Saturday, January 23, 2010

Book Review: The Spectacular Now by Tim Tharp

Book: The Spectacular Now
Author: Tim Tharp
Published: 2008
Source: Local Library

Sutter Keely isn't just the life of the party, he is the party. He's the one who'll jump in the pool with all his clothes on or start belting out Dean Martin songs to counteract the cheese-headed pop they've been playing all night. So what if he starts drinking several hours before the party starts? He just likes to be fortified. A little whiskey and 7-Up in the morning never did anyone any harm, right? You only live once, might as well live in the now.

But as the end of senior year bears down on him, now is quickly turning into the future. What will happen to Sutter when the party ends?

I can't remember the last book I finished where I wanted to reach into the pages and give the main character such an almighty smack upside the head. I spent most of the novel in a mounting state of fury with Sutter and his apathy, and it's a testament to Tharp's fine skill at balancing this frustration with Sutter's extreme charm and longing for something meaningful that this book didn't hit the wall. I heard a lot of talk about Sutter's drinking, but to me, this wasn't a book about alcoholism. There aren't any scenes with DT's, pink elephants, or an overwhelming thirst that will get him through the next minute. While he's clearly headed that way, Sutter's real problem is that he wants everything and everyone to stay the same, because he knows how to handle the same. He knows who he is in high school--fun lovin' Sutter, life of the party. He has no idea what he is without the party, and doesn't want to look too closely, because he might discover that he's nothing.

Strangely for such an apathetic guy, Sutter is always helping people. His first action in the novel (other than pouring himself a drink) is to pick up a six-year-old hitchhiker and take him back home. He's always got a project, some way of making somebody else's life better, from setting up his best friend to boosting the class nerd's confidence. While this makes him a marvelously sympathetic character, this habit has a darker side. If he didn't have a project, he would have to stop and look at his own life, which is surely the biggest project he could ever undertake. But he won't. You know this throughout the book, and even at the end where another author would have a road-to-Damascus moment, Tharp acknowledges that Sutter just doesn't have the guts to change himself, even though he could.

At the same time, Tharp clearly shows why Sutter might be afraid of the future. He has precious few examples of a meaningful life ahead of him. What's he going to do, marry a vapid person with a nice house like his sister and lead her empty life? Stay in his job at a slowly dying menswear store? Join the military and be blown up in Afghanistan? Yippee. Where's that clipboard? Sign me up! More, Sutter has nobody to show him what he could be as a man. Every man in this novel is absent, either physically or emotionally--from his blustery stepfather to his neo-yuppie brother-in-law to his father, MIA since the divorce. Even minor adult male characters are less than emulatable. The one exception is his boss, who even though he's stuck in the same dead-end job as Sutter, has a family he adores.

Toward the end, Tharp balances this teen angst with multiple chances to change. Sutter's girlfriend wants to move to St. Louis and go to college together. His boss promises not to lay him off if he can promise to stay sober at work. But Sutter turns away from these lifelines, unwilling to try. Even the events that might shock him out of his apathy--finally meeting his absent father, having a car accident that hurts his beloved girlfriend--don't work. If Sutter put in a little effort, he could have the meaningful life he longs for, but this is a boy who isn't willing to work at an algebra set because he feels as if he'll just fail anyway.

This book had the most depressing ending I have ever read in a teen novel, and that includes the ones where kids throw themselves under trains. I say this because even though Sutter is alive at the end, you can see his future in Technicolor, and it's not pretty. He's not throwing himself under a train, he's letting inertia drag him toward the tracks. The end of high school is a scary time for most kids, who will see both their own fears and the need to face them in Sutter's story.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

More Cover Controversy

Hey, this feels familiar.

So Magic Under Glass, an upcoming YA fantasy romance by Jaclyn Dolamore, gets this cover:

I think it's a pretty cover, if kinda generic. But the heroine is described in the book as dark-skinned, and while the lighting's somewhat dim on the cover, it's not dim enough to disguise up the lack of melatonin in that young lady. Also check out the trailer below for how the author pictured the heroine, Nimira.

Oh, brother.

