Here just a few weeks away from the end of the semester, I feel like I’ve finally gotten into a rhythm where I’m ready to return to the kidlitosphere.  I hope you’ll all take me back!  I thought this week was an especially good time for it, due to it being National Library Week, School Library Month, and the Teen Book Drop on Thursday.

While you’re waiting for me to return with real content, please contact your senators to support library funding, participate in Operation TBD, and/or help out with the reservation book wishlists at Guys Lit Wire.

Also, if you’re planning on going to ALA annual I’d love to know! My husband and I will be there at least Friday night through Monday afternoon, and we may end up staying through Tuesday. I’d love to meet up!

I thought I’d take some time today to tell you what I’m reading currently.

In the car, I’m listening to Rabbit Hill – the 1945 Newbery Medal winner. Times are very different now. I can’t imagine anything as slow-moving as this book becoming popular in modern times. I have a hard time focusing. At first I thought maybe I just wasn’t okay with anthropomorphic animals, but then I remembered Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. So I’ve determined that it really is that this book is spending a lot of time on characterization and building suspense about the “new folks” coming to the hill, and I just wished they’d get there already. (I’m far enough along now that the “new folks” have arrived, yay!)

I’m almost done reading Ghosts of Albion: Accursed, which I’m reading in preparation for my upcoming interview with Amber Benson. (Thanks, slayground!) I don’t think I’ll be done with all three of her books in time for the interview, as I need to send the questions on in the next day or two, but I hope to have read them before I post it and then have a few reviews to post as well.

From the library, I’ve got No Sheep For You, a knitting book for people who can’t use wool. My sister is allergic to wool and this book has a lot of yarn-related info for crocheters that’s just as valuable as it is for knitters, so I thought I’d check it out and see if maybe I’d like to buy it for her. (She’s a knitter; I don’t crochet with wool on principle because I want my sister to be able to touch the things I make.)

I’ve got a whole host of Newbery winner audiobooks to keep me company on my daily commute, and I’m also working my way through a list I made of YA novels written by members of Romance Writers of America. Finally, I’ve checked out a book called You Grow Girl, which I hope will tell me what I need to know to get into urban gardening.

What about you? What are you reading now or getting ready to read?

To Check Out:
Valiant, Holly Black
Ironside, Holly Black
The Ferryman, Christopher Golden
Sold, Patricia McCormick
The Book Thief, Marcus Zusak
How I Live Now, Meg Rosoff

Borrowed from Mom:
The Amulet of Samarkand, Jonathan Stroud

I’ve been to the library three times this week.  The first time was for the Friends of the Library book sale.  That was insane.  I did come out of it with some books, but they are in the car so I can’t tell you what they were.  Gail Carson Levine’s Ella Enchanted was among them, as was The Chocolate War.  Also a book called Pirate Island.  I had to get it because it had the word “Pirate” in the title.

Here’s what I checked out this week:
American Born Chinese, Gene Luen Yang
Aria of the Sea, Dia Calhoun
The Midnighters Trilogy, Scott Westerfeld
A Drowned Maiden’s Hair, Laura Amy Schlitz
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, Carolyn Mackler
Flight Volumes 1 – 3, Kazu Kibuishi
The Last Days, Scott Westerfeld
Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff
Peeps, Scott Westerfeld
So Yesterday, Scott Westerfeld
Weedflower (CD), Cynthia Kadohata

At Borders this week I bought all of Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies trilogy, as well as Dana Reinhardt’s Harmless.

Because I haven’t turned in any of the not-yet-reviewed books from my last trip, or Pucker, I have a total of 21 books out now.  It feels like summertime when I was little.

Here’s a new feature: each weekend here at

, I will post a question and invite other bloggers to answer it, here or in their own blogs.  I’ll also provide an explanation of how I came up with the question.

This weekend’s question:

What does it mean to have a “thorough knowledge of children’s literature”?

It’s no secret that one of my aspirations is to be a librarian, specifically a school media specialist or a public librarian for children/teens.  In looking at my local library’s job listings, I came upon the description for the children’s librarian, which included a “thorough knowledge of children’s literature” as one of its requirements.  This seems vague to me, and I’m wondering what it would take to have such knowledge.  My plan is to get a library degree and take lots of classes in children’s literature, classes with titles like “Young Adult Literature and Related Materials” and “Children’s Literature and Related Materials.”  But are two semesters of class enough to grant me a thorough knowledge?  It doesn’t seem likely.  What about a lifetime of reading?  I’ve been away from Children’s Literature for a while, though I’m coming back to it now.

