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As the 2011 AJL Convention approaches, AJL will be publishing the remaining podcast episodes from the 2010 Convention at an accelerated rate! Watch Hasafran, Facebook, and Twitter for notices of new episodes. You can listen to any podcast episode at jewishlibraries.org/podcast.

If you're not familiar with podcasting, you can become a maven by reading the primer below. Enjoy!

What is a podcast?

A podcast is an audio or video program on the Internet. What makes it different from any old audio clip or YouTube video? A podcast is an ongoing show that has multiple episodes, and you can subscribe to it. The same way you can subscribe to a magazine and have each issue arrive at your house, you can subscribe to a podcast and have each new episode arrive on your computer. Subscriptions for podcasts are usually free.

What will you find on the AJL Podcast?

AJL’s podcast is made up of audio recordings of sessions from our conventions and other regional AJL-related events. We have been podcasting since 2008.

How do you get the AJL Podcast?

You can find the podcast at jewishlibraries.org/podcast.  At that location, you can read instructions for subscribing to the podcast. ***You do NOT have to subscribe to the podcast in order to listen to it!*** Just like you can buy an individual issue of a magazine at a newsstand without  subscribing to the magazine, you can listen to individual episodes of the AJL Podcast at our website without subscribing to it. It’s your own choice.

How is the AJL Podcast page organized?

When you go to jewishlibraries.org/podcast, you will see a complete list of all our audio recordings, alphabetically arranged by the last name of the speaker. You can click on the title of any recording to be taken to its individual page, where you can click the PLAY button to listen. If you would like to narrow your search, you have two options. You can click on a broad category of interest: RAS, SSC, or Children’s & Youth Literature. Alternatively, you can click on Index to be taken to more specific subject headings.

When scrolling through the complete list of audio recordings, you may notice that some speakers have multiple recordings. That is because so  many wonderful authors and AJL members return to our conventions with new information to share year after year!

Who’s in charge of the AJL Podcast?

The AJL Podcast is overseen by Heidi Estrin, who has been podcasting since 2005 at her synagogue library. Her library’s podcast is called The Book of Life, and it receives some support from AJL, making cross-promotion possible. You can hear episodes of The Book of Life at http://bookoflifepodcast.com.
 
Shabbat Shalom Safranim! Here is the AJL weekly list of bookmarkable links.

In the spirit of the upcoming convention in Montreal, check out their Jewish Public Library Archives. They're also on Flickr, accessible here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jpl_archives/.

The Vilnius Jewish Library has been established to celebrate culture created by Jews. It is the first Jewish library in Lithuania since 1943, and will be opening spring/summer of 2011: http://vilniusjewishlibrary.org/collection.html

Marking International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yad Vashem and Google announced a partnership that will greatly facilitate preservation of and access to the world’s largest historical collection on the Holocaust. They have almost 140,000 pictures available for viewing here: http://collections.yadvashem.org/photosarchive/en-us/yadvashem.html

SPARC (the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) has announced it will host a new discussion forum dedicated to the unique needs of the subject-based digital repository community. As repositories continue to grow as an engine for driving Open Access worldwide, new challenges and opportunities emerge and the demand for more focused conversations grows: http://digital-scholarship.org/digitalkoans/2011/03/30/sparc-subject-repositories-forum-launched/

Putting misshelved books back in their proper places is not a library worker’s favorite task. It takes time and it’s not exactly scintillating. Now a computer-science professor has come up with a way to make the process faster and less burdensome: an augmented-reality shelf-reading app that can scan an entire shelf’s worth of books at a time and alert workers which ones are out of place: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/shelving-made-easy-or-easier/30792?sid=wc&utm_source=wc&utm_medium=en
Posted in: Link Round-Up

Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee member Barbara Krasner has created an expert-packed workshop to guide Jewish children's writers in new directions with guest faculty and AJL member Linda Silver, author of Best Jewish Books for Children and Teens, to help. The workshop will take place at the homeplace of the Founders of Highlights for Children near Honesdale, Pennsylvania, May 15-18, 2011.

Additional guest faculty includes Margery Cuyler, publisher, Marshall Cavendish Children’s Books and its new Jewish imprint, Shofar Books; Ruth Katcher, Egmont editor-at-large; Natalie Blitt, expert on Jewish children’s literature and former program director and book selection committee chair, The PJ Library; Debra Hess, Senior Editor, Highlights for Children; and Laurel Snyder, author of Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher and Penny Dreadful.

