105 Ways to Give a Book

Booktalking Season

Last year I was so organized that I shared my booktalks online, while this year I've been lucky if they are mentally rehearsed before I go into the school. I've had a lot on my mind.

But whether or not I have a graduating senior or need to plan the Girl Scout bridging ceremony for over a hundred girls, our booktalking season is upon us. Quite late this year as our kids are still in school. In fact, that senior doesn't even get to do the graduating part until June 23rd. Crazy, right? It's especially frustrating as other high schools were done yesterday, but we all have to take our turn with the local university facilities and we are last. It's ridiculous.

So far I've gone into two elementary schools to talk about the summer reading program and booktalk some titles, and it's gone well. I had a great partner both times, which really helps. We have different kinds of books, and we can take turns with the introductions and the talking. I'm not thrilled to be heading out tomorrow alone for a four hour stretch with no breaks and seven class sessions. Is that how other public libraries do it, I wonder?

Later I'll share some of the books I talked about this year. My "hooks" weren't as good as usual, but there were definitely some titles that caught their attention. It was great luck being able to pitch a soccer book - Keeper, by Mal Peet - during the World Cup games. Lots of interest there!

Ninth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge: Winners!

What a weekend! With all the reading and reviewing done over the last couple of days, I feel like we're all winners. Am I right? But there were some noteworthy 48HBC achievements to be recognized and to prizes to award, so let's get started!

With 38 hours and 34 books read, the Champion of the Challenge is one Ms. Yingling! She wins the opportunity to donate a set of forty multicultural titles to a school or library of her choice through the generosity of Reading is Fundamental. Since she was a big prize donor of books and is so reluctant to receive back, she'll be getting a surprise prize package from yours truly. Both congratulations and thanks go out to her!

Coming in at 35.5 hours and 13 books read and reviewed is The One and Only Marfalfa. Beth at Library Chicken gives up 32 hours and reviews eight books for the challenge, and close behind with 30 hours of reading and reviewing is Alex at Randomly Reading. They will all be receiving an audiobook from Robin Brande and a collection of books contributed by Ms. Yingling!

And now for some prizes selected at random, just for playing:

The winner of five multicultural picture and chapter books from MotherReader is:
Sprout's Bookshelf!

The winner of a set of four diverse young adult books from Kelly at Stacked is:
A Random Hodge Podge of Bookishness!

And the winner of the second RIF multicultural book collection, along with an author signed Cupcake Cousins and tote bag designed by Tiffany Gholar, is:
Library Mama!

We had eighteen members of the 20 Hour Club:

Always in the Middle - 25.25 hours
As Inclination Leads Me - 21.5 hours
Book Challenge Blog - 20.5 hours
By Singing Light - 20 hours
Charlotte's Library - 20.25 hours
Confessions of a Bibliovore - 25 hours
Library Chicken - 32 hours
Love Notes to the Future - 24.5 hours
More like Flowers - 20 hours
MotherReader - 22 hours
Ms. Yingling Reads - 38 hours
No Boys Allowed - 24.5 hours
The One and Only Marfalfa - 35.5 hours
Quietly 20 hours
Randomly Reading - 30 hours
ReadSpace - 21.75 hours
The Sphere Also Gazes Into You - 25 hours
Technically a School Media Specialist - 20 hours

Thanks to all for being part of the 48 Hour Book Challenge!

Ninth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge: Finish Line

You made it! Yay you!

When you finish your 48 hours, sign in with Mr. Linky below with the link to your final summary, which should include the number and/or titles of books read and the amount of time spent on the challenge. Rounding to the quarter hour will do just fine. Given different starting times over the weekend and time zones, the absolute end is set at Monday, June 9th, at 7:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time and all final summary posts should be up by then. Winners, prizes and such will be announced on Monday afternoonish.

Thanks to everyone who participated, supported, and promoted the 48 Hour Book Challenge!

Another #48 Hour Book Challenge Update

Got in five solid hours of reading and blog reading/responding last night with two books, both of which broke my heart a little. The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond, by Brenda Woods reminded me of my niece, as she is biracial raised in a white family. At seven, I haven't heard her express the concerns or thoughts of Violet Diamond, but I've always thought I was prepared to address them. Reading this book, I'm not as ready as I believed myself to be. It was just so open about things, it took me off guard. But in a good way. Really enjoyed it.

After reading Zane and the Hurricane, I felt like going back to read Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes. It was a good decision, because it filled the lyrical and emotional gap I found wanting in the first book. That said, Zane's story is a better account of what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. A good pairing should be enough, but I realized that I had Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere in my small ARC pile, so we're going for three Katrina books in one weekend. I'd watch Beasts of the Southern Wild again to complete the experience, but I don't need to cry on my birthday.

Yup, it's my birthday. One of the reasons I started doing 48 Hour Book Challenge around this time of year to spend my birthday reading. Not a bad plan, right? I've started with a light title this morning, Tua and the Elephant, and now it's time for some YA.

Wondering if you could still join us even now? Sure, why not? From where I sit you could do a block from now through the early morning and get your twelve hours in on time. Nothing like last minute Sunday plans. Here's where to start.

