Yes, I’m inconsistent and unreliable. But so is mother nature. A couple of days ago I went out in a t-shirt and today it might snow. SNOW. So my lateness with the “this week in writing” posts is hardly terrible by comparison. Did I mention the snow? OK. Moving on.
World Book Night is coming up, and with Amy Poehler as honorary chairperson, the night should at least be hilarious. Here’s an interactive map of where all the activities will be taking place. Find one near you!
Penguin Random House is letting book lovers try their hand at owning a virtual “book shop” where you get to recommend the books you love. Sounds like Goodreads to me. It’s currently in Beta. Check it out.
It’s April. It’s National Poetry Month. You want to read poetry, but don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of 50 poetry books you should read. Thank me in the comments.
Look out, Common Core! It looks like the kind of skim-reading that we do during the day is deteriorating our ability to read deeply. Great. More evils of the interwebs.
Both Rizzoli Bookstore and Shakespeare and Co. in New York City are no more as of this month. Rizzoli owners and fans tried a last-ditch effort to have it declared a landmark, but as of April 11th, it was over. Shakespeare and Co. is still in their space until the owners find a new tenant. Fortunately, they have two other NYC locations. If you want to help save indies, you can sign up for Indies First Storytime Day on May 17th. Sponsored by the American Booksellers Association and spearheaded by Kate DiCamillo, it’s a great way to show an indie some love.
You may have heard that my book crush from 2013, Eleanor & Park has been picked up by DreamWorks for a movie. (If you did, you probably heard it from ME!) I am so excited for this movie. What I didn’t know was that The Fault in Our Stars author John Green had a lot to do with that book becoming so popular. Unfortunately, Green is now taking some heat for which subjects he chooses to promote with his substantial platform. The discussion about diversity in kids lit (like this CNN article: Where’s the African-American Harry Potter or the Mexican Katniss or this one about children’s books fueling mascot stereotypes) has reached massive proportions, and about time too, and this article is a run down on many of the online posts and discussions, but also raises the point that those with big platforms ought to give time and attention to this issue, especially considering that BookCon just announced it’s headliners for kid lit are four white guys. A fact one of the white guys was quick to point out.
If anyone’s interested in doing something about diversity in children’s books, check out the Kids of Color Children’s Book page on FB. I have met some fabulous ladies there who are doing incredible work to make sure all kids (ALL) get to see themselves on the page. Thanks for inviting me to join, guys!
OK, need a little levity? Here are some hilarious abysmal reviews of beloved classics. My favorite is the review of One Hundred Years of Solitude (a personal fave of mine, and now the review is my fave.) “Never. Trust. Oprah.”
Speaking of beloved books, Captain Underpants is on the banned books list again. Poor guy. No pants and no love.
I may not have mentioned, but I am currently enrolled in an online class about writing chapter books. I felt like I was floundering, and this is an age group that I’ve been interested in writing for, but never have. It’s run by Mira Reisberg, and is a really incredible, thorough course. It works well for me, but would be incredibly beneficial to a new writer. They do several types of courses throughout the year: picture book, middle grade, etc. Check out the Children’s Book Academy here.
Speaking of classes, you can also check out Rutgers University Council on Children’s Literature One on One Plus conference. This has been very beneficial to someone near and dear to me: my agent! It’s a one-day conference and there are scholarships if you need one.
Last but not least, I saw a cover sketch for my novel The Jumbies last week. It looks so creepy and good! The illustrator did such an amazing job! I can hardly wait to see the final version which will also be in color. Chills! Hopefully I’ll be able to share it with you soon.
Enjoy the rest of the week, folks!