I’m curious to hear your answers.  Can you set me on the path to thorough knowledge?  Post your definition in the comments or in a post at your own blog.  If you post at your own blog, be sure to leave a link!  I’d love to hear from bloggers who might not read my blog as well, so if you do blog about it and get responses from others, please let me know.

Here’s what I hope to pick up on my next trip to the library: 
The Silver Child, Cliff McNish – because its sequel was a Cybils nominee 
Kristy’s Great Idea: A Graphic Novel, Ann M. Martin – Cybils 
To Dance, Siena Siegel – Cybils 
American Born Chinese, Gene Yang – Cybils 
Castle Waiting, Linda Medley – Cybils 
Dramacon Vol 1, Svetlana Chmakova – Cybils 
La Perdida, Jessica Abel – Cybils 
A Drowned Maiden’s Hair: A Melodrama, Laura Amy Schlitz – Cybils 
Framed, Frank Cottrell Boyce – Cybils 
Heat, Mike Lupica – Cybils 
Weedflower [sound recording], Cynthia Kadohata – Cybils 
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things, Carolyn Mackler – readergirlz 
Aria of the Sea, Dia Calhoun – readergirlz 
Make Lemonade, Virginia Euwer Wolff

Last trip I got 7 books, this time I hope to get 14.  I do everything in multiples of 7.

Things to get eventually but not now, due to unavailability: 
Babymouse – All of them! But I have to read them in order. It’s an OCD type thing. I read BSC in order, for goodness’ sake. (Again because of the Cybils.) 
Kiki Strike: inside the shadow city, Kirsten Miller – Cybils

The April issue of readergirlz is now online.  This month’s book is On Pointe (Affiliate Link) by Lorie Ann Grover, a verse novel about a ballet dancer who finds herself getting too tall for her passion.  As April is National Poetry Month, a verse novel is an especially appropriate choice.  My local library system has only one copy of On Pointe, and that copy is on hold for someone distinctly not me.  That’s good; it means it’s getting read!  None of the local bookstores have it, either; I just ordered it from Amazon, and expect to have it read by mid-month.

This month’s issue of readergirlz includes a playlist, community challenge, slideshow, party ideas, discussion questions, author interview, and recommended reads.  The first song on the playlist, “Video” (Affiliate Link) by India Arie, is one of my favorite songs in recent years.

For more books about dancers, take a look at Little Willow’s I Am a Dancer booklist.  To read about real-life dance experiences, read her article Dance Dreams.

I’ve started writing the response to Writer as Blogger, Blogger as Writer.

I’ve decided to make it a point to go to the library weekly. And each week, I’ll tell you what I got.

Today’s library haul:
1. Millicent Min, Girl Genius, Lisa Lee – recommended by readergirlz
2. The Last Dragon, Silvana de Mari – Cybils Finalist
3. Pucker, Melanie Gideon – Cybils Finalist
4. A Brief Chapter in My Impossible Life, Dana Reinhardt – Cybils Finalist
5. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Visitors, Laura Anne Gilman and Josepha Sherman – in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Out of the Madhouse, Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder – in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the premiere of Buffy the Vampire Slayer
7. Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie – While I was mid-Capt. Hook it occurred to me I ought to finish reading the source material, which I started long ago but never finished.

I want to go to the library ASAP to return Nothing But the Truth (and a few white lies) and pick up Lisa Yee’s Millicent Min, Girl Genius. Sadly, the branch library by my house isn’t open on Sundays and the library downtown is open only exactly during the hours I’m at rehearsal tomorrow. What does this mean?

A trip to the bookstore, naturally.

My bookshelf is overflowing. I’ll take a picture sometime and show you. It’s a bit scary, actually. The shelves bow under the weight of all the books on them.

But as much good as I’ve heard about Lisa Yee, I am wary of buying an author’s books all untried. I only put $30/month in my budget for books, you see. Of late its been spent on “market research” – vampire romance, most recently. (There’s another genre I’m writing in but I already own so many examples of that I don’t need to buy any.)

So my book shopping list for tomorrow:
Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui by Karen Kingston (I’ll admit this purchase is entirely inspired by Nothing But the Truth. I originally intended to pick this one up at the library, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like a reasonable book to own.)
Shrimp by Rachel Cohn (but not Cupcake because it’s not out in paperback)

I decided that since I have Gingerbread and won’t be parting with it in my book purge, Shrimp is a safe purchase.

The question is: Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan – library or bookstore? slayground? Anyone? Advice?