Find complete information at http://www.highlightsfoundation.org/pages/current/FWsched_jewishThemed_11.html.
Shavua Tov Safranim! Here is this week's bookmarkable links:

Judaica Libraries Unite

The New York Public Library, New York University, and Columbia University, which all have extensive Judaica collections are collaborating to offer scholars/members of any one of the three institutions to access to all three collections, Read more here. (By way of Michelle Chesner's blog).

Google Settlement goes Sour

Google has been getting some negative news this past week. In this interview with Tech Crunch, you can watch Siva Vaidyanathan talk about his new book Googlization, in which he describes Google as an unchecked monopolist of information services.

Also, the Scholarly Kitchen and Boook sellers.com offer some thoughts about the rejection of the second attempt at the GoogleBooks court settlement for copyright infringement.

Some thoughts on education for digital natives

Given the rapid pace of changing technology, need to keep thinking about how they can change their services to meet the needs of new students. These two links below offer some ideas:

 

PBS documentary on reaching today’s youth through digital media

Watch the full episode. See more Digital Media - New Learners Of The 21st Century.

Posted in: Link Round-Up
Shalom Safranim! Hope everyone had a great Purim. Here is this week's bookmarkable links:

Gearing up for Pesach

Harvard University Press recently published a facsimile version of the Library of Congress's beautiful Washingoton Haggadah, written and illustrated by Yoel ben Shimon during the 15th century. More pictures are available here  and a description of the book here (thanks to Heidi Estrein for sending this link along).

Haggadah image 4

Also, in case you've never seen it, the Library of Congress has its Hebraic Collection online which contains a variety of Judaica as well as information and pictures of other Haggadot.

This year's Computer's in Libaries Conference:

Professor Jill Hurst-Wahl has been blogging on some of the issues being discussed at this year's Computer's in Libraries conference, such as community tagging, library marketing, and new search features for web search engines:

http://hurstassociates.blogspot.com/

In the spirit of the AJL conference in Montreal this coming summer:

A video glossary of Yiddish words and expressions from the Shtetl Montreal: 
http://shtetlmontreal.com/yiddish-danish/words/

Yiddish humorist and native Torontorian Michael Wex talks about Canadian Jewish History and his new book, The Frumkiss Family Business:
http://michaelwex.com/2011/03/wex-on-menschlife/
Posted in: Link Round-Up
jbcThanks to Linda K. Wertheimer for hosting this month's Jewish Book Carnival over at Jewish Muse! She has gathered interesting posts about Purim, faith, reading recommendations, and by luck, multiple reviews of David Grossman's To the End of the Land.

Follow the links! Read the posts! Leave lots of comments! And watch for April's Jewish Book Carnival at The Jewish Book Council.
Shavua Tov Safranim! Here is this week's list of Bookmarkable links. Remember that all of the links from recent posts on the Weekly Link Roundup can also now be searched at Delicious.com by searching for "ajl_links". 



The Flickr Commons: Get photos through participating organizations at the Flickr Commons; most of them have no known copyright restrictions. The Center for Jewish History has contributions  as well as the Jewish Society of the Upper Midwest. (Anyone else I missed?)



-Folks who might be looking forJudaica library  jobs, here's a great exhaustive list of Jewish studies programs  available globally.

-Bodleian Library holds a copy of Rambam's Mishneh Torah, signed by Maimonides himself. They have digitized it here and made it available for all to see (by way of the YU blog)

-In my Internet travels, I came across this great pathfinder with links for the study of American Jewish History from the Myer And Rosaline Feinstein Center For American Jewish History, Temple University.

-Historical Jewish Press: "This site contains a collection of Jewish newspapers published in various countries, languages, and time periods. We display digital versions of each newspaper, making it possible to view the papers in their original layout. Full-text search is also available for all content published over the course of each newspaper’s publication." (By way of Michelle Chesner's recent talk at AJL-NYC).

-Computers in Libraries conference will be in Washington D.C. from March 21-23 http://www.infotoday.com/cil2011/. For those who might be in D.C. free exhibit passes are available for even if you don't necessarily want to pay for the entire conference. The Twitter hashtag will be #cil11 and hashtags for Flickr will also most likely be under tags cil2011 or cil11.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
PRESS RELEASE

For more information, contact:
Daniel Scheide
dscheide@fau.edu

2011 Judaica Reference and Bibliography Awards Announced by Association of Jewish Libraries
For immediate release

The Research Libraries, Archives, and Special Collections Division of the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) is very pleased to announce the winners of its 2011 Judaica Reference and Bibliography Awards.

Reference

In the reference category, the winner is The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, published by Brill. Edited by Dr. Norman Stillman of the University of Oklahoma, this 5-volume encyclopedia is the first English-language reference that deals with a part of Jewish history that is obscure and inaccessible for many readers. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World opens a new window into this world and will inevitably generate more research and interest in the field. An online version is currently available as well. More information on the Encyclopedia can be found at http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=26005.

An honorable mention has been awarded to The Eerdman’s Dictionary of Early Judaism, edited by John J. Collins and Daniel C. Harlow. It is an essential reference in a field of study that has rapidly expanded in recent decades. More information on the Dictionary can be found at http://www.eerdmans.com/shop/product.asp?p_key=9780802825490.

Bibliography

In the bibliography category, the winner is The Bibliography of Jews in the Islamic World, published by Brill. Edited by María Angeles Gallego, Heather Bleaney and Pablo García Suárez, this bibliography is an important contribution to the study of Jews in the Islamic World due to its thematic and geographical scopes, especially considering the difficulties in covering such a diverse field and multitude of languages. More information on the Bibliography can be found at http://www.brill.nl/product_id31220.htm.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

We would like to thank Dr. Greta Silver of New York City and Eric Chaim Kline of Los Angeles, who respectively sponsor the annual Judaica Reference and Bibliography Awards. The 2011 awards will be presented at the AJL 46th Annual Convention banquet, which will take place on Tuesday evening, June 21, 2011 at the Marriott Montréal Château Champlain in Montréal, Québec.

For more information about AJL's Judaica Reference & Bibliography Awards, including past winners, please visit http://jewishlibraries.org/ajlweb/awards/ref_and_bib.htm.

Awards Committee

The Reference & Bibliography Awards Committee includes Michlean Amir (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum), Yoram Bitton (Columbia University), Rachel Leket-Mor (Arizona State University), Daniel Rettberg (Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati), Pinchas Roth (Hebrew University), Rachel Simon (Princeton University), and Daniel Scheide, chair (Florida Atlantic University).

About the Association of Jewish Libraries

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) promotes Jewish literacy through enhancement of libraries and library resources and through leadership for the profession and practitioners of Judaica librarianship. The Association fosters access to information, learning, teaching and research relating to Jews, Judaism, the Jewish experience and Israel. Visit AJL at jewishlibraries.org.

10:00AM to 3:00PM - SUNDAY, APRIL 3, 2011



Featured Speakers:


Sid Jacobson was editor in chief at Harvey Comics, where he created Richie Rich, and was the executive editor at Marvel Comics. His collaborations with illustrator Ernie Colon include the fascinating 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation, and the new illustrated biography of Anne Frank entitled, Anne Frank: The Anne Frank House Authorized Graphic Biography.

William J. Rubin is the executive editor of Nachshon Press and the chief architect of the National Jewish Book Award winner, Homeland: The Illustrated History of the State of Israel.

Barry Deutsch is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Award winner for Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword.

Anastasia Betts is a well-known education professional with an expertise in graphic literature.

10:00 AM Registration and Bagels
10:30 AM Questions and Answers about graphic literature with authors Sid Jacobson, Barry Deutsch and William Rubin
12:00 PM Buffet Lunch with special presentation by Sydney Taylor Award winner Barry Deutsch
1:15 PM History of graphic literature for children with Anastasia Betts
2:30 PM Literature marketplace and autographing by local children's literature authors

Manuscript consultations available

Conference will be held at American Jewish University,
15600 Mulholland Dr., Los Angeles, CA


Sponsored by Sinai Temple Blumenthal Library, Association of Jewish Libraries, AJLSC, and American Jewish University


For reservations and information call Susan Dubin at (818) 886-6415, or send email to Lisa Silverman, lsilverman at sinaitemple dot org.


Registration: $55 (includes lunch); $45 for AJL members, and $45 for a manuscript consult.

Good Shabbos everyone! Here are this week's suggested links to bookmark:

Israeli online library catalogs (OPACs): The MALMAD - Israel Center for Digital Information Services publishes and maintains an extensive, if not exhaustive, list of library web catalogs from Israel's universities.

