Daily Archives: January 7, 2014

One Way Children’s Book Creators Cope With Bad Online Reviews

A bad review can equal a good laugh.

Thinking about this last fall, author Marc Nobleman came up with the idea of “… a variation on a poetry slam at which kidlit/YA authors read aloud their most critical or absurd user reviews (from Amazon or Good Reads) for comic relief/catharsis.” Further inspired by Jimmy Kimmel’s recurring segment of celebrities reading not-so-nice tweets about themselves, Nobleman put out a call for short videos of children’s book creators reading some similarly not-so-nice online reviews. The response was so massive that, not wanting any one video to be too long, he made three. The names of all 53 contributors are on Nobleman’s website here and the three videos are below. (A warning — Nobleman notes: “We lurve kids, of course, but this is for teens and adults only.”)

Also at the Huffington Post.

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Books About Africa

We adults know, of course, that Africa is a continent, not a country. Also that it is diverse, full of real people and places that are varied and distinct. We know of its beauty and of its harshness. And perhaps most of all, we adults are highly aware of its complicated historical relationship with North America. Helping American young people reach a similar understanding of the real Africa is as important as it is challenging. It can be tricky when their toys, visits to zoos and theme parks, viewings of movies and television shows, and other encounters leave them with a romanticized sense of exotic animals, unfamiliar cultural practices, and rural settings. Older children may learn of horrific conflicts, dreadful illness, and dire poverty. While books are not a panacea, and some unfortunately only reinforce the same tired stereotypes, others exist that dispel misunderstandings and help children gain a deeper sense of that landmass called Africa.

That’s the opening paragraph in my “Books About Africa” article in the latest Horn Book Magazine.  You can now read the whole thing here.  Hope it gives you some food for though as well as book ideas.  

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