I've heard murmurs over the past week or so as people started reading it, but Ari over at Reading in Color really turned the murmurs into shouts.

Didn't we just do this? I'm not being snarky at the bloggers who are--correctly--stirring up a dust about this, but at the publisher. It's the same one. Really, Bloomsbury? Didn't anyone involved in cover decisions take a hint from last summer's bad-publicity storm? And yes, they just announced plans to change the cover, but wouldn't it have been so much better if someone in-house spoke up and said, "Hey, I know cover models don't always match the inside description exactly, but this is a bit much, y'know? Let's go back to the drawing board, mmmkay?"

Dolamore has gotten some flack for not speaking up in the same way as Justine Larbalestier, but honestly I don't blame her for playing it maybe too cautious. She's a debut author, a tricky time for anybody, and most likely she didn't want to rock the boat. Here's what Dolamore had to say about the controversy.

Some people are calling for a boycott on the book. I think that's shooting everyone in the collective foot. This individual book is not the problem--it's a symptom.

I could gather up all the relevant links, but it's late, so I'm going to point you at Bookshelves of Doom, which has a nicer roundup than I could do if I had the whole night.

ETA: I forgot to mention that sharp-eyed cover mavens have now realized that a character described and illustrated as brown-skinned in Little, Brown's Mysterious Benedict Society series has been consistently portrayed in alabaster tones on the covers. It's the same illustrator, even, so I'm at a loss here, folks.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

2010 Awards Reactions

Now that we've had a bit over a day to digest this crop, it's time for the reactions!

Two things to mention about the awards overall.

1) Was it me, or was there a lot more nonfiction sprinkled throughout the awards this year? Between Claudette Colvin and Charles and Emma, biographies had a strong showing, but straight-up nonfiction also made showings in the Odyssey award (for best audiobook) and Coretta Scott King winners. Plus of course, the Edwards award went to a writer of primarily nonfiction. Interesting. Do you think this was because it was a good year for nonfiction, or nonfic's profile is rising in the literary world?

2) I'm pretty awesome, because I had (count 'em) two of the honorees checked out from the library already. Maybe it's not all that important, but I think it's pretty cool, and I look forward to reading Going Bovine and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg in the next three weeks to see if I agree with the committees.

Honestly? Not shocked. All the books had gotten a lot of love and buzz, with perhaps the exception of The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, which I'd heard about as a good book but not as a possible award-winner. Although Patti of Oops . . . Wrong Cookie (hee!) commented that she fought like a tiger for Homer in her library's Mock Newbery. Don't you love saying "I told you so," Patti? So maybe I was reading the wrong reviews.

I was sad that Heart of a Shepherd and When the Whistle Blows didn't get mentioned, because I really loved both books and I thought for sure I'd hear one or the other listed.

"It's about a kid with mad cow disease. On the road. With a dwarf. No, really." I've heard Going Bovine is great, and I trust the ones who tell me so, but that description doesn't exactly make "award" leap to mind. Of course, I have yet to read it.

The rest of the list was surprisingly low-radar. Just like Homer, I'd heard of them, but not in the same breath with "award." I find it kind of fun when that happens, because that spreads the love around. Of course, the flip side is that there were a lot of books that people think should have gotten honored, like Wintergirls and Marcelo in the Real World. The latter at least got the Schneider Family award, but nothing for Lia and Cassie. Them's the breaks, I guess.

In sum
There's been many a book that succeeded without a sticker and some that tanked with it. In the end, it's all about the kids and teens, reading and enjoying. What do you think will be their reaction to this year's winners?

If you're interested in my thoughts on the picture book and early reader awards, hop on over to Kid Tested, Librarian Approved.

Additional fun!

Two more things that just made me giggle:

Grace Lin, in jammies tres elegant, reacts to the news of her Newbery Honor.

Katherine BoG, a bookstore owner in Tehran, gloats via shelftalker.
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic
If you can't quite read it, click the picture to go to Twitpic for the much higher quality original.

