Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Roundup—Texas Sweethearts Style

Here in Austin, The Texas Sweethearts enjoyed snow! Seeing as how rarely this happens, it was a total treat!


Congrats to our contest winner Beverly Stowe McClure who won a $20 online gift card to Powell's bookstore and the Texas Sweethearts book of your choice. Beverly, please email us and let us know your mailing address and which book you'd like!

Next month we'll be giving away a query and 10 page critique from an editor, so please check back for that!

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The Fire Petal Auction is now open! Fire Petal Books is a new bookstore with vision that needs some help to get started. Head over to bid on some fantastic items including signed books and manuscript critiques from agents, editors, and authors. And you'll be helping children's literature and educational programs in Utah at the same time.
The auction ends Saturday, March 20th, 2010. Don't miss out on your chance for something awesome!

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Help Young Adults Book Central! Here's a message from Kimberly about the site and the help they need.

YABC Needs Your Help
You may have noticed the changes we've been making to the site -- well, we've got a lot more planned. But we need your help. We've received the bids back on what it will take to bring the site into the future and serve you better. YABC needs to raise $10,000.

We've started a campaign and every contribution, no matter how small, will help immensely.

Readers, we've given away thousands of books since 1998 and we plan on continuing to give you more (and more, if we can get the site changes implemented). Authors and Publishers, we've promoted you and your books tirelessly, and have even more promotional options planned.

But we really need your help.

Thank you for your patronage all these years and I hope you'll see fit to contribute even just a bit towards our goal.

Please support us by donating here.


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TAKE A CHANCE ON ART: 2010 Disaster Relief Raffle

Big white mouse and little brown mouse are tending a garden of flowers on the May pages in Susan L. Roth’s charming board book for preschoolers, My Love for You All Year Round (Dial, 2004). The original artwork for this spread, donated by the artist for the 2010 Texas Library Disaster Relief Raffle, is a multi-layered collage of colored and textured papers rich in color, shading, and detail.

The raffle will be held on Friday, April 16, during the second general session of the TLA Annual Conference in San Antonio. Tickets are available online (mail by Monday, April 9)and will be sold onsite at the spring conference: $5 each or 5 for $20.

Take a chance on art and improve the chances that your library association can help Texas libraries recover from natural disasters.

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In the Featured Sweetheart Nomination category, we have:


Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts!

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The Texas Sweethearts are looking forward to participating in Operation Teen Book Drop. It's coming up April 15, 2010, and you can read all about it here. Why not think about participating yourself?


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BORDER CROSSING by Jessica Lee Anderson received two fantastic reviews this week. You can check them out here:

Bookish Blather

Tattooed Books

Huge thank you to the reviewers for taking the time and energy. Book Reviewers rock!


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In the upcoming month, we're looking forward to the Jo Whittemore's release party for FRONT PAGE FACE-OFF, PJ Hoover's SCBWI presentation and Virginia Book Festival, and a joint visit to the Georgetown Juvenile Delinquent center.

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Have a great weekend!

*Note: If there is something you'd like us to include in our Friday roundup, please email us. We're happy to include news and information about the awesomeness of the kidlit world!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FEATURED SWEETHEART - Kelly Holmes

This week THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS are honored to be featuring Kelly Holmes who alone managed to get over 70 bloggers to participate in the Unsung YA Heroes blogfest earlier this year. Anyone who loves books, blogs, and spreading the word of kidlit so much is a sweetheart to us!

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TXS: Could you tell us how and why you started the project, Unsung YA Heroes?

KJH: In 2009, I read a handful of newly released books that I absolutely loved – like Broken Soup and Jack Tumor, among others. But these great books didn’t seem to be getting much attention on blogs, they hadn’t snagged any kid lit awards, and they certainly weren’t on the bestseller lists.

Now, this could just be due to the fact that I am weird, and I have weird taste in books. I’m not ruling that out. But with so many YA books being published every year, some great ones are bound to go relatively unnoticed. Which is a shame.

Originally, I planned to highlight my top 10 “unsung” YA favorites on my blog. But then I thought it would be even more fun to see what other book bloggers would pick. So I emailed a few bloggers to join me in a coordinated blog blitz that we called Unsung YA Heroes. Over one weekend, more than 70 bloggers posted their picks for Unsung YA Heroes.



