As Banned Books week carries on, it comes to me that it's all about speaking out. So, Wonderland is speaking out today in gratitude to the movers and shakers in the kidlitosphere - who make us a community.
♦ For the unsinkable Colleen Mondor, who puts so much of her time and effort into organizing us for the twice a year Blog Blast Tours as well as the KidlitCon, who oversees the Guys Lit Wire blog and their yearly Book Fairs;
♦ To Pam Coughlin, who whips readers into a fine frenzy for summer reading with the kickoff The 48 Hour Book Challenge;
♦ To all the Poetry Friday people, whose numbers are now legion, and to whomever is organizing them now; I must admit I've lost track;
♦ To Anne Boles Levy, Cybils overlord, who together with Defense Against the Dark Arts instructor Sheila Ruth, Book Babe Jen Robinson, WonderLibrarian Jackie Parker, and others less known to us (well, probably less known to me. After the KidlitCon, A.F. knows freaking everyone) every year heads up the Cybils Awards, including contacting publishers, putting out press releases, and getting people to take us seriously.
Organizing bloggers, scrambling for prizes, talking to recalcitrant publishing personnel and choosing only ten or twelve panelists and judges from the volunteering hundreds must be akin to doing draft picks for the NFL while concurrently herding wet cats; a grueling and thankless chore which requires a lot of reminders, begging, and in the case of the Cybils team, "No, thank you," notes to be sent.
I haven't got a note yet this year, and know that I may not be chosen - but that's why I'm singing Huey Lewis today. It's all right.
Think of it: there are tons of great people discovering their voices on the topic of children’s lit every single year, and each year different ones get a chance to speak and be a part of the greater kidlitosphere community. Wonderland welcomes them to the table to join us in reading books of all kinds, arguing about them, reviewing them, and interviewing their authors and illustrators and editors. One of the tenets on which the Cybils is built is that we're all obsessives together, who just need a place to speak. Or, as they put it with a bit more eloquence, their goal is to:
Foster a sense of community among bloggers who write about children’s and YA literature, highlight our best reviewers (and shamelessly promote their blogs) and provide a forum for the similarly obsessed.
So, to speak out, and speak our gratitude aloud, we acknowledge the work that you do, the stress that you're under, the endless annoyances, emails, and details and Wonderland says, "Thanks."