First, the Jack & Jill poem. This is one of those strange blog serendipities that I love. A few months ago, I wrote a post in which I was lamenting my tendency to complicate everything I write. As I said recently, "Give me a ball of yarn and I will tangle it." Well, in that post I said this:
I could take Jack and Jill and turn it into an epic with interweaving storylines, and then decide I need to learn ancient Greek in order to do it justice, and that it needs to be told alternately from the perspective of the hill and the pail. In five volumes. You know. I just can't help it.
And yesterday I got an email from someone who took that as a challenge, and wrote a poem (luckily not in ancient Greek), and now it is published at Strange Horizons. It's the darkest, creepiest retelling of Jack & Jill imaginable -- how cool is that? You never know when you throw something out on the internet what will happen. So, cool! Thanks for the heads up, Mary!
Now, Banned Books Week. This event, started by the American Library Association in 1982, is a celebration of our precious freedom of expression, and a nose-thumbing to all the Sarah Palins of the world who would like to control what we put into our minds. How to celebrate it? Flaunt your freedom: read a banned or challenged book! (Sheesh, they're still trying to ban The Chocolate War??? That book was published when I was two years old. Get over it, already! Forget that: Huckleberry Finn! The unfathomable depth of ignorance it takes to try to ban this important and perfect book. I can't imagine what it would be like to live in those people's heads.) Also, according to Maureen Johnson, book banners will eat your hamster!
And now, the CYBILS! That is: the Children's & Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards! If you haven't heard of them, basically these are book awards in 9 categories, and they were started because of a perceived need to fill the gap between the Newbery Award (which goes for books with high literary merit, though not necessarily the most child-beloved) and the Quills (pure popularity). This is the 3rd year and I volunteered and was selected as a panelist in the Fantasy & Sci-Fi category (yippee!) which means: I will be reading a lot of books in the next few months. I read a lot of books anyway, but now for the forseeable future they will be sci-fi and fantasy which, well, to be honest, they mostly are anyway. (Though I just finished this at breakfast and it was a great read. I love stories of naturalists in the Amazon, and this one has mystery and murder and lots of sweating and Englishmen wearing inappropriate clothing in the jungle!)
So here's the cool thing about the Cybils: YOU nominate the books. You can nominate one in each category, and we panelists will read them and select a short list to hand on to the judges, who will then select the winners. So, come on over to the blog to nominate your favorite books of the year, between October 1 and October 15. Jen Robinson has more details on nominating HERE. Please help spread the word to teachers, librarians, and young readers to get their favorite books nominated and be part of the process. (And please, for my sake, only select really good sci-fi and fantasy!!!)
One last things: Pushing Daisies starts tomorrow night! Get some pie to eat while you watch it!
(Did you know there's been a mobile Pie Hole traveling around the country serving free pie? Why the heck didn't it come here??)