Snooping Out Stories With Jack

Oct. 20th, 2017 04:40 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
I’ve probably said this before right here at my Kirkus blog, so I apologize for any redundancy, but it is a spectacular thing to hear award-winning author Jack Gantos give a presentation. Anywhere. I always want to stand up when he’s done, and (complete with lots of fist pumps) yell, “Now, that is why I chose to work in the field of children’s literature!” He speaks with passion and knowledge and a refreshingly wicked humor about children’s books —and the man knows his books.

Dashka Slater

Oct. 18th, 2017 05:38 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
You may have read it in the New York Times Magazine: on Monday, November 4, 2013, Sasha Fleischman, 18, a senior at a private high school in Oakland, California, was set on fire by Richard Thomas, 16, a junior at Oakland High School, on the AC Transit 57 bus.

Sleepover at the National Archives

Oct. 17th, 2017 07:59 pm
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by davidferriero

Washington, DC is home to some of the most fantastic museums in the world. Museums where visitors see one of a kind objects, are transported around the world through expositions, and participate in unique programming. The National Archives is one of those museums.  Here, visitors contemplate our democracy while examining the signed Constitution of the United States, travel the world as they view records documenting our interactions with other nations, and become inspired and engaged through programming for everyone pre-K to adults.

Adult and child in the National Archives Rotunda

Four years ago, the National Archives, in partnership with the National Archives Foundation, began a sleepover program for young museum goers. Designed for children 8-12 years old and their accompanying adults, these sleepovers are inspiring the next generation of historians, stewards of our nations records, and advocates for the work of the Archives. The themes for the sleepovers change, offering a glimpse into the diversity of holdings in the Archives and an opportunity for participants to come back again and again.

This past weekend, 120 participants from across the country embarked on this year’s space themed sleepover in commemoration of the JFK centennial. These participants got the “star” treatment right from the start as they paused to look through a telescope set up at the museum’s entrance.  After getting checked in, and being welcomed by both the Archivist of the United States and the Executive Director of the National Archives Foundation during orientation, sleepover goers set out to see if they were suited for space.  Hands-on activities throughout the museum engaged participants and ignited imaginations. A few examples of activities include making mission patches, putting together astronaut John Glenn’s genealogy scrap book, dressing like a space explorer, and training like an astronaut using neutral buoyancy. NARA also collaborated with the National Air and Space Museum who brought over telescopes, meteorites, and astronaut underwear, with Catherine Kruchten who taught participants how to engineer their own rockets, and astronaut George Zamka who shared experiences of his time in space. If you would like to see some of his experiences in space, look in the holdings of the National Archives. At the end of the night, everyone slept in the Rotunda next to the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights.

Setting up sleeping bags in the National Archives Rotunda

With Archives Sleepovers, participants not only see one of a kind objects, but sleep next to them. They are transported not only around the world but out of the world as they encounter the universe of space exploration. The unique programming that happens here could not happen anyplace else. Each one of the billions of records in the holdings of the National Archives unlocks a piece of what it means to be an American and adds to the stories told here.

Each amazing sleepover experience would not be possible without ideas, planning, creating, and enacting of many interns, volunteers and staff.  Each person involved in the process helps to make the Archives sleepovers a success from A to Zzzzzzz.  If you are interested in joining us, the next sleepover is set to blast off on February 24, 2018.

A Line in the Dark

Oct. 17th, 2017 04:55 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
Cover Story: Fingerpaint It Black
BFF Charm: Maybe
Swoonworthy Scale:
 7
Talky Talk: Lo and Behold
Bonus Factors:
 Boarding School, Creating Comics, First-Gen Parents
Relationship Status: Taking a Walk on the Dark Side
[syndicated profile] aotus_feed

Posted by davidferriero

On October 19, 2017 the FOIA Advisory Committee will meet in the William G. McGowan Theater. The three subcommittees will each present their ideas to the full Committee and the public for how to improve the administration of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and improve FOIA processes.

As I blogged about last June, the FOIA Advisory Committee is charged with looking broadly at the challenges that agency FOIA programs are starting to face in light of an ever-increasing volume of born-electronic records, and chart a course for how FOIA should operate now and in the future. The Committee is chaired and staffed by the FOIA Ombudsman’s office located within the National Archives, the Office of Government Information Services (OGIS), and includes twenty members with FOIA expertise from inside and outside of government who represent a wide range of interests and perspectives.

Photo of David Ferriero

David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, gives welcoming remarks during the FOIA Advisory Committee Meeting at the National Archives in Washington, DC, on July 21, 2016. Photo by Brogan Jackson.

At the Committee’s first two quarterly meeting, members discussed the greatest challenges in the administration of FOIA and determined in October 2016 to focus its efforts on three areas: increasing proactive disclosures; improving searches for records; and maximizing efficiencies and resources. To carry out its work, the Committee organized itself into three subcommittees, each of which is co-chaired by a government and a non-government member. Over the last year, these subcommittees have studied the issues and worked collaboratively to begin to develop recommendations to address key problems in the administration of FOIA.