TXS: What was something unexpected that you gained from this project?

KJH: I added an ungodly number of new titles to my TBR list, which I should have expected but I didn’t stop to think about it in the excitement of organizing the project. Altogether, the participating bloggers picked 494 unique unsung titles.

But if you’ll allow me to cheese out here for a sec, I also gained a newfound respect and admiration for my fellow book bloggers who took the time to put together their thoughtful lists of books deserving more attention. And they read a heck of a lot of books, which in addition to earning them book blogger props, also means that in their later years, they’ll be less likely to forget their grown children’s names. Bonus!



TXS: Are you planning on doing something similar in the near future? How do you plan on getting the word out?

KJH: YES! Even if participating bloggers hadn’t insisted on doing it again (which they have many times over), how could I not continue with a project that combines my love of YA and spreadsheets?

In the near future, keep an eye out for an Unsung YA giveaway of the top 12 unsung books. You heard it here first!

This is the current plan going forward: We’ll pick one week a year to be The Week of the Unsung. Each day, we will focus on a different genre—YA, middle-grade, picture book, graphic novel, even (gasp!) adult fiction. Bloggers can sign up for whichever genres they’d like, then post their Unsung lists on the appropriate days.

To get the word out, I think it will help to give everyone more time to plan ahead and participate. And I’ll definitely be enlisting other bloggers’ help in spreading the word via blog posts and Twitter.



TXS: As an aspiring writer, what have you found that has advanced your craft the most?

KJH: Read til your eyes burn like cigarettes.

I would also add that keeping a reading journal of some kind is essential if you want your reading to make a real impact on your craft. I started my blog a little over a year ago because I thought it would help me refine my writing. And it has. By articulating what I do and do not like about the books I read, I am teaching myself what to watch for in my own writing. You don’t have to create a blog. Your reading “journal” can be as simple as a stack of scratch paper. But if you can cultivate this habit, it will pay off.



TXS: Do you have any advice for other aspiring writers?

KJH: If you don’t have children but you want to one day, turn off the TV, close the web browser, stop daydreaming about being a writer, and just write like the dickens NOW. I love my baby girl, but those little boogers are a serious time suck.

If you do have kids, rejoice in anything you are able to get done writing-wise. Whether you manage to work on your current draft or you just jot down a few notes in your reading journal, you are making progress.

TXS: Thank you so much, Kelly!

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Bio:

Kelly Holmes is an aspiring young adult writer. In the meantime, she's a Sustainability Specialist at a high-tech company. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, 2-year-old daughter, 3 dogs, and 2 cats. In 1100 square feet. It's cozy.

Kelly is currently revising a YA novel she first drafted during NaNoWriMo 2009. She would also like to add that she is now solidly in her 30s and is officially taking recommendations for wicked good wrinkle creams.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Contest Winner and Looking Toward the Future

Huge thank you to all who entered our contest! Without further ado, the winner of a $20 online gift card to Powell's bookstore and the Texas Sweethearts book of your choice is


Congratulations, Beverly! Please email us and let us know your mailing address and which book you'd like!

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In other news, The Texas Sweethearts have put together this video for your viewing pleasure. Curious what we're looking forward to in the next month? Take two minutes and find out.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Friday Roundup—Texas Sweethearts Style

We hope everyone had a great week! Next week look forward to a vlog from the Texas Sweethearts :)

Remember this Sunday night is the last day to enter our contest! Thank you so much to those who already have. We appreciate your support!

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TAKE A CHANCE ON ART: 2010 Disaster Relief Raffle

Big white mouse and little brown mouse are tending a garden of flowers on the May pages in Susan L. Roth’s charming board book for preschoolers, My Love for You All Year Round (Dial, 2004). The original artwork for this spread, donated by the artist for the 2010 Texas Library Disaster Relief Raffle, is a multi-layered collage of colored and textured papers rich in color, shading, and detail.

The raffle will be held on Friday, April 16, during the second general session of the TLA Annual Conference in San Antonio. Tickets are available online (mail by Monday, April 9)and will be sold onsite at the spring conference: $5 each or 5 for $20.

