The Bookshelf Detective

Let me introduce you to...

Whether you're a reader or a writer, the gumshoes wants to know what you stock on your bookshelf.  

A site (www.bookshelfdetective.org) dedicated to both readers and writers of children’s literature.
What's Included?  Information from children, teachers, parents, agents, and editors regarding Picture Books, Chapter Books, Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels.

Our mission is to help writers & readers of children’s literature

Goal #1: learn what kids stock on their bookshelves and why;

Goal#2: make solid book recommendations based on feedback;

Goal #3:  discover the secret sauce that helps writers craft successful stories by learning from the leading agents, editors, and publishers in the industry.


I was lucky enough to have a chat with The Bookshelf Detective creator, Kim Tomsic. She has a definite passion for the YA market not only because she is a mother but because she enjoys reading the books too.


What prompted you to start this project?
I am a reader and writer.  I love children's literature and I love talking about great books!  Kid lit includes books ranging from picture board books (Good Night Moon) to young adult novels (The Hunger Games).  A book typically gets categorized as children's literature if the main protagonist is a child. If you saw my bookshelf before you met me, you'd probably think I was a fifteen-year-old girl.  My shelf is stocked with books such as: Catching Fire, When You Reach Me, The Earth My Butt and Other Big Round Things, Thirteen Reasons Why, A Year Down Yonder, Crank, The Year the Swallows Came Early, Savvy, Mockingjay, Speak, Wintergirls, etc. The list could go on and on like an Academy Award speech, so I'll stop here. 

Who are you working with on this project? 
Just me, but I plan to interview authors, agents, and publishers.

Where do you plan to get your information and updates?
1. I plan to interview parents, kids, school librarians, public librarians, teachers, agents, and editors. 
2.I am a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and I attend conferences and workshops with experts in the industry.  The SCBWI is a fantastic organization that brings writers, illustrators, agents, and publishers together.  People I've met through SCBWI include Jennifer Hunt of Little Brown Books (Twilight series), Jennifer Rees of Scholastic (editor of The Hunger Games series), Stephanie Lurie editorial director of Disney Hyperion (The Lightning Thief).  I know that not everybody can afford to attend conferences, so my intention is to share my notes through my website and blog--notes from seminars like:  "I wanted to love your manuscript; seven reasons why I didn't" a speech by Wendy Loggia editor Delacorte Press.
3.  I'm an avid researcher (I have my degree in History after all!).  My website will compile information in one useful location--information on kid picks and teen choice awards to guide people when making their purchasing decisions; and info and links for writers (how to write a query, word count rules, page turner principles, writing contests, conference updates, etc.). 
How will you help spread the word to people looking for your recommendations? 
I'll spread the word through social marketing sites like Facebook and Twitter, through contacts I make in the writing industry, through fellow bloggers, through workshops, through word of mouth from librarians, teachers, and authors, and through fans of the website.

How can readers and writers get involved in this project?  
If you're currently reading anything that qualifies as children's literature (to yourself or to your child), please tell me what it is, why you chose it, how you rate it, and would you recommend it.
Also, what was your favorite book when you were a child?


You can contact The Bookshelf Detective via her website http://www.bookshelfdetective.org/ or via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Boulder-CO/Bookshelf-Detective/157428327618920

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