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Well, I’ve wheeled my squeaky book cart down the hall to the new, (possibly) improved, and distracting 100 Scope Notes. What you see here is the last post I’ll be making on A couple things before turning out the lights:

  • If you’re so inclined, you can go to to check out the new site.
  • Do you read via RSS (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.)? Click here to subscribe to the new feed.
  • The first week on the new site should be a good time. Posts include a first-ever “Illustrated Interview” with Trouble Gum author/illustrator Matthew Cordell, and a look into the future at “Books in the Year 3001” . There will be jokes.
  • Thanks to everyone who has read, commented, and linked here over the last few years (man this turned sentimental in a hurry).

Can I borrow a book cart?

On Monday, February 15 I’m packing up and moving 100 Scope Notes to a brand-new, self-hosted home.

Actually, it’s already up and running. Click here to take a look. Have a critique? Email me, or post in the comments.

If you read via RSS (Google Reader, Bloglines, etc.), click here to subscribe to the new feed. I’ll be posting at both sites until everything is ready.

Things will officially kick off the week of the 15th with a (possibly groundbreaking in format) illustrated interview with Trouble Gum author/illustrator Matthew Cordell and a look into the crystal ball at “Books in the Year 3001”. Should be an interesting week.

I have two main reasons for the move:

1. Freedom. I’ll have full control over how the blog looks and functions. When I began 100 Scope Notes all those two and a half years ago, I liked the fact that I didn’t have full control and couldn’t really make changes. It saved me a lot of hassle. Apparently, I’m a fan of hassle. Not to be confused with Hasselhof. Anyway, I’m excited about the new look.

2. Professionalism. While it’s difficult to call a blog which people often arrive at by googling “Zack Morris Cell Phone” professional, at least I can try. Self-hosting is a small step in that direction. Also, I will begin writing all my reviews wearing a suit and tie. Additionally, comments will be fitted with top hats.

Some changes you will see:

1. The *Recommended* category will be absorbed by *Best New Books*. Having the two categories didn’t make much sense. On the new blog, if I like a book and feel you should read it and/or buy it, it’s a *Best New Book*

2. A Covers category. While I fought it for as long as I could, there will be a category collecting all of the various cover posts I write.

3. Featured posts. If there is anything I think you might like, I can add it to featured posts, which will scroll at the top of the page. Also, all new posts will start off there.

4. Probably, Eventually, Ads. While I could write a whole post about my thoughts on this topic, it boils down to this: was free to set up and operate (minus the doughnut hole expense), costs money (hosting, theme, fancier doughnut holes), so I’ll eventually experiment with a few ads to cover costs. Let me know if things get annoying.

5. My identity fully revealed. Yes, my dream of Googling my name and getting zero hits will become just a quaint memory. On the new site, I’ll be operating mostly under my own name.

So take a look at the new site, subscribe if you’re so inclined, and feel free to comment or email me if you have any feedback.

Thanks for reading. See you there soon.


I have many mixed emotions about this – most of them not good. Click here to get the facts from EarlyWord.


You have to give Bill Watterson credit for creating something great, ending on a high note, and never looking back. Click here to read the interview. Click here to find out how the interview happened.


If you get your permission slip signed, you may use the dictionary at Oak Meadows Elementary School in Riverside County, CA. This is nuts.


…to a sharp-looking self-hosted site. More information to come soon.

The Newbery and Caldecott awards don’t just help the medal winners. This week, the honors also join the bestseller party (click here to see the entire list). My only question? Where is The Almost True Adventures of Homer P. Figg?

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon. #2 in Picture Books.

Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman. #9 in Picture Books.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Li. #7 in Chapter Books.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. #10 in Chapter Books.

Troubling news out of Washington.

How can you resist podcasts with great authors? Just follow the above link from @alscblog and start downloading.

On The Children’s Lit Project blog, Aurthur A. Levine talks about the early grassroots support for Harry Potter.


There has been plenty of talk recently about how the character “Sticky” Washington was Caucasian-ized on the covers of all three Mysterious Benedict Society books. Publisher Little, Brown just announced they will be changing the covers. School Library Journal has the scoop.


Today Apple announces their much discussed tablet computer, which is rumored to come equipped with Barnes & Noble ebook capabilities. *Update* the iPad will be connected to a new iBook Store. The world of electronic books may be about to shift in a big way. And if you’re a fan of independent bookstores, it might not be in the direction we’d like.


Real headline alert! Turns out there’s more than one Bill Martin. (Thanks to @PWKidsBookshelf for the link)

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. On shelves April 20, 2010.

It turns up on Collecting Children’s Books, it’s an upcoming Junior Library Guild selection, A Fuse #8 Production Spring Previewed it, and Publishers Weekly Galley Talked it. A sufficient amount of buzz, I’d say.

A while back I heard that Martin Scorsese’s company bought the rights to Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret. From @PWKidsBookshelf, I see that the project is getting closer to becoming a reality, with Scorsese to direct. Click here to read the article in Variety.

