Monday, January 17, 2005

The Biggest Day of the Year

I absolutely have to blog today since it's Newbery Announcement Day. I, of course, haven't read the winner or the Honor Books. I haven't even heard of most of them.

I think Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko looks good, and I'm not just saying that because we share the same publisher. "Hilarious antics are deftly interwoven with themes of isolation and imprisonment, compassion and connection." Bring it on!

And how about the description for Lizzie Bright and the Buckminister Boy by Gary D. Schmidt? The novel "probes a forbidden friendship between a preacher's son and a dark-skinned girl from a nearby island." Ooo-la-la!

The winner and honor books are all either historical fiction or nonfiction.

Here is an excellent article that describes how the Newbery selection committee works and discusses the tone of recent winners. I was referred to this site by Steve Lyon, author of The Gift Moves, another book I haven't read. Though I've read that it is about a culture where "such basic crafts as baking, spinning, weaving and repairing have become a religion of excellence." I think that sounds promising since those are all things I've wanted to be able to do at one point or another.

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