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Archive for the 'Kids’ books' Category

Kids’ Book News: National Poetry Month

  • Hear ye, hear ye — April is National Poetry Month! Gather your haikus! Brush up on your iambic pentameter! Dust off that old... wait. Why dust off old poetry books when there's so many fantastic new ones?

    If you read one poetry book this year, make sure it's Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry.Collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters, these 61 poems perfectly capture the everyday tribulations of a toddler's life, and we can't stop talking about it.

    David Elliott's On the Farm combines poems, using unique distillations of farm animals' important features, with Holly Meade's visually striking woodcuts. For the older crowd, editor Jan Greenberg's Side by Side: New Poems Inspired by Art from Around the World puts artists and poets literally on the same page.

    For older poetry lovers, our Mary Z. has compiled a few of her favorite young adult poetry books.

  • Millie McDeevit Screamed a Scream...


Best YA Books for 2008

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has announced its 2008 list of Best Books for Young Adults. The list of 85 books are recommended for those ages 12-18 and "meet the criteria of both good quality literature and appealing reading for teens."

In addition, the Best Books for Young Adults Committee created a Top 10 list of titles from the final list that exemplify the quality and range of literature being published for teens:

So many good books, so little time. Get to it! ...

Stop the Presses!

Big Day for Kids' Books:
Brian Selznick has won the 2008 Randolph Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret (Scholastic Press), a 533-page novel that he also illustrated. And Laura Amy Schlitz won the 2008 Newbery Medal for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village, illustrated by Robert Byrd (Candlewick).

The awards were announced this morning at the American Library Association's midwinter conference in Philadelphia.

Three Newbery Honor Books were named: Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis (Scholastic Press); The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion); and Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam).

There were also four Caldecott Honor Books: Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Ellen Levine (Scholastic Press); First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook/Porter); The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Peter Sís (FSG/Foster); and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems (Hyperion).

The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean (HarperTempest) won the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults. Four Printz Honors were given: Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox (FSG/Foster); One Whole and Perfect ...

Kids’ Book News

  • We were Wimpy before Wimpy was cool: You might notice a little book called Diary of a Wimpy Kid at the top of the New York Times Children's Chapter Book's Bestseller List this weekend.

    Well, we have loved this book since way back when and thought we'd give you another opportunity to read Jeff Kinney's fun Q&A for

  • Down the Rabbit Hole: There's just no end to the creative things that Frank Beddor is doing with his time.
    Formerly a ski champion, stuntman, and producer, and now author of The Looking Glass Wars, as well as its outstanding sequel Seeing Redd, his books take us deep into the dark world of Alice in Wonderland, or as Beddor calls her, Alyss Heart. The story is also featured in the series of graphic novels called Hatter M.

    There's also an online card game and now, for the youngest fans, he presents the "scrapbook" of Princess Alyss of Wonderland. Filled with illustration, removable objects and facts about the "real" Alyss, this book is the perfect gift for your Queen of Hearts.


National Adoption Month

Through the month of November in our Basil Hallward Gallery, Powell's will celebrate National Adoption Month by featuring a display of compelling portraits of adoptable Oregon children from the Heart Gallery of Oregon. Dozens of professional photographers have donated their time and talent to capture the spirit and personality of foster children who are waiting to find a "forever" home. Come to Powell's City of Books during the month of November to save 10% off any title from their section of books on adoption.

Hey, Kids — Get a Free Journal and Signed Garden of Eve!

Shout out to YA Readers:

Jerry Spinelli has thrilled us to the bone by writing the sequel to his beloved book Stargirl. In Love, Stargirl, we hear the story through Stargirl's perspective. To celebrate our jiggly-ness, we give you this special offer!

Buy Love, Stargirl at 30% off the cover price and with your purchase, you'll receive a free bookplate signed by Spinelli!

Or buy a boxed set of both books, also at 30% off, and receive a signed bookplate and free Stargirl journal! While promotion and supplies last.

We also had a fun Q&A session with Spinelli which you can read if you click here.

But wait! There's more!

If you are a fan of K. L. Going, you are fully aware that she rocks! To celebrate the publication of her new book, The Garden of Eve, I am giving away signed copies to the first three folks who post a comment on this blog, citing the correct name of the main character.

Come on! How easy can you get? I will contact the winners by email.

Contest ends Oct 22, at 5:00 ...

