Follow This Blog: RSS feed
A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Golden Fuse Awards – 2010

It’s that time of year again!  Looking back, I see that I’ve consistently been doing Golden Fuse Awards for a good number of years now.  Past selections appeared in 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009.  Now we turn to 2010, a strange little wildcard year.  For a great encapsulation on other blogs, be sure to check out the Seven Impossible Things round-up as well.

And now, on with the show:

Best Cover of 2010

Regardless of your opinion of the book itself, you have to admit that this is a truly smashing jacket.  It hints at all kinds of mysteries.  The cat’s multiple toes.  The person in the tree.  Plus it’s impossible to think of the kids in the book any other way after looking at this.  It’s really captured their personalities right off the bat.  Amazing.  Somebody please be so kind as to thank the artist for me.

Saddest ARC to Final Cover Switcheroo

From this:

To this:

It’s purely personal, but I was quite fond of the first cover and it broke my heart to see the second.  We’re dealing with a kid who’s prickly and smart all at once in a historical novel.  Cover #2 implies a girly loosey-goosey beach tale, probably involving a romance with a boy.  Cover #1 captured the book.  Cover #2 feels like an Olive’s Ocean redux.  Pass.

Best Readaloud Book to Preschoolers
Jump by Scott Fischer

Best Readaloud Book for Older Kids
I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins

A Pig Parade is a Terrible Idea by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Most Mysterious Blogger Disappearance
The complete and utter vanishing of Editorial Anonymous.  Where did she go?  Did somebody “out” her? It was a mystery until her sudden reappearance months and months later.  Whew!  That was close!

Best Villain
The devil in The Boneshaker by Kate Milford.  2010 wasn’t a great year for villains, but at least we had one that was definitely worth fighting against.  I say, if you have to have a bad guy, why not produce the ultimate one?

Strongest 2010 Illustrating Debut
Erin E. Stead for A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Strongest 2010 Middle Grade Novel Debut
A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Best Pairing
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce (big kid!) with Short: Walking Tall When You’re Not Tall at All by John Schwartz (little kid)

Best Illustrated Publication Page
Shake, Rattle and Turn That Noise Down: How Elvis Shook of Music, Me, and Mom by Mark Alan Stamaty

Best Endpapers
The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

Best Endpapers Runner-Up
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood

Endpapers I Would Most Like to See As Wallpaper for my Future Child’s Bedroom
Those found in the book Sneaky Sheep by Chris Monroe

Most Unexpected Blurb
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins is the most exciting saga about a flying pig nanny ever told.  There is a laugh on every page.  I recommend it highly.”  – Madeleine K. Albright, former U.S. Secretary of State.

Best Catchphrase
“Shoot, dang!” from The Water Seeker by Kimbery Willis Holt.

Best Catchphrase Runner-Up
“Surely is”, from One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Best Celebrity Appearance in a Children’s Book
Alan Bean in Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce

Mentions of Oprah That Never Directly Say Her Name
Archvillian by Barry Lyga
Nothing by Janne Teller.

Mentions of Oprah that Actually Say Her Name
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes.

Best Wordless Picture Book
The Boys by Jeff Newman

Best Faux Video Game Name
“Space Gizmoid” – Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg

Best Ultra-Modern Home
Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile

Best Ultra-Modern Home Runner-Up
House of Dolls by Francesca Lia Block, illustrated by Barbara McClintock

The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs Award of 2010
The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter (read both books and you’ll instantly understand why)

Tit for Tat
I may be wrong, but I believe that Mo Willem’s daughter Trixie is in Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson, just as Jacqueline’s daughter was in Knuffle Bunny 2.

Best First Line

“On the morning of his fourteenth birthday, Pepper had been awake for fully two minutes before realizing it was the day he must die.”  – The Death-Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

Best First Line Runner-Up

“Summer Goodman never knew what hit her.  That’s because it was me, and as soon as I collided with her in the hallway – scattering every one of her perfectly indexed index cards – I disappeared into the mob of kids who’d arrived to help realphabetize her life.” – Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg

Best Line

“Keeper liked sugar, but if you listened to Signe, you’d think that sugar was the same as an oil spill or something and could ruin coastlines, along with her health.” – Keeper by Kathi Appelt

Favorite Trend of the Year

Digits (or lack thereof).

Cats with too many toes on covers: Bobby the Brave (Sometimes) by Lisa Yee and The Kneebone Boy by Ellen Potter.

