Nina and I will be posting through the end of January–just one more week–before Heavy Medal goes on hiatus for the spring and summer.
If you missed the ALA webcast of the announcements then you can still view it. You can also catch the winners on the Today Show if you missed that, too. And be sure to read about how Rebecca Stead, Jerry Pinkney, and Grace Lin responded to their Monday morning phone calls. Finally, if your pet book got robbed and didn’t make the grade for an ALA award or list, then bookseller extraordinaire Elizabeth Bluemle is working on a comprehensive list of ALA awards and other notable awards and honors.
While Nina has been defending the choice of ALMOST ASTRONAUTS, Kelly and I have been discussing the honor books in the comments to the previous thread, specifically how it is that short texts like MOONSHOT and THE DAY GLO-BROTHERS can beat out longer texts such as WRITTEN IN BONE, THE GREAT AND ONLY BARNUM, TRUCE, and MARCHING FOR FREEDOM. I also wonder how BAD NEWS FOR OUTLAWS can beat out THE ROCK AND THE RIVER and MARE’S WAR for the CSK Author Award. In the various picture book threads on HOOK, THE DUNDERHEADS, MOONSHOT, and ONCE UPON A TWICE, many of us wondered how a short text could compete with a much longer one for Newbery consideration, yet these two committees have shown us that it is indeed possible. Sibert and CSK members cannot discuss committee deliberations, of course, but oh how I wish that they could tell us how, in their own personal opinion, they esteemed one of these shorter texts more highly than their longer counterparts.
Not surprisingly, my students were very pleased with the Newbery Medal and Honor books, and many of them are making efforts to read all of them now. But we are already looking ahead to next year’s books, and so I begin again the task of making a list of 2011 Newbery contenders, beginning with the usual suspects: buzz books and Newbery alumni.
ALCHEMY AND MEGGY SWANN by Karen Cushman
THE BIRTHDAY BALL by Lois Lowry
THEY CALLED THEMSELVES THE KKK by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
A CONSPIRACY OF KINGS by Megan Whalen Turner
THE DREAMER by Pam Munoz Ryan
THE FIREFLY LETTERS by Margarita Engle
THE NIGHT FAIRY by Laura Amy Schlitz
ONE CRAZY SUMMER by Rita Williams-Garcia
SIR CHARLIE CHAPLIN by Sid Fleischman
UBIQUITOUS by Joyce Sidman
THE WAR TO END ALL WARS by Russell Freedman