Saturday, January 29, 2011

Lois Lowry advice shared by Lee Wind

The GiverImage via Wikipedia
To all you writers out here here's some wonderful advice from the author of The Giver and several dozen other books, Lois Lowry.

"retell your own stories from your life
give sorrow words
give happiness words, 
give jealousy words, 
give anxiety words, 
give fear words - 
take those intense emotions you've experienced in your life, and give them words."

Thanks to Lee Wind for taking notes and blogging them so that those of us who can't attend the SCBWI Conference in New York this weekend can share insights into the creative process of greats like Lois Lowry.
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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Family Literacy Day

Complete set of the seven books of the "H...Image via Wikipedia
Today is Family Literacy Day. There are lots of ways to support Family Literacy all year round though so turn off the TV and play a game of scrabble with your kids, read them a picture book or a chapter of a novel (kids are never too old to be read to), or follow a recipe and bake a cake together.  Above all, act as a role model and get caught out reading on a regular basis.  For more ideas and information, visit ABC Life Literacy Canada.
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

TED, Amazon to Launch TEDBooks

Exciting news, TED the non-profit group that provides a platform for the important thinkers, writers, artists and scientists of our age, will launching TEDBooks in an e-format in cooperation with Amazon. This will be an awesome opportunity for young reader readers to pick up books by some of the best minds in the world today, and all for under  $3.00. If you've never been to TED, you may want to check it out some of their videotaped lectures. To start, three e-books will be launched.  

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A brief review of The Library of the Early Mind

On January 20th The University of Victoria had the honor of hosting the Canadian premiere of the "Library of the Early Mind," a documentary by Edward J. Delaney and Steven Withrow to a packed house. It was the most wonderful evening and a great way to celebrate my 58th began with a children's book donation to support local groups who support children.  The Dean of Education, Dr. Ted Riecken, welcomed the audience and introduced a children's literature panel. Dr. Sylvia Pantaleo introduced the film and gave a little background on it's creators. After the documentary was shown, the panelists, including myself, Kid's Can Press editor and non-fiction writer, Val Wyatt, Governor General short-listed illustrator, Kristi Bridgeman, and Victoria Public Library Children's and Youth Services Coordinator, Tracy Kendrick, were led in a lively discussion led by moderator, Dr. Pantaleo.  The film was so jammed packed full of the most interesting interviews and insights that the discussion could have gone on for hours. Creators like: Chris Van Allsburg, Daniel Handler (AKA Lemony Snicket), Lois Lowry, David Small, Mo Willems, Patrick Lane, and many others, offered inspirational insights and pearls of wisdom about the impact of children's literature on children and the adults they will become. Social responsibility, creativity, cultural impact, new media, the importance of literature, and the ability of literature to open doors were only some of the subjects touched on.  In addition to interviews with creators, critics such as Roger Sutton and Anita Silvey were interviewed.  Librarians such as Betsy Bird and editors like Arthur Levine also offered their insights.  There were three things disappointing about the film.  The first is that it didn't include any Canadian talent.  The second is that it was over far too soon.  And the third was that one could not stop the film repeatedly to take notes; there was just too much to take in. I can only hope that it will soon be available on DVD. Every school, library, and writer will want one.  Thank you to Edward and Steve for devoting the time and resources to the creation of this wonderful documentary.  Thank you to a fabulous panel for providing a Canadian perspective.  And thank you to Dr. Sylvia Pantaleo and The Department of Education of the University of Victoria for bringing it to Canada.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther King Day

Gracie Mansion, Rev. Martin Luther King press ...Image via Wikipedia
Happy Martin Luther King Day.  We don't celebrate it here in Canada, but Betsy Bird has provided at great list of books if you want to find out more about this amazing American who influenced so many.
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Friday, January 14, 2011

The "N" word and Huck Finn

Illustration of Jim and Huckleberry Finn, by E...Image via Wikipedia
The Mark Twain "white wash" controversy continues.  I'm sure you've all heard about the removal of the word "nigger" from Huck Finn and it's replacement with the word "slave."  Jon Stewart did quite a funny piece on it on the John Stewart Show.  Here is the Canadian link.  And here is the American link.

One one side of the coin, is the argument that the book will be more widely read, especially in high schools, if the "N" word is changed, On the other hand, some people feel that Twain wanted us to be uncomfortable with the racial epitaph and taking it out is contrary to Twain's intention.  For a more serious look at the question, Katie Davis has interviewed Dr. Alan Gribben, the editor who made the decision to make the change.  It's worth listening to.
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Words to live by

Obama's Arizona speech moved me to tears. Here is the link, and here are a few of the words that all of us who want a better world for our children ought heed.

"We recognize our own mortality, and we are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this Earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame -– but rather, how well we have loved -- and what small part we have played in making the lives of other people better."   

Thank you Mr. President.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More on ALA Awards

Terry Pratchett, 2004Image via Wikipedia

More on ALA many good books to read!

Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or 
her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. 

Sir Terry Pratchett is the 2011 Edwards Award winner. His books include: The 
amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full 
of Sky, The Color of Magic, Guards! Guards!, Equal Rites, Going Postal, Small Gods and Mort.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the 
disability experience 

Schneider Teen Award (ages 13-18) Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony 
John and published by Dial Books

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences

The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel by Alden Bell, published by Holt 

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender, published by 

The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni, published by Amy Einhorn Books

 Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue, published by Little, Brown and

The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: A Novel  by Helen Grant, published by 

The Radleys by Matt Haig published by Free Press

The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton, published by Thomas Dunne Books for 
Minotaur Books

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok, published by RiverheadBooks

Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless 
to Harvard,” by Liz Murray, published by Hyperion

The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson, published by 
Vintage Books

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Monday, January 10, 2011

2011 Printz Award for YA lit.

ALA announced their awards today.  Here's the YA award winner and honor books. I'll post a few more award winners over the next few days so you aren't overwhelmed.  

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults

Ship Breaker written by Paolo Bacigalupi and published by Little, Brown and Company

Printz Honor Books 

Stolen by Lucy Christopher and published by Chicken House
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King and published by Alfred A. Knopf
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick and published by Roaring Brook Press
Nothing by Janne Teller and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Happy reading...

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tweeting on Twitter

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...Image via CrunchBase

Yes, I've finally done it...I've joined the ranks of millions tweeting.  In fact, I think I might like it since the posts are short and sweet.  On the other hand, there are sooo many.   I'll have to be careful to keep my WIP in my sights and ignore twitter while I'm working. You can locate me by going to twitter and searching for "@sherylbooks" or follow the link on the sidebar.
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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Library of the Early Mind coming to Victoria

Mark your calendars for an exciting children's literature event.  Library of the Early Mind, a documentary that explores children's literature, is coming to Victoria on January 20th at UVIC at the David Lam Auditorium at 7pm.  This free documentary will be followed by a children's literature panel moderated by Professor Sylvia Pantaleo to discuss the film's themes from a Canadian perspective. The panel features, Valerie Wyatt, an editor with Kids Can Press and the author of the award-winning How to build Your Own Country, Kristi Bridgeman, illustrator of the Governor General's short-listed UirapurĂș written by the late P.K. Page, Tracy Kendrick, Coordinator of Children's and Teen Services for Victoria Public Library and Sheryl McFarlane, author of Waiting for the Whales.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy 2011

Victoria contourImage by by Lorena via Flickr
Welcome back and happy 2011 to everyone.  I'll start  posting in a few days...I rang in the new year with a bit of a bad back, but watch for posts again in a few more days.