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>Sometimes the Jokes Just Write Themselves

>Like here.

>But Sammy the Snot Who Lives in Your Nose? Sure!

>Publishers Weekly alerts us to the latest buy-an-agent scam; I love e-literary agent‘s sage analysis of the publishing market: “because this is a highly competitive business, we recommend that you take the time to run your manuscript through a spell check.” If they wanted to tip us off that they were wolves after sheep, well, […]

>So now will I have to read it? It’s not like they did.

>A fifth-grade class in Pittsfield, MA has joined in a legislator’s effort to name Moby-Dick the Commonwealth’s official State Book. Melville wrote the book while living in Pittsfield, but that’s about as much as the kids know–none of them have read it. And we wonder why lobbyists get a reputation for cynicism. Besides, I remember […]

>Getting the Shakes

>Child_Lit is currently enjoying one of those pearl-clutching reports about the abysmal state of American education, this one taking on colleges that do not require English majors to take a course in Shakespeare but allow them to study such horrors as queer theory and children’s literature. Let’s start with the sheer–and shrill–irrationality of comparing required […]

>With apologies to Velma

>Varner, who played no part in the story I was vaguely remembering on yesterday’s blog comments. Varner succeeded May Massee as the children’s book editor at Viking, and did many good things, not least of which was suggesting to the young Susie Hinton that she go with the initials S. E. for her first book, […]

>This is why I don’t have a blogroll. Or friends.

>In the face of a cranky attack on blogging that appeared in the resolutely print journal n+1 (and which is excerpted here), Fuse #8 this morning offers a defense of review-blogging that, I think, misses a big part of the point. I agree with her about the general cluelessness about the argument, but I don’t […]

>Cheap Thrills on the Moral High Ground

>We were discussing Holocaust education on child_lit, and a member forwarded an outline of her temple’s planned seventh-grade Holocaust unit, which included a showing of Schindler’s List. The outline noted, parenthetically, that “sexual content will be edited out.” I thought of that this weekend when Richard and I saw The Black Book, a racy thriller […]

>"Green" or just l-a-z-y?

>I discovered this loathsome new invention in some anti-Canadian snarking on Gawker. Atwood et al are pretty nervy promoting this higher-tech autopen as anything more than an excuse to multitask watching Canadian Idol and promoting your book at the same time. I’m not an autograph collector, so I’m not sure I understand the appeal, but […]

>Cheryl? It’s Not Just the Manuscripts.

>Levine/Scholastic editor Cheryl Klein has a funny post up of a picture-book manuscript she created as an intentionally bad example of a submission that had “no child appeal.” “Cheering up Cheryl,” a model of its kind, is a chicklit novel (more about them later today) in picture-book form, but it does everything a bad picture […]

>Maybe they do things differently down under

>A childlit reference today to a blog post last year on Michael Thorn’s Achockablog revealed a semi-juicy scandal heretofore unknown to me involving the excellent Australian writer Alyssa Brugman, who complained to her publisher that Thorn was selling an ARC of her book Being Bindy on eBay. The publisher, Faber, dutifully if thickheadedly wrote Thorn […]