At Chasing Ray, Colleen points out an alarming connection between three internet controversies this week. Said controversies include Betsy's views on the Amazon VINE program, the holiday book price war between Amazon, Walmart, etc., and Scholastic's censorship of Lauren Myracle's Luv Ya Bunches from the school book fairs. Do check out her post for an overview of these issues and how they all add up to big companies limiting consumers' choice of books. And if large companies are only promoting certain books, it's up to us book reviewers to step in. She says:
If we are all going to embrace the notion of "independent reviewing" then we have to step back and be independent. That means publishers do not choose, retailers do not choose and book fairs are not permitted to alter text to fit their vision of choice. It means we work harder at what we do so readers can choose from the largest possible selection of books.I'll heartily second that emotion and add that while I enjoy browsing new books at bookstores, I've always preferred the comparatively vast selection at my local library. Just as independent reviewers are charged with promoting a diverse range of books, so should any librarian worth her salt! Thanks to @mawbooks for the link.
Did you hear that Norma Fox Mazer passed away? It's certainly sad. As a teen, I read and reread After the Rain. If you've got memories of Norma or her books, add them in the comments of PW's In Memory of Norma Fox Mazer post. Thanks to Liz at A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy for the link and the news.
Wondering what kids are reading these days? Well, Renaissance Learning has posted a report on the top books that kids in grades 1-12 are reading. This is certainly helpful for libraries serving schools that use the Accelerated Reading program and will make interesting reading for other libraries as well. Thanks to @thereadingzone for the link.
Will e-books solve the problem of Book Cover Shame? Lee Wind at I'm Here. I'm Queer. What the Hell Do I Read? postulates that the rise of the e-book will level the playing field as far as "girl books" and "boy books" and even "gay books". Thanks to Betsy at Fuse #8 for the link.
While Sarah at GreenBeanTeenQueen was sick with a cold, she started thinking about her favorite Sick Day Reads. What are yours?
Grace Lin's excellent novel Where the Mountain Meets the Moon has been chosen for Al Roker's book club. She is understandably thrilled and her editor shares the reaction at the office on Blue Rose Girls.
Oh, and this is completely unrelated to kidlit, but Color Me Katie posts about Improv Everywhere's latest mission: a grocery store musical. This will brighten your day. I guarantee it. Take a gander: