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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Golden Fuse Awards – 2007

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:


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


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.

RUNNER-UP: A Friendship For Today by Patricia McKissack.  You can see
the full recap of the before and after aspects of this cover on my review of the


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.
Ah well.

Best Spine of the Year
WINNER: The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick.

RUNNER-UP: Evil Genius by Catherine Jinks

Worst Spine of the Year

WINNER: The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt

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

Best Readaloud
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.

Shouldn’t have been imprisoned in the first place – The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff by Jason Lethcoe.

Best Boy Names
WINNER: Holling Hoodhood from The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

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.

Best Fantasy Trend:
WINNER:  Evil People Wear Monocles – As in May Bird: Warrior Princess and Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians.

RUNNER-UP: Ancient Celtic Heroes – As in The Hound of Rowan and The New Policeman.

Other Trends:
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.

RUNNER-UP: Math as in The Lemonade War, The Puzzling World of Winston Breen, Evil Genius, and Do the Math: Secrets, Lies, and Algebra.

Best Couple
Winner: Jessie and Evan from The Lemonade War.
Runner-Up: David and Primrose from Eggs.

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.

Weirdest Cameos
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.

Best Villains
Starcross by Philip Reeve – If only because they tap into my own fears of hats.

Best Mystery
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.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Judy Freeman says:

    About your Best Cover Award, How to Steal a Dog: I give that one a 4-in-one award–best cover, title, first line, and first page. Booktalk this book and watch kids and grownups lunge for it.