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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Instantaneous Quick Thoughts as the Awards are Granted (like Twitter but less clear)

I’m just watching this on the live webcast right now.  So these aren’t very clear thoughts, but they’re fun to type out as the awards are given out.

Schneider Family Book Award Thoughts – See?  Didn’t I tell you that Waiting for Normal was designed so that big awards would fit nicely on the cover?

Coretta Scott King Award Thoughts – Bird got the John Steptoe Award? Whoop!  Go go go!
We Are the Ship only got an honor?  Woah.
YESSSSSSSS!  Qualls! Qualls!  Qualls!
Has Floyd Cooper ever won a Coretta Scott King Award before?  Can’t remember.
Lots of The Blacker the Berry Love.
Good on Becoming Billie Holiday!
Ahhhh.  We Are the Ship won the author award.  See?  I knew it was as well written as it was illustrated.

Odyssey Award Thoughts – I believe this to be the most difficult award to be on the committee of.  That’s just me, though.
Poor Elijah of Buxton.  Just not enough room on that cover for all those awards.

Margaret A. Edwards Award Thoughts – Laurie Halse Anderson!  With any luck this won’t be the last we hear of her name today.

William C. Morris Thoughts – Whew!  Got that Curse Dark as Gold review in just in time. 

Printz Award Thoughts – Yay, Frankie Banks!  Should have won the award straight out, though.  Yay, NationJellicoe Road?  That’s a surprise, yes?

Pura Belpre Award Thoughts – Ah!  They are this year.  Excellent.  Ah. I always meant to review Papa and Me.  Never got around to it.  Yay, Storyteller’s Candle!  Not familiar with the Cordova.  Yay, Yuyi Morales!  Winner winner winner!

Poor presenter.  He seems a bit ruffled.

Yuyi again.  Storyteller’s Candle again.  Ah!  Margarita Engle!  Very good choice for the author award.  Did she get one for her previous novel?  I can’t recall.

May Hill Arbuthnot Award Thoughts – Yay K.T. Horning!  Have you noticed that half my thoughts consist of the word "yay" in some way?  I don’t suppose I can write "Boo" if I don’t like a choice, can I?

Shoot.  My class is here.  No more thoughts for me.  I’ll never know the winners now!  Pity me.  
For instant Twitter updates, check this link regularly.

This person appears to have all the winners.  Oh my!  How wrong I was (again). too! 

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. Elizabeth, can you be more specific with the results as you get them…The webcast is not working in my classroom (twitter and facebook are of course blocked) and my students are dying to know what happends. (we were planning on watching it all on the interactive board, but the unikron site just shows a black screen in the media player.

  2. Eric–Did you try refreshing the screen? The same thing happened for me but when I refreshed I could see and hear the video.

  3. Andrea V. says:

    After getting a million tweets since last night, the ALAYMA twitter feed stopped right before Caldecott and Newbery. We all sat there in silence for five minutes wondering what was happening. Boo.

  4. Can someone please post more results.

  5. Follow my final link in the post to someone’s complete winners.

  6. Jenn Bertman says:

    Hi Eric, Don’t know if you got them elsewhere already, but I believe these are the final results of Prints/Newbery/Caldecott:

    Newbery Award:
    The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

    Honor books:
    The Underneath, by Kathi Appelt
    Savvy, by Ingrid Law
    After Tupac and D Foster, by Jacqueline Woodson
    Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle

    The Printz Award:
    Jellicoe Road by Marlene Marchetta

    2009 Honor Books:
    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
    The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
    Nation by Terry Pratchett
    Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

    2009 Caldecott Award Winner:
    The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson and Beth Krommes

    2009 Caldecott Honor Books:
    A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee
    River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet
    How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz

  7. a Teacher says:

    The Graveyard Book? Seriously? What an incredible day!!!

  8. yippee for The House in the Night!

  9. I am so excited that The Graveyard Book won!! Yay Neil Gaiman!! I’ve already the book twice, but I’m totally reading it again now.

  10. Dan Santat says:

    Qualls! Qualls! Qualls! AND a big congrats to Beth Krommes for the Caldecott and Marla Frazee for an honor! WOOT!

  11. Disappointing. I’m a huge fan of Gaiman, but each chapter of “Graveyard” seems like a short story in itself, well written and no doubt imaginative, but in the context of a novel, only loosely connected to the chapters before and after it. There is little character development, nearly zero build to a climax. Characters are introduced and adventures are had, never to been seen or talked about again. The ending was beautiful, but its too little, too late: a truly unique concept that fails in reaching it’s full potential. Where oh where is “Chains” on this list. [close]

  12. Yep. There were a couple shockers for me. No “Chains” and no “Wabi Sabi”. But that’s what I love about these awards. You just never know what they’re going to do next. And to see “Graveyard” and Frazee getting so much love is an absolute thrill.

  13. I’d say, finally, it looks like the committee went for more of a “kid-friendly” list. The Graveyard Book, The Underneath, and Savvy, all VERY popular as well as critically acclaimed. In my opinion, WAY TO GO!!! I love the list.

  14. And about Chains . . . I checked it out from the local library and couldn’t finish it. I don’t know too many kids 5-7 grade kiddos, that would find it as good of a read as some of the adult reviews I’ve read.

  15. Oh man. That poor Newbery Award committee. Now every time they say what committee they served on someone will accuse them of reading and listening to all those “Has the Newbery Lost Its Way” articles and making their choices accordingly. Which, quite frankly, I am certain they didn’t do. Still . . . they’re in for a world of defensiveness now. Poor pookies.