Take a chance on art and improve the chances that your library association can help Texas libraries recover from natural disasters.

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Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts!

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The Texas Sweethearts are looking forward to participating in Operation Teen Book Drop. It's coming up April 15, 2010, and you can read all about it here. Why not think about participating yourself?


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In case you missed it, PJ Hoover was featured over on Teens Read Too earlier this week. Thank you, Teens Read Too!


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The Texas Sweethearts enjoyed lunch again at The Steeping Room here in Austin this past week. This seems to be a favorite!

We're also looking forward to school visits next week! There's nothing like getting out and talking with kids who love reading (and writing).

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Have a great weekend!

*Note: If there is something you'd like us to include in our Friday roundup, please email us. We're happy to include news and information about the awesomeness of the kidlit world!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

FEATURED SWEETHEART - Mitali Perkins

THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS are thrilled to introduce our newest FEATURED SWEETHEART, Mitali Perkins. Not only is Mitali a fantastic author herself, she has made it her mission to reach out and help other authors and writers across the world.

You can check out Mitali's well-read blog here!

You can explore her website here!


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TXS: How has writing for children and teens impacted your life and the lives of your readers?


MP: I love it because it keeps me in touch with youth culture, so it’s the perfect antidote to becoming a fogey. (My teens don’t think it’s working, but I do.) I hope that my books have encouraged and enriched the lives of my readers. That’s the goal, right?


TXS: Your online presence is amazing--what do you think is most effective when it comes to online outreach?

MP: As with all writing, an authentic voice and a dedication to excellence help to add value to the conversation.


TXS: Speaking of online outreach, you are constantly helping new authors and writers! Could you tell us a little about Twitter Book Birthday Party and your motivation to recognize new books?

MP: Twitter Book Parties are a celebration of new books for children and teens. Launch days can be bittersweet because you’re sitting at home doing laundry when you feel like you should be jumping out of a cake. To build community, I envisioned virtual parties where other authors, readers, booksellers, librarians, editors, and agents share the joy with an author on book release days with tweets in lieu of toasts.

It’s also a fun way to spread the word about great new books. I link to Indiebound to support independent booksellers, and each #bookbday party sends hundreds and hundreds of click-throughs to the book on that site. If you’re interested in the tech details, read this School Library Journal article, and check out this page if you want to read what authors are saying about the fun.

TXS: Together with Deborah Sloan, you organized The Great ALA Midwinter Kids/YA Lit Tweetup, which was an incredibly fun and successful event! How did you both get the idea for the tweetup, and what went into planning the event?

MP: Deborah and I love to plan social media-based fun events. It was her idea to organize something during ALA, and at first we had no idea if anybody would want to come. Thanks to a growing desire to meet online Kid/YA bookish friends in real life, we had a great turnout. It was all planned via Twitter, Facebook, a few emails, Eventbrite.com, and one coffee meeting between Deborah and me. She makes these things look easy because she’s so smart and such a veteran in the industry. Her KidsBuzz idea is brilliant.


TXS: What keeps you motivated to keep serving the children's and young adult literature community?

MP: Want the truth? Philippians chapter 2. One morning when I felt burdened with the push to promote, promote, promote myself and my own books, I opened my Bible and read this chapter, focusing on verse 3: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” That’s when I got the idea for Twitter Book Parties, and this verse has become my banner when it comes to serving and promoting other writers.


TXS: Thank you so much, Mitali!

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Bio:

I was born in India and immigrated to the States with my parents and two sisters when I was seven. Bengali-style, our names rhyme: Sonali means "gold,” Rupali means "silver,” and you’ll have to guess what “Mitali” means. Clue: I had to earn it because I’ve lived in India, Ghana, Cameroon, England, New York, Mexico, California, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Massachusetts. Now I’m settled in Newton, a town just outside of Boston, where I write and speak full-time. My husband is the pastor of a Presbyterian church, and we have twin teen sons and two Labrador Retrievers.


As for books, I’m the author of Secret Keeper and Monsoon Summer (both from Random House), The Not-So-Star-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen (Little Brown), the First Daughter books (Dutton), and Bamboo People and Rickshaw Girl, both from Charlesbridge. I twitter, facebook, and blog at Mitali’s Fire Escape, where I strive to provide a safe place to think, chat, and read about life between cultures.

