Smart Podcast, Trashy Books Podcast

120. An Interview with Maureen, Librarian and KitLit Blogger

Recently, Maureen sent us an email that read, in part, “Besides being a longtime reader of the site and of romance, I’m a children’s librarian by day, and a YA book blogger by night [at Confessions of a Bibliovore]. Basically you can’t shut me up when it comes to kids’ books. With the holidays coming up, I thought your readers might like to hear from somebody who can suggest books to wrap up for kidlings in their lives that may or may not be their actual child. There’s a lotta good stuff out there under the radar, and I love to spread the joy.” So, you ready for a ton of books for young readers? Here they come.

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Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

Maureen also mentioned The Cybils, the annual YA awards from kitlit bloggers. Their shortlist should be published around 1 January 2015.

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This Episode's Music

Adeste Fiddles Album CoverOur music is provided by Sassy Outwater. This is Deviations Project, again again, from their album Adeste Fiddles. Because it is so great.

This track is Lieutenant Kiji (Troika), originally composed by Prokofiev.

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This podcast transcript was handcrafted with meticulous skill by Garlic Knitter. Many thanks.

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  1. 1

    I’m all full of love right now for anything by Stuart Gibbs, for the 9 – 12 yr old set (especially boys). Cannot say enough good things about SPACE CASE – my kid climbed out of the pool to read on a chair, if that says it. And he’s not that type of kid usually. He’s loved every single Stuart Gibbs and is quite sad that there is now only one that he hasn’t read (and it’s waiting for him … )

  2. 2
    JaneL says:

    I just realized that I haven’t been getting the podcast episodes for over a month. The last one I got was #114 about Victorian Steampunk. I use Downcast on my iPhone. Any idea why I’m not able to get to them any more?

  3. 3
    Melissa says:

    Grace Lin – Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky – great books for my very tomboyish DD who is 8 1/2.

  4. 4
    SB Sarah says:


    I’m sorry you’re not getting the podcast! You may have to unsubscribe and resubscribe, as the switch in feed confused some apps and programs. Would you let me know if that doesn’t work?

  5. 5
    JaneL says:

    I tried unsubscribing and resubscribing this morning by searching for the name of the podcast and by using the direct URL. It didn’t come up in the search results, and the direct URL came up empty as well. That must have triggered something in Downcast’s feed, though, because when I tried searching again this afternoon, the podcast came up right up. I’m back in! Yay!!



  6. 6
    KB says:

    I have only listened to about half the podcast so far (the rest is for my commute home today!) so I don’t know if this was mentioned but as far as chapter books for younger girls with a bit more diversity–have you thought about the American Girl historical series? I have my own issues with the whole American-Girl-industrial-complex and dolls that cost a hundred freaking dollars, but the books are actually fairly well-written and I think at least try for historical accuracy. Also, they are like catnip for 8 year old girls. My daughter loves Kaya who is a Native American and has her own horse. The horse is probably at least half of the appeal. Addy is a little girl who escapes from slavery, and there is also a Jewish girl from New York in 1914 (Rebecca). Also you might try the Rescue Princesses–my 7-year-old animal lover is crazy about these books and the girls all look different. My daughter loves the Magic Fairies too but I find the books to be SUPER repetitive…she doesn’t seem to have a problem with it though! Also, she is not diverse but both my girls have loved the Daisy Dawson series, about a little girl who can talk to animals. Also the Magic Puppy/Magic Kitten/Magic Pony series by Sue Bentley. Again, extremely repetitive and the writing is not especially great, but the kids absolutely love these. And finally–Sideways Stories of the Wayside School! My daughter thinks this book is HILARIOUS and for me it is nice to have her reading about something that is not a fairy-tastic magic animal.

  7. 7
    Maureen says:

    I have a few of the Stuart Gibbs books on my TBR list, and they look like fun. I think Space Case is the a murder mystery on Mars? Nifty!

    That’s a great suggestion about the American Girls series. I read them as a kid when there were about three girls, all white as white could be. I used to whine to my mother about when were they going to get a Mexican girl like me. When I was about 20, the Josefina stories came out and my mom got me all the books. (This was before I knew I wanted to be a children’s librarian, even!)

    I hadn’t heard of the Rescue Princesses before but I will definitely point them out to the Rainbow Fairy crowd.

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