Friday, June 26, 2009

Mark Blevis, Kidlit Podcaster


SHOW NOTES:

In this picture we see Mark Blevis & Andrea Ross, the husband-and-wife team behind the kidlit podcast Just One More Book. They're holding the Six String Nation guitar, and they're at the Podcasters Across Borders conference, of which Mark is one of the founders and organizers. Mark also co-hosts, with Bob Goyetche, an excellent show by and for podcasters called The Canadian Podcast Buffet.

While I was at Podcasters Across Borders, I grabbed Mark for an interview about his upcoming gig at the Association of Jewish Libraries convention, which takes place in July in Chicago, IL. Mark's talk is entitled "How I Learned About Amazing Jewish Books Through Social Media."

As we chatted, he posed a question for listeners: what are your concerns about the visibility of Jewish books, especially books for children? Please share your thoughts with Mark at markblevis@gmail.com or post a comment here at The Book of Life.

Mark's AJL Convention presentation will be recorded for podcasting, and will ultimately appear on the AJL Podcast at jewishlibraries.org/podcast.

AUDIO:

Click the play button on our traditional flash player to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File to start your computer's media player.

NEW!
If you'd like to place this audio interview on your own web site, please use this stand-alone player from Entertonement. Click the embed button and copy the code!
Blank


CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries

Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band
Facebook fan page:
click here
Twitter:
@bookoflifepod
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/electricsky/3646268523/

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com!


Monday, June 22, 2009

Podcaster Heaven


http://www.flickr.com/photos/electricsky/3647071410/

Whew. I'm back from my first Podcasters Across Borders (aka PAB) conference in Kingston, Ontario, and I am just completely blown away.

I'd been listening to podcasts
of the conference sessions for the past several years on the Canadian Podcast Buffet, a show by and for podcasters, so I knew there would be high quality content. What I didn't expect was how moving the experience would be.

The opening keynote was by Jowi Taylor, creator of the
Six String Nation guitar. This guitar was constructed of 64 pieces (wood and other materials) representing all different regions and peoples of Canada. The idea is to bring Canadians together to bond with eachother and to contemplate Canadian identity. It's a beautiful piece of usable art, and it's a wonderful vehicle for sharing history and storytelling... as well as music! Jowi is a Peabody Award winning writer and broadcaster, and he really touched us when he shared stories of the guitar's source materials and the way people have responded to the guitar itself. We ended the evening by singing "I get by with a little help from my friends" along with the guitar, and by offering to help Jowi spread the word to gain more support for his project. Check out the Six String Nation book (not available yet outside Canada, but you can order from Canadian Amazon), and be sure to check out the video I've embedded at the bottom of this blog post. I encourage you to blog, tweet, podcast, or post to Facebook about Six String Nation whether you're Canadian or not - it's a beautiful project that really deserves attention.

The theme of storytelling continued throughout the weekend. While there were a few technical sessions, the majority had more to do with inspiration, thinking outside the box, living in the moment, and being true to yourself. The podcasters at this event were, for the most part, passionate hobbyists who use podcasting to share their interests, and that passion really came through in the conference sessions. It almost felt like being at a spiritual retreat instead of a conference!


Keep your eyes and ears on The Book of Life for upcoming interviews with some of the other book nerds I met at PAB -- Mark Blevis (PAB co-organizer) of the Just One More Book podcast, librarian Connie Crosby who gave a great library-related session at PAB, Hugh McGuire, founder of LibriVox and Book Oven, and Alexa Clark, founder of Mini Book Expo and co-organizer of BookCamp Toronto.

Thanks SO much to the warm and welcoming PAB community -- I walked in a stranger but soon felt like an old friend. And thanks especially for the litre of maple syrup I won in the PAB drawing (even though I wasn't allowed to have it until I sang O Canada)!


VIDEO:

Book Expo: Jewish Publishers

SHOW NOTES:

Interviews from the show floor at Book Expo America 2009. In the spotlight: Jewish presses.


AUDIO:

Click the play button on our traditional flash player to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File to start your computer's media player.

NEW!
If you'd like to place this audio interview on your own web site, please use this stand-alone player from Entertonement. Click the embed button and copy the code!
Blank


CREDITS:

Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band
Facebook fan page:
click here
Twitter:
@bookoflifepod

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tillmon County Fire


Author Pamela Ehrenberg is not afraid to tackle big topics. Her first book, Ethan, Suspended, explored issues of race relations (see our February 2008 podcast for a discussion of Ethan, Suspended). Her new book, Tillmon County Fire, examines the many forms that prejudice can take, using the voices of teens who are gay, Jewish, adopted, autistic, abused, or marginalized in other ways. Amazingly, Pam's books are far from preachy. They are compellingly readable, and her characters are very real people. They are brave books, and I highly recommend that you read them.

