Wednesday’s Harvest

It’s really hard to believe it was 97 degrees last week when we’re having 30 degree nights this week.

The garden is definitely winding down. I’m hoping for a red tomato or two but probably will get the last few green tomatoes, some rutabagas and whatever other surprises are left. One draw back to having a community garden is that people from the community wander into our garden and help themselves to the veggies. I’ll just hope I’m feeding someone who really needs it.

+-+757567409_140With sadness, I must mention the passing of Sonia Lynn Sadler, She was a talented artist and designed and recipient of the 2011 Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for Seeds of Change. May she rest in peace.




Malinda Lo (Inheritance, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013) just compiled a very interesting set of statistics on BFYA. Malinda’s analysis addresses several variations of diversity, helping us to realize all the different teens who are reading the ‘best’ books. Her closing:

The question is: Who is this “young adult” reader that this list is supposed to appeal to? Considering race alone, in a US where 37% of the population is people of color, and where “half of all children under 18 are expected to be non-white in five years” (MSNBC), should the BFYA lists attempt to diversify? How does quality — that slippery concept of “best” — relate to race and representation? These questions are further complicated when you bring in sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability.

And what about authors of color? What can be done to increase representation in that arena, both in general and in lists and awards that seek to recognize the best of YA? Is that important? Should it be?.

She followed this with an interview with yours truly.

Getting listed in BFYA or other award lists is quite important to authors. Alaya Dawn Johnson (Summer Prince, Arthur A. Levine, 2013) Tweeted this after learning her book is on the National Book Award longlist.

But, getting your book made into a movie? WOW!! The Watson’s Go to Birmingham will premier on Hallmark this wtsonFriday at 8:00 pm.

You do know what day it is, right? HUMP DAY!! It’s all down hill from here!


Suggest a Title for YALSA’s Awards and Booklists! YALSA’s booklists and awards are taking your suggestions for next year’s awards and lists! Almost anyone (authors and publishers cannot nominate their own titles) can suggest a title for the 2013 lists. Be sure to bookmark the new URLs, as our forms have moved to the YALSA website. Don’t be shy and suggest a book today.

Suggestion Forms

Alex Awards

Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults

Best Fiction for Young Adults

Edwards Award

Fabulous Films for Young Adults

Great Graphic Novels for Teens

Morris Award

Nonfiction Award Odyssey Award

Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

 Printz Award

Readers’ Choice Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers


I kept waking up to thunder last night and was so happy to see that it had actually rained here! In this drought, we’ve too often gotten thunder and lightning that signified nothing. Icing on the cake will be the 70 degree temps tomorrow! Maybe we shouldn’t have 70 days in August, but we shouldn’t be hotter than New Mexico, either!

So, I’m between having finished and getting started and in a pause that I filled with doing a little reading and needing to do a little posting!

Congratulations to Debbie Reese on receiving the 2012 Blog Award for her blog American Indians in Children’s Literature from WordCraft! Wordcraft Circle is a Native organization founded in 1992 to help aspiring Native writers. Congratulations also to Tim Tingle for winning WorldCraft’s Children Literature award for SaltyPie: A Choctaw journey from darkness to light.

States are beginning to post their nominees for state awards. Indiana’s will be announced in November. It’s important to nominate books to these lists because teachers and librarians use them when purchasing books. From the list of nominees, students across the state will read the books and vote for the best books on the list. Typically, children’s books are separate from YA. What Can’t Wait has just been named one of 20 Georgia Peach Book Award nominees for 2012-2013 .

A book that certainly  needs to be on state reading lists today is Neesha Meminger’s Shine Coconut Moon. From my review

Sam‘s Uncle suddenly comes to visit. He is her mom’s only brother, the brother she walked away from when she left her family to marry the love of her life. Sam‘s mom resented the Indian culture that she felt was stifling her, so she left it behind and never looked back. She raised her daughter to be an all American girl. Sam dressed, talked and acted just like her white friends.

And then her Uncle Sandeep appears. Her turban wearing Sikh uncle in post 9/11 America.

“Bryan Thao Worra, Lao-American writer, poet, and a member of the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), was selected to represent Lao poets in Poetry Parnassus, a weeklong poetry festival held in conjunction with the 2012 Olympics”. source: ALA Direct Congratulations, Bryan!

“Have you registered for JCLC yet? The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) will convene an “All Things Digital” panel at the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color, Sept. 19-23, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo”. source

Whatever weather comes your way, I hope your day is a good one!




Thursday Catching up

A couple of weeks ago, I taught a class of high school students about creating an online image for colleges and employers. We talked a little bit about Facebook. Did you know some college are requiring sports teams to designating a member of the coaching staff to monitor social networking services? While some employers are asking to be friended on FB, others are actually requesting access to accounts. This bothers me because it provides access to so much personal information, much of which is illegal for employers to request in a standard job interview. They could know as much as with whom you associate, your personal conversations with these people, religious and/or political affiliation, date of birth and sexual orientation. I like the advice I read on LinkedIn: simply ask them what they want to know about you.