Edited to add:
I'll do an official summary later, but I'm finishing my time now with five hours and two books this afternoon. Meg Medina's Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass was a tough read, but a well-done and well-needed book on bullying. I ended with a real treat, Nightingale's Nest by Nikki Loftin. Beautiful cover, beautiful book. Absolutely loved it. So that's 22 hours, and nine books. If I'd had more time, I would have spent it on reviews and reading blogs. But I'll be checking in tonight and tomorrow on that part, so it's all good.

Halfway Through 48HBC Update

If you're going to host a reading marathon thing, maybe don't make it around your daughter's senior prom. Because while you might think that after she heads out the door - a sparkling princess in a gabbing group of giggly girls - you'll have the evening to relax and read as you wait for her post-midnight pick-up call, you won't. Well, there will be the time to read, if you can avoid the pictures already coming up online and if you don't drift off mid-paragraph wondering if they'll play her jam.

So while I put in five hours of reading time on Friday evening, with two middle-grade titles completed it was not my speediest reading. Reviews come later, but I'll mention the titles, Zane and the Hurricane and The Garden of My Imaan, and that I enjoyed them both.

This morning I woke up and found myself analyzing Facebook pictures with the Teen and her best friend, as we talked about the current style of prom dresses, who is really dating as opposed to who needed a date, and which couples are just the nicest people.

I can really only claim another five hours so far today, with another two books down and a little writing to show for it. (Did I mention that new pictures from my senior Girl Scouts are coming out all day? It's very distracting.) While The Servant by Fatima Sharafeddine left me a little cold, I was surprised by the depth and insight of The Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong, by L. Tam Holland. I'd expected the first title to have a literary feel, and it read rather dry. Interesting, but the third person point of view through me off. The cover of Holland's book led me to think I was in for fun, and while there was humor, there was a lot more hurt and heart within. Honestly this afternoon, I would have preferred something light and fluffy, but I can't be annoyed at a book for being too good.

I did break in the middle of today's reading to run up to my library, where one of my books I had earmarked for this weekend had come in from a hold, and because after reading Zane and the Hurricane I had a craving to revisit Ninth Ward. So after a bit of writing and dinner, that book is up next along with the library book I retrieved, The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond, by Brenda Woods. I also have some fantasy on deck.

I'm holding off on posting my reviews so I don't crowd out the official 48 Hour Book Challenge posts. Oh, and if you are just tuning in, you are welcome to play along. At this point there isn't the whole weekend to work with, but enough to carve out at least the twelve hours that officially counts you as a participant. Sign-up at the 48HBC Starting Line and get reading!

Ninth Annual 48 Hour Book Challenge: Starting Line

Okay, it’s go time, people. Make ready the snacks, caffeine, and good books. Oh, and here are the guidelines and FAQ's, in case you need a refresher.

When you start your 48 hours, sign in with Mr. Linky below. (I know, going old school here.) Keep track of your time — which includes reading, blogging, and connecting (for every five hours reading/reviewing you can take one hour of blog reading, tweeting, and general bookish socializing). To keep the Starting Line post at the top of my blog, I won’t publish my personal posts until sometime Saturday morning.

On Sunday, I’ll have a Finish Line post where you can leave the link to your final summary, which should include the amount of time spent on the challenge. Rounding to the quarter hour will do just fine. Winners, prizes and such will be announced on Monday afternoonish.

Have fun, read well, and read diversely.

48 Hour Book Challenge: Prizes and Heroes

Like many causes of equality, the issue of diversity in children's literature is nothing new, though I am hopeful that the rising voices across multiple platforms can affect change. But it's also a great time to acknowledge some of the heroes of the cause along the way... or at least those that somehow are connected to the 48 Hour Book Challenge.

Thank you to Reading is Fundamental, who will contribute their Multicultural STEAM Book Collections sponsored by Macy's to be donated by winner to a school or other child serving organization where they will be used. These wonderful collections have been part of the RIF initiative for a while, bringing diverse books to kids who need them. I will award one collection to a random selected winner from all 48 Hour Book Challenge finishers who complete twelve hours or more during the weekend. Thanks again to RIF for their support.

Thank you to A Year of Reading who made me teary-eyed with this:
In honor of all of the reading Pam has inspired over the years with her blog and with 48HBC, and especially because of the #WeNeedDiverseBooks focus this year, we are making a donation in her honor to First Book, a non-profit organization that provides access to new books for children in need.
I am not only touched by the gesture of Franki and Mary Lee, but am so excited that they would donate to another hero of the cause, as First Book stepped up with a commitment to purchase 10,000 copies of diverse books it selects to distribute. And that's just another step for an organization already devoted to the cause of Stories for All.

Another note of appreciation goes to Lee & Low Books, who've continued to send me review copies even as I've been less than great about getting reviews published. But for me, they've exposed me to a world of titles that I've been able to ask my public library to acquire. For you, they've now contributed a collection of books that I'll be giving out as prizes to 48 Hour Book Challenge winners. I'd also like to thank them for just being there, publishing books that are so very needed. I suspect it is not the most profitable business model that could be conceived in an industry that always seems to be chasing the next Harry Potter or Wimpy Kid or Twilight series, but it's honorable and admirable. Thank you Lee & Low Books, for being a leader in diversity.