One of the central themes that has emerged as the Committee work has progressed is the undeniable close relationship between a strong records management program and an effective FOIA office; and this relationship will only become even stronger as the volume of electronic records continues to grow. During the last Committee meeting in July 2017,  Chief Records Officer Laurence Brewer spoke to the Committee about recent changes to federal records management policy and the steps the National Archives is taking to help transition federal agencies to an electronic recordkeeping environment and speed up the adoption of modern electronic recordkeeping practices. At the upcoming meeting, the National Archives former Director of Litigation, Jason R. Baron, will also address how the transition to electronic recordkeeping impacts an agency’s FOIA program.

I look forward to hearing about the subcommittees’ work, and to receiving the Committee’s final recommendations at the end of its term. Please join me for the October 19 FOIA Advisory Committee meeting in person and register using Eventbrite. The meeting will also be livestreamed via the National Archives YouTube Channel if you are unable to attend in person.

Friendship, Family, and First Love

Oct. 16th, 2017 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
My mother moved to the US when she was seventeen and did her last year of high school on Long Island, which was why she thought she understood what it was like to grow up here, except our experiences and attitudes couldn’t be more different. She actually had two boys ask her to senior prom, and politely refused, because her faith forbade it, while I couldn’t even imagine having two different guys ask me out, much less saying no to both.

Cleveland Visit

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:35 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
I'm visiting Cleveland, Ohio this coming weekend, in case you live there or have suggestions for things I ought to do.

(One proximate cause of this is that, through the Python community, I've met multiple nice people who are organizing or championing PyCon North America in Cleveland in 2018 and 2019, and who will show me around a bit. Another is the United Airlines rep who, while trying to reroute us on our solar eclipse trip, said, "The only place in the United States I can get you tonight is Cleveland" which sounds more like a Call to Adventure than most bad travel news does.)

I'm particularly interested in hiking, walking tours, live folk and rock music, history (especially political, social, and science and engineering history), pair programming, and trains. I'll be there Friday October 20th through Sunday October 22nd. I'm also open to giving a talk or two while in Cleveland. Feel free to leave comments on this post -- the spam filter is rather aggressive but I'll fish things out regularly!

Cleveland Visit

Oct. 15th, 2017 05:35 pm
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
I'm visiting Cleveland, Ohio this coming weekend, in case you live there or have suggestions for things I ought to do.

(One proximate cause of this is that, through the Python community, I've met multiple nice people who are organizing or championing PyCon North America in Cleveland in 2018 and 2019, and who will show me around a bit. Another is

Books All Over the Map

Oct. 13th, 2017 04:42 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
An art puzzle book of American and Chinese songs. A wood spirit. Forgetful sisters with prophetic dreams. The triumph of a middle sibling. These are all plot points in a small stack of brand-new picture books I want to tell you about today, each and every one of them with an international flair, if not once originally published overseas.

Antonio Iturbe

Oct. 13th, 2017 04:11 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
There was a question that Antonio Iturbe just couldn’t get out of his head. Tucked away in Alberto Manguel’s The Library at Night, amid detailed accounts of the world’s most famous libraries, such as that at Alexandria and Washington, D.C.’s Library of Congress, he’d come across mention of a secret library that was maintained in the most unexpected of places: Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Lumberjanes to the Max

Oct. 12th, 2017 06:40 am
[syndicated profile] kirkus_kidlit_feed
Have you heard the happy Lumberjanes news? Lumberjanes: Unicorn Power! is on shelves now from New York Times bestselling author Mariko Tamaki. She has adapted the comic book series to novel format for middle-grade readers, complete with spot illustrations from Brooke Allen. I chatted, very briefly, with Tamaki, who is excited about this new project. But then, for the love of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, it occurs to me that some of you may need an explanation as to who in the Joan Jett the Lumberjanes are. So, let me do that first.
[syndicated profile] sumana_feed
A joking-around conversation from a recent conference, from memory and condensed.

A: "I saw the eclipse in Nashville."
B: "Oh I'm from Nashville!"
A: "Oh cool! Did you see it there too!"
B: "No, I didn't, I don't live there anymore."
A: "So you're from Nashville. Do you play an instrument? Are you a musician?"
B: "No, I'm not."
A: "Is that why you had to leave? Is there some age by which the Machine sends you a notification that you have to choose an Instrument and perform at the Audition?"
C: "I'm imagining that scene from A Wrinkle in Time, the street of identical houses, everyone in a row on the sidewalk, with their guitars."
A:"Playing 'Wonderwall', all at the same time. And you show up at the Audition, like, 'I'm Divergent, I'm not gonna choose an Instrument, I'm leaving!'"
B: "This is actually a little too real."








(You may also enjoy Randomized Dystopia, a.k.a. Assorted Abrogations.)

The Truth Behind Local Legends

Oct. 9th, 2017 04:49 pm
[syndicated profile] kirkus_ya_feed
As the House’s reputation grew, the local legend dimmed until there was but a spark of its real story left. Only a few of the elders remembered the legends, but as is true for all generations, their words became an inside joke to their younger relatives, a reason to put them in the nursing home.
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