Thursday, February 22, 2007

The Word

No doubt about it. The Word of the Month is "scrotum" (page 1, The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron). Because of The Word, this year's Newbery winner is being challenged, exclaimed over, fussed about from coast to coast. The New York Times managed to give the issue space. Imagine if the Newbery award itself got such attention on an annual basis!

A British medical blog expresses puzzlement at American morality.

And then again is some of the objection deriving from young Lucky's Darwinian stance? Alternet poses some interesting questions.

The NYT article states, "Authors of children’s books sometimes sneak in a single touchy word or paragraph, leaving librarians to choose whether to ban an entire book over one offending phrase." Really? No one told me! In a decade of writing for the children's market I've never once "sneaked" in anything "touchy," although I've had plenty of conversations about which words belonged in a book and why. Clearly I've missed some important wordcrafter's boat.

Read what YA author Alex Flinn has to say in her letter to the Times. Note that the NYT site requires a login.

In all this commotion, is anyone talking about the book? It has a plucky protagonist and a quirky setting. It took Susan Patron ten years to write! Isn't that the conversation we could be having? Journey Woman thinks so.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Updates and Downloads

Cynsations and Spookycyn are now available again at Blogger at:
http://cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/
http://spookycyn.blogspot.com/

A mirror blog to Cynsations is now available on LiveJournal at:
http://cynleitichsmith.livejournal.com/

Other news:
New nonfiction on the Olive Ridley Sea Turtle from Tulika Books. Is the earth in enough trouble that it's time to rethink our views on didacticism in children's books?

On Papertigers, Rachna Gilmore writes about diversity in Canadian literature for children

Tara Publishing is turning practice runs of their beautiful screenprinted book jackets into one-of-a-kind writers' journals.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

If you're looking for Cyn's blog

She's asked me to pass the word on that, due to technical problems, in the (hopefully) short term she'll be blogging at GregLSBlog: http://www.greglsblog.blogspot.com

Look for Cyn's new YA novel, Tantalize, gothic humor meets Alternative Austin.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Updates and Downloads

Pooja Makhijani's guest column about context and setting on Chicken Spaghetti.

Discussion of American Born Chinese on Shen's Blog. I loved ABC. It got me thinking about all kinds of mental links between mythology and fiction and reality.

Review of an amazing book that ought to have generated way more buzz than it did: The Silver Donkey by Australian writer Sonya Hartnett. French sisters find a soldier in the woods during World War I. He has a little silver donkey and in gratitude for their help he tells them stories about donkeys. The second of these embedded tale is from India, which drew me to the book in the first place but the structure and the voice kept me reading. Simply beautiful.