The KidLit Blogosphere
The KidLit Blogosphere is a formidable force in the children’s book industry, and an important one to become familiar with. Essentially, it is comprised of ‘bloggers’ – that is, people writing regularly in blog form on their websites – who devote their content exclusively to children’s literature. Their posts might encompass book reviews, industry trends, news, rants and raves and more – but they will always be relative to the world of children’s lit. Some Kidlit bloggers write exclusively about one genre – YA is a popular choice – others dabble in several.
The KidLit Blogoshpere has become so powerful within the industry that many publishers and authors feel it can be as important to garner a good review from one of these blogs than from the New York Times. Interestingly, the vast majority of the most esteemed KidLit Bloggers are women, mostly comprised of librarians, educators, booksellers and authors. There are annual awards – the Cybil Awards – for the best in KidLit blogging. Kidlit bloggers are fiercely protective of their territory. You cannot buy their favor – you have to earn it.
Below is an impressive list of Kidlitosphere blogs recommended by fusenumber8 (a.k.a. NYC librarian/blogger Elizabeth Bird), with additional thanks to Roger Sutton. School Library Journal also maintains links and lists of the best in the blogosphere. Get to know them all, for each has something unique to offer. I subscribe to most of these through my Google Reader, which makes it easy to view them all in one place at one time:
Alice’s CWIM Blog — The editor of Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s Market offers her perspective on the literary market, as well as thoughts on hot kidlit topics. UPDATE: Alice Pope is now blogging for SCBWI at http://scbwi.blogspot.com/
Big A, little a — A Midwestern blogger with almost daily updates on almost every topic imaginable. Author Kelly Herold also edits the online children’s literary magazine “The Edge of the Forest.”
Blue Rose Girls — The collective blog of authors, editors, and enthusiasts, including Grace Lin, Elaine Magliaro, Libby Koponen, Linda S. Wingerter, Anna Alter, Meghan McCarthy, and Alvina Ling.
Book Buds — A driving force behind the kidlit blogger book award, the Cybils, Anne Boles Levy reviews picture books that might not get the attention they deserve elsewhere. UPDATE: Anne Boles Levy is now reviewing strictly for the Cybils – the awards for Childrens Lit bloggers. This site is still up for its archived reviews, but visit http://www.cybils.com/ for more recent reviews and more from Anne.
bookshelves of doom — An irreverent and clever blog touching on kidlit and YA topics. The second blog I check every morning. Says the profile, “Highbrow intellectual critiques do not live here.” It’s too modest.
Brooklyn Arden — Blog of Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein, touching on everything from what a typical day for an editor looks like to what shows are currently playing on Broadway.
Brotherhood 2.0 — An experimental video blog built on the premise that author John Green and his brother Hank must only communicate with one another through v-posts every day for one year (excluding weekends). Incredibly witty site.
A Chair, A Fireplace, & A Tea Cozy — Continually lists new and interesting blogs and posts well-referenced reviews of children’s books. Buffy the Vampire Slayer quotes are not uncommon on this site. UPDATE: This site has now moved to http://blog.schoollibraryjournal.com/teacozy.
Chicken Spaghetti — Run by a former New Yorker editorial staff member, this blog culls from a wide swath of information to bring the very best info to its readers.
Cynsations — Cynthia Leitich Smith presents intensive author features on a variety of established and up-and-coming writers.
educating alice — Says Monica Edinger, “This blog is about teaching, my life’s work; literature, especially that created for children; history, especially as it is taught to and learned by children; Africa, especially Sierra Leone where I was a Peace Corps Volunteer; and other sundry topics as they come to my attention.”
Jen Robinson’s Book Page — Aside from her wonderful round-ups of blog news, Jen Robinson presents reviews of interesting titles.
Just One More Book!! — “… a thrice-weekly podcast in which we take a few minutes out of our morning coffee ritual to discuss one of our many favourite children’s books.” The parents of two daughters discuss their family’s picks; the 5 to 35 minute episodes can be downloaded directly from this Canadian site.
Kids Lit — This was one of the first kidlit blogs out there and remains one of the best. Contains information you can’t find anywhere else.
MotherReader —“The heart of a Mother. The soul of a Reader. The mouth of a smartass.” Highly opinionated and always worth a look-see.
Oz and Ends — More than just a series of posts on The Wizard of Oz, creator J. L. Bell offers his expertise on fantasy literature and the current state of writing for children.
pixie stix kids picks — The Executive Director of the Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) reviews the newest books for kids.
Read Roger — The official blog of the editor of The Horn Book Magazine. The first link I check every morning.
Saints and Spinners — Identified only as “Alkelda the Gleeful,” this librarian has a musical bent with many postings on songs, both in the library and out.
Seven Impossible Things before Breakfast — Co-bloggers Eisha and Jules interview fellow bloggers, authors, illustrators, and anyone that strikes their fancy with a saucy wit and unique style. Their dual reviews are worth checking out as well.
Tiny Little Librarian — “Musings of a too-short girl in the high-stacks world of librarianship.” You will not find another children’s librarian blog that provides a better encapsulation of the trials and perks of working in a public library. UPDATE: Now blogging as Tiny Little Reading Room at http://tinyreadingroom.blogspot.com/
What Adrienne Thinks about That — Working within the Monroe County Library System of Rochester, New York, children’s librarian Adrienne offers a veritable plethora of opinions on every conceivable topic.