Weekly Book News

Man, I am totally wishing that someone from the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Cybils group was on hand this weekend. During the conference, A.F. and I did a total graphics/YA Cybil Nominee book swap, and I’ve come away with everything from the 9-11 Report in pictures to the controversial Fun Home to award-winning American Born Chinese, which I’ve been dying to read (and which was a great mix for the Year of the Boar celebration still going on in Chinatown in SF, where we, of course, got lost… but that’s another story!). Of course, if someone from Sci-Fi/Fantasy had been at the Multicultural Conference, then there would be sixty book sitting next to my nightstand, so never mind…

My Cybil Sis LW has a Shelving Meme posted… which gave me a good giggle… Oh, good grief don’t get me started on bookshelves. Argh! My Cybils books are in a stack, willy-nilly on the floor in my office. There’s a stack of at least thirty books in my bedroom, and a good ten piled in my nightstand. My floor-to-ceiling dream bookshelves are at Ikea in a flat-packed box, and I can’t put them up yet until the kitchen is done, and we tear out the rest of the downstairs carpet and put down the new flooring… so, I’ll get back to you on how I shelve my books, dear ones. Because shelves? Order? Space? Somewhat at a premium just now.

We’ve all either heard of or read the ALAN Review, which is pulled together by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). I love the name ALAN, which stands for the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents, and I enjoy their thrice yearly published journal, which is full of great stuff on YA literature but three times a year is not enough for me! To fill the need for more intelligent discourse on YA books, there is now the ALAN Book Club Online, which kicked off last week with its first online book chat. (A transcript is posted here.)

The best thing about this book chat is that it is for EVERYONE, but of course, the first thing participants must do is READ THE BOOK. Please. I’m sure that’s the last time you’ll hear anyone ask nicely. You don’t have to be a teacher of English or a writer or anything but a YA books aficionado… and a person who has read the book up for discussion. They also ask that all participants send one question for discussion to the moderator at least the day before the scheduled chat. Third, log in at some point to make sure you CAN log-on, and thus solve any technical difficulties before the fun starts. Then, join the chat at the appointed time and enjoy. Sandpiper which is a difficult, emotional book. This week, Ellen herself will be on hand to talk about her book and answer some questions. This sounds like a fabulous opportunity to even be a lurker and listen in.

Via Book Moot comes news of another book chat group – but this ones for YA’ers. Readergirls are reading Justina Chen Headley’s Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies). Find a teen girl who reads and tell her to join the fun!

Ooh! New release news: Via Bookshelves of Doom, I find that Robin the Rad McKinley has another book out this fall! Pardon me whilst I squeee… This poor woman has been trotting around the countryside, on tour forever, so I was wondering whether she would ever get another free moment to WRITE. So glad she’s on the way back! Also is it Hate Crutcher Week again? And nobody told me? Siiiigh… This man, who has faced more censors and book attacks than any other male YA author I know of, actually has good book related news too! It’s entitled ‘Deadline’ — coming in the fall to a bookstore near you…

MULTICULTURAL THOUGHT DU JOUR: Recently MTV posted a list of the ten best kid’s books to make into movies. At our conference this weekend, Cal State East Bay professor Susan Fox challenged us to think of multicultural kid’s books we thought would make great movies. (Incidentally, check out the trip to Iceland and England that Susan’s department is pulling together for this summer!) I’m thinking… you think too, and tell me what comes to mind! Howzabout The First Part Last? or A Girl Named Disaster? Walk Two Moons or The Cay?

All right. I see a work avoidance pattern happening, so I’m off.
Warm soup and good books to you all this blustery Monday.

About the author


  1. Thanks for participating in the shelving survey. I need more shelves as well!

    Thank you all the more for linking to readergirlz. 🙂 YAY! Tell me that you’ll be hanging out there and discussing NbtT next month!

    I’ll have to check out that ALAN book group. I really liked Sandpiper. That and Blind Faith are my favorite Wittlinger novels. I see that A Room on Lorelei Street is their pick for April, and I highly recommend that book.

  2. One book that should be a movie and it’s a CRIME that it’s not is Nancy Farmer’s, “The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm.” That book kicks ass and takes names. The day we see ANY black kids as heroes in an action movie will be a step forward anyway, though.

  3. 🙂 Since our writing group meets on Wednesdays, I’m going to lobby for dragging our whole group along to the ALAN thing — Between Scholar’s Blog Discussion Group and Readergirlz, this is the month for finding people with whom to read!

    I agree on the Nancy Farmer book idea. I remember the first time I read it — I was blown away to think it was all about Africans; it was a pleasant surprise…

  4. I totally agree about The Ear, The Eye, and The Arm–so much action you can’t put it down! Anything of Nancy Farmer’s would be great, actually, though I’m not sure I’d trust anyone to do it justice…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.