Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Newbery Fever - It's going around!

I've haven't even read all the great books from winter and spring, and here those pesky publishers are bombarding us with whole shelf-loads of tantalizing offerings. If I want to have any chance of predicting the Newbery winners, I'd better take a speed-reading course.

To see some thoughts on keeping up with and contributing to Newbery buzz, please see my post in the ALSC Blog - I'm a blogger there now!

I'm very curious to know what folks think of Anita Silvey's article in School Library Journal about the relevance of recent Newbery winners. It seems to me that a bunch of rather crabby, disgruntled librarians were interviewed. Call me a Fan-Girl, but the announcement of the Newbery is the highlight of the year for me, and I am always giddy about the winner - either because one of my faves gets the award or because I haven't read the book and can't wait to get my hands on it. I was happy with all those choices mentioned so dismissively in the article.

This should engender some very lively discussion, however, and that's always a good thing.



  1. I often like the Honor books as much or more than the winners. Taken as a group, I think they are good representatives of a year's best books.

  2. I was struck by the fact that all of the sources that Silvey cited as being critics of recent Newbery picks were anonymous. This would be considered unacceptable reporting, and it seems a little questionable even for an opinion piece.

    BTW, I share Martha's observation that the winner and the honor books together constitute an excellent sample of the best in American publishing for children.

    The one change I would like to see is in the terms of the Newbery award itself; I would like to see the upper age lowered from 14 to 12. Almost no 13- and 14-year-olds are reading "children's" books any longer, and my observation is that most children's collections serve a younger population.

  3. Yes, thank goodness for the honor books - even if I haven't read the Newbery yet, at least I've probably read at least one of the honors.

    Hear hear for the idea (long overdue!) of lowering the Newbery upper age from 14 to 12.