First up – yes, I’m a huge nerd when it comes to the big children’s book award annoucements. Not quite enough of a nerd to get up at 6:45 to watch the live feed, but enough for it to be the first thing I thought about when I woke up. I was making some last-minute guesses in my head, trying to remember all my favorites before checking the internets to see what took home the shiny medals. It’s like the cat in the box that might be alive or might be dead – all the possibilities exist until I turn on the computer. This version of reality makes it possible to make last minute wishes (please not Madapple) and last minute hopes (wouldn’t it be nice if The Graveyard Book got the Newbery?)
For that real-time experience, I tried to follow the Twitter updates, where I got news on the Printz and a few other awards, but it stopped abruptly at the Wilder Award and left me hanging. Fortunately ALSC had a list up, which includes everything except the Printz, Morris, and Alex Awards (the YA awards) – as far as I can tell.
Printz: Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Honors: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson, Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart, and Nation by Terry Pratchett.
I’ve read them all (except for Nation, which is somewhere in my to-read pile) and I have to give an enthusiastic “well done!” to the Printz committee. There were some really fabulous books this year, and it can’t have been easy. I didn’t really think that Jellicoe Road had a chance, but I’m totally behind it. Octavian and Tender Morsels were my favorites, so I don’t have to feel slighted on their behalf. Frankie was my favorite from the Mock Printz I attended, so it’s nice to see her on there, too. And Nation was just recommended to me recently.
Happily, I’d also managed to read the Newbery and Caldecott medalists, too (although not all the honors). I’m so happy for The Graveyard Book taking the Newbery – it’s got great literary merit plus (I think) plenty of kid appeal, which is of course not a criteria, but more like a happy bonus. The House in the Night wasn’t one of my top favorites, but I can definitely stand behind it, and I think it’s a solid choice. I also really liked two of the honors – A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever and A River of Words were both awesome in totally different ways. I haven’t read the third honor book yet.
I was quite pleased with a few of the “smaller” awards, too – the Odyssey (for audiobook) went to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which I’m about to start listening to. The Geisel (for early readers) went to one of Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books, and the question there is how the committee chose just one – Are You Ready to Play Outside? I haven’t seen it yet, since those puppies fly off the library shelves, but I’m confident that I’ll love it.
All around, it’s been a very satisfying morning – and now I get to geek out some more and see how other bloggers reacted!