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Preview: Kid*Lit(erary)


Reviews of some good books you may have forgotten... and some you've never read. (Plus the occasional rant about writing or publishing)

Updated: 2014-10-04T17:06:51.889-07:00


Can it really be???


I think I am suspending this blog, and moving my online life over to the blog at my new author site!!!I will still be reviewing books, and I will still be ranting (likely more often) about nothing in particular, and my writing life in detail. But I have too many blogs, so I want to smoosh them all together...Please go ahead and bookmark the new site? Thanks so much!

Poetry Friday!!!


I first started reading Tomaz Salamun in college, where my teacher (who had been a Fulbright to Yugoslavia) was obsessed with Slovenian poets.Over the years, I've had the opportunity to meet Tomaz in several places. First in a cabin on Lake Bled, then in my own kitchen in Chattanooga, and finally at a party in Iowa City. The guy gets around.And I love him. I love him, love him, love him. And I

This week... a tornado and a leprecaun!!!


Yes, that's right! A tornado touched down in my neighborhood, or right around the corner anyway. But I wasn't here... I was deep below ground, in the IKEA parking lot, hiding out with the kids. Ack!!!Whew!!!Now... in honor of St. Patrick's Day (yes, that's right... my other blog is JewishyIRISHY!) a poem, from Ireland! One I read over and over and over and over as a kid, as it was included in

Poetry Friday REDUX!!!


I didn't realize it was Dylan Day!Here, in honor, is a prosey poem I wrote about a year ago.**Dear Bob Dylan,The me I was at every time before this time was yours. No longer. The me of smoke and mirrors for long stretches. The me of down on my knees and night in the cemetery and attic apartments and dreamily, dreamily, thin. The me of my ridiculous then. I was deathly serious. I was



I am loving Poetry Friday! It is letting me dig around in my brain, wander through the poems I loved long ago, outgrew, and am ready to come back to (much as I am returning to all the books I loved in the many wild long agos of my already). Anyone else remember this Norman Dubie poem? Please, do yourself a favor and ready the last 4 lines!!I'll consider this my kiss-off to winter!Of Politics

Good Stuff!!!


Okay, so I've been reading Anne Ursu's Shadow Thieves, and it's delightful, and funny, and contemporary and smart and all that good stuff.But the end ROCKS! I will not give it away, but it DOES!Though there is still one thing I'm confused about... probably because I fall asleep reading (which I do with all books) and missed a key page. Sigh.(To folks who read the book, do you understand how

Poetry Friday!!!


Poetry Friday today, and I'm dashing out the door with the kids... to take my husband his laptop, which he left home.But all week I have had a poem in my head, a poem I loved a long time ago, in college. I think it's resonating this week because I long to slooooooow down, have a remarkable moment (or two, or three).Maybe a little cheesey, but here it is, by James Wright:A BlessingJust off the

Fine Lines...


What I am doing a pathetic, irregular attempt at accomplishing with this blog...Is being hysterically, successfully, wonderfully executed over at Fine Lines. Lizzie Skurnick is a wonder, and if you read YA/kidlit and you do not know this weekly feature, you are missing OUT!This week she's talking about Louise Fitzhugh's The Long Secret (yes, the sequel to Harriet the Spy, silly!)(Oh, I am so

The Treasures of Weatherby...


I hadn't heard anything about the Treasures of Weaterby, which led me to think it would fall flat. But you know what?I loved it!The story of a young boy (Harleigh) living in a falling-to-pieces manor house, with an assortment of odd and old family members, the book falls into the category of "books about kids with mysterious places to explore", which I LOVE! Hidden spaces, overgrown gardens,

Poetry Friday!!!


I apologize that this will make 2 PF posts in a row, but my BOOK IS DUE on Monday, and as I've been dashing toward that deadline, I haven't had time to read or blog. This will all change on Monday. Monday Monday Monday Monday...Now that that's out of the way.... it's POETRY FRIDAY!Today I'm taking a deep deep breath and posting something original for the first time. Not my adult poetry, but a

Poetry Friday!!!


