Categories
Children Diversity Reading Challenge

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays Day 4

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays

4-books-of-diversity

Day Four of the Diversity Countdown for Christmas brings us The Ninja Librarians: Sword in the Stacks by Jen Swann Downey

The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey

Now official apprentices of the Lybrariad, Dorris and Marcus have joined Ebba in the immense time-folding labyrinth known as Petrarch’s Library for the Summer Quarter.

Dorrie is eager to do well at her practicums, and prove her worth as an apprentice, but before she can choose between “Spears, Axes, and Cats: Throwing Objects with Precision and Flair” and “First and Last Aid: When No One Else Is Coming”, mistakes made by Dorrie in the past cause trouble for the lybrarians.

The Foundation, once nearly destroyed by the Lybrariad, now has the means to rise from its ashes, and disappear reading and writing from the world. To make sure it succeeds, the Foundation sets in motion a dark plan to increase the power of a cruel figure from the fifteenth century.

To stop the Foundation, Dorrie, Marcus and Ebba will have to burglarize Aristotle, gather information among the suffragists and anti-suffragists of 1912 London, and risk their lives to wrest a powerful weapon out of the Foundation’s hands – all while upholding the Lybrariad’s first principle of protecting all writing, appreciated or despised. If they fail, reading and writing will only be the first things to disappear.

Ok here’s what I love first about this book: the word Ninja. I mean who doesn’t love the idea of ninjas? But then Ninja librarians? All the win!

Secondly, and most important, one of the main characters is a person of color.

Categories
Children Diversity Reading Challenge

The 12 Books of #Diversity for the Holidays DAY 4 – The Ninja Librarians: Sword in the Stacks by Jen Swann Downey

The 12 Books of #Diversity
for the Holidays Day Four

4-books-of-diversity

Day Four of the Diversity Countdown for Christmas brings us The Ninja Librarians: Sword in the Stacks by Jen Swann Downey

The Ninja Librarians by Jen Swann Downey

Now official apprentices of the Lybrariad, Dorris and Marcus have joined Ebba in the immense time-folding labyrinth known as Petrarch’s Library for the Summer Quarter.

Dorrie is eager to do well at her practicums, and prove her worth as an apprentice, but before she can choose between “Spears, Axes, and Cats: Throwing Objects with Precision and Flair” and “First and Last Aid: When No One Else Is Coming”, mistakes made by Dorrie in the past cause trouble for the lybrarians.

The Foundation, once nearly destroyed by the Lybrariad, now has the means to rise from its ashes, and disappear reading and writing from the world. To make sure it succeeds, the Foundation sets in motion a dark plan to increase the power of a cruel figure from the fifteenth century.

To stop the Foundation, Dorrie, Marcus and Ebba will have to burglarize Aristotle, gather information among the suffragists and anti-suffragists of 1912 London, and risk their lives to wrest a powerful weapon out of the Foundation’s hands – all while upholding the Lybrariad’s first principle of protecting all writing, appreciated or despised. If they fail, reading and writing will only be the first things to disappear.

Ok here’s what I love first about this book: the word Ninja. I mean who doesn’t love the idea of ninjas? But then Ninja librarians? All the win!

Secondly, and most important, one of the main characters is a person of color. It’s been on my TBR list since October when the lovely author gifted it to me at KidLitCon. I’ll be getting to it soon. Very soon.

Categories
Conferences

#Kidlitcon is the New Beyonce

This past weekend I took a trip to Wichita, Kansas to help facilitate Kidlitcon. And you heard me right, folks, forget that Beyonce; she’s yesterday’s news. Kidlitcon was Lit! Turnt! Off the Chain! Fabulous!

Never since that time at band camp have I had such a good time. I met some super nice locals. Heck, ALL of the locals arcamp have I had such a good time. I met some super nice locals. Heck, ALL of the locals arKidlitcon 2016e nice; which is kind of off-putting when you’re from the East Coast and no one  really cares how your day is going or why you’re in town. Aside from meeting nice locals, I met my tribe. My squad. My pack. I’ve known the organizers of Kidlitcon/Cybils marginally for a couple years now but in Kansas, we became friends. How can you not become friends with people who share your understanding of Heathcliff, Harry Potter, and Lemony Snicket? Ok maybe I was the only one who liked Heathcliff, but whatevs. These people let me fly my bookfreak flag high and didn’t judge.

