This is a challenge my husband supports 100%. It means not so many boxes from Amazon and trips to local book stores. I do love that I can get onto the library’s on-line catalog when I see a new book that interests me and have it waiting for me at the front desk next time I arrive. It’s already saved me a ton this past month!
My newbery predictions—mostly a swing and a miss January 24, 2012
The Trouble with May Amelia by Jennifer Holm
Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (the only one I was in the park with!)
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberley Bradley
Amelia Lost by Candace Fleming
Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
Don’t Forget About the Printz Award January 19, 2012
It seems like every year there is quite a bit of buzz about potential Newbery and Caldecott award winners. It probably comes as no surprise to anyone that I’ve always loved trying to “pick” what book I think is going to be the winner– before the announcements. Some years I have been even willing to place a bet with a friend-I was that certain.
This got me thinking about the Printz award. There isn’t nearly the buzz about it as the Newbery and Caldecott awards. Why is that, I found myself wondering?
The Printz Award has only been around since 2000 as compared to 1937 for the Caldecott Award, which is awarded to the “artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year”. The Newbery Award is the oldest and began in 1922 and was the first children’s book award in history! . It is awarded “for the most distinguished American children’s book published the previous year”.
The Printz “honors excellence in literature written for young adults” and the “book may be fiction, nonfiction, poetry or an anthology and can be a work of joint authorship or editorship. Nominated books may have been previously published in another country , but must have been in the U.S. during the preceding year. The books must be designated by their publishers as either a young adult book or one published for ages 12 through 18”.
Hmmm…. Are there other “awards” out there that are similar? What about the Cybils or the National Book Awards?
The National Book Award seems to have some overlap between those finalists and the Printz, or sometimes the Newbery. The National Book Award is given “by writers to writers” and was started in 1950.
The Cybils, on the other hand, came about in 2006 and “rewards the children’s and young adult authors (and illustrators) whose books combine the highest literary merit and “kid appeal”. Created by bloggers for bloggers, it certainly has caught on. Despite the existence of the Cybils, which is more open to participation by the non-librarian, mock Newbery and Caldecott “clubs” continue to go strong.
Here’s a short round-up of Printz predictions/contenders from the web:
Bookhenge2011 blog, which is tied to Young Adult Literature course and a library (appears to have just shy of 30 members) gave their mock awards to:
2012 Printz Winner – Paper Covers Rock, by Jenny Hubbard
A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness
Every You, Every Me, by David Levithan
Chime, by Frannie Billingsley
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, by Catherynne Valente
Someday My Printz will Come is from the School Library Journal and had votes tallied from 116 votes and gave their mock winner and honors to:
Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Chime by Frannie Billingsley
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Steph Su Reads blog has a longer list of possibilities.
Here’s what I am thinking are possibilities based on what I have read–
Everybody Sess the Ants by A.S. King (my money is on this one-I’ll post my review this weekend)
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Shine by Lauren Myracle
Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt
Here’s my to-read pile that:
I’d like to try to complete before the award is announced, but I won’t get to AND–
I think has a shot at winning–
Paper Covers Rock
The Girl Who Circumnavigated the Earth
Chime (started, but couldn’t get into)
Ambassador of Young People’s Literature January 7, 2012
Ambassador of Young People’s Literature is always an exciting announcement to me. Walter Dean Myers is this year’s ambassador and I love his platform “Reading is not an Option!”. In his School Library Journal there is a great interview. He was quoted as saying “The value of reading has escalated in my lifetime. As a young man, I saw families prosper without reading because there were always sufficient opportunities for willing workers who could follow simple instructions. This is no longer the case. Children who don’t read are, in the main, destined for lesser lives. I feel a deep sense of responsibility to change this.”
Myers an amazing author who I’ve had the privilege of hearing talk and have him autograph books.
Couldn’t Put it Down! January 6, 2012
It was unfortunate that both my children were sick today. It was not unfortunate for my reading life though. I finished Jefferson’s Sons, which despite my initial hesitation, completely grabbed me today. I’ve never been to Monticello and have added to the places I would love to go some time. The author did an amazing job with her research with this historical fiction. When part two (of three) of the book started and it became clear to me that each section was going to be narrated by a different character, I was a little annoyed. I can’t really put my finger on why, but I think it’s because the change from Beverly to Maddy was more abrupt than I would have cared for. The change from character two to three occurred without me hardly noticing.
