Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Did YOU read it?

I've been reading some of the blog posts that have come out since the announcements of the ALA Youth Media Awards, and most folks seem not to have read the Newbery winner Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool. However, there seems to be general happy bemusement at a dark horse winning - it's so much fun to be utterly surprised. I was trying to get my hands on a copy even a couple days before ALA, based on good reviews and several recommendations from librarians in the Children's Literature dept of Central Library, so hopefully there will be a copy on my chair when I get back to the office tomorrow (hint hint).

Oh, what a lovely midwinter ALA it was. My full day of YALSA institute on Friday was topped off by a lovely dinner with, among other luminaries, Joanne Rocklin, whom I invited to give a presentation to kids at the Venice Branch about 10 years or so ago. Maybe even 15 years... She lives in Oakland now and has a new book coming out with Abrams.

Saturday's high point was meeting with my fellow 2o12 Newbery Committee members. I had met Chair Viki Ash once before, but I have followed the blogs of two other members for long before we were all elected - Stacy Dillon of Welcome to My Tweendom and Lynn Rutan of Booklist's Bookends blog. It was lovely finally meeting them face to face, and in fact all the committee members seem, based on the few hours we've been together so far, to be smart and amiable folks. I have a feeling we're going to work well and happily together.

Speaking of bloggers, I met two other folks whose blogs grace my Google Reader. Both Monica Edinger of educating alice and Marge Loch-Wouters of Tiny Tips for Library Fun are as smart, dynamic, and friendly as their blogs, and it was so great to meet them in person. Monica's experience as a classroom teacher gives her a perspective on children's literature that is fascinating to me, and Marge's quest for the answers to "Why do we children's librarians do what we do and how can we do it better?" is one that is very near and dear to my own heart.

I picked up a heck of a lot of truly mouthwatering ARCs and am beginning to stress about exactly how much YA fiction I am going to be able to slip into my reading schedule this year.. More on this and other Newbery-related dilemmas tomorrow.


  1. OOOOH, on a Newbery committee next year? Very cool. Congrats! And yes, it seems I was one of the few who did read it. Though I never expected it to win!

  2. Yes, I had read Moon Over Manifest--after waiting to see if the LA County system bought it (which they didn't) I finally ordered it from Amazon in December, and read it a few weeks ago. I was still deciding whether or not to review it on my blog or just to jump to 2011 titles when it won the Newbery. I really liked it but I wouldn't say it was among my favorites of the year. Then I decided there was really no point to reviewing it at this time since everyone would be buying it now! I donated my copy to the Monrovia Library today since of course everyone is out of it now, and many libraries hadn't purchased it. Did you notice 4 of the 5 books honored were historical fiction?

  3. I did read MOON OVER MANIFEST and even had the ARC on my contenders bookshelf because I'd seen some love for it somewhere (but have no memory as to where). I'm now returning to read it more carefully:)

    It was absolutely fantastic meeting you too! And I also want to say I read SMALL PERSONS WITH WINGS on the flight home and agree wholeheartedly with your SLJ review. Reminded me of Diana Wynne Jones's more domestic sorts of stories.

  4. Ah, I'm so sad I missed out on ALA midwinter this year. And in beautiful San Diego no less!
    It sounds like you had an amazing time.

    Congratulations on winning the Newbery committee spot! Only you would worry about how much extra reading you could sneak in during a Newbery year -- as if reading everything else that's published that year isn't enough!

    Moon Over Manifest... I'd never even heard of it, but I'm first in line for it at my library (yes, I sat with my laptop at the ready, to request it the moment it was announced)

  5. I did notice that the Newberys were NOT fantasy or SF! But it's interesting to see that yes, they were mostly historical fiction. Which probably explains why I had only read 2 of the 5, darn it. Did better with Printz - 3 out of 5.