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Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Friday Roundup—Texas Sweethearts Style

Thank you to all our followers and to those who've entered our contest! We've got great things coming up in the months ahead for contests including a critique from an editor next month. So be sure to check back and look forward to that!
(Because, in case you didn't realize it, getting critique feedback is hugely important.)

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In the Featured Sweetheart Nomination category, we have:


Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts!

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The Texas Sweethearts are looking forward to participating in Operation Teen Book Drop. It's coming up April 15, 2010, and you can read all about it here. Why not think about participating yourself?



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A huge thank you to Miriam for her great reviews of both THE EMERALD TABLET and THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD by PJ Hoover!

Also, PJ has an interview posted over on Becky Levine's blog. You can read it here.


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Have a great weekend!

*Note: If there is something you'd like us to include in our Friday roundup, please email us. We're happy to include news and information about the awesomeness of the kidlit world!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

FEATURED SWEETHEART - Chuck Sambuchino

THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS are thrilled to introduce our newest FEATURED SWEETHEART, Chuck Sambuchino. Not only is Chuck the awesome brains behind the Guide to Literary Agents blog, he's also an editor at Writer's Digest, a writer himself, and plays in a band. (We Texas Sweethearts think we could take him at Rock Band no problem.)

You can visit Chuck's fantastic blog here.

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TXS: Could you share with us what your role as an editor is like? What are some of your other interests?

My role at Writer’s Digest Books changes every year, it seems. I started off just editing Guide to Literary Agents (the most recent book out is the 2010 edition). Then I also took over another annual book called Screenwriter’s & Playwright’s Market. Now I also do odds and ends for the magazine, teach webinars online, speak at a lot of conferences, and put together special magazines dealing with agents. All the variety keeps me on my toes.

Besides editing, I love to write! I’ve had some plays produced, wrote a lot of magazine articles, and have a humor book coming out in Sept. 2010 called How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack (Ten Speed Press). If you’re reading this and own garden gnomes, trust me: This book will save your life. Other than that, I’m a husband, dog owner, and cover band guitarist.


TXS: What is something you've gained from your experience as an editor?

Time management. When you’re working on a magazine article, you can wait till the last minute and throw it together and somehow it all ends up OK. But books take months of work, and you need to set deadlines for yourself and put things together piece by piece.


TXS: How did you get your wonderful and informative blog started? Do you have any advice for bloggers?

I was kind of forced, at gunpoint, to start the blog two and a half years ago. It took a while for me to really get it going, but once I found out what kinds of content really helped people, then the blog just became a big joy to host. At this point, the site gets so many page views each month that authors write great columns for me all the time just to get their name out there.

As for advice for other bloggers, I would say contests always work well to draw people in. Try to provide helpful information for people, rather than having it be about you. Pay attention to the terms and keywords people are searching for that lead them to your site. Get people to link to you to increase your SEO (results in Google). Use subheads and bold terms to break up your text. Never underestimate a little white space on your page. Have at least one piece of good art with every post.


TXS: You speak at many conferences and critique many manuscripts--what is some advice that you repeatedly give?

When it comes to critiquing: Cut cut cut. I’d say for every time I critique something and say “Expand this section,” 10 other times I am telling people to cut things. I tend to freelance edit and critique a lot of memoir, and people just don’t know how to edit their own lives, so to speak. Lots of times, sections are long and/or unnecessary, and I know that the writer wrote it this way “because it happened like that.” It’s hard to evaluate our own work and realize what sections shine versus those that don’t. When the story is your own life, this becomes even more difficult.

When it comes to speaking at conferences, I get asked a lot of things, but no one question comes to mind immediately. I do get asked “Do you know the identity of Miss Snark?” a lot. (I do know, but I have yet to spill the beans, though no one has offered me a large sum of money for the info yet.)



TXS: Is there any advice you have for writers to keep up with this changing industry? What about advice for other editors, or for agents?

