Friday, April 17, 2009

YA Poetry Contest

Author, Mitali Perkins is calling for entries for the Seventh Annual Fire Escape Contest

for teen-authored poetry and short stories. Entries are due by June 1, 2009, and cash prizes are awarded for first, second, and third place...

This is a timely announcement for a local high school which is running a poetry contest of its own right now!

This a trailer for her new book Secret Keeper.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Singer: Susan Boyle

I should probably save this for Facebook. I saw a reference to Susan Boyle in a listserv email this morning and found the YouTube video (the embed has been disabled) of her triumphant performance on Britain's Got Talent this past weekend. I was compelled to watch it again and again.

After I sent it off to the entlings and other friends who tolerate my email intrusions, I found this Entertainment Weekly article by Lisa Schwarzbaum which echoed my own teary reaction so eloquently.

Schwarzbaum writes:
...right now I'm pondering why the experience of watching and listening to Ms. Boyle makes so many viewers cry, me among them. And I think I've got a simple answer, at least for me: In our pop-minded culture so slavishly obsessed with packaging -- the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts -- the unpackaged artistic power of the unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed Ms. Boyle let me feel, for the duration of one blazing showstopping ballad, the meaning of human grace. She pierced my defenses. She reordered the measure of beauty. And I had no idea until tears sprang how desperately I need that corrective from time to time.

Yep. Simple as that. That's why I weep. What's your excuse?

The "unstyled, un-hip, un-kissed" vs. the well packaged with "the right face, the right clothes, the right attitudes, the right Facebook posts..." Such is the stuff of Napoleon Dynamite, YA novels and most teenagers' lives. That dichotomy is why I read children's and YA books.

Boyle's triumph is a validating moment for us all.

Update: Susan Boyle Hype Revitalizes 10-Year-Old Cover

And Jimmy Fallon shares his take:

Movie: The Secret of Moonacre

Oh how funny.
Little White Horse fans do click over to SarahTales and check her take on The Secret of Moonacre movie.

"Uncle Hornblower," "Clockwork Orange boys," eyeliner wearing Robin...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Movie: The Lightning Thief

Rockstar Rick Riordan must be giddy!

From The Hollywood Reporter:

Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd and Melina Kanakaredes are heading to Mount Olympus.

The quintet has been cast in Fox 2000's fantasy-adventure adaptation "Percy Jackson" as classical Greek gods Chiron (Brosnan), Medusa (Thurman), Zeus (Bean), Poseidon (McKidd) and Athena (Kanakaredes). Aries, Hades and Persephone have not yet been cast.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Pack returned to Mrs. Mallard

Thanks to Wizards Wireless for the news that Blueberries For Sal
will be available for purchase again soon. The article about the negotiations between the publisher and the McClosky estate is very interesting. Also, the book will be remastered to more closely reflect the original artwork.

Publisher's Weekly also mentioned the horrendous kidnapping of the duckling, Pack, from the Make Way for Ducklings statue in the Public Garden. Happily the little one has been located and will be returned to his family.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Math Test

Today is Math TAKS Day in Texas for 5th grade.

Hopefully our students will not work their problems this way.

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Texas Library Association Conference 2009

I spent the last three days in the company of men and women who strive daily to make information and literature available to the widest audience possible. Librarians seek to expand their patrons' horizons and supply materials and resources for them in all their endeavors. The Texas Library Association has been supporting these efforts since 1902.

The TLA exhibit hall was full of companies offering online information resources, foreign language instruction packages, library management software and library furnishings. Publishers display new fiction and nonfiction titles while authors sign books and maintain cheerful smiles for fans who queue for their few moments of face time. Apparel vendors supply garments and jewelry that promote reading and librarians in sparkling rhinstones, applique or embroidery.

Gifted storytellers, musicians, authors, illustrators discuss their work in presentations that were thoughtfully prepared and shared.

I've been attending TLA for well over a decade now (good gad!) and the opportunity to visit with other librarians and connect with old friends and acquaintances is utterly refreshing and revitalizing.

Unlike a grade level teacher, school librarians are often "lone rangers" on their campus. They must constantly add new content and new lessons to their programs. Some projects repeat from year to year but there are always new stories to share and new technologies to add their students' information skills.

I know budgets are tight and schedules are full but I find the benefits of attending this conference are worth sacrifices. It contributes to my growth as a professional and to my sense of belonging to a community that is truly committed to a noble purpose.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Poetry Month in the Kidlitosphere

The Kidlitosphere is celebrating during National Poetry Month.

GottaBook announces, 30 Poets/30 Days!
Gregory K. Pincus is the originator of Fib poetry.
Every day in April,he will be posting a previously unpublished poem by a different poet. Here's the alphabetical list of who's participating:

Arnold Adoff, Jaime Adoff, Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Douglas Florian, Betsy Franco, Kristine O'Connell George, Charles Ghigna, Nikki Giovanni, Joan Bransfield Graham, Nikki Grimes, Avis Harley, Mary Ann Hoberman, Lee Bennett Hopkins, X. J. Kennedy, Bruce Lansky, Julie Larios, J. Patrick Lewis, Pat Mora, Kenn Nesbitt, Linda Sue Park, Ann Whitford Paul, Gregory K. Pincus, Jack Prelutsky, Adam Rex, Jon Scieszka, Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, April Halprin Wayland, Janet Wong, and Jane Yolen.

It will launch on Tuesday, April 1, with former Children's Poet Laureate Jack Prelutsky's new “A Little Poem For Poetry Month.” We’ll end April 30th with “Books & Me” by Pat Mora to help celebrate El día de los niños/El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day). And every day in between will bring something new. You can follow along here and via 30poets30days on Twitter."

Also, at Miss Rumphius Effect,, Tricia Stohr-Hunt will be featuring Poetry Makers, interviews with a spectacular group of children's poets.

April 1. Kenn Nesbitt
April 2. Rebecca Kai Dotlich
April 3. Avis Harley / Ann Whitford Paul
April 4. Joyce Carol Thomas
April 5. J. Patrick Lewis
April 6. Janet Wong
April 7. Joseph Bruchac
April 8. Ralph Fletcher / Steven Schnur
April 9. Jane Yolen
April 10. Linda Ashman / Julie Larios
April 11. Adam Rex
April 12. Marilyn Singer
April 13. Lee Bennett Hopkins
April 14. Georgia Heard
April 15. Joyce Sidman
April 16. Paul Janeczko
April 17. Arnold Adoff / Jaime Adoff
April 18. Joan Bransfield Graham
April 19. Bobbi Katz
April 20. Kristine O’Connell George
April 21. Jorge Argueta
April 22. Carole Boston Weatherford
April 23. Betsy Franco
April 24. Lisa Westberg Peters / Laura Purdie Salas
April 25. Calef Brown
April 26. Marilyn Nelson
April 27. Helen Frost / Sara Holbrook
April 28. Douglas Florian
April 29. Mary Ann Hoberman
April 30. Pat Mora

Also, Sylvia Vardell at Poetry For Children,, will be reviewing a new children's poetry book every day;

Anastasia Suen
at her new Pencil Talk blog,, invites K-12 students to write their own school poems and send them in to be posted.

Elaine Magliaro will be giving away children's poetry books as prizes during National Poetry Month again this year at Wild Rose Reader. She will also be giving away books of light verse during April at her new blog Political Verses (