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

Fusenews: Bets lists towards best book lists

The best books lists are abundant and here!  So very exciting, yes?  I do love this time of year, and so it makes sense to begin with the cream of the crop.  I refer, of course, to NYPL’s 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2012.  Split into seven different categories (Picture Books, Folk and Fairy Tales, Poetry and Song, Stories for Younger Readers, Stories for Older Readers, Graphic Books, and Nonfiction) the list has been around for precisely 101 years and is decided by the NYPL children’s librarians who go above and beyond the call of duty in reading EVERYTHING they can get their hands on.  Seriously, those folks are the best.  I tip my hat to them.

  • In other best books areas, over at Tablet we have the best kids books of 2012 containing Jewish themes and characters.  How Marjorie Ingalls finds them all I do not know, but she is meticulous!  I thought I’d seen everything but there were definitely a couple titles in there that flew under my radar (Sons of the 613, anyone?).  Horn Book also came up with their Fanfare Books of 2012, and I was very very pleased to see Jimmy the Greatest on there.  Woot!  PW separated their top children’s books into the categories of Picture Books, Children’s Fiction (YA is sorta just crammed in there), and Nonfiction (only four titles?!?).  Finally there was the Notable Children’s Books of 2012 list by the New York Times which has some truly eclectic ideas.
  • By the way, if you want to see other best children’s book lists in this vein, there’s a Pinterest page of them up and running.
  • I don’t usually do this but once in a while you meet a new or upcoming author who just catches your attention fully.  I met a 6th grade schoolteacher in town the other day by the name of Torrey Maldonado.  Torrey’s the author of the YA novel The Secret Saturdays.  Knowing he worked in a public school I asked what he knew about Common Core.  Quite a lot, it seems, since he created an entire page on his website dedicated to the Core and how to teach his book using it.  To top it off, I’ve gotta say that I haven’t met an author with the sheer levels of enthusiasm and charm of Mr. Maldonado in a long time.  Keep your eye on this fellow.  I predict big things.
  • Newsflash: Young Latinos don’t see themselves in books.  Duh.  Duh duh duh duh duh.  It’s a really weird fact, and absolutely true.  You go out there and find me an early chapter book series starring a Latino girl and I will give you a cookie.  Go on.  I’m waiting.  I’ve got all day.
  • Okay. Now I’m officially depressed.  I was sorting through some books earlier today and I discovered the most recent “Amelia Rules” by Jimmy Gownley called Her Permanent Record.  I own all of the Amelia Rules books except this one so I was pleased to down it during my lunch break.  Then I went online just now to see when the next book in the series will be out . . . only to find that that was the LAST ONE.  Hunhuna?  Now that is depressing.  I’ve deeply enjoyed this series for years and years now, and to think that it’s over fills me with a kind of strange dread.  Gownley hasn’t entirely ruled out the possibility of more Amelias in the future . . . . but still, man.  It’s kinda hard to take.
  • Look me in the eye.  Now tell me this amazing new invention will not now appear in hundreds of middle grade spy/mystery novels.  A pity you can’t get them in time for Christmas.
  • Friend and YA author Daphne Benedis-Grab writes an excellent article over at She Knows about raising a girl in a day and age where beauty standards have never been more impossible to attain.  It’s called Raising a girl to be more than a pretty face.  Testify!
  • PW Children’s Bookshelf linked to some pretty thought provoking articles this week.  My favorite: Leonard Marcus at Horn Book talking about book jackets . . . for picture books!
  • In other news, PW did a very strange bit of reporting.  It mentioned the recent 90-Second Newbery at Symphony Space, which was a packed house and a big success.  However, there is a VERY odd lack of any mention about the organizer, YA author James Kennedy.  Read the piece and you’ll have the distinct impression that it happened spontaneously and without his back-breaking work.  Reporting fail, PW my dear.
  • I got the following message from Jane Curley of the Eric Carle Museum and I am passing it on because it sound bloody blooming amazing: “I’m giving a talk for the Victorian Society on 19th century British picture books. It’s on Tuesday, December 11 at 6PM at the Dominican Academy, 44 East 68th St.It’s free, no reservations required, and I’ll be showing some gorgeous pictures! The link is below. Cheers, Jane“.
  • Daily Image:

I ran about the internet trying to find the perfect thing for today’s post but in the end I had to come back to the washable keyboard.  The perfect gift for your favorite hypochondriac this holiday season.

Thanks due to AL Direct for the link.

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. Elle Librarian says

    Thanks for this! I loooooove this time of year! Are you still going to do a Golden Fuse Award list this year, too? 🙂

    • Elizabeth Bird says

      Aw, shucks. You guys are sweet. You know, I hate to say it but I may retire the old Golden Fuse. The thing is, Travis Jonker does something similar at the end of the year and he kind of does it better than I do. But I’ll do my 100 Marvelous Books of 2012, you betcha. That’s coming soon.

  2. Honestly, what would I read – next – without you?

  3. Yes, I agree, Torrey Maldonado is tops! Those of you who have met this energetic teacher and gifted writer know of what Betsy speaks. The few times I’ve met Torrey, he makes me feel like I’m ten feet tall and that anything is possible. I just feel lucky to have met this rising star on his way up. Those of you who haven’t read “Secret Saturdays” should! Torrey’s the real deal.

    And aw, thanks for pointing out PW’s little slip about the 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. I got some inside dope that it was an innocent error, and not a vast publishing-world conspiracy against me, which is the conclusion to which my easily-wounded vanity always leaps. Coverage of Chicago’s 90-Second Newbery in February will be more complete, I think.

    With that out of the way, now my nearly galactic sense of entitlement is given full free rein to dwell on why I wasn’t included in the “Dudes of YA Lit-Erotic Photo Spread.” My mother has always told me that I’m very handsome when I comb my hair!

  4. Oh my, happily pinning away, thanks for the tips!


  1. […] a look at some of the “Best of 2012″ book lists, follow these links to: School Library Journal, Booklist, or the New York […]