Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Susan Patron Defends the Newbery Medal

Susan Patron has taken up arms, or pen, to defend the Newbery against the recent fooforaw. To the charge that Newbery books have become inaccessible to the average reader, she argues:
Does it follow that books dealing with tough social issues turn kids off? Doesn't whether a book is complicated or inaccessible depend on the age and experience of the reader?
Now the cynical among you may say, "Well, duh she said that. She was the 2007 winner, and that book, The Higher Power of