Y'all know how much I love author's notes, so I was really interested in Kate Messner's post: When the Story is Personal, How Much Should Authors Share? and Betsy's response: How Much is an Author Obligated to Say? I would say that whenever I read a story that features a character that's different from the author in some important way (race, culture, disability, historical period, etc.), I want reassurance that the character is authentic. No, I don't think an author needs to spill his or her family stories, necessarily. However, call me a cynic, but unless I'm told that an author has some kind of knowledge or experience or has done some research, I'm going to take their book with a grain of salt.
Interested in doing sensory programming for kids with autism and other disabilities? Read Tricia Twarogowski's follow-up post about the programs she established in her North Carolina library.
Over at From the Mixed-Up Files of Middle Grade Authors, Shannon asks "Are middle-grade covers growing up?" I have definitely noticed the trend of photo covers trickling down to middle-grade books and I think that a lot of kids do like to feel like they're reading more grown-up books. I dunno... I feel like in my library, personal recommendations (from friends, family, teachers, and sometimes librarians) matter more than anything. As long as the cover's not totally ucky, I don't see that it has a great effect on the kids that I see in the library. But maybe I'll keep a better eye on it and report back if I notice anything.
And that's all I've got for you except to say that HURRAH, October is almost over. I don't know about you, but October was ridiculously busy for me. I'm looking forward to November when all I have is my regular job, blogging, Cybils judging, and writing a novel. :)