Monday, January 18, 2010

2010 Newberians, Caldecottites, and All the Rest of Them

The Three You've Been Waiting For

The John Newbery Medal (for the best children's novel of the year)
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
(H) Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose
(H) The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelley
(H) Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
(H) The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

The Randolph Caldecott Medal (for the best picture book of the year)
The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney
(H) Red Sings from Treetops illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman
(H) All the World illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon

The Michael L. Printz Award (for the best YA novel of the year)
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
(H) Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
(H) The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
(H) Punkzilla by Adam Rapp
(H) Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes

The Rest of Them (You knew there were more, right? Don't worry, I won't tell.)

The Alex Awards (for ten adult books with teen appeal)
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: creating currents of electricity and hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer
The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff
Everything Matters! by Ron Currie
The Good Soldiers by David Finkel
The Kids are All Right: a Memoir by Diana, Liz, Amanda, and Dan Welch
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
My Abandonment by Peter Rock
Soulless by Gail Carriger
Stitches by David Small
Tunneling to the Center of the Earth by Kevin Wilson

The Andrew Carnegie Medal (for excellence in children's video)
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus produced by Weston Woods

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards (for the best book about the African-American experience)
Bad News for Outlaws: the remarkable life of Bass Reeves, deputy U.S. Marshall by Vaunda Micheaeux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
(H) Mare's War by Tanita S. Davis
My People illustrated by Charles R. Smith, written by Langston Hughes
(H) The Negro Speaks of Rivers, illustrated by E. B. Lewis, written by Langston Hughes
John Steptoe New Talent
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement
Walter Dean Myers

The Margaret A. Edwards Award (for the YA author who's made a lasting contribution to the field)
Jim Murphy

The May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture Award (for an individual in the field of children's literature, who will then present a paper at ALA's Annual Conference)
Lois Lowry

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award (for the best translated children's book)
A Faraway Island by Annika Thor, translated from Swedish by Linda Schenck
(H) Big Wolf and Little Wolf by Nadine Brun-Cosme, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, translated from French by Claudia Bedrick
(H) Moribito II: Guardian of the Darkness by Nahako Uehashi, translated from Japanese by Cathy Hirano

The Odyssey Award (for the best children's audiobook of the year)
Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo
(H) In the Belly of the Bloodhound by LA Meyers
(H) Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
(H) We Are the Ship by Kadir Nelson

The Pura Belpre Award (for the best children's book about the Latino/a experience)
Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez
(H) Federico García Lorca by Georgina Lázaro, illustrated by Enrique S. Moreiro
(H) Diego: Bigger Than Life by Carmen Bernier-Grand, illustrated by David Diaz
Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros illustrated by Rafael López, written by Pat Mora
(H) Diego: Bigger Than Life illustrated by David Diaz, written by Carmen Bernier-Grand
(H) My Abuelita illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Tony Johnston
(H) Gracias Thanks illustrated by John Parra, written by Pat Mora

The Robert F. Sibert Medal (for the best children's nonfiction book of the year)
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
(H) The Day-Glo brothers: the true story of Bob and Joe Switzer's bright ideas and brand-new colors by Chris Barton
(H) Moonshot: the Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
(H) Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose

The Schneider Family Book Award (for the best book about the disability experience)
Young Adult Novel
Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X Stork
Middle Grade Novel
Anything but Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Picture Book
Django by Bonnie Christensen

The Theodore Seuss Geisel Award (for the best early reader book)
Benny and Penny and the Big No-No by Jeffrey Hayes
(H) Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day by Kate McMullan
(H) Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends by Wong Herbert Yee
(H) Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith
(H) I Spy Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold

The William C. Morris Award (for the best YA novel by a first-time author)
Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction
Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream by Tanya Lee Stone
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Philip Hoose
The Great and Only Barnum: the tremendous, stupendous life of showman P.T. Barnum by Candace Fleming
Written in Bone: buried lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland by Sally Walker

And now it's all over but the online arguing, and that can go on forever. What made you do a little dance? What was robbed, I tell you, robbed? Tell me in the comments!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Book Review: Forest Born by Shannon Hale

Book: Forest Born
Author: Shannon Hale
Published: 2009
Source: Local Library

Rinna has always been the good daughter, the good sister, the good aunt. What nobody in all the crowd of her relatives knows is that she has a secret, monstrous ability that she has suppressed for years out of fear of what she might or could do with it. When her brother Razo offers her the chance to accompany him back to the castle and meet his friend the queen, she leaps at it, believing that in the city she'll find the answer to the question of what is wrong with her. But just as she couldn't bury it, she also can't run from it. It's not long before she's tangled up in battle against someone who has the same terrible gift, and who's much, much better at it. Can Rinna harness her dreadful power long enough to rescue her newfound friends?

