Thursday, February 28, 2008

Friday Fun: Join the Big Sell

There has been the beginnings of an interesting discussion this week on the Children's Writer's and Illustrator's chat board. Apparently the already undersized NF sections in bookstores are shrinking rapidly. Word is, no one is interested in these subjects, least of all those boring ol' historical topics.

I'm convinced we here at I.N.K. have the charm, wit, and good looks to do what has never before been successfully attempted. That's right-- we can recommend the near perfect NF selection for any NF neophyte. Yes, it's the NF blog handsell.

Examples? Yes, of course.

You say you really enjoyed the terrific humor and insights of the recent Newbery honor winner THE WEDNESDAY WARS? Well, let me tell you, if you liked those rats, you'll be blown away by Oh, Rats! The Story of Rats and People by Al Marrin. It's rats through the ages, reproducing and thriving, even in a court of law.

Are you the more sensitive type who usually enjoys a tender tearjerker like Jenny Downham's BEFORE I DIE about a girl's battle with incurable cancer? We NF people do diseases--and lots of them. Why not give ace NF writer James Cross Giblin's When Plague Strikes. The Black Death, Smallpox, AIDS a try? Mr. Giblin does not disappoint in his ability to totally immerse his readers in infection, illness and disease.

Please chime in with your best blog handsell.


Sara said...

Okay, you got me. It's not that I don't love NF. It's just that my fiction TBR pile is always in danger of toppling over. But...I just finished The Wednesday Wars, and now I have to find Rats.

I can't wait to see what other pairings pop up. If you get a lot of them, would you also consider linking from goodreads or other places that we fiction readers hang out?

Gretchen Woelfle said...

Geraldine McCaughrean's stunning Printz Award winner, The White Darkness, should send folks scurrying to more on Antarctic expeditions in general, Scott's in particular, and Titus Oates most of all. It looks like no juvenile bios of Oates exist. Interested, anyone?

Anna M. Lewis said...

Oh, I could have great fun here!

Leonardo's Shadow: Or My Astonishing Life as Leonardo's Servant
by Christopher Grey ~paired with~
Leonardo da Vinci: Artist and Scientist
By Laura Layton Storm

Da Wild, da Crazy, da Vinci
by Jon Scieszka ~paired with~
Amazing Leonardo da Vinci Inventions You Can Build Yourself
by Maxine Anderson

Lady with an Alien: An Encounter with Leonardo da Vinci
by Michael Resnick ~paired with~
Leonardo da Vinci
by Kathleen Krull

and that's just da Vinci!

Unknown said...

What a great post! I'm the sort of person who hangs out in the New Products tent at the County Fair -- I love a well-crafted hand-sell, and this is great one.

I hope you'll show off your collection elsewhere, too.

Linda Salzman said...

I'd be happy to link to goodreads (or wherever else you fiction folks hang out) but I have no idea how.

For now, here are two more I cut from my original post.

If you were intrigued by the devastating situation on Indian reservations in Sherman Alexie's ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN, then you should definitely want to know more. With a powerful combination of prose and photographs, James M. McPherson discusses how this situation came to be in INTO THE WEST: FROM RECONSTRUCTION TO THE FINAL DAYS OF THE AMERICAN FRONTIER. And if you thought Emma Jean was one smart cookie in Lauren Tarshis' EMMA JEAN LAZARUS FELL OUT OF A TREE, then you should read about real life girl power in GIRLS THINK OF EVERYTHING. STORIES OF INGENIOUS INVENTIONS BY WOMEN by Catherine Thimmesh.

Linda Salzman said...


I have to add one of my personal favorites: LEONARDO'S HORSE by Jean Fritz.

I met Jean Fritz at a book signing and she told us a great story about how illustrator Hudson Talbott included her in the big reveal illustration at the end of the book.

Sara said...

Linda, you can go to and open an account. (You could even do it under a group name, like I.N.K.) Then, when you add fiction books to your list, you could put a link to the NF book in your review (and vice-versa, of course.) There are lots and lots of KidLit bloggers on there already.

Anna M. Lewis said...

Wow, Linda!
That's a GREAT add/suggestion!

Fun, cool story about the illustration.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I've stumble upon your website while searching for places to plug my new book (which is non fiction). However it is for the younger crowd, ages 5-10 and it is about the sport of amateur wrestling (not the crazy wild stuff on tv).

It is a fun, simple, ABC book based on the sport of amateur wrestling. It is illustrated by Robert Lence of Disney and Pixar, who animated Bug's Life, Toy Story, Shrek and more. He was a wrestler, that's the catch. His illustrations capture these young wrestlers (girls and boys, disabled, skinny, chubby, short and tall) so incredibly well.

It will be released late this spring or early summer by Nelson Marketing and Publishing/Ferne Press (glorified self publishing), and I was wondering if you have any tips on how to get noticed out there in the world of children's books. The website is

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