Posts Tagged ‘Newbery Medal’

I promised you the books I wish had gotten some attention from the ALA Youth Media Awards, didn’t I? Bob’s yer uncle, I did! Here they are, in no particular order, other than the order in which they occured to me:

thearrival.jpgThe Arrival by Shaun Tan

It ain’t American, so therefore disqualified from the Caldecott runnings, but what a pity the Printz committee didn’t pay more attention to what is obviously the best book for young readers of 2007. You may say the intended audience is too young, but then remember — the scene with the village destroyed by war. The girl trapped in the incinerator mines! The DRAGONS! The FREAKING DRAGONS! Yeah, that could make it YA.

missspitfire.jpgMiss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller

Huh. I’d have thought this was a shoo-in, given how the Newbery committees of yore tend to love their girly historical fiction. And this lil’ beaut has a strong girly protagonist, gorgeous writing comin’ out the yin-yang, and a Doll that is used as a Symbol. But the committee was apparently goin’ against the grain this year.


At Night by Jonathan Bean, or possibly The Apple Pie That Papa Baked, by Laruen Thompson and illustrated by Jonathan Bean. Bean Something.

I’ve noticed that the Caldecott committee frequently likes to give an honor to quiet little books (Barbara Lehman, anyone?), so I thought that At Night certainly had a chance. The committee also likes gorgeousapplepiethatpapabaked.jpg retellings of traditional-style rhymes and folklore (too many to mention), so I thought The Apple Pie That Papa Baked might stand a chance, as well. Alas, both of these gorgeous numbers were outshone by . . . Knuffle Bunny Too. Which is a fine book in many ways, but . . . alas.

red-shoe.jpgThe Red Shoe by Ursula Dubosarsky

Somehow, the Printz committee chose to honor Australian YA fiction with One Whole and Perfect Day, and not this book OR The Arrival. Not that I have anything against One Whole and Perfect Day, but it just seems to pale in comparison to Dubosarsky’s little gem. It haunts you. The kids are so real! The setting is so well realized! The plot starts slow, but tightens up quickly. When I started reading it, I didn’t think it would be something I’d enjoy, but that was six months ago, and I still can’t get it out of my mind.

The Chicken Chasing Queen of Lamar County by Janice N. Harrington, illustrated by Shelley Jackson

What?!? It wasn’t even recognized by the Coretta Scott King Award! WHAT the HECK happened?!? This was one of the best-written picture books of 2007. How good is it? Rarely a morning routine goes by without the phrase “I brushed my teeth white as a biscuit” floating through my head. Really. And the illustrations — oh, they are gorgeous, well-designed, memorable. Oooh, it hurts that this one got looked over. But perhaps the Charlotte Zolotow Award can make amends. One can only hope.

Read Full Post »