I can see why it is on potential Newbery lists. A story about an American icon, slavery, family and a part of history not known to many all make a great story.
I then picked up The Apothecary, which I read in two long sittings today! LOVE THAT BOOK! The characters are so well developed and felt like real people you’d like to know. A great blend of historical fiction/adventure/fantasy that I can’t really compare to anything else. The preface had me wanting to know about Benjamin. The first chapter had me ready to read a whole book set during the 1950’s when Hollywood movie writers were suspect and often accused of Communism. I then could have read a whole book about an American girl transplanted to a British prep school. If this makes the book sound choppy, it is not at all! It moves seamlessly, weaving in murder, magic, mean girls, espionage, all in a way that I could not put down! I’m having to reevaluate my list after this one.
Christmas Books 2011 Given and Received January 5, 2012
The Scorpio Races By Maggie Stiefvater
Icefall by Matthew Kirby
Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill
Crossed by Ally Condie
It’s Christmas David by David Shannon
The Gingerbread Pirates by Kristen Kladstrup and Matt Tavares
Ivy and Bean books by Annie Barrows
Babymouse books by Jennifer Holm
It’s Not Fair by Amy Rosenthal and Tom Lichenheld
The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler
Divergent by Veronica Roth (x2)
The Death Cure, The Scorch Trials, The Maze Runner series by James Dashner
Shark Wars by Ernie Altbacker
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations by Amy Rosenthal
Mentor Author, Mentor Texts by Ralph Fletcher
Search for the Next Best Book January 4, 2012
Cuddled up with three dogs and a stack of books has a lot of appeal to me, especially when it’s cold outside! I wish I had my camera so I could upload a picture of them right now. Love my public library where I was able to go online yesterday and mark all the books I consider possible Newbery winners I am hoping to read that I didn’t have and then have start arriving today, with a convenient pick-up reminder e-mail.
So I’ve started Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Bradley, which I am liking well-enough but I am not in love with. I then moved on to surfing KidLit blogs and find an old Mother Reader post that completely grabbed my attention.
“This is a new one for me. I read the first chapter of this book online, switched to Amazon, and ordered it immediately.”
I love the Kindle/Amazon feature that allows you to read the first chapter free! I currently have 43 free first chapters on the Kindle app on my iphone. I’ve read 17 of those first chapters, sometimes several in one sitting until I find something that grabs me. I keep the sample chapter if I think I might read later, kind of like a visual list, delete those that don’t grab me. It allows me try out books that I wouldn’t normally come across such as nonfiction books, business psychology books, as well as new Children’s and Young Adult books that other bloggers mention.
Mother Reader provides a link to the first chapter of The Only Ones by Aaron Stramer that is currently online and I will tell you that it grabbed me in a way that I want all Newbery contenders to be able to do. I think I’m wrapping this up to head to the library to check out their copy!
It’s That Time of Year January 3, 2012
It’s the time of year when I try to read every book that is getting serious Newbery buzz and/or Cybil finalists that I haven’t read already. So far, I’ve read The Mostly True Story of Jack by Kelly Barnhill and Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. I LOVED, LOVED Wonderstruck and REALLY LIKED The Mostly True Story of Jack. I’ve been following some of the blog conversations about whether Wonderstruck can be considered for a Newbery or not. I’m not going to get too worked up about it one or the other, but if the decision is made that Wonderstruck can be a contender, it is pretty darn brilliant. Once again, Selznick knocks it out of the park. I even loved reading the Afterword where he discusses his research process!
The Mostly True Story of Jack is also a really great story. I can imagine it as a great read-aloud or having students who have been really into all the “new” fairy tale shows be enthralled.
I’ve read Okay for Now (loved it-screamed Newbery at me as soon as I started reading it), Small Persons with Wings (disappointed), Inside Out and Back Again (loved it),
Up next: Jefferson’s Sons by Kimberly Bradley (this one just hit my radar this weekend) , The Trouble with May Amelia, A Monster Calls, Breadcrumbs, and Lunch-Box Dream, not necessarily in this order.
2011 in review January 1, 2012
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 38,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.