There’s lots happening with e-books and the imminent digital revolution, etc. – but I’m not the best person to speak on that. My best advice is to 1) diversify yourself, and 2) just keep building your platform. What I mean when I say diversify yourself is to write in multiple areas. Perhaps that means to write several novels instead of just one. But it could also mean to try your hand at articles or freelance editing – just something new. It’s hard to make money in this business, and you need little successes (e.g., newspaper articles published) to keep you going while you wait for that novel to hit it big. And concerning platform, we are coming to a point where it seems like you have to already have friends and an audience in place to get books published, especially nonfiction. The more people you know and the more people who listen when you speak, the better.

As for advice for other agents and editors, I’d rather listen to theirs than offer mine. But I would say that if you’re not attending writers conferences when you can, you are really missing out on great opportunities to understand what writers want to know and the questions they’re asking.


TXS: Thank you so much, Chuck!

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Bio:

Chuck Sambuchino is an editor for Writer's Digest Books (an imprint of F+W Media). He is the editor of two annual resource books: Guide to Literary Agents, as well as Screenwriter's & Playwright's Market. He recently helmed the third edition of Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript (a WD trade book), released in 2009. He is also the author of How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack, due out in Sept. 2010 (Ten Speed Press / Random House).


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Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's Time for Another Contest

Seeing as how we're in a whole new month here (already a week in, too), it's time for another contest from the Texas Sweethearts!

This month we're giving away:


Winning is easy! All you have to do is:

1) Follow our blog—you know, the cute little pictures of faces over on the right. So the deal is you have to be a follower to enter.

2) Comment on this post before the end of the day Sunday, February 21, 2010.

3) Win!


Good luck!


* Note: On books, THE NECROPOLIS by PJ Hoover is not yet available. Also, FRONT PAGE FACE-OFF by Jo Whittemore will not be available until March 2010.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Friday Roundup—Texas Sweethearts Style

Thank you so much for visiting The Texas Sweethearts!

We're looking for all sorts of great things in the months ahead. We've got school visits, conferences, and even a book release. Yes, we're about a month away from the release of FRONT PAGE FACE-OFF by Jo Whittemore! And to celebrate, Jo is running a contest on her very cool blog. All you have to do is tell her what your favorite candy is, and yes, you could win a candy gift certificate. So, if you have a second, head over and take a chance!


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In the Featured Sweetheart Nomination category, we have:


Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts!

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NOMINATE A YOUNG HERO FOR A $2,500 BARRON PRIZE!

The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes seeks nominations for its 2010 awards. The Barron Prize honors young people ages 8 to 18 who have made a significant positive difference to people and our planet. Each year, ten national winners each receive $2,500 to support their service work or higher education. Nomination deadline is April 30. For more information and to nominate, visit http://www.barronprize.org/

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On the review front, a huge thank you to Charlotte at Charlotte's Library for her awesome review of THE NAVEL OF THE WORLD by PJ Hoover!


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Have a great weekend!

*Note: If there is something you'd like us to include in our Friday roundup, please email us. We're happy to include news and information about the awesomeness of the kidlit world!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

FEATURED SWEETHEART - Jen Robinson

THE TEXAS SWEETHEARTS are thrilled to introduce our newest FEATURED SWEETHEART, Jen Robinson. Jen is an amazing book reviewer who works tirelessly reading and reviewing books, sending out newsletters for bookworms, and all around promoting good will through the Kidlitosphere. And why does she do all this, you might ask? Well, let's let Jen tell us herself!

You can check out Jen's incredible blog here and can subscribe to her Growing Bookworms Weekly Newsletter there as well.

We can't recommend her blog more if you're looking for books for kids of all ages!

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TXS: You run an amazing book review blog along with the Growing Bookworms newsletter. Can you tell us a little bit about them?

JKR: I started my blog four years ago, because I had this strong affection for children's books, as well as a passion for encouraging kids to enjoy reading. After hearing the suggestion from a couple of friends, I decided to start my blog for an outlet for that enthusiasm. These days, I mostly post book reviews and information related to raising readers, but I also try to keep up with happenings from around the Kidlitosphere (the community of children's and young adult book bloggers). I review picture books through young adult titles, mostly fiction, and I have particular interest in mysteries and dystopias. But mainly I'm looking for books that are well-written and engaging enough to keep kids (and me) eagerly turning the pages.

