Good morning, book people! It’s been hectic around our house lately, hence the intermittent blogging. I’ll be keeping up the coffee breaks (I love writing these) this week, and should get back to the 5 day a week schedule next week.
Excitement this morning! Jennifer Egan has won the Pulitzer for fiction with her novel, A Visit From The Goon Squad. Although the book is technically adult–it appears to be a collection of short stories–it has a couple of kidlit elements, and there’s an extract available over at the Guardian’s children’s book site. The extract is a short story formatted as a Power Point slideshow, and definitely worth checking out. (And I’ll have more on Egan and using technology in books sometime soon.)
Next up, a useful critique from ex-agent Nathan Bransford. More interesting than the critique, though, are his thoughts on learning to trust yourself as a writer. I’ve struggled with this on an off (particularly so when I’m sending out queries), as have most writers I know. And I can’t help but wonder if perhaps it’s part of the process of tapping into our own unique skills. What do you think?
Over on Tumblr, my friend and former bookseller Melanie has started up blog, Yay Kidlit! Go give it some love–she has some great links and book coverish posts already, including a (perhaps more realistic) cover for Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach which did actually make me laugh out loud.
In some heartening Hunger Games news, the actors cast to play Rue and Thresh have been announced–and they’re actually POC. Granted, the movie probably couldn’t have weathered the backlash if the studio had cast white actors for the two roles, but it’s nice to see them sticking to the ethnicities in the book this time around. Congrats to Dayo Okeniyi (Thresh) and Amandla Stenberg (Rue)!
Not exactly kidlit related, but The Economist has a great, well written, and thoughtful piece on two books about Pakistan, “an important but confusing country which has been driven, partly by American intervention, into strange ways.” Although I don’t read much outside of YA and kidlit these days, I’ve always had a soft spot for books about Pakistan and India, since large parts of my family history are rooted there. Are your reading tastes ever influenced by your family history?
Also at The Economist, Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson has been accused–by CBS News–of “fabricating some of his stirring tales.” Three Cups of Tea was a best seller and is now a picture book.
And finally, some sad geek news - Elizabeth Sladen, better known as the Doctor’s companion, Sarah Jane Smith, has died. She was the star of a surprisingly good Doctor Who spinoff for kids, The Sarah Jane Adventures.Read More