Welcome back, everyone! This week, I’m sharing a look at a trend in kidlit, an examination on author obligations, a story about a teen bookstagrammer, and an update on the London Book Fair.
Kid’s Books on the Environment
Image: Greta and the Giants, inspired by Greta Thunberg, by Zoe Tucker (author) and Zoe Persico (illustrator) and published by White Lion Publishing. Photograph: Courtesy of White Lion Publishing
The Greta Thunberg effect has hit children’s publishing; more children’s books with environmental themes are hitting bookshelves. But what do kids actually think of these books? And are they too moralistic or anxiety inducing for young readers? Patrick Bartram considers these questions and more in The Guardian.
Obligation and #OwnVoices
There’s been a lot of buzz in the publishing world about who gets to tell which stories. #OwnVoices was created to increase diversity and provide better representation of various marginalized identities. However, thanks to a number of scandals recently in which authors have had to “out” themselves—reveal personal and private information—to defend their work, some are wondering if #OwnVoices has an unintentional backfire. This is a complex issue, but worth thinking about.
Young Instagram Book Reviewer Goes Viral
The internet can be both a terrible and awesome place, as shown in this story. Thirteen-year-old Callum Manning was being bullied for starting an Instagram account to review books. But when his sister mentioned it on Twitter, he soon gained tons of followers, many of whom were authors offering to send him books. The BBC has the full story.
Book Fair Cancellations and Reschedulings
By now, I imagine, you’ve heard of the novel coronavirus? Well, as we enter convention and festival season, many event organizers are questioning whether to continue with their plans. Reed Exhibitions, the organization behind the London Book Fair, has announced they are cancelling the event due to the escalation of the virus. This news comes after several publishers announced they would not be attending. Other events have chosen to reschedule, including the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, which has been moved to May. And while these are disappointments for many book lovers, a number of industry professionals have pointed out that having a big event can put immunocompromised individuals at risk.