This is the fourth (and according to the author's blog, probably last) in the Books of Bayern series, and as such I grabbed it up. "Girl power" is such a cliched term lately but it's one that can unironically be applied to this series, which is about strong girls playing on international stages. Do I think Forest Born is absolutely the bestest thing ever written by anybody? No. It's a good book, especially for those who enjoyed the first three books, but it doesn't stand out from the rest of Hale's backlist (and that's okay, because she's a consistently good writer). I wanted to write this review because I feel like Hale is saying something interesting about girls and women in the character of Rinna, and writing it out is a way of unpacking it a little more.

Rinna has a gift for making people do what she wants. This isn't just someone with a lot of charm or a mighty force of will, but a truly supernatural power for manipulation and coercion. She has suppressed that gift, becoming instead the person that everybody else wants her to be: Ma's steady helper, her brother Razo's sidekick. She consciously takes on character traits from those she's currently with, becoming what they want her to be, which is often a reflection of themselves. In a way, this is a facet of her gift: she knows what they want and she gives it to them. Of course, as any number of women can tell you, the dark side of this habit is that she doesn't really know who Rinna is.

In our culture, women and girls are not supposed to desire things or people. We shouldn't be greedy, we shouldn't be lustful, or nobody will love us. Rinna first uses her power as a child, when she forces a relative to give her some items she covets. The second episode isn't until years later, when she forces a neighbor boy to kiss her. After both these episodes, she draws back from this terrible power, convinced that nobody will love her if they find out what she can do. Feminist sisters arise, this girl is oppressing herself!

And yet . . . and yet . . . patriarchal terror of female power aside, Rinna's gift really can so easily slide into monstrosity. She knows what to say in order to get right at somebody's worst feelings about themselves. Her scene with the neighbor boy is something right out of Mean Girls as she manipulates him to get what she wants. Hale holds back on showing us exactly what went on with that until the middle of the book, and where before I'd been rolling my eyes a little and saying, "Rinna, honey, so you got a boy to kiss you! Get over your slutty self!" I read that scene and felt pretty squidgy. Quite honestly, if the situation had been reversed, Wilem manipulating Rinna, I'd've been calling for her to nail him in the happy sacks. The eventual endpoint of such power unchecked comes in the villain, who holds an entire castleful of people in her thrall. Rinna takes her as a warning but also feels unwilling sympathy for her, lonely even while blindly beloved.

So what is Hale saying? Don't manipulate others? Be yourself? Be careful about being yourself too much? It's not that simple. Rinna's gift can be dangerous, very easily, but it's also a power that can be used for good, as is shown by Rinna in a few different scenes toward the end. The power doesn't make Rinna evil, it's how she chooses to use it. And that sounds so Disney-fairy-tale-moral-ish, but Hale ably shows how easy it is to make the wrong choice, to use it wrongly or to avoid it wrongly, and then to be mired in regret for the wrong choices you've made. Three examples of women living with powers are Isi, Enna, and Dasha, whom readers will recognize from other books. Rinna idolizes them at first, then slowly comes to see two things: how their powers have made their lives difficult and how they are loved and accepted, powers and all.

The first three books of this series have included a romance subplot, so I was expecting one out of this book, but ultimately I'm glad I didn't get it. Rinna needs to accept and love herself before she can have anything like a meaningful romance with someone else. By the end of the book, she has stepped a careful foot onto that path, but she's not far enough along it for that.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's Awards Season

So, you guys know the ALA Media Awards (otherwise known as OMG Newbery! and OMG Caldecott! and Oh There's Others?) are being awarded next Monday? As they've done in the past, the American Library Association is providing a live webcast, not to mention texting and Twittering and Facebooking the proceedings, because us librarians are all down with the new-fangled technology and stuff.