Wes Anderson recently won a “Special Filmmaking Achievement” award from the National Board of Review for his film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Naturally, he accepted the award as a stop-motion… ferret (I think)?

Let the hype commence. The trailer for the Diary of a Wimpy Kid film was just released and it’s looking pretty good. The humor seems to be in line with what you find in the book, which makes me hopeful. It also doesn’t hurt that the cheese touch makes an appearance. Click the image below to head over to Mishaps and Adventures and watch.


If you’re looking for the full info rundown, I quite like the Horn Book roundup of winners. Get more in depth with this New York Times article.


In what must have been an unfortunate case of finger-slippage, Random House spilled the beans a bit early on When You Reach Me‘s Newbery win (see the Tweet o’ the Week below).


Actually, this headline is real.

The Newbery/Caldecott bump was in full effect after the Youth Media Awards were announced Monday. Take a look at the Amazon sales rankings:

When You Reach Me jumped from #631 pre-Newbery to #5 as of this posting.

The Lion & the Mouse rose from #1,187 pre-Caldecott to #7 as I write this.

Thanks to Earlyword for the pre-awards figures.

Wow. Who knew that a comic book played an important role in the civil rights movement? The above post at Book Patrol (compete with interior images) is a must-read. Fascinating stuff. Many thanks to for the link.

This is the time-corrected version of the Newbery-announcing tweet.

If you prefer your children’s lit-related videos entertaining and interactive, you’ll like this. See if you can guess the titles in Kidsmomo Pictionary. I am now convinced that Team Kid’s Book Pictionary should be an event at ALA Annual. Who can I talk to about this?

As has become the tradition, Jerry Pinkney and Rebecca Stead (the 2010 Caldecott and Newbery winners, respectively) appeared on the Today Show this morning. While I preferred last year’s Al Roker interview, Ann Curry and Natalie Morales conduct a capable, if brief, Q & A (is it just me, or are the length of “segments” on the Today Show slowly approaching negative numbers?) . Cool to see how thrilled these two are. Click the image below to watch.

The ALA Youth Media Awards have been announced. All that’s left to do is discuss the three categories that are most in my wheelhouse, so let’s commence…

Newbery Award: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
Honor: The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick
Honor: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
Honor: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly
Honor: Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose

Nice. It seemed like When You Reach Me was experiencing some “everybody loves this book, but it can’t be that great” backlash in recent weeks, so it was nice to see it take top honors.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate also appeared to be losing steam, which caused some worry on my part as I found it to be a great book. Good to see it didn’t fall out of favor.

Claudette Colvin is a wonderful choice for Newbery regardless of genre (although it does make me glad to see a nonfiction selection).

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon was also garnering a large dollop of praise since it was published, so it was no surprise to see it end up on the list.

The biggest surprise was the inclusion of The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg. A Fuse #8 Production mentioned it as a Newbery contender back last summer and Literate Lives reviewed it in their Looking for Newbery series, but it didn’t receive much more than a mention on the Heavy Medal blog. I’m kicking myself because this book has been sitting on my to-be-read shelf for months. I’ll be cracking it open today. If my Cover Covers post serves as my Newbery picks, then I was 3-5. I’m happy with that.

Caldecott Award: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
Honor: All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Marla Frazee
Honor: Red Sings From Treetops by Joyce Sidman illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski

No real surprises here – just some very wise choices. When Pinkney’s book arrived on shelves, it felt like a statement. It appears that the Caldecott committee heard The Lion & the Mouse loud and clear. Impressive on all fronts, this was the frontrunner heading into the awards.

All the World was also not a shocker, having appeared on most mock Caldecott lists and generating plenty of buzz. This book has continued to grow on me since the first time I saw it, so I was happy it got hardware. Very deserving.

Red Sings From Treetops was another very nice book that was in the discussion as the awards approached. I picked two of the three winners in my Caldecott predictions.

Geisel Award: Benny and Penny in the Big No-No by Geoffrey Hayes
Honor: I Spy Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold
Honor: Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith
Honor: Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends by Wong Herbert Yee
Honor: Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day by Kate McMullan

Did you notice that four of the five books on this list feature mice? Interesting. I have to admit that I forgot about Benny and Penny in the leadup to the awards. I read it, loved it, toon reviewed it back in March, and then it fell off my radar. Seeing it turn up is the definition of a pleasant surprise. I also was happy to see I Spy Fly Guy on the list. Ted Arnold’s series continues to be a huge hit among the young readers I work with.

(Image: ‘Santa Pajamas Colour‘)

It isn’t often that the book being given is one of the year’s best, but that’s what we’ve got on our hands here folks. If you’re interested in snagging the book below, contact me on Twitter, or send an email to A.S.A.P. If I receive your entry before 11:59 pm on Tuesday night, your name gets tossed into my Abe Lincoln-style stovepipe hat. The winner will be drawn soon thereafter. And the book is…

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan. ARC.

Best of luck!

(Top Image: ‘Alicia Martin: Biografias – Cascade of books
Alicia Martin: Biografias - Cascade of books

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