In the interests of transparency I've decided to explain how I construct my weekly Sunday roundups of middle grade fantasy and science fiction (mg sff) posts from around the blogging world.
I started these roundups of blog posts because I wanted them to exist! I wanted to read reviews of the sub-genre I enjoy most, and mg sff reviews tend to be scattered all over the place--every week it seems I find them at blogs I'd never heard of before. And I wanted to help shine a spotlight on mg sff in general--YA and adult sci fi/fantasy get much more blog coverage, and my hope is to balance things a bit. I'm awfully pleased that people are enjoying the roundups; I enjoy doing them.
I want to make it clear that this isn't a list of reviews I think are the best, or a list of the books that I think are the best. It's simply what I've found. Initially I had envisioned people sending links to me that I would list à la Poetry Friday or Nonfiction Monday, and I thought someday I would send the meme on its way to other hosts. But this didn't happen (although one person does send me links regularly--thanks). Maybe it will someday.
What has happened instead is that I compile every mg sff related post I find during my daily blog reading, and on Sunday morning I also do google blog searches on "middle grade fantasy," "middle grade science fiction," and "children fantasy book" or a variant of the same. If you put one of the first two in your post, I should find it. If I'm feeling ambitious, I might blog search titles of new releases that I haven't seen reviews for yet. Every week I miss things, and I'm happy (in a very rueful way) to be told that I have, so that I can put them in. I post these roundups in the morning...so Sunday afternoon posts will (mostly) appear in next week's version.
I don't include every blog post I find. I don't, for instance, include short posts that are simply mentions, reiterations of the publisher's blurb, and/or two sentence reactions--I want the links I include to have some substance. This is, of course, a judgement call. I also chose not to link to posts that seem to me to be essentially advertisements for a book, other products, or particular websites.
I also find myself making judgement calls every week about what constitutes "middle grade," (which is technically ages 9-12). Sometimes I include reviews of books that are labeled YA that seem to me, or to the reviewer, or to some other reviewer altogether, the sort of thing an eleven or twelve year old might really enjoy. Some weeks, I seem to adhere to stricter parameters. The fact that I haven't read every book myself adds randomness to what I include, which can't be helped.
Sometimes I link to graphic novels that are mg fantasy, and sometimes I don't. I've never made an effort to find them, but if I do come across them, I might put them in...
Whether I agree or not with the worldviews of other bloggers isn't a factor when I decide to link to them. A variety of perspectives adds interest; that being said, the blogs I tend to read are the ones I tend to like, so I'm more likely to find their posts. I do most emphatically reserve the right not to link to any post that I find abhorrent.
And finally, I won't, in general, link to reviews of Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, or, indeed, early books of other popular series...unless they say something new and special (there are only so many reviews of the same book that one wants to read).
Please free to contact me with suggestions as to how to make the round-ups better, or if you'd like to try your own hand at a week's worth of rounding up! Please let me know if I've misspelled a name or a title! And please feel free to send me links at any time, if you've written a post, read a post, had your book written about in a post, or done an interview -- charlotteslibrary at gmail dot com.
And thank you, all you nice people who have mentioned these roundups on your own blogs! It is much appreciated.
(question--which do you prefer, round-up or roundup? I've just been told the latter is more correct (and took all the hyphens out), but the former looks nicer to me...)