Welcome to the rainiest and windiest round-up to date of all the blog posts and news I could find of interest to us fans of middle grade (for kids 9-12) fantasy and science fiction. If you are reading these words, it means that I have not yet lost power...here's hoping we never will, and I hope all of you are safe and dry (which if you are reading this I assume you are....)
First thing of interest: Every year around this time, I start eagerly checking the Cybils website to see if it is coming to life again (I take my excitement where I can, in as much as I rarely fly off to Paris for the weekend)-- and it is! Another Cybils season is beginning! For those of you who aren't familiar with the Cybils--these are awards given each year by bloggers for the year's best children's and young adult titles (anyone can nominate a title). There are many different categories (including mg sff), and a panel of bloggers reads all the nominated books and creates a short list, from which a second group of bloggers determines the winner for that category.
The official call for panelists is not out yet, but this is a good time to consider whether you want to throw your name in the hat for consideration as a panelist--all of you whose blogs appear regularly in the reviews section of these round-ups should most definitely think about it! It's a lot of reading, and a lot of fun. If anyone wants to know more about what my experiences have been, feel free to shoot me an email!
Now, on to the reviews I found this week (please let me know if I missed yours).
13 Curses, by Michelle Harrison, at Bunny Cates
Alex Van Helsing: Voice of the Undead, by Jason Henderson, at Charlotte's Library
Alexander Drake's Extraordinary Persuit, by Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows, at The Book Faery Reviews
Aliens on Vacation, by Clete Barrett Smith, at Charlotte's Library
Amulet: The Stonekeeper, by Kazu Kibuishi, at Wandering Librarians
Aphrodite the Diva, by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams, at Reading Vacation
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman, at Bookish Blog
The Dragon's Tooth, by N.D. Wilson, at Ms. Martin Teaches Media, Cookies, Books, and Bikes, and The Rabbit Room
Dragonbreath: No Such Thing as Ghosts, by Ursula Vernon, at TheHappyNappyBookseller
Elidor, by Alan Garner, at Fantasy Literature
Fablehaven, by Brandon Mull, at Bookie Woogie
Ghost Messages, by Jaqueline Guest, at Cracking the Cover
Liesl & Po, by Lauren Oliver, at GreenBeanTeenQueen
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, by Jonathan Auxier, at Beyond Books
The Princess Curse, by Merrie Haskel, at Book Yurt
Sally's Bones, by MacKenzie Cadenhead, at There's a Book
Sidekicks, by Jack D. Ferraiolo, at Original Content
Space Race, by C.E.L. Welsh, at Back to Books
Swordbird, by Nancy Yi Fan, at Fantasy Literature
A Tale Dark and Grimm, by Adam Gidwitz, at BC Books
The Unwanteds, by Lisa McMann, at Reading Vacation, Shut Up! I'm Reading Candace's Book Blog, An Abundance of Books, Alison's Book Marks, and Shannon Whitney Messenger
Wildwood, by Colin Meloy, at Book Dreaming
Wisdom's Kiss, by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, at Madigan Reads
A Year Without Autumn, by Liz Kessler, at Charlotte's Library
And finally, Kate at Book Aunt has five books in one post! (you'll have to click through to see what they are....)
Interviews and Authors:
Aphrodite and Isis (of the Goddess Girls series by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams) at Reading Vacation
Kerry Sparks (The Baby Inside Mrs. Maze) at Cindy's Love of Books
Other things of interest:
At Salon, there an interesting interview with Jack Zipes (fairy tale expert extraordinaire) about dark fairy tales coming soon to a theatre near you (link found at Educating Alice):
"You know, all they're doing [with these films] is trying to stir your prurient interest. Really. They're trying to titillate you, to say that this is going to be the film that will expose the deep darkness, the profound darkness of these tales."
And at The Mary Sue, a spot on response to the recent NY Times article “Boys and Reading: Is There Any Hope?” by Robert Lipsyte, which is very relevant to mg sff!
At Educating Alice, Monica offers a list of recent upper middle-grade-ish fantasy books she and her students enjoyed.
Ursula Vernon (of Dragonbreath fame) offers The Wolf and the Woodsman (a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood) in two parts at her blog. (Thanks to The (Hopeful) Librarian for the link!)
And here's a fun post from Ms. Yingling's Elder Daughter at Ms. Yingling Reads that addresses the question "what book would you memorize?" (as in Fahrenheit 451)
The Enchanted Inkpot showcases the lovely covers of late summer/fall releases of mg fantasy, which then prompted me to take a look at the state of publishing viz showing kids of color on mg sff book covers here.
Yay! I got everything in and now I don't care so much if the power goes off! And I remembered to close the dining room window in time to keep the books piled beneath it from getting more than a bit damp! yay! (or possibly, sigh.)