I started my bi-weekly Growing Bookworms newsletter in late 2007, in response to a suggestion from another friend. I basically take the content from my blog that's most focused on book reviews and literacy news and send that out in an email format. The idea is to reach people who are interested in this information, but don't necessarily read blogs (parents, teachers, librarians, etc.). I currently have just over 1000 subscribers. I also blog one day a week at PBS Parents Booklights blog, on the same general topics.

Jen with her dad

TXS: How did you get started doing reviews? And how do you manage all the time it takes? Also, how has your vision changed since its inception?

JKR: I had actually experimented briefly with reviewing adult titles on another blog, but I found that felt like work. When I started my current blog, though, I just started writing about children's books that I particularly enjoyed. And for some reason that was more fun. While I didn't have a lot of experience in writing reviews, I had been an avid consumer of book reviews
for most of my life, and I think that helped. I started by reviewing books that I owned or checked out of the library. After eight months or so, I started being approached by publishers with offers of review copies, and things took off from there.

As far as the time commitment goes, my general feeling is that if one is passionate enough about something, then one makes the time. For me, it's really all about helping kids to learn to love books. I feel like if I get to the end of my life, and can look back and see that I've helped a few kids grow up loving books, then I'll have accomplished something important. So that helps me prioritize. Which is not to say that it's not stressful sometimes - particularly the piles of review books that show up on my doorstep. I have to periodically remind myself that this is something that I'm doing as a volunteer activity, and that any reviews that I can find time for are a positive thing. Otherwise the size of the TBR pile would paralyze me.

I wouldn't say that my overall vision has changed much. It's more been a case where I periodically try new things, and then the time commitment gets out of hand, and I have to scale back. I probably refine my focus about once a year. But I've done weekly children's literacy round-ups (now shared with Terry Doherty of the Reading Tub, as well as book reviews, since I first started.

Betsy Bird, Jen, Jay Asher, and Greg Pincus

TXS: What is the biggest surprise you've had since you started as a blogging book reviewer?

JKR: The biggest surprise for me was definitely finding the community of other blogging book reviewers. When I started my blog, I thought that I'd just put some information out there, and see if anyone was interested. I pictured my friends and family members who had children being my primary audience. But in no time at all I found myself part of this whole community of amazing reviewers and literacy advocates and writers, interacting with them, and learning from them. It's been wonderful. And validating, to know that I'm far from being the only adult out there who is still reading children's books.



TXS: With less resources being given to libraries around the country, how do you see the future of books for kids and the importance of the Internet in that future?

JKR: I have a suspicion that the generation of kids growing up now is going to be a lot less attached to the physical book than today's adults are, as a general rule. These kids are used to reading things on screen, looking things up on the computer, etc. It's going to be natural to them to do a lot of their reading online, and especially on portable devices like cell phones. I do worry a bit about what that means for the future of printed books. But I'm hopeful that the increase in illustrated books (graphic novels, etc.) will help to drive people to continue to want physical books for their kids. To me, it just doesn't seem the same for Mom or Dad and baby to curl up before bed with the e-Reader. However, for the ten-year-old to take a Kindle stocked with lots of books on a long plane trip - that seems reasonable (and probably inevitable) to me.

As far as libraries go, it's obvious that they're changing (even as I personally feel a sense of horror as I read about libraries that are getting rid of their printed books). But I don't think that our need for librarians is decreasing. As self-publishing increases, and more people are reading books electronically, it's going to be easier and easier for anyone to get their books out there into the ether. I think that there's going to be an increasing need for professionals who can sort through the many books available for kids, and highlight the best of them. I'm not sure what's going to happen with the publishing industry in all of this electronic transformation, but I know that I still want to see books that are professionally edited and designed. And I feel that this attention to quality is especially important when it comes to books for kids.

Jen with Mitali Perkins

TXS: If you could make a wish for kids and reading in the future, what would it be?

JKR: I wish that every child could grow up with the opportunity to love books and reading. I know that not every child WILL love reading, but I'd like them all to have the chance. So this wish encompasses everything from more libraries in underdeveloped areas to more parents and teachers and other concerned adults being able to find the time to read with kids.

Jen with Rick Riordan

JKR: Thanks so much for featuring me at Texas Sweethearts!

TXS: Thank you so much, Jen!

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Please email us your nominations for featured sweethearts!