Here in the kidlitosphere... it's Poetry Friday again!Today I'm linking to my very favorite of John Berryman's Dream Songs. Because I've always thought of it as a children's poem, even though it really isnt. But that line, my mother told me as a boy/ (repeatingly) "Ever to confess you're bored/ means you have no/ Inner Resources." reminds me so strongly of childhood.Though my teacher put it

The Country Bunny!!!


The Country Bunny & the Little Gold Shoes!Remember?Written by Du Bose Heyward, with art by Marjorie Flack, this is an Easter book I remember reading year round. The country bunny attains the exalted position of Easter Bunny in spite of her responsibilities as the mother of twenty-one children. "It is difficult to believe that this very modern feminist tale was originally written in 1939. A gem of

The worst picture book EVER!!!


You may *think* you've read the worst book ever but you have not. Because you have not ( I assume) read DRIPPY!It really looks like this. All pixelated-like.Inside is worse!!!

Poetry Friday: Matthea Harvey...


Okay, so I spent all week excited to post about the wonderful poets I read who are also beginning to write for kids. There are more and more of them!Matthew Harvey has published 3 collections of poetry (and the picture book, The Little General and the Giant Snowflake) , and the most recent was abig dang deal, nominated for the NBCC Award. But I'm posting (below) a poem from her first book (Pity

Happy February!!!


Remember the box with the slit in the top? Remember the lumpy little white envelopes that you knew meant there was candy inside? Remember counting counting, counting your cards?

Poetry Friday!!!


I've never participated in Poetry Friday before. In part, I think, because I didn't quite understand what it was-- being new to the kidlitosphere and all. And also because poetry is my "other life" and in my head, I talk about it too much already.But today I got the reminder for poetry friday, and found I wanted to play too!Today, two offerings--First, a link to a litmag that might be of



I often hate sequels, but I just finished the third Olivia Kidney book, and I gotta say-- that Ellen Potter is smart!I too have longed to write about the old pneumatic train tunnel beneath New York, full of chandeliers and mosaics... about the mole people and the spooks. Damn you, Ellen Potter, for beating me to it!I loved the William James references! I loved that Olivia was allowed to grow

Oh! Oh! Oh!!!


I've known for a bit that galley copies (ARCs) of Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains had gone out, and I even saw a photo a friend took, of one on the Random House table at ALA. But this morning I saw this tidbit (from the lovely Sara Lewis Holmes) and now I am rejoicing to see that the ARC is actually in the hands of a real live reader, (besides my mom), none other than Anamaria Anderson of

The Blue Valentine....


Does anyone else remember this book? I remember loving it, but cannot find a copy around here.Today we went to a Valentine making party (all of us in red and pink. I wore red plaid pants. Wowza!) and as I smeared glitter-glue around, I suddenly, with a massive flash of recall, thought of this book...

Win free books...


Join the scavenger hunt and in a matter of minutes you can enter to win 3 new books from the Class of 2k8. Yeah!

By George!!! (warning: nitpickiness alert)


I've not had much reading time of my own lately, because my son is obsessed (OBSESSED!) with Curious George, and I've spent all my time reading this book instead of, say, catching up on the award books...And while I loved George myself as a kid, I have to say that I HATE THIS BOOK! In particular I hate the opening lines of each of the stories in the treasury. Each begins like so:This is

I stole...


That's right. I'm a bad bad girl, an evil plagiarist.And a terrible secret keeper.

Sorry I'm not blogging reviews...


I'm too busy meeting my heroes.Can you identify this man?Yeah, that's me. And my book. And my baby. And...I'm cool!(Or a cheeseball???)Oh, who cares. It was FUN!

The Last Book...


It seems to me that we kidlitters should participate in this cool project:Open call for collaborations (second call)The Last Book is a project to compile written as well as visual statements in which the authors may leave a legacy for future generations. The premise of the project is that book-based culture is coming to an end. On one hand, new technologies have introduced cultural mutations by

Public Domain...


I thought this was of interest, a story sent to me by my very very good friend (and wicked smart-librarian) James:Much of the world gets to celebrate today as Public Domain Day as well, the day when a whole year’s worth of copyrights enter the public domain for anyone to copy or reuse as they like.In countries that use the “life plus 50 years” minimum standard of the Berne Convention, works by