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National Book Award judge, VIDA and lalalalala

Hey there. 

I haven't blogged because I have been writing a novel for you guys. Seriously. It won't be out for a year yet, but I am doing final revisions on my first YA book in quite a while. It is called (if you haven't read this blog in a while) WE WERE LIARS. 

More about that later. Internet-wise I am on Twitter a lot more than on this blog, and on Pinterest as well. So come join me there if you miss me.

News of today: I am chairing the National Book Awards committee on young people's literature, together with the awesome librarian Lisa von Drasek from the Kerlan Library, the excellent novelists Cecil Castelluci and Deb Caletti, and the legendary bookseller Peter Glassman from Books of Wonder. You can read our bios and learn the judges in the other categories here

I think this will be a grand adventure. I've talked to a number of people who have been judges, including Daniel Ehrenhaft and Scott Westerfeld, and they said it was just an incredible experience to read so much and be forced to formulate an articulate what you think makes great literature.  

I've also joined the children's lit advisory committe for Vida, which is an organization for women in the literary arts. They do a great awareness-raising work like comparing the number of male and female writers interviewed by big-shot journals like The Paris Review. (It's approximately 15% women.) So go check them out. 

In other news, I went to Disneyland last week. I rode Splash Mountain and got crazy wet. I love that thing. It reminded me of the movie it was based on, which I haven't seen since my childhood. It's Disney's  Song of the South. No one watches it nowadays because it has some racist stereotypes that just ruin it, but a lot of it is the old folk tales of tricksters Brer Rabbit, Brer Bear and Brer Fox -- and those are the guys you see in the ride, the animal characters up to no good. And that put me in mind of the wonderful Barry Moser-illustrated Jump! and Jump Over! by Van Dyke Parks. Here is a link to see those amazing pictures. You won't be sorry.

Tidbit: I wrote my college thesis on Barry Moser's illustrations for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. 

That's all for now. Happy spring!