  16. James Dashner says:

    I’m so pumped about Gaiman’s win.

    But no HUNGER GAMES for the Printz? Where’s the love?

  17. Do you really think it’ll be an issue? Personally, why NOT balance child popularity with critical acclaim when deciding this award? Not saying this particular committee did or was influenced in any way . . . just askin’.

  18. The Newbery rules specifically stipulate that a winner is based on literary merit, not on brief, sparkling, fading popularity. Not that the two are incongruous. The Cybil Awards will provide popular choices if that is what you seek. Though I do wonder if the Cybils committee for middle grade fiction will have to actively prevent themselves from replicating the Newbery this year. It has never been an issue before!

  19. But “literary merit” is a pretty ambiguous term. I’m not picking a fight (knowing you’ve served on the committee before Fuse!), just saying that it’s hard to deny that the last few winners of the award have been pretty difficult to put in the hands of children readers. Librarians across the country should have NO problem with this year’s winner though!

  20. And you said Savvy couldn’t win! :-p
    I jumped out of my seat when they announced that one.

  21. I did. Color me entirely surprised. I’m glad it did, since I was a fan of the book, but I remain very surprised that it did as well as all that. Who knew?

  22. I noted that BYU kidlit prof Michael Tunnell is on the Newbery committee this year, and therefore the winners come as no surprise to me … these are EXACTLY the kind of books he’d pick. I was jumping up and down about The Graveyard Book; it was hands-down my favorite middle-grade novel of 2008.
    As for the Printz — isn’t Jellicoe Road also one of the Cybils finalists? Is this the first time that a Cybils finalist has been given an ALA big-time award? I wonder if that will sway or influence the Cybils judging committee in any way, even perhaps subconciously.

  23. Stephanie Ford says:

    Not only is Jellicoe Road a YA Cybils finalist, so is Frankie Banks. I’m a huge Jellicoe Road fan, but I forgot that the Printz can go to books from authors in another country, and since it’s Australian, I didn’t think it had a chance. So happy to see it win!

    I actually am surprised that those were the winners with Michael Tunnel on the committee because he just stated this month in an article that his favorites from 2008 include Masterpiece, by Elise Broach; Climbing the Stairs, by Padma Venkatraman; When the Sergeant Came Marching home, by Don Lemna; and The Willowbys. by Lois Lowry. I guess it goes to show it’s not up to one person.

    And by-the-way, since when do Newbery judges publically announce their favorites? I’ve never seen that happen before. The article was published last week.

  24. A committee member can, at any time, state their own personal opinion. But as you can see, that has little bearing on the committee as a whole.

  25. SARAH OHOLLA says:

    Did anyone else think Gaiman was British and therefore ineligible? We did at our school, which is why we left him off our Mock Newbery list. Still glad he won though!

  26. Look at this quote from the Washington Post: “The English novelist, graphic novelist and screenwriter now lives in Minnesota, apparently making him eligible — unlike, say, J.K. Rowling — for the American Library Association-sponsored Newbery Medal.” Notice the use of the word “apparently”? Is this author biased a tad, or innocent? Looks like they definitely make note of him being British, however he does reside in Minneapolis. The Minneapolis Star Tribune has a big article on him today as well.

  27. Yes, as a resident he is indeed eligible. More to the question was the fact that a chapter of the book had already been printed elsewhere. However, its eligibility was up to the discretion of the committee head, and they look as if they were willing to waive the potential problem.

  28. Remember those “Mock Roundup” spreadsheets folks filled in over at………I wanted to see how a large sampling of folks would do at predicting.
    The Mock Caldecott lists did the best at predicting award winners. Nine of the top 15 titles (by number of mock mentions) won 12 major awards- including my own shiny silver Zolotow Honor for “In a Blue Room.” AND Top Roundup vote getter “A House in the Night” took the Caldecott Medal.

    The Mock Newbery Roundup didn’t do as well. Of the top 15, only 4 title took a total of 5 awards.

    We didn’t have much participation in the Mock Printz roundup. I guess because the award is newish, or maybe because it is for older readers? In any case, all four Printz Honor winners were on the roundup, but the winner, Jellicoe Road, was nowhere to be seen.

    I guess there are still more awards to come – Notables, SCBWI’s Golden Kite and some of the “People’s Choice” type awards. I’ll be interested to see how all the books on the roundups do in the end, when all the gold and silver has fallen.

  29. I suppose I made my previous comment re: Michael Tunnell because Savvy was included in BYU’s “Spotlight on Books” presentation made each summer as part of the Books for Young Readers conference. (The House in the Night was featured there, too). But here’s a question for ya: has anybody out there actually read The Surrender Tree? I hadn’t even HEARD of it except on CCBC’s preliminary “Choices” list. My local (big, urban, and usually extensive) library doesn’t even have a copy, and it kinda sticks out in a group of novels with broader appeal. Not that I’m complaining; I’m very happy to see an Honor go to a book of poetry. Just part of my eternal desire to be a fly on the wall during the committee discussions . . .

  30. Ah, “Surrender Tree”. I think I owe Tim Jones an apology on this one. He sent me two copies of this earlier in the year, but I pooh-poohed them as YA. Probably because Engle’s previous book “The Poet Slave of Cuba” was sooooooo teen. My bad. I’ll be reading this one next, once I get a chance. Good on Henry Holt, though. Glad to see them getting some love, particularly when “Masterpiece” didn’t pull through like they might have hoped.