I don’t usually share interesting links from the week, but it’s something I’ve been thinking about posting on an (irregular) basis. It was just good luck there was a lot of great stuff to share this week when all I really intended to post about was an upcoming feature on the blog.
This month, we didn’t do our regular Twitterview because we’re doing a two-week long series at the end of the month featuring the young adult debut authors who are part of the Class 2k12. Each of these authors has done a mini-Twitterview and shared a guest post for us from a pool of topics we brainstormed, ranging from serious to the completely ridiculous. You’re in for a treat. And don’t worry — we have some of our own content to post those weeks, as well, including our favorite books from the year.
(And if anyone’s interested in making a graphic for this two-week feature, let me know).
Onto some of the interesting links this week:
- Cecil Castellucci shared a fantastic book list for young readers that features teens involved in protests. It’s a timely list and a topic I hadn’t thought a whole lot about as a reader, but I can see the great possibilities here for displays and discussion.
- Liz Burns talks about the recent issues raised when William Marrow sent a letter to bloggers outlining changes to their reviewer program through these three posts. As someone who received this letter, I was less put off by the idea — getting fewer unsolicited books is actually great — but I was rubbed wrong by the poorly-worded suggestion blogging is a job. This is something the three of us here at STACKED talked about this time last year.
- Kirkus and School Library Journal released their “Best of” lists for 2011 this week. I find the cross over titles pretty unsurprising, but what struck me were the titles that were clear outliers in the best of lists. I’ve read a lot of books this year, and many of these sort of came as shocking choices as “best of” when other titles were left off. Noticeably missing from these lists, (but not the Publisher’s Weekly list)? John Corey Whaley’s Where Things Come Back which I think is a front runner for not only the Morris Award, but it has serious potential for the Printz, too. What’s most interesting to me about these lists is that we as outsiders never know what the criteria are that go into selecting the titles. What qualities are the list creators looking at? Are they looking at literary merit (and then I question some choices) or are they looking at appeal (and then I question some more choices)? We don’t know. “Best of” lists are so subjective, and that’s what leaves me fascinated. How is it some books continue to be “best of” titles and how do others fail to make any lists when they meet as many criteria as possible?
- That question leads me right to another one I have from a blog I hope other people are reading as regularly as me: how is it that Nova Ren Suma’s Imaginary Girls is not on the list of contenders for the American Library Association’s Best Fiction for Young Adults list? This is a book that we have praised right here, as well as a book we think has serious potential to be a Printz contender. Best Fiction titles come from committee nominations, as well as field nominations. Those field nominations need to be seconded by a committee member to join the list for consideration at ALA Midwinter, where the final list is determined. I’m really shocked and disappointed that this title didn’t make the cut. That’s not to say it’s the committee’s fault, but it’s a head scratcher and a disappointment. These selection lists help librarians in making purchasing and reader’s advisory decisions, so it’s a bit disconcerting to not see a title like this one even being considered.
- Are you a librarian or teacher who needs books for your school or classroom library? Your budget’s been cut or you have no budget? Get in touch with Maureen Johnson. She wants to help you. Watching Maureen this morning as she learned how few budgets exist for books in the library/school world has been interesting, and she’s dedicated to making some sort of impact about this. Her email is email@example.com.