The Event That Shall Not Be Named

I was secretly a little terrified at the prospect of a couple thousand fans of a bestselling fantasy novel converging on the store in costume. I'm not much for crowds, and tend to get grumpy just thinking about lines. But it turns out my fears were totally unfounded. The crowd at the Harry Potter Event was one of the most civil and enthusiastic I've ever witnessed. (For the record, I'm including in my experience about a hundred Indigo Girls concerts circa 1990-1997, an extremely sticky, violent mosh pit [I'm not kidding] at a Barenaked Ladies/Violent Femmes show at Bumbershoot in 1993, and the first midnight showing of the theatrically re-released Star Wars in — when was that? 1995?)

I was handing out free stuff to the crowd for a good portion of the night. The "free stuff" was mostly bookmarks advertising His Dark Materials and a couple of new books from publishers clearly hoping to piggyback on Harry's big night. Not that I minded, but some people looked at me, with my little apron full of bookmarks, like they were in line for the soup kitchen and I ...

Beyond the First 50 Pages…

After two and half years of sore eyes, carpal tunnel, and a perpetually distracted look on my face, I've finally received my MFA. Aside from the usual glee that accompanies this kind of accomplishment, I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom and joy when it dawned on me that my reading habits would never again be ruled by the requirements of an academic program or the whims my faculty advisors.

Weeeeeeeeeeee!!!! [For the uninitiated, that's the sound you make when you're being pushed very high on a swing, or sledding very fast down a hill.]

I really missed kids' books. In the last six months of my program I rarely had time to crack open a young adult novel, and when I did crack one open, I usually never got beyond the first fifty pages. It became something of a joke on the kids' team. After enthusiastically recommending a title to a customer, a coworker would ask, "Did you actually read that book?" And my answer was inevitably, "Well, I started it..."

My yoga teacher, Anne, used a great book analogy in class the other day. She said (approximately), "In yoga you ...

Favorite Graphic Novels: A Thirteen-Year-Old’s Perspective

Children's graphic novels have become stupendously popular, and they've been making us feel a bit... well, old, and out of our element. So, Alexis and I decided to educate ourselves. We went to an expert: a real, live kid who reads and loves graphic novels. Emily is thirteen years old and spends a lot of time perusing our graphic novels section in the Rose Room at Powell's City of Books. She knows her stuff and was graciously willing to enlighten us. Many of our more technical questions were answered, and we heard about the rather intriguing plots of several series. But enough summary, on with the interview....

Powell's: First of all, you'll have to excuse our ignorance.

Emily: Okay.

Powell's: When did you start reading graphic novels?

Emily: A year ago, when I was twelve.

Hana Kimi

Powell's: Which one got you hooked?

Emily: Hana Kimi. My friend forced me to read it. I wasn't really into graphic novels until she made me read it. I didn't think that I would like them because I thought they were for younger people.

Powell's: What was it about Hana Kimi that changed your mind?

Emily: I was really into stories about girls who were dressing up as boys. Because I really liked the adventure. She dresses up as a boy to meet her idol at a boys' school.

Powell's: It sounds rather Shakespearean. Does it matter which order you read them in? Is each novel an episode of a larger story, or can they stand alone?

Emily: Most of the time it'll end that way [as an episode], but sometimes it'll end at a really dramatic point.

Are You Listening, Oprah?

In the children's section of the City of Books, we tend to have underdog favorites — books that we always recommend to customers because we know that some child, somewhere, will be transformed by them, as we were when we read them. These are books that have fallen through the cracks of the publishing world, or that have fallen off of school reading lists, or that have been overshadowed by the monolithic bestsellers of recent years. We hope that by championing these books, we are participating in a larger project to keep good stories in children's hands, to broaden their minds and hearts, and to ensure that these children remain readers for life.

Which is what made me think, reading Brockman's comments yesterday, that Oprah should leave adult literature to her increasingly snippy, predatory critics and start selecting children's books for her book club. In fact, it just might be what children in our woefully illiterate country need. I know, I know: I'm one of those speciously optimistic advocates of the written word who thinks that if everyone just sat down and read Charlotte's Web there would be world peace, and you're already skeptical of how I've connected daytime television's ersatz cultural guru to any real solution to the present state of primary education in U.S. Call me a philistine, but I've always admired Oprah's ability to persuade millions of people to read and discuss books. Have I turned up my nose at some of these books? Sure. Have I read and enjoyed some of these books? Yes. Do I still love Jonathan Franzen? Madly. But when faced with federal policies like No Child Left Behind, I begin to wonder how we are going to keep teaching children to be truly literate human beings — people who can read road signs and metaphors with the same fluency.

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