Six impossible things before breakfast.

A library science student's perspective on life, the universe, and everything.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Graveyards, Gaiman, and the Back-Seat Book Club

I'm not planning to pursue an extensive amount of coursework in children's library services while I'm in library science school, not because I don't think it's worthwhile (I certainly do) or because I'm not interested in kiddy lit. (I read it all the time), but just because I don't think it is all that applicable to where I see myself going in libraries and information studies. However, I am a big fan of Neil Gaiman, and he's been involved in some very cool kids programs lately, so I'll deviate into those waters temporarily.

First of all, if you haven't read Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, you definitely should. Aside from the fact that it won the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, and the Hugo Award, it's also just a very fun, quirky read about a young boy raised in a graveyard by an entertaining collection of ghostly guardians. Neil kicked off a new kids' program on NPR this week called Back-Seat Book Club, which hopes to encourage young readers by bringing authors onto the program to answer kids' questions and talk about their novels. It will be interesting to see how kids respond to this program; NPR really couldn't have picked a better author to begin the show--Neil is fantastic at question and answer panels and great at book readings too. In fact, he has made an audio version of the entire novel of The Graveyard Book available online (read by none other than Neil Gaiman himself). I couldn't applaud this decision enough; Neil writes amazing books, but the coolest thing about him is the way he seems to care so much about his readers. Whether it's through a more traditional book tour or his regularly updated online journal, Neil makes great efforts to stay connected with his audience.

And a quick final plug for my all time favorite Neil Gaiman book (well, one of my favorites--it's so hard to choose!), check out Neverwhere, a riveting story of different Londons, a curious girl who is the last of a great family, and a seemingly ordinary young businessman who gets in way over his head.

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