Available for searching online, "The monumental 19-volume Encyclopedia of the Founders and Builders of Israel was compiled and published by David Tidhar (1897-1970) over the 23 years from 1947 until his death."

A great LibGuides page for Yiddish resources published by Johns Hopkins University is available here.

Looking for a job? METRO in NYC publishes a Libguides page of professional development resources here (from the NY Librarian's Meetup blog).

For those of you out there who thought it was too difficult or expensive to publish your writing, Barnes&Noble has now released PubIt, an electronic upload service that allows easier entry into the ebook market for self-published authors and independent publishing companies (a boon for almost any Jewish publisher or author). Barnes&Noble says that 35 of their 200 top best-sellers in on the Nook were published through this new service.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
The Association of Jewish Libraries is delighted to announce the winners of the 2011 Life Membership and Fanny Goldstein Merit Awards, to be presented at the AJL Annual Convention in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in June 2011.

Pearl Berger, Benjamin Gottesman Librarian and Dean of Libraries, Yeshiva University, New York, NY is the 2011 recipient of the Association’s Life Membership Award. Life Membership is granted in recognition of outstanding leadership and professional contributions to the Association and to the profession of Jewish librarianship.

Etta D. Gold, Library Director, Temple Beth Am, Miami, Florida will receive the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award for 2011. The Fanny Goldstein Merit Award, named for the librarian, social activist and founder of National Jewish Book Month, is bestowed in recognition of loyal and ongoing contributions to the Association and to the profession of Jewish librarianship.

Elizabeth F. Stabler
Chair
Life Member and Fanny Goldstein Awards Committee
Facebook members can easily keep up with AJL's doings by visiting the AJL Facebook page at facebook.com/jewishlibraries and clicking the Like button. If you already "like" AJL on Facebook, you should be receiving our status updates in your Facebook news feed (on your "wall").

If you have not been seeing AJL's status updates in your news feed lately, it's because when Facebook switched to the "new profile" (the one with your photos displayed across the top), they also switched to a setting to show ONLY posts from people or pages you had been interacting with recently.

If you enjoy reading what AJL has to say (even if you don't always want to leave a comment), you can easily ensure that you get all our updates. Here's how: Scroll down to the bottom of the news feed on your Home page and click on "Edit options" on the bottom right (as seen in the image below)  click on "Show posts from" and change the setting to "All of your friends and pages." That way you won't miss announcements about AJL events and other Jewish book and library news!

Posted in: News
Montreal

Ready-set-go! Get out your passports and cash in your air miles because it's time to book your travel and hotel reservations for June 19 -22, 2011 in Montreal! All AJL Convention 2011 registration and preliminary program information isnow available online. Early bird registration deadline is April 10. To receive the AJL Convention Hotel rate you must book before May 20. Please check out the AJL website for more information:

Click here for full convention information.

Click here for the registration form, which you will need to print and mail in with your check.
Posted in: Convention
jbcWelcome to the February 2011 edition of the Jewish Book Carnival, a monthly event where bloggers who blog about Jewish books can meet, read and comment on each others’ posts.

This month, the Carnival is hosted by The Boston Bibliophile and you can find the post here.

The carnival was started by Heidi Estrin and Marie Cloutier to build community among bloggers and blogs who feature Jewish books. It runs every month on the 15th. The Carnival headquarters is here.

The Jewish Book Carnival has a GoodReads page, where we host discussions and more. Whether or not you’re participating, we hope you’ll stop by, join and take part!

If you’d like to participate, either to host or contribute a link, send me an email at heidi@cbiboca.org and I’ll get you hooked up on the particulars. We are actively looking for hosts for May 2011 and beyond.

Feel free to download and save the logo, and use it on your blog posts or sidebar. Please do not link directly to the picture.

In the mean time, visit The Boston Bibliophile for this month’s carnival and don’t forget to check out the many great participating bloggers!
Hello Safranim, here are this week’s Judaica links of interest. I'll be trying to post the link roundups earlier in the week in order to give you more time to explore them. From here on out, I’ll also be archiving all of these links under the tag “ajl_links” in Delicious. If you want to see them, just go to the www.delicious.com and type the query “ajl_links” in the search box. More on this next week…  Bob

World War, 1939-1945, German Concentration Camps and Prisons Collection
Correspondences available from various concentration camps. "More than 2000 correspondences were scanned and the images are in jpg format. Images are available for screenshow or download (by way of Blog for IST 677: Creating, Managing & Preserving Digital Assets 2010).

