Monday, January 18, 2010

An SF book wins the Big One!

ALA announced its youth literary awards today and I am so pleased that Rebecca Stead's When You Reach Me won the Newbery! In my review, I praised both her treatment of time-travel and her quirky writing style. That this is a work of innovative science fiction is icing on the cake.

I read three of the four Newbery Honor books (rats, I suspected Hoose's Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice was going to win something but I hadn't gotten to it yet) and am especially happy to see Lin's Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (my review) and Kelly's The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (my review). In my review of Philbrick's The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, I compared it to works by Mark Twain and Sid Fleischman in the way it effectively uses an all-American style of folksy humor as a counterpoint to deathly serious subjects like slavery and war.

In other award news, three cheers for Caldecott winner The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney, which was a front-runner in all the mock Caldecotts and deservedly so. That Vaunda Nelson's Bad News for Outlaws won the Coretta Scott King Author award probably made me happily yip the loudest this morning (here's my rave review), and thankfully I have not only read the Printz winner - Libba Bray's Going Bovine (my review) - but one of the honors as well - John Barnes' Tales of the Madman Underground, for which I wrote a glowing Goodreads review.

As always, the youth awards have shown me the gaps in my reading - this year, I'll be playing catch-up with most of the Printz honors and many of the Belpre winners, including Julia Alvarez's Return to Sender, and Sibert winners, especially Tanya Lee Stone's Almost Astronauts (nonfiction is NOT my strong point - I suppose I've just added to my growing list of New Year's Resolutions. Read more nonfiction!).

Ah! This is a lovely way to start this rainy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Congratulations to all the winners!


  1. I must read more non-fiction, too. And I'm actually going to have to break out and read an old Newbery title this year to keep up with my "at-least-one-a-year" goal...