May 14, 2012

Monday Links and Musings: Be a Book Person!

Why am I a "book person"? Of course that goes beyond just being a reader, or a writer. What is it about books? One amazing thing about books, to me, is that they aren't just ink on paper, words and pictures sitting there statically. Books GIVE. They give entertainment, they give adventure, they give escape and amusement and reassurance and information and wisdom and beauty and everything that we as humans need to feed our souls. When we give a book, then, we're giving so much more than just an object. Think about that the next time you're wondering whether it's worthwhile to donate books. And then declare yourself a book person--Reading Is Fundamental is asking all of us book people to take the pledge, unite, and help get books into the hands of the kids who need them most. Book People Unite!

Rest in peace, Maurice Sendak, 1928-2012
One book that has given countless fantastical imaginings and wondrous dreams (and nightmares, for some) is Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, who died on May 8 at the age of 83. Unconventional and curmudgeonly in the best possible way, his death is a huge loss to the world of children's literature, but while he lived, he gave us books that continue to give and give. He cared passionately about confronting the issue of children's poverty, and as Carol Rasco of RIF put it, "He really helped move children's literature from the warm lambs and fuzzy ducklings -- that was children's literature when I was growing up -- into something that was much more exciting and real." (In the HuffPo--read the article here. Read an NYT article here.)

There was a bit of a personal connection for me, at least an indirect one, in that a friend of ours' brother used to work for Mr. Sendak, and did the design and production for the Sendak exhibit in San Francisco's Sony Metreon. We got to hear some firsthand stories about Mr. Sendak, who seemed like quite a character. May he continue to live on in his books.

Want to be a more active book person? Can't wait for the Cybils? Alyssa at The Shady Glade (herself a longtime Cybils judge) is hosting the YA Bloggers' Book Battle 2012, and this year's theme is Retold Fairy Tales (pubbed in 2011, of course). We love us some good retold fairy tales around here, and if you feel the same, you might want to go nominate a book or even sign up as a judge. Judging is done bracket-style, which sounds like WAY too much fun, and if I weren't completely swamped I'd be all over it myself.

So, my message to you this week is, Go Forth and Be Book People! And, if you're so inclined to leave a comment, we'd love to hear about why YOU are a book person--but go tell the good folks at RIF first!!

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