Flickr accidentally nukes user's 4,000 photos: Makes you think twice about the viability of preserving your pictures and other personal content online.

Selections from Three Faiths Exhibit at NYPL. You can also watch a few videos on the making of parchment and ink as well as the scribal arts by linking to videos from the main page here. If you're in the NYC area, try to go see this great exhibit before it closes on February 27th.

Jewish Life in America, 1654-1954: “Jewish Life in America will enable you to explore the history of Jewish communities in America from the arrival of the first Jews in the 17th century right through to the mid-20th century…This treasure trove of material provides digital images of collections from the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. All of the typescript and printed material is full-text searchable.” (by way of Michelle Chesner’s Jewish Studies at CUL Blog).

Extensive Collections from the Center for Jewish History: I was fortunate to have had the opportunity this week to interview Andrea Buchner (director of the Gruss Lipper Digital Lab) for one of my classes. If you’ve never been to the catalog, take a look now. This is a gigantic (and FREE) repository of Judaica artifacts which includes all different types of media formats.
Posted in: Link Round-Up
Today is the final day, the "grand finale" if you will, of the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour. We hope you've been enjoying the interviews with our gold and silver medalists, and that you'll continue to follow their work.

Don't forget, in addition to these medalists we've featured in the blog tour, we've also got lots of fine books on this year's Notables list. Be sure to check out those books too; here's a PDF listing every book recognized by the awards committee for 2011.

Here are the last two stops on our blog tour. Enjoy!

OnceOnce is a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Teen Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Morris Gleitzman at The Fourth Musketeer with blogger Margo Tanenbaum.

Here's a teaser:
Margo: Could you also comment on why you prefer to call Once and its sequels novels about friendship, rather than novels about the Holocaust?

Morris: My starting point for these books, even before I decided to set them against the Holocaust, was friendship.  I've long been interested in how young people today feel growing up in a world that increasingly seems to be the product of the worst of our human tendencies.  I like to write stories that don't shy away from that worst, but which also never lose sight of the best we're capable of.  And I think loving friendships are where most of us get to show our best.

Read more...

Blogger Barbara KrasnerFinally, we have a wrap-up of the Blog Tour with a virtual panel featuring various winners over at The Whole Megillah with blogger Barbara Krasner.

Here's a teaser:
Barbara: What trends do you see coming our way?

Kristina Swarner: I’ve been approached about electronic books more often lately, and have been thinking about ways to make illustrations move or interact with the readers.
Dana Reinhardt: It’s tough out there for writers of realistic fiction. But thanks to organizations like the Association of Jewish Libraries, sometimes these smaller books get attention and ultimately find their audience.
Sarah Gershman: I see more of an openness to talking about G-d, particularly in books aimed at both affiliated and unaffiliated families.

Read more...

To learn more about the Sydney Taylor Book Award, please visit the Association of Jewish Libraries. You can hear podcasts of past winners receiving their awards at the AJL convention at jewishlibraries.org/podcast.

Thanks for reading the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour!
Welcome back to the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! We've got three more amazing interviews for you today.

Kristina SwarnerKristina Swarner is the illustrator of two books recognized in the Younger Readers Category this year! She illustrated Gathering Sparks by Howard Schwartz (Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner) as well as Modeh Ani by Sarah Gershman (Sydney Taylor Honor Book).

Read an interview with Kristina at The SCBWI Children's Market Blog with blogger Alice Pope.

Here's a teaser:
Alice: Your style is so soft and beautiful--it has an ethereal quality. Will you tell us about your technique?

Kristina: I begin with a black and white linoleum print that helps me get the positive and negative shapes and the underlying texture. Then I go over it with watercolor and colored pencil. I try to leave the white of the paper where I can, so things like stars really glow.

Read more...

Life, AfterLife, After is a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Teen Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Sarah Darer Littman at Into the Wardrobe with blogger Tarie.

Here's a teaser:
Tarie: What does winning a Sydney Taylor Honor Award for Life, After mean to you?

Sarah: I can't tell you how incredibly honored I feel to be twice honored by the AJL. When my first book, Confessions of a Closet Catholic won the Sydney Taylor Award for Older Readers in 2006, I was new on the scene and there was a part of me that thought maybe it was a fluke, especially since I followed up my win with a terrible case of second book blues (probably not helped by the fact that I was going through a very lengthy and painful divorce at the time). This time, it is perhaps even more meaningful because I feel like, "Wow, maybe they didn't make a horrible mistake that first time after all!"