Thanks go out to my KidLitosphere buddies who have been promoting the 48HBC through blogs, tweets, and listservs so that we can have a weekend reading and sharing titles for all kids. Thanks to #WeNeedDiverseBooks as a movement and website, which invigorated me to take my weekend off work and give it back to books.

An official 48 Hour Book Challenge sign-in goes up tomorrow morning, but I'd love to see your comments or book lists on the original post or here. Thanks!

48 Hour Book Challenge More Prizes

Last year the indomitable Ms Yingling ran the challenge, and she's not slacking this year either contributing yet another stack of books for prizes. There are at least two titles here that I would snatch right up, so I better have them sent directly to winner or I can't be held responsible for my behavior. (Note: I had to look up indomitable both for spelling and meaning, and I nailed it.)

Perhaps you'll be putting your haul in a lovely tote bag designed and donated by Tiffany Gholar.

I'm excited to share a title written and contributed by Robin Brande, Doggirl a great story featuring the perfect intersection of dogs and drama and time-limited challenges. There's more, but I promised a piecemeal approach to prizes. Plus I have to take the Kid to pointe class. So stay tuned...

(I mean stay tuned unless you're writing me to offer prizes, in which case you can do so anytime at MotherReader AT gmail DOT com.)

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48 Hour Book Challenge Prizes

Ack! I had a whole post to do about 48 Hour Book Challenge prizes, but it's been one of those mornings. And by that I mean specifically one of those mornings where I sort of forgot that I have to get to work today for a meeting at 1:00 p.m. So, I'm going to do this in pieces and it won't be thorough and I'll remind everyone that 48 Hour Book Challenge isn't about the prizes, but an opportunity to share an experience as a community from the comfort of our own homes doing what we love to do, i.e. read, while also advocating, promoting, and otherwise celebrating diversity in children's and young adult literature in this year's connection to #WeNeedDiverseBooks.

Meanwhile, I'll be going back to my email later this afternoon to pull together the prizes that I know are there but don't have time to write about this very instant. But hey, how about the timing on this lovely package from Abrams Books today?

It's now a prize! See how easy it is to become a prize in the 48HBC? Have something you'd like to contribute? Drop me a line at MotherReader AT gmail DOT com.

Oh, and sign up to participate in the 48 Hour Book Challenge!

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

48 Hour Book Challenge: Call for Diversity

With this year's 48 Hour Book Challenge devoted to the cause of diverse books, I started pulling together my own reading pile for this weekend. It's been more than a little sad. I haven't been requesting review books for a while, so I turned to my public library to find something current. I could only find two middle-grade titles.

Now, I know that it takes months for titles to show up at the library, and these just happened to be on the shelf. So I searched the catalog and eyeballed covers finding a total of four recent books in a large public library system that serves a broad and very diverse community. Granted, this was in no way a detailed examination of our collection, but it gives me another reason to ask for your participation in the 48 Hour Book Challenge. I need your book reviews so that I can make collection requests to my library.

You know what, you need book reviews so that you can make requests to your public library.

Many kid lit folk are working hard to promote titles, and that excites me. Our writers and illustrators can create them, and we can continue to put pressure on publishers to acquire them. But at the heart of it all, bookstores and libraries need to buy these books. We can help with that too by asking our public and school libraries to add these titles to their collections.

But we can't do that if we don't know what they are. So let's keep up the steps that created outrage at BEA and yet also featured strongly at the same setting with an excellent BookCon panel. Something that started as a hashtag and moved to an online home at WeNeedDiverseBooks. Let's show each other and anyone else who will see all the great titles that are out there. I hope you'll participate in the 48 Hour Book Challenge - even if you can't commit the weekend, or even much of it, to read and promote books. We need you and We Need Diverse Books.

Links to material on Amazon.com contained within this post may be affiliate links for the Amazon Associates program, for which this site may receive a referral fee.

Countdown to 48 Hour Book Challenge

With the 48 Hour Book Challenge at the end of this very week, it is time to get prepared. That admonishment was certainly less for my readers than for me, as I have been trying to get it together while navigating a minefield of end-of-school madness added to my usual run-of-the-mill madness. But I'll start with a tease of prizes donated by Ms Yingling and continue with more during the week. So these look pretty pretty good:

There's more to come, for sure. Stay tuned! I'd also like to collect some suggestions for diverse books to explore in our collaboration with #WeNeedDiverseBooks. So if you have a list, post, Pinterest board, or interpretive dance that you can share, well that's what comments are for. (Though obviously, their tumblr page is a pretty pretty good place to start too.)

The official sign-up will go up on Friday, June 6th but you're invited to pop into the comments of the 48 Hour Book Challenge opener for a pre-commitment support group. Remember that you don't actually have to read/blog for 48 hours to participate. Just look to reading a bit more and perhaps a bit differently than you would otherwise and we'll all have a bit of fun together.