Susan over at Booklights has posted a really great entry about the ALA Awards, going over some past winners that went on to be classics and also a discussion of the many (18!) awards given out and what they're awarded for. Required reading if you want to know why I'm going to be getting up at 5:30 am next Monday. (East Coasters can breathe now: it starts at 7:45 AM for you. Fracking time zones.)

I don't tend to speculate on the award winners, because most of the time I haven't yet read all the hot contenders. A lot of people seem to like The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate for the Newbery this year. I read it and liked it, and it seems the kind of book that the Newbery Committee likes. But you never can tell--we've had a few wacky upsets in the past decade or so.

For the Printz (excellence in YA literature), do I ever want Marcelo in the Real World to get some librarian love. An Honor, at least. Please, Printz Committee? Please?

What do you think/hope/pray will win?

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Book Review: Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev

Book: Eyes Like Stars
Author: Lisa Mantchev
Published: 2009
Source: Local Library

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith, better known as Bertie, has always lived in the Theater. Not just the theater world, where people put on greasepaint and costumes every night but go back to their homes and drink coffee and eat scrambled eggs in their own kitchen. No, she grew up in the Theater, going to Wardrobe for all her clothes, eating in the Green Room, and sleeping on a "teenage girl bedroom" stage set. It's the only life she's ever known. Yet she is an anomaly, the only person in the Theater without a role. Everyone else is a character from some play or another, but Bertie is only Bertie. Now seventeen, she's into all manner of mischief, prompting the Stage Manager to threaten her with expulsion from the Theater. Bertie strikes a deal that if she can make an invaluable contribution to the Theater in the next few days, she can stay in the only home she's ever known.

But by her very nature, Bertie stirs things up, and things don't stir up well in a world defined by scripts. Before she knows it, Bertie is hip-deep in trouble, scrambling to find the answers to questions she's never bothered to ask. Questions like, how exactly did Bertie come to the Theater? Who were her parents and why aren't they around? What is the mysterious Book, and what will happen if Ariel (yes, that Ariel) succeeds in tearing out all the pages and setting himself and all his fellow characters free?

And most importantly, how does the only person in the Theater without a script or a role decide what she's going to do next?

Beatrice, from "Much Ado About Nothing," is my all-time favorite Shakespeare heroine, and this Beatrice more than lives up to her namesake. She starts out literally playing the role of a teenager--dying her hair blue, smoking, talking back to the authoritarian Stage Manager. But underneath, you have the strong sense that she is still the same Bertie she ever was, happy to bounce along in her carefully defined world, where the fairies from "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are always mischievous and Ophelia can be depended upon to talk crazy and drown herself in any handy body of water.

But the events of the book force Bertie to change, shifting into new roles. She initially tries to fit these new roles through wardrobe and prompts, but it's her own choices and mistakes that take her further away from the child she was into the adult she could be. At its heart, Eyes Like Stars is a book about the ragged edge between childhood and adulthood, between wanting everything to stay the same and taking responsibility for the changes you create.

I remained as confused at the end as I was at the beginning about the exact nature of the Theater, but maybe I was overthinking. Even more than fiction, theater requires the willing suspension of disbelief, meaning you shouldn't think too hard about people that apparently become invisible to everyone by hiding behind a potted plant, or an "army" that consists of as many extras as the stage manager could spare from other parts. Aside from this fuzziness, this is a book for anyone who loves the theater, especially Shakespeare. Although the Theater is meant to contain all the characters from every play ever written, there are really only a couple of on-stage characters not taken from the Bard, and knowledge of the originals makes the characters in the book even more interesting, especially Ariel. Plus you'll get more of the jokes.

