Daily Archives: June 23, 2008

Ypulse Books Publishing Mashup preconference

Having noticed the occasional link to my blog from ypulse.com I checked them out and found them to be a very savvy and well-informed bunch. So I’m happy to pass on the following invitation although I won’t be there as I’ll be on the wrong coast by then. Here’s the scoop:

The annual Ypulse National Mashup conference (www.mashup.ypulse.com) is the event for those who are immersed in the youth space and interested in successfully using technology to connect with today’s youth. It’s an event where attendees learn how to harness social media and technology in ways that are ethical, authentic and add value for tweens, teens and early twentysomethings.

More than one in four readers of ypulse.com and the Ypulse Daily Update newsletter are teachers, librarians, counselors and ministers who recommend books to their students, clients and the public. These professionals are the largest single group that read Ypulse and attend Ypulse Mashup conference events. That’s the reason we’ve created a special preconference session to focus on books this year:

The Ypulse Books Publishing Mashup.
• Presentations and panel discussions include “Meeting Young Readers Where They Live – Online,” “Writing for a Youth Audience” and “Visual Storytelling,” covering everything from how successful YA authors connect with reluctant readers, to trends in YA publishing and why teens are mad for manga.
• Speakers and panelists are from companies including Scholastic, Readergirlz, Star Farm Productions, Hachette Book Group USA, Zest Books/Orange Avenue Publishing, Penguin Group (USA), JacketFlap, Kamikaze POP and VIZ Media.
• Participating YA authors include Lisa McMann, Melissa Walker, Jeff Savage and Debbie Huey.

We’d love to invite your readers to join us for this event. And, even if they can’t attend the entire Mashup conference (starting that afternoon), they will also be invited to join our attendees at 8:00pm for a special screening of the documentary film “American Teen,” followed by a Q&A with the teens from the film.

For a special discounted flat rate of $100 for the Ypulse Books Publishing Mashup preconference only, enter the code SFBOOKS when registering at www.mashup.ypulse.com. For all with an interest in attending the entire National Mashup, we extend an offer of a 10% discount on the registration fee; simply email us at Carolyn@ypulse.com for a special code to use.


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Filed under YA

Nancy Drew on NPR

“I don’t think there is a casual reader of Nancy Drew,” says writer Fran Lebowitz. “There may be casual readers of Proust, but not of Nancy Drew.”

For NPR’s In Character series, Renee Montagne’s enjoyable profile of that blue roadster driver, Miss Drew. Nancy Drew: Curious, Independent and Usually Right

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Filed under Children's Literature

Cosmic Dadliness

A few years ago I fell hard for Millions, Frank Cotrell Boyce’s first book for children. The outlandish situation (two boys feverishly spending large amounts of money), the characterizations (particularly of the two boys and their father), the subtle handling of the big emotional and theological themes (of grief and faith), the laugh-out-loud humorous moments (my favorite being the playground economy), and the remarkable voice of narrator Damian (the younger of the two boys) made it a memorable novel for me as well as for my students when I read it aloud to them. Boyce’s next novel, Framed, did not win me over the same way. Fortunately, he has gone one better with his newest book, Cosmic.*

“I’m not exactly in the Lake District.”

Indeed he is not. He’s not even on Earth. With that small, understated sentence Boyce hooks us up with his eleven-year old narrator, Liam, a “great lad.” Great as in being really tall; tall enough to ride any amusement park ride he wishes, tall enough to drive, tall enough to be repeatedly mistaken as an adult. Say on his first day at a new secondary school as a “gifted and talented” student when he is initially identified as a teacher. Great as in being really, really good at the multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft. Great as being really smart and really brave. Great as in having a sweet and thoughtful and sensitive way that stands him in good stead when he ends up in a rocket coming back from the moon.

With a bunch of kids.

Who think he is a dad.

Boyce gets Liam’s voice just right. A screenwriter, he knows how to set-up scenes, create engaging dialog, and make a completely improbable situation believable. As he did with Millions, Boyce brings in deep philosophical ideas in a kid-friendly, convincing, and moving way. With this one it is about dads, about what it is to be one, what it is to be an adult. To the book’s readers, Liam is convincingly a kid throughout his story, even as he convinces the adults he encounters that he is an adult. And not just any adult — an adult just like his dad.

A completely lovely book; highly recommended.

* The book will be published in the US in July, but is already available at audible; thanks to Kelly Herold who alerted me to this fact (and did her review today too!)


Filed under Children's Literature