The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean, HarperCollins Children's Books

Newbery Honor Books

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small, Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle, Henry Holt and Company, LLC

Savvy by Ingrid Law, Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in partnership with Walden Media, LLC

After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson, G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Books for Young Readers

Caldecott Medal

The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes and written by Susan Marie Swanson, Houghton Mifflin Co.

Caldecott Honor Books

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee, Harcourt, Inc.

How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz, Farrar Straus Giroux

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams illustrated by Melissa Sweet and written by Jen Bryant, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How to Talk to Girls by Alec Greven

I know, I know. It's been months since I've posted. But then, I have such good excuses; a trip to Oregon, 2 months in Europe, Xmas, a poetry course, the novel I'm still working on (yep, the same one!), travel for work, and I confess, a case of blogger burn-out. But, now I'm back in the saddle, so here goes.

My latest find isn't exactly news, but I'm really enjoying it. It' called How to Talk to Girls by Alec Greven. With Valentine's Day just around the corner, I'm thinking Alec has a few words of wisdom for boys in need of a little love advice. The guide is short, to the point, and easy to follow. For example, Alec advises "move on" if a girl you like ditches you. His wisdom doesn't stop there though. "You also have to be aware that girls win most of the arguments and have most of the power." He goes on to suggest that life will be easier guys if you learn that now! Wise well beyond his nine years, Alec has already figured out that "if you try for too many girls, you will have jealousy issues and might end up with nobody." Alec has advice on starting converstations with girls, what to do if you are shy, how to dress to impress, and even what not to do if you are successful in getting a girl and you want to keep her.

So, if you're looking for a valentine for a boy you like, this little gem just might be the ticket. At $9.99 US and $10.99 Canadian, it's a steal. Be careful though; Alec Greven may just steal your heart, and even for a book lover, that's one big ticket item. Sheryl