Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What awards just happened?

This is the first year that I had NO idea that ALA was happening. Here are a few morsels of honesty.

1) I haven’t looked at a kids’ book all year
2) I haven’t thought about reading a kids’ book all year
3) I don’t miss kids’ books

I know, it’s a terrible thing to say. In past years I was aware of every book that won an award. I’d get all worked up about the choices, thinking I could pick much better ones, etc. Now I don’t care. The books that are picked for the awards usually aren’t the most kid-friendly choices. Perhaps this is partially why I’ve stopped caring. The choices for the awards are sometimes obscure, boring, badly illustrated, and so on. So shoot me, I’ve said it.

I got my first book offer after moving to NYC. I think I was 22. That was a long time ago! Yikes! Perhaps I’m just burnt out. Unfortunately in this business, without someone to support you, there’s no vacation from the books. I probably need one. Perhaps by not looking at a children’s book for the whole year I’ve attempted to give myself one. Maybe next… er… this year I’ll get back on the saddle.

8 comments:

christine tripp said...

You sound like me when I go on about the Oscars. Well good on you for saying it, yes, it had to be said, I'll not shoot:)

Anna Alter said...

I have to agree with you about Hugo Cabret, its interesting conceptually and all, but just not that kid friendly. At least, when I was a kid I wouldn't have picked it up. Its hard to care about awards when there are so many politics involved, the same authors get picked all the time, and they don't seem to really be about what kids like.

laurasalas said...

This is the first year in many years that I've heard of, read, and loved the Newbery book *before* it was announced! I think kids will love this book, especially if they get to act out these monologues.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't happen every year, but this year I felt almost all the awards were extremely well chosen. As for Hugo Cabret, I have three children in middle school. They and all their friends love this book!

Anna Alter said...

Thats good to hear, I'm glad kids like Hugo! My thoughts are that the format, length, and pacing could be intimidating or frustrating to many readers- I couldn't really get through it myself. But then again its always hard for an adult to know what a kid would like.

Elaine Magliaro said...

Like Laura, I served on the Cybils poetry-nominating panel. GOOD MASTERS! SWEET LADIES!, the 2008 Newbery Medalist, was one of my top nominations for a Cybils, too. Is it a book kids would pick off a library bookshelf? Probably not...but I can certainly see how a teacher or librarian could turn children on to this book and how it could be used to help that era of history come alive for students. The book is a mix of factual information and poetic monologues that could be performed by children.

Anonymous said...

I know of Hugo but never read it. As I'd said--this was the year I took a vacation from books! Maybe I'll go look at it. I noticed Willems won again. What do you guys think of that?

meghan

Wendie O said...

Meghan, The Easy reader series Mo Willems is doing with his elephant and pig, etc. are great stories. (I'm afraid I can't say the same about his pigeon books -- but I may be in the minority here.) These early readers are funny and engaging -- just right for new readers. And the humor comes out in the illustrations as well.

As for the Newbery, it was written by a school librarian in a private school here in Baltimore. She had used those monologues with class after class, and improved them each time, which is why they work so well.

(I tried, but I couldn't finish Hugo, either.) -wendieO