Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What Do *I* Know about Kids' Books?

Over Labor Day weekend, I got the chance to catch with my friend Rose, the Librarian. Die-hard followers of my blog may remember her from my adventure to Washington D.C. last summer when I went to the ALA conference. Rose is one of the members of the Stonewall Book Awards, where she reads a variety of material that is GLBTQ related. Her and other committee members then debate amongst themselves over which book is the best. It can be immensely frustrating (there's A LOT of books), but it can also be a lot of fun and ultimately rewarding. Prior to Rose joining, I was on the committee for an extremely brief time and was a member of the committee for the 2010 Award Winners List. I took over the position from someone else, so I always feel iffy talking 'bout it.

I am now on a similar group for children's books at work. Children's literature (or "kidlit" as people sometimes call it - and please don't call it that) is hardly my forte, but it has been interesting to expose myself to a world in books that I really should know something about. The library used to run a similar teen list that is now defunct; if anything, I've found that the librarians devoted to juvenile books may be even more passionate about standing up for the books that they love and will deserve a place on our ultimate list. It's actually kind of inspiring.

We have a lot of fiction to get through, so I spent a good part of this weekend sorting and sifting through half-read and picked up once, then put down titles. I'll be adding a lot of the books I got through (with ratings!) to my Goodreads account over the next week, so look for updates if you're curious. October is kind of when we finish up the project, annotate the books we ultimately decide upon, and then publish the list proper. It's the figurative love child so that actual children can get the best books out there... and it's kind of awesome to be a part of it.

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