Losing digits voluntarily: A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz

Haunted digits that strangle you : The Boneshaker by Kate Milford

Runner-Up Favorite Trends

Reaching in people’s throats and pulling out birds
A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz and Brain Camp by Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan

Boys who command ships by faking that they are adults
Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce and The Death Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

Owning a bicycle repair shop
The Boneshaker by Kate Milford and Crunch by Leslie Connor

The untouched green park in the middle of the industrial town that harbors a secret of some sort
The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby
The Factotum by D.M. Cornish

The Power of Knitting To Save the Day
Hereville by Barry Deutsch
The Popularity Papers by Amy Ignatow

Evil Villains With Devices That Cause Pants to Fall to the Floor
Archvillian by Barry Lyga
Wiff and Dirty George by Stephen Swinburne

Sidenote : In The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger the story concerns a solution to what happens when you spill water on your pants and it looks like you peed yourself.  A brilliant solution, no less.  Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce had the same problem, but a far less elegant solution.

Girls Who Insist on Befriending the New Boy (For Reasons We Don’t Quite Understand)
Milo: Stick Notes and Brain Freeze by Alan Silberberg
How I Nicky Flynn, Finally Get a Life (and a Dog) by Art Corriveau
Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings

Climbing High on the Rigging on Ships
The Celestial Globe by Marie Rutkoski
Thunder from the Sea by Jeff Weigel
The Death-Defying Pepper Roux by Geraldine McCaughrean

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. Wonderful post Betsy! I love the Saddest Arc to Cover Switcheroo category and agree with you completely. I listened to it last week and meant to comment on the cover in my post, but lost the thought. I just added this addendum: The arc cover reminded me a bit of the original Bud, Not Buddy cover, featuring a child with luggage amidst vintage imagery. Both covers definitely set a certain tone. They also scream “historical.” I’m all for beautiful covers with kid appeal, but I also don’t like burying peas in the mashed potatoes. If the kid really, really hates peas, they are going to look twice at mashed potatoes, or not at all, for the rest of their lives. It’s a matter of trust.

    I also collect wordless books, both for myself and to beef up a little unit I have at my school. I just adored The Boys and laugh each time I flip through it. How about a runner-up for Suzy Lee’s Shadow? It has the same sense of simple wonder as her earlier book, The Wave. It also reminds me of another wordless favorite that celebrates the power of imagination, Sidewalk Circus.


    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Oh yes! Shadow should definitely be on there. Wordless beauty, that one. Thanks!

  2. I will forever be grateful that you brought MILO to my attention. IT is a secret joy I carry in my pocket.

    I’m totally with you on Erin Stead and THE BOYS.

    It’s about time knitting got the regognition it deserves.

  3. Editorial anonymous says:

    aw, thanks. i missed you, too.
    i am also a big fan of A TALE DARK AND GRIMM. Favorite new punishment for villains: snakes and boiling oil. Naturally.

  4. Great list, Betsy. You are the list queen. As far as the power of knitting goes, I don’t know if you can get Loving Richard Feynman (Penny Tangey) where you are (I recommend it) but it also has a knitting scenario. Catherine is a delightful, nerdy protagonist with a crush on the long-dead physicist of the title.

  5. I’ve seen a lot of great book jackets, but the Kneebone Boy cover grabbed me so much that I think I would have read the book regardless of what it was about or the fact that I recognized the author’s name. The illustrator’s name is Jason Chan, and here’s a link to Ellen Potter talking about the jacket art:

    Even though I agree with a lot of it, your list made me laugh–so thank you! I especially like “Reaching in people’s throats and pulling out birds” as a trend.

  6. I love your love of “Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze”. It warms my heart that such a wonderful little book has a champion with an audience. 🙂

  7. That Turtle In Paradise cover change was a crime! So sad- and on one of my favorite books of the year. I’d love to have one of those arc’s! The Night Fairy’s endpapers were indeed awesome, but my vote would have to go with Ubiquitous, which was both amazing and educational to boot. And I’d cast a vote for A Tale Dark And Grimm’s cover- I thoroughly enjoyed poring over it after reading the book and seeing how much is worked into it- in silhouette, no less.

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      Oh darn. You’re absolutely right about the Ubiquitous endpapers. Those should have rated a mention. Ah well.

  8. Fun. Fun. Thanks for such a great list!

  9. Excellent list, Betsy! You gave me an idea — I post art, sometimes with themes, on Thursdays, and endpapers would make a great theme. Thanks 🙂

  10. Love your list, Betsy.

  11. Hmm. I know this is a bit late in the game, but I’d like to nominate Heart of a Samurai for the “Climbing High in the Rigging” category. And possibly The Unsinkable Walker Bean. Sheesh, much with the sailing adventures this year, huh? Not complaining, though . . .