I finished the book in two minds about whether I wanted this to be a series or not. On the one hand, I loved the way it ended. While it's a sort of open ending, it also nicely wraps up the story in progress, leaving Bertie on the cusp of new adventures. On the other hand, there were people to find and rescue, answers to be sought. A little Google-fu informed me that this is the first in a series, and the second, Perchance to Dream, comes out in May. I guess I'll get answers to my questions then, but I am looking forward to seeing more of Bertie.

ETA: source, cuz I forgot it the first time.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Comment Challenge Ahoy!

MotherReader and Lee Wind are starting the 2010 Comment Challenge today! I could talk about why I like comments (getting and giving) but I'll quote MotherReader instead:
What if I told you that for the cost of a few extra minutes a day, you can boost your blog readership, foster a feeling of connection, and make someone’s day? Does that sound like something you might be interested in?

Well, I’m talking about commenting, and the power is in your hands to make a difference.
The Challenge runs for 21 days, from Friday the 8th through Thursday the 28th. They challenge you to comment on five different kidlitosphere blogs a day and there's a prize drawing for those who hit 100 comments. Plus, y'know, you might get a few extra comments yourself. Zowie!

Commenting more was one of my 2010 blog resolutions, so I'm hoping to succeed at this challenge to create the commenting habit for the rest of the year. Good luck, everyone!

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Hail the Ambassador!

Congratulations to Katherine Patterson, who's succeeding Jon Scieszka as our next Ambassador for Children's Literature. Those are big shoes to fill, but check out this recent article from the New York Times.
The main advice she’ll be giving adults: Read aloud to your children. “You can read out loud, and if you’re exhausted or crying so hard because you know that Charlotte is going to die in the next chapter,” she said, “you can turn it over to the kid to read the next part.” (That’s “Charlotte’s Web,” she’s talking about, of course.)
Already she's off to a good start.

Via the Child_lit Listserv.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Reading Roundup: 2009

By the Numbers
Teen: 243
Tween: 143
Children: 162

Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth. I picked my yearly standout from a pool of each month's standout. You'd think that would make it easier than a regular month. It doesn't.
Teen: Right Behind You by Gail Giles
Giles' real triumph in this book is making her main character so immediately familiar and sympathetic, without softening or excusing his horrific past in any way.
Tween: Genesis Alpha by Rune Michaels
What could have been a ripped-from-the-headlines bit of tripe became a meditation on nature vs. nurture, sibling relations, and the source of evil.
Children: Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
This book is surprisingly contradictory--dreamy fairy-tale feel blended with a modern, independent heroine, who defies her parents without once losing respect or love for them.

I don't have any numbers for this, but I obtained the overwhelming majority from the library. A few were obtained via LibraryThing's Early Reviewers program, and more were swapped online or bought at my favorite local used-book store.

This was the year of the Liar cover controversy and of the FTC regulations brouhaha. This was the year I got onto Twitter, and got more involved in Facebook. Life was made easier by LibraryThing adding a collections function in June, making it possible to sort books into wishlist, available at the library, etc, and then into other categories once I'd read them.

What was your favorite thing about this year?

Friday, January 01, 2010

Are You Ready for the Shortlists?

You'd better be, for here they are!

Science-Fiction and Fantasy - Middle Grade

Science-Fiction and Fantasy - Young Adult

My panel! Go look what I get to judge!

Graphic Novels

Middle Grade Fiction

Nonfiction: Middle Grade and Young Adult


Young Adult Fiction

For the rest of the lists, plus some wow-making statistics, check out the finalists post. Congrats to all finalists and a big, big thank you to the round-one judges!

Reading Roundup: December 2009

By the Numbers
Teen: 14
Tween: 8
Children: 19

Library: All

Teen: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Tween: The Skin I'm In by Sharon G. Flake
Children: Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains by Laurel Snyder

Because I Want To Awards
Most Delightfully Absurd: Ottoline and the Yellow Cat by Chris Riddell
Best Continuing Series: The Phineas L. MacGuire series by Frances O'Roark Dowell
Easiest Booktalk: Rampant by Diana Peterfreund ("Homicidal unicorns. Wait, you have to check it out before you can take it home!")

Edited to correct spelling of Frances O'Roark Dowell's last name. Thanks, Kim!