Read more...

Hush

Hush is a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Teen Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Eishes Chayil at Frume Sarah's World with blogger Frume Sarah.

Here's a teaser:
Frume:As our synagogue educator is fond of asking, what is your goal? What do you hope that this book will do for others?

Eishes:It was the only way to have a voice heard that would not be heard otherwise. It was witnessing the agony and devastating trauma that abuse brings on its victims and realizing that I was lucky (or cursed) enough to be a writer, and can tell the story they can not.

Read more...

Tune in tomorrow for the final day of our blog tour! We'll feature an  interview with Morris Gleitzman (Once) at The Fourth Musketeer, and we'll have a wrap-up with all the winners over at The Whole Megillah. We hope you've been enjoying the blog tour and we'll see you tomorrow!
Welcome back to the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! Today we've got interviews with each of our gold medal-winning authors!

Gathering SparksGathering Sparks is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Younger Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Howard Schwartz at Boston Bibliophile with blogger Marie Cloutier.

Here's a teaser:
Marie: Who do you see as the audience for the book?

Howard: Since the repair of the world is such a big job, I hope that everyone will do their part. So while the Ari lived in an exclusively Jewish world in Safed, his myth should be an inspiration not only for Jews, but for everyone. Of course, Jewish people can be especially proud that a genius like the Ari [Rabbi Isaac Luria] created a myth to inspire and guide the people to work together in harmony to make the world a better place. But the basic teaching of tikkun olam can be appreciated by everyone, Jewish or not.

Read more...

Hereville

Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Older Readers Category.

Read an interview with author/illustrator Barry Deutsch at BewilderBlog with blogger Laurel Snyder.

Here's a teaser:
Laurel: Did you just wake up one day and say, “Aha! What the world really needs is an Ortho-fantasy-graphic novel!”

Barry:Yes, that’s exactly it!

I think Hereville was mostly inspired by Lis Harris’ book Holy Days, which has a lot of appealing stories of daily Hasidic life. I read Holy Days 10 or 15 years before I created Hereville, but I thought it would be a great setting for a comic book, so it was in the back of my brain, waiting to be used.

Read more...

The Things a Brother Knows

The Things a Brother Knows is the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award winner in the Teen Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Dana Reinhardt at A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy with blogger Liz Burns.

Here's a teaser:
Liz B: After reading The Things a Brother Knows, two things in particular stay with the reader. First, the family and friends of Levi Katznelson are amazing. I want to go his house for Friday dinner. Second, there are no easy answers, but much to think about, when it comes to sending young people to fight wars. What inspired this story? In creating such a complex world, were you a “plunger” or “plotter”?

Dana: For better or worse, I’m a plunger. This does tend to get me into trouble when I reach a certain point in my writing, as I inevitably do, where I have no idea where the story is going next. I start with characters. I begin at the beginning. I usually have some sense of where they’re going, and often I find out later that it’s somewhere I didn’t imagine.

With this book I started with listening to the radio and hearing the voices of the mothers of returning soldiers telling the stories of their changed and damaged sons, and I started to wonder about the other son, the brother who didn’t go. What has his life been like the last few years? What will it be like now that his brother is back? This is where I found Levi and the rest of the Katznelsons. They’d love to have you over for Friday night dinner, by the way.

Read more...

Tune in tomorrow for interviews with Kristina Swarner (illustrator, Gathering Sparks and Modeh Ani) at Alice Pope's SCBWI Children's Market Blog, Sarah Darer Littman (Life, After) at Into the Wardrobe, and Eishes Chayil (Hush) at Frume Sarah's World.
Welcome to Day 3 of the 2011 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! We've got three more exciting interviews for you today.

Cakes & MiraclesCakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale is a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Younger Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Barbara Diamond Goldin at Great Kid Books with blogger Mary Ann Scheuer.

Here's a teaser:
Mary Ann: What was the inspiration for this story, Cakes and Miracles? Does it come from a specific folktale?

Barbara: The inspiration for Cakes and Miracles came from a dream where, in my sleep, I put together aspects of tales I’d been reading in a new way. I love Isaac B. Singer stories, and had just read one about a blind boy and girl who were friends. I was also reading a book by Bella Chagall, where she mentioned that on Purim in her home town, people gave each other not only hamentashen, but also cookies in the shapes of violins, etc. That night I had a dream about a blind boy who makes cookies in wonderful shapes. As soon as I woke up, I wrote these ideas down. Then I had to fill in the story.

