Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The emotional rollercoaster that is the blogosphere

Let’s start high. Congrats to Sally M. Walker (again) for yet another great notice for her Written in Bone, this time on Booklist’s Bookends blog, which is maintained by librarians Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan (who both hail from the state of my birth, Michigan, if I’m not mistaken). It’s a glowing review, but they also throw in some excellent advice for an untapped sales channel:

“And really, why does my dental hygienist continue to nag me about flossing and my imminent periodontal disease? She’s been wasting her time. Every dental office should stock this book in the waiting room with a few carefully marked pages, and the problem will solve itself!”

Zooming down into the valley, we find this post at I.N.K. (Interesting Nonfiction for Kids): Teach to the Book. Blogger Linda Salzman reports that during a seven day visit to a fourth grade classroom last month, “[t]here was no independent reading. There was no quiet reading time. Not even a single read aloud by the teacher.” Why? The answer rhymes with “esting.”

Now we arrive at one of those places on a rollercoaster where your innards aren’t sure which way to go. I can’t help but be hopeful that there are blogs like School Lunch Blog doing meaningful work on an underreported subject (do not miss the posts on school lunches in other countries), and I’m excited about the current Horn Book looking at food and eating. But stepping back from that, I feel very concerned that at an adult level, the debate over food is hopelessly corrupted by red-state-blue-state political branding nonsense (organic food is somehow liberal and a luxury).

And then there’s this prom thing at the New York Times, which is causing flashbacks that are either pleasant or mortifying.

Whereto next?