I thought that so many of the bloggers taking part in this event are new to me, they might also not be familiar with that part of the blogging world in which I make my mental home--the Kidlitosphere (whose logo is shown at left). In a nutshell, the Kidlitosphere is a conglomeration of bloggers whose passion is books for kids and teens. Here's the website, with news, links to members, and various resources. There is also a Yahoo kidlitosphere group, where bloggers frequently ask each other blogging questions, support each other in times of blogging crisis, share news, and celebrate. Information on joining this listserve can be found at the above website.
Lifted shamelessly from that website, here are some of the regular things that Kidlitosphere members do:
An annual gathering of the movers and shakers in the kidlit community
A monthly roundup of the best in kidlit blogging, organized around a central theme--here is this month's edition, at Homespun Light
Giving bloggers a chance to share nonfiction books for children and teens.
A weekly assortment of poetry-themed musings and original contentThe Kidlitosphere is also the driving force behind the Cybils Awards. These awards, given in a variety of children's/YA categories each year, are chosen by panels of bloggers from long lists of books nominated by anyone who has books they feel passionately about. The first round panelists read fiercely during the fall to come up with short lists, which are then sent to judging panels. The criteria are excellence of writing (and illustration when applicable), and kid appeal.
If you are looking for succinct lists of excellent books in the various categories covered by the Cybils (like mg non-fiction, YA sff etc) there are no better lists than the Cybils shortlists.
The call for readers for the upcoming Cybils will probably go out in August--so if you are a blogger who talks about children's or YA books on a reasonably regular basis, do think of throwing your name in the hat! The Cybils organizers determine who goes on what panel (sadly, there's not room for everyone), balancing experience with freshness.
And I'd also like to put in a plug for the Kidlitosphere Conference--I attended last year's, in DC, ably organized by the fabulous Pam (aka Mother Reader) who is the driving force behind the Kidlitosphere. It was a fantastic event, and I'm going again (I hope) this fall!
Pam is also going to be hosting a 48 Hour Reading Challenge the first weekend in June--fun! prizes! reduction in size of tbr pile (never enough reduction, but every bit helps)!