To learn more about Tillmon County Fire, check out the stops on Pam's Blog Tour at pamelaehrenberg.com!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Disappearing Dowry


Congratulations to Book of Life Facebook fan Rick Sternberg of Pittsburgh, PA, who has won our book giveaway (held in celebration of reaching 150 Facebook fans). Rick works at the Community Day School in Pittsburgh and will be donating the book to the school library. We'll hold another drawing when we reach 200 Facebook fans, so if you haven't become a fan yet, do it now!

Rick will be receiving a copy of
The Disappearing Dowry: An Ezra Melamed Mystery by Libi Astaire (Zahav Press). I very much enjoyed this historical novel. When I first heard that it was written "in the style of Jane Austen" I admit I was worried: books written in a famous author's style have so much to live up to and can easily fall short. However, this book feels like a loving tribute to Austen rather than a cheap imitation, and avoids becoming an Austen remake by embracing the "cozy" mystery genre as well.

What really sets the book apart is its portrayal of Jewish life in 19th century England. We see an active Jewish community, proud of its heritage yet comfortably British, but also aware of its outsider status. There are few books that explore this setting in a Jewish context, and I found it very refreshing.

I also found it quite refreshing that anti-Semitism was not a strong theme in this book. It would have been so easy for the author to use anti-Semitism as motive for the mystery's central crime. The theme of prejudice dominates much of Jewish literature, and I feel that Libi Astaire breaks the mold by choosing not to follow that path.

I found The Disappearing Dowry to be a light and enjoyable read, one that frequently made me smile. It is written for adults but can easily be enjoyed by kids in middle and high school.

For an interview with author Libi Astaire, visit Barbara Bietz's blog, Jewish Books for Children.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Kidlit Interview Wiki

The Kidlitosphere (blogs and podcasts about Children's Literature and Literacy) is filled with interviews of children's literature creators and children's literacy promoters. You can find many of these interviews indexed at the Kidlit Interview Wiki, and this list now includes interviews from The Book of Life.

The Kidlit Interview Wiki provides links to interviews with children's authors, illustrators, and literacy promoters. A separate but related wiki, Children's Book Reviews, provides links to blogs and podcasts that review literature for kids.

For general information about the "kidlitosphere," visit the website Kidlitosphere Central, where you'll find a wealth of resources, including links to many blogs and podcasts.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The Red Leather Diary Part 2

SHOW NOTES:

Lily Koppel's book The Red Leather Diary combines the writings of a Jewish teenager named Florence Wolfson with the memories of the same woman at the age of 90. In Part One of The Book of Life's Red Leather Diary series, we heard the Spring 2009 talk Lily gave at Aston Gardens Senior Living center in Parkland, Florida. Now, in Part Two, we speak directly with Lily about her book.


To read Lily's blog, visit
www.lilykoppel.com.

AUDIO:


Click the play button on our traditional flash player to listen to the podcast now:
Or click
MP3 File to start your computer's media player.

NEW!
If you'd like to place this audio interview on your own web site, please use this stand-alone player from Entertonement. Click the embed button and copy the code!

Blank


RELATED VIDEO:


CREDITS:


Produced by: Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel

Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band

Facebook fan page:
click here
Twitter:
@bookoflifepod

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com!

The Red Leather Diary, Part 1

SHOW NOTES:

Lily Koppel's book The Red Leather Diary combines the writings of a Jewish teenager named Florence Wolfson with the memories of the same woman at the age of 90. Lily explains how she found, first the diary, and then Florence herself, in a Spring 2009 talk she gave at Aston Gardens Senior Living center in Parkland, Florida, sponsored by the Parkland Library and the Anne Slater Memorial Fund.

This podcast is Part One and is a recording of Lily's presentation before a large audience. In Part Two you will hear a one-on-one interview with Lily Koppel.

AUDIO:

Click the play button on our traditional flash player to listen to the podcast now:

Or click MP3 File to start your computer's media player.

NEW!
If you'd like to place this audio interview on your own web site, please use this stand-alone player from Entertonement. Click the embed button and copy the code!
Blank


RELATED VIDEO:




CREDITS:

Produced by:
Feldman Children's Library at Congregation B'nai Israel
Supported in part by: Association of Jewish Libraries
Theme music: The Freilachmakers Klezmer String Band

Facebook fan page: click here
Twitter: @bookoflifepod

Your feedback is appreciated! Please write to bookoflifepodcast@gmail.com!