Read more...

Jaime ZollarsJaime Zollars is the illustrator of Cakes and Miracles.

Read an interview with Jaime at The Book of Life with blogger Heidi Estrin.

Here's a teaser:
Heidi: Cakes and Miracles was originally published in 1991 with illustrations by Erika Weihs. Did you refer to the original illustrations in any way as you worked on this book, or did you start completely fresh?

Jaime: I started completely fresh on this title. My first instinct was to look at the original book first, but then I decided that it would only limit my thinking if I peeked too early in the process. Once I had my sketches in, I did order the book to see how it was first illustrated.

Read more...

Black RadishesBlack Radishes is a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Older Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Susan Lynn Meyer at The Three R's - Reading, 'Riting & Research with blogger Joyce Hostetter.

Here's a teaser:
Joyce: Talk to us about research – how you approach it, what you’ve learned about how to research, and about your favorite way to gather info.

Susan: What works best for me is a “total immersion” method of research for historical fiction. I read everything I can about the period, especially first-hand accounts, such as memoirs. I love reading newspapers from the time, because they give you a very vivid sense of what daily life was like. They can be painful to read, too, because of their immediacy—they are written just as terrible things are happening, and the writers are living through those terrible times and don’t know yet how the events will turn out.

Read more...

Tune in tomorrow for interviews with Howard Schwartz (Gathering Sparks) at Boston Bibliophile, Barry Deutsch (Hereville) at BewilderBlog, and Dana Reinhardt (The Things a Brother Knows) at A Chair, a Fireplace, and a Tea Cozy.
http://greatkidbooks.blogspot.com/2011/02/sydney-taylor-award-blog-tour-chatting.html
Welcome back to the Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! We've got three more exciting interviews for you today.

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="138" caption="Emma's Poem"][/caption]

Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty is a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Younger Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Linda Glaser at ASHarmony with blogger Elizabeth Lipp.

Here's a teaser:
Elizabeth: Linda, I was surprised to read that you struggled as a young reader. How does your struggles as a young reader inform your writing for young readers?

Linda: Yes. I did struggle with reading when I was a kid. In fact, I thought I'd never learn how. That may be why I use a clear simple style when I write for children. I was the type of reader who needed that. And now, I want my books to be accessible to all children--including those who find reading difficult. When I do school visits I always let kids know that I struggled to read. I figure there are probably some kids listening who are heartened to hear that I know what they are going through and that there is hope.

Read more...

Statue of Liberty under constructionClaire Nivola is the illustrator of Emma's Poem.

Read an interview with Claire at Lori Calabrese with blogger (wait for it) Lori Calabrese.

Here's a teaser:
Lori: Emma Lazarus's famous lines inspired the way we envision America's exceptional freedom and the way we hold it dear today. How were you inspired to create the amazing illustrations in Emma's Poem?

Claire: Most inspiring for me was the photographic record of the time - pictures of newly arrived immigrants, photographs of the statue itself partially uncrated, of the statue once erected seen from the decks of ships arriving in the N.Y. harbor. Photography was still in its infancy then, but often those early black and white pictures documenting the arrival of a refugee or a family carrying all its modest belongings provided a powerful, deeply telling, and poignant record.

Read more...

One is Not a Lonely NumberOne Is Not a Lonely Number is a 2011 Sydney Taylor Honor Book in the Older Readers Category.

Read an interview with author Evelyn Krieger at Ima On and Off the Bima with blogger Phyllis Sommer.

Here's a teaser:

Phyllis: What inspired you to write this story? I see from your biography that you are one of six kids, what brought you to a story about an only child?

Evelyn: When you are the oldest of six kids, its only natural to occasionally wonder what it's like to be an only child.As part of my preparation for the book, I interviewed only children--both kids and adults.  I remember a first grader who wanted a sibling so badly that he invented his mother's pregnancy for show and tell. And I fell for it!

Read more...

Tune in tomorrow for interviews with Barbara Diamond Goldin (Cakes and Miracles: A Purim Tale) at Great Kid Books, Jaime Zollars (illustrator, Cakes and Miracles) at The Book of Life, and Susan Lynn Meyer (Black Radishes) at The Three R's - Reading, 'Riting, & Research.

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