Link Trove will be done just a little differently this week. Some pretty serious things have come up in the Young Adult Book blogging community that really need to be addressed, and it felt wrong to include my response to something so big in amongst funny lists and videos, so I will refrain. However, I do want to talk about a few REALLY cool and good things first.
- World Book Night 2012 was a blast. It was not without its hitches -- but I think it was actually more fun that way. One local Giver forgot to pick up their box of Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried, one of my husband's favorite books, so with my The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie we were each able to give out books we love. To keep myself from getting into further trouble, I will only say that there was some miscommunication between day staff and evening security with the first location we chose to give out books, and we were escorted from the premises. (Yes, we almost got arrested for giving away free books! Note for next year: get written permission for overzealous security guards.) We forgot our camera so we could not get any pictures, and it was after 5:00pm when we started giving books away, so most managers were already gone for the day. BUT, we had a blast hopping from parking lot to theater to fast food joint to coffee shop asking if we could give out books to patrons. In a way, I think we were able to reach a larger and more diverse group of people because of the mishap -- it was spontanious and fun and we haven't got to just go places like that in years! To see what other people were doing on World Book Night, check out the Tumblr.
- I know I have been going on and on about Kate Milford's Kickstarter project for The Kairos Mechanism (Arcana #1). (Seriously, if you haven't yet checked it out, you should!) However, I recently discovered another really great middle grade novel Kickstarter project: Wollstonecraft. From author Jordan Stratford's description:
London 1826: The Advent of the Steam Age
11 year old Ada has a problem: her governess, Miss Coverlet, has quit her job to go get married (a dumb idea if ever there was one, if you ask Ada) and her new tutor Percy ("Peebs") is a total drip. She'd rather be left to her own devices – literally – inventing things and solving math problems and ignoring people altogether.
She's also forced to study alongside the imaginative girlie-girl Mary, who's always going on about romance and exotic travels. Fortunately, Mary's appetite for adventure leads her to propose the two girls open a detective agency, and when an heiress shows up with a case about a missing diamond, it's the perfect puzzle to coax Ada out of her shell.
This is the made up story about two very real girls – Ada, the world's first computer programmer, and Mary, the world's first science fiction author – caught up in a steampunk world of hot-air balloons and steam engines, jewel thieves and mechanical contraptions. For readers 8-12.
This is a pro-math, pro-science, pro-history and pro-literature adventure novel for and about girls, who use their education to solve problems and catch a jewel thief. Ada and Mary encounter real historical characters, such as Percy Shelley, Charles Babbage, Michael Faraday, and Charles Dickens – people whom the girls actually knew. If Jane Austen wrote about zeppelins and brass goggles, this would be the book.
Why "Wollstonecraft"? Mary names the detective agency after her mother, the famous feminist writer. If this is the kind of book you'd like to see, please support this project.
Now that is a project I can get behind! If you are interested, move quickly! It ends on Monday.
Okay, so fun-times are over. Kat and Stephanie from Cuddlebuggery hesitantly broke the news on Monday that Kristi of The Story Siren had been plagiarizing content from other blogs. They refrained from naming names because they were still uncertain as to the validity of the accusations, but Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books shortly thereafter wrote a pretty conclusive piece that left little doubt that the accusations were, in fact, true. Naturally, the YA blogging community exploded, then promptly divided into sides, and I just really don't want to go into all of the details. Leila from bookshelves of doom has a really great, reasonably objective outline of what happened with links. Kelly from Stacked, Kat from Cuddlebuggery, and Elizabeth from Gossamer Obsessions do a great job of showing the community's reactions.
Personally, I feel very disappointed and betrayed. I used "Kristi's" posts to help set up my blog. I admired her for the way she fostered a sense of community among book bloggers, and that she provided a platform for us to all interact with each other. However, as I previously noted, I was not completely comfortable with In My Mailbox, and had already changed my format from that of the meme. I became truly offended by her non-apologies: she made it very clear that her top priority was maintaining contacts within the industry, not the respect of her readers. Because I do not want to contribute page-views (or anything else) to someone so wholly unwilling to take responsibility for her actions, I will no longer be linking to her meme. As of this Sunday, I will be participating in Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer's The Sunday Post Meme in place of In My Mailbox, as it most closely resembles what I was already doing. (Edited to add: I will link, with credit, to both Kimba's The Sunday Post Meme, and Stacking the Shelves from Tynga's Reviews, on my regular "Weekly Forecast" post.) I will finish out the Debut Author Challenge of reading 12 debut authors by the end of the year because I was doing it to challenge myself and find new authors. I will no longer be linking that to The Story Siren either.
Finally, you should really check out the blogs Beautifully Invisible and Grit and Glamour. These ladies are smart, write well and with authenticity (and they have way more style than you will find here!) They have remained classy throughout this entire ordeal. I learned so much about stats, IP addresses, and responsible blogging from their posts about how they caught Kristi plagiarizing. (And, of course, they were the original authors of all the wonderful pages that helped me set up this blog!) These ladies really know what they are doing!
Phew! Okay, back next week with fun lists, videos, links and pictures!