As Holling Hoodhood would say, the quality of mercy is not strained.  And wherever Holling is, I’m sure he’s celebrating that silver medal with a perfect, light brown cream puff.

ALA award winners announced here.

Sadly, the awards were not one of the many things on my mind when I woke up this morning, and it wasn’t until 11 o’clock that I remembered today is the day.  Very different from last year when I was biting my nails, unable to get into the web broadcast and anxiously awaiting the announcements.  There are some perks to being on the west coast, and this year the perk was having the announcement up and ready by the time I wanted to read it.

Newbery:  I’ve been waiting on hold for ages for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! - in fact, a while back I went so far as to dig my library’s copy out of the “to cover” pile and cover, stamp, and check it in myself, to get things moving.  My branch was the only one to order a copy, and I’ve just now worked my way up to #1 on the holds list.  I didn’t have a chance to do more than flip through it, so I’m anxious to take a look.  I’ve only heard glowing praise from all the blogger reviews.

Newbery Honors:  As I’m sure you all know, I’m a huge fan of The Wednesday Wars and I’ve been pushing it on all kinds of people.  This was the title that I was scanning the announcement for any mention of.  Thank goodness I can call off those toads, beetles and bats.  I haven’t yet read Elijah of Buxton, but a week or two ago I got a feeling like I ought to, and it turns out my instincts were right – this one is on its way to me right now.  I was pleased to see Feathers on the list, too.  It was on my list of things I wouldn’t mind seeing win an award* and I initially described it as a small book that doesn’t feel small.  More than any plot details, the feel of the book has really stuck with me, and I give it points for that.

Printz: The White Darkness was also on my wouldn’t mind seeing it win an award list, and although I can’t seem to find any initial thoughts on it in my archives, it was gripping and fascinating and I’m planning on rereading it by listening to the audio version, of which I read a nice review a while back.

Printz Honors:  Sadly, they only one of these that I’ve even heard of is Your Own, Sylvia, which I thought was  surprisingly well done despite the excessive depressingness of the subject.  I am intrigued by the fact that one of the honorees is a sequel, which seems to be a rare phenomenon in book awards.  But that also means more reading to do for yours truly.

Odyssey: This is a new one, for “excellence in audiobook production,” and I was very intrigued to see what would win.  I haven’t read the winner or honor titles, but I suppose I ought to get on that.  I’m curious to hear how the committee’s idea of excellence compares with my own taste in audio versions.

Geisel: (for beginning readers)  This isn’t an area where I read a lot, but I did pick up There Is a Bird on Your Head! a few weeks ago and was quite delighted with it.  As I am by all of Mr. Willems’ books.

I think that wraps up all the award categories where I’d actually read any of the books – more awards are on the ALA website and I really ought to branch out into the other categories.  After I track down a perfect, light brown cream puff.

*Hey look!  I managed to name four books that did end up getting awards! Sweet predicting skills!

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