Unfortunately, we live in a job market where the employer rules and too many employers are getting away with practices they wouldn’t if they didn’t feel workers so expendable. Why not just tell them ‘no, you cannot have access’? Why do we have to rely on the government who is not considering legislation to ban such practices? It seems to make more sense to me to let the open market take care of this problem and if enough potential employees are willing to say ‘no’ it would stop on its own. I just don’t think we should always rely on the government to legislate wrongs away. It makes us lazy and dependent.

Books do quite the opposite!

Book Awards continue!

The Glyph Comics Awards will be presented in May at the East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention in Philadelphia. The nominees can be found here.

The 24th Annual Lambda Literary Award finalists have been announced and the following are the nominees in the YA category.

Gemini Bites, by Patrick Ryan, Scholastic

Huntress, by Malinda Lo, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

I am J, by Cris Beam, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

PINK, by Lili Wilkinson, HarperCollins

Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy, by Bil Wright, Simon & Schuster

Thanks to the Pirate Tree for sharing  the 2012 Outstanding International Books List and the Google Map they’ve created which identifies each book by its setting.

The ALA’s Haiti Fund continues to build and restore libraries in Haiti. While there are numerous ways for you to donate, why not just reach for that cell phone and text “alahaiti” to 20222 to make a $10 donation? So far, the ALA has collected and distributed just over $55,000.

10 April is Library Workers Day. The American Library Association-Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) encourages those who will celebrate the day to nominate “star” library employees for public recognition. ALA-APA will post the nominations on its NLWD website.

I’ve been reading some very interesting articles on ebooks and brain interaction recently. One discussed how we tend to retain less of what we read in ebooks than in print. I don’t remember the source of this one, but if you do please put a link in the comments!

Another from Psychology Today discusses new ways our brains need to learn to navigate space in order to access and make sense of what we’ve read.

And just now, I’m connecting those two articles to understand why we don’t retain as well from electronic sources.

my most recent iPhone apps:

PBS (I love this one because it gives me access to all PBS programming via my phone!)


Nyan Cat (my girls told me about this space cat that farts rainbows!)

RunStickManRun (my daughter told me about this one and I hate to admit that it’s a tricky one for me!)

I’ve got several book reviews to write and post, so look for me to post this weekend.




Award Season Begins


Twitter has been filled with news of the National Book Award Finalists. I read Inside Out and Back Again on my Nook and thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve not been good about reviewing the books I’ve read on the Nook and I wonder why that is. I’ve got to get better at it, especially when the stories are as mesmerizing as Inside Out and Back Again.

PaperTigers shared this link to the 184 nominees for the 2012 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. The list of Nominated candidates is a very global list that is not dominated by the US. There were only six Americans on the list, among them was Walter Dean Myers. Congratulations!

All the awards for Children’s book awards are too numerous to mention here. I do know that some will be announced quite soon at the NCTE Convention in November. I used to shy away from the award hoopla, but now I find it a source of excitement about books I’ve read and enjoyed as well as about new ones I discover.

Don’t forget to nominate your favorite book for a Cybil award! 15 October is the deadline.

I cannot image what it would feel like to be an author who has finally, finally gotten a book published.  Even though it’s written for public consumption, it’s still has a strong personal attachment. And then! To be nominated for one of these awards.

I’ll can’t wait to see all the winners this year!


Skipping Stone Award Winners

Skipping Stones An International Multicultural Magazine recently awarded its 2007 Skipping Stone Honor Awards.  Among the winners were the follow books for YAs:

Chess Rumble by G. Neri, illustr. Jesse Joshua Watson. Lee and Low; Ages 11-15. ISBN: 978-1-58430-279-7

Jeannette Rankin: Political Pioneer, a biography by Gretchen Woelfle. Calkins Creek/ Boyds Mills Press; Ages 11-17. ISBN: 978-1-59078-437-2

Tasting The Sky: A Palestinian Childhood, a memoir by Ibtisam Barakat. Farrar, Straus & Giroux; Ages 11-15. ISBN: 978-0374-35733-7

The Teen Guide to Global Action: How to Connect with others to Create Social Change by Barbara A. Lewis. Free Spirit; Ages 12-17. ISBN: 978-1-57542-266-4

A Shout in the Sunshine, a novel by Mara W. Cohen Ioannides. Jewish Publication Society; Ages 12-17. ISBN: 978-0-8276-0838-2

Windows into My World: Latino Youth Write Their Lives, ed. by Sarah Cortez. Piñata Books; Ages 13-18. ISBN: 978-1-55885-482-6

The Ocean in the Closet, a debut novel by Yuko Taniguchi. Coffee House Press; Ages 15 to adults. ISBN: 978-1-56689-194-3