 

If you want to know what we talked about and who we talked to, follow these two hashtags: #kidlitcon16 and #kidlitcon.  We spent time with AS “My book won a Cybils Award” King, C. Alexander “I write for all genres” London, Clare “I have a Newbery Award” Vanderpool, and TONS of other authors whose names I will mess up if I try to remember them without checking Twitter. But just know that if you didn’t attend you missed OUT. Just like how Beyonce dropped her last album and people lost their minds? That’s how it went down in Wichita.

We were WILDIN’ !

Shout out to Drury Inn for comfy beds, the Arkansas River for being all quiet and pretty, and for Wichita, for being home of the super nice people and yummy food. OMG who knew that Wichita could do BBQ? Super shout out to the nice dude with the Tom Selleck ‘stache from Drury hotel who helped with conference set up. He was a superstar for making things possible for us.

Even though it wasn’t on the agenda, diversity was prevalent in practically every conversation. It was the elephant in the room that we couldn’t ignore.  We celebrated diversity of many different types: racial, religious, ability, socioeconomic, etc. I was really amazed at how chill and woke everyone was about diversity.

Woke. Yes I said it. The kidlit community is WOKE. We are aware of the need for diversity, we want it, and we want our diversity to be diverse: not everyone’s story is the same nor does everyone react the same way and that’s important. I feel good about the bloggers, librarians, and authors I met last weekend. I feel like I have a squad of folks who will stand with me as I fight for more diversity in kids’ books.

I have a SQUAD. A posse. A tribe. A gang. A group of diverse bookish folks who are just like me.

And it feels AWESOME.

There’s room for you at the kidlit diversity table.

Join us! (bring your own wand)

 

P.S. Jonah Winter is a yinzer.

P.P.S. We learned about Occam’s razor. Or was it Shroedinger’s window?

P.P.P.S. Phil Binder is RAD.

 

Categories
Books

Why You Should Know About KidLitCon: #WeNeedDiverseBooks

2014KidLitConLogo

 

KidLitCon is a gathering of book bloggers who specialize in kid lit; YA, middle grade, and picture books. Sounds right up my alley, right?

RIGHT!!

You can imagine how thrilled I was when they agreed to let me speak at their conference! To be sure, I’ve met book bloggers at BEA in New York, but this was a conference for people who also read MG and picture books!!

Thanks to the #WeNeedDiverseBooks discussion this summer on Twitter, Diversity was on everyone’s minds at KidLitCon.  Take a look at the program so you can see how focused they were.

Did you notice anything? Yep I spoke on day two. But not about diversity. They wanted me to speak about finding your readers! So I did. I talked about the main social media platforms I use when I’ve written a blog post.

The wonderful Mitali Perkins of Welcome to Mitali’s Fire Escape  taught us some tips to use when evaluating books for diversity, which, as a reviewer who tries to focus on diversity (and the lack thereof) was near to my heart. The most important idea I took away from Mitali’s talk is that “Stories are windows and mirrors. It’s up to the reader to decide which story is going to be the window or which is the mirror. ” Which simply means that some readers are going to see the book as a window into another life and others will see the character reflecting back at them, like a mirror.

Deep, isn’t it?  That’s why diversity in literature is so important!

Stay tuned for more reflections from my time at KidLitCon

Categories
Blogging resources

Enter the New Librarian: As a Mainline Parent Model

When you think of a librarian, what comes to mind?

An aging, pointy nosed, woman in dowdy clothes, hair in a bun with glasses, walking around the librarian shushing everyone?

Was this the librarian of your nightmares?

Or, do you imagine a geeky, mousy type

Like Marion the Librarian?

What about a sexy leather-clad high heeled boot wearing woman

like Batgirl or Catwoman played by so many

like Halle Berry

Regardless of your idea of a librarian, I”m here to tell you that librarians are people too!

Librarians are mommies, wives, sisters, cousins, teachers, grocery shoppers, vacation goers, laptop users, etc. and now finally we can add

MODEL

to the growing list of things librarians can be.

Your favorite Unconventional Librarian,

will be modeling,

yes you read that correctly,

modeling in the Main Line Parent event

Mom’s Night Out for Mother’s Day, May 9 2012

It’s an evening of food, drinks, modeling, auctions, etc!

It’s bound to be a lot of fun

but most importantly

proceeds benefit a worthy charity.

Check out the link for more details.

PLUS,  drum roll…

I’m offering an exclusive 15% discount

to my friends and family!

When registering, use the discount code:

pam

for extra savings

help support moms helping moms

and watch the NEW librarian strut (or stumble) down the runway!