It’s the happiest time of the year! We started the Golden Fuse Awards last year and I see no reason not to do ’em again!
So here they be. Awards that no one else will be giving out:
BEST COVER OF THE YEAR
THE WINNER: How to Steal a Dog by Barbara O’Connor – A fine book
but a particularly strong cover. Good color scheme, title, and image. Full
credit to jacket designer Barbara Grzeslo.
RUNNER-UP: The Garden of Eve by K.L. Going – I wasn’t particularly
fond of the book itself, but there’s no denying the beauty of the cover. The
color scheme, grave, and action taken by the girl all serve to make this a
MOST UNFORTUNATE COVERS OF THE YEAR
WINNER: Ferret Island by Richard W. Jennings – One of the themes in book
jackets this year seemed to be, “If you have something cool inside your book,
WHATEVER YOU DO don’t put it on your cover!” So for a story about
gigantic man-eating ferrets? We give you an idyllic river scene. You know
what kids love? Faux Impressionism. Really makes ’em want to read a book.
MOST MISLEADING COVER
WINNER: Rex Zero and the End of the World by Tim Wynne-Jones.
I love the drama, but there’s no denying the lack of octopi in this
puppy. I’m a literal beastie, and I expected at least one blue tentacle.
Best Spine of the Year
WINNER: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.
Best Back Cover
WINNER: I’ll Ask You Three Times, Are You OK? by Naomi Shihab Nye
Most Beautiful Cover (Under the Book Jacket)
WINNER: The Apple Pie that Papa Baked by Lauren Thompson, illustrated by Jonathan Bean.
Best Endpapers: Picture Book
WINNER: A Closer Look by Mary McCarthy
Best Endpapers: Chapter Book
WINNER: The Night Tourist by Katherine Marsh
RUNNER-UP: Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks
Best Adapted Logo by a Publisher
WINNER: No Castles Here by A.C.E. Bauer
RUNNER-UP: Scribble by Deborah Freedman
WINNER: The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington
RUNNER-UP: Mokie and Bik by Wendy Orr
RUNNER-UP: Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! by Laura Amy Schlitz
RUNNER-UP: Grumpy Bird by Jeremy Tankard
RUNNER-UP: What Will Fat Cat Sit On? by Jan Thomas
Best Book to Booktalk
WINNER: Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
Best First Lines
WINNER: “In the history of the world there have been lots of onces and lots of times, and every time has had a once upon it.” – Leepike Ridge by N.D. Wilson
RUNNER-UP: “Of all the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High, there was one kid that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun. Me.” – The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt.
Rules Regarding Genies
Let ‘em out – Genies, Meanies, and Magic Rings by Stephen Mitchell.
No! Wait! Don’t! – The Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor.
RUNNER-UP: Boom Broom from To Catch a Mermaid by Suzanne Selfors
Best Fake, Almost English, Language
Example: “Former or freshe, master of the box you are. You fanger=grase the compassi, et you must kendle our intentions. Wake the old daughter of the second sire. We will not live for less. Do this et feel your freedoms breathe. Fail, et our order will sophistry in strength. See, the blud=eagle is no hen.” – 100 Cupboards by N.D. Wilson
Worst Guardians of the Year
WINNER: Mr. and Mrs. Fitch in The Black Book of Secrets by F.E. Higgins. I’m not entirely certain where the bar should be set for bad parenting, but attempting to sell off your only son’s teeth while he’s still awake and kicking has got to be up there.
RUNNER-UP: Joey Pigza’s mother in I Am Not Joey Pigza. Example: After getting a baby monitor for her upcoming child she says, “Do you think I can get reception at the mall?… It would be super great if I could see when he wakes up and then run home.”
RUNNER-UP: Aunt Valentina in Celeste’s Harlem Rennaisance. Hello, emotional blackmail! Maybe Valentina isn’t as obvious as Mrs. Pigza or the Fitches, but her particular brand of jealousy alongside her use of child labor makes her a particularly deadly person to end up with.
Best Representation of a Librarian
Mrs. Marlowe in Mrs. Marlowe’s Mice by Frank Asch
Weirdest Trend: Skin Tearing Open a Mouth (ew)
EXAMPLE 1: What the Gorgship (made out of Gorg skin) does when it eats planets in The True Meaning of Smekday.
EXAMPLE 2: What a particularly nasty demon does in Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer.
WINNER: Circus Strongmen and Men With Muscles – As in Louis Cyr and the Charles Atlas bios. Not to mention the re-released Hilary Knight book The Circus is Coming and, for that matter, Ginger Bear.
Strongest 2007 Authorial/Illustrating Debut
Jonathan Bean – He did some covers in 2005 and 2006, but I feel that he really make a breakout in 2007 by working on 4+ books which were all amazingly strong.
WINNER: David Blaine makes an appearance in Thora and the Green Sea-Unicorn by Gillian Johnson. Page 24 – “She had the driver stop as they drove by the South Bank so she could get a good look at a shirtless, bearded man sitting aloft in a glass aquarium. It was a distressing sight that reminded her of the filthy old aquarium Frooty de Mare had used to hold Halla captive. ‘What is he? A merman?’ she asked a boy in the crowd. ‘No, ‘e’s an illusionist,’ said the boy. ‘Bin livin’ up there for twenty-two days.’ ‘How does he go to the toilet?’ ‘I dunno,’ said the boy.
RUNNER-UP: There is the Rupert Murdock-like heir in Vendetta by Chris Humphreys. The son of an Australian telecommunications giant.
RUNNER-UP: Monk appears on the TV in A Crooked Kind of Perfect.
Starcross by Philip Reeve – If only because they tap into my own fears of hats.
WINNER: The Puzzling World of Winston Breen by Eric Berlin
RUNNER-UP: The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart
Best “Below the Radar” Picture Book
WINNER: Scribble by Deborah Freedman
RUNNER-UP: The Zoo by Suzy Lee
RUNNER-UP: Fred Stays with Me by Nancy Coffelt
Best “Below the Radar” Chapter Book
Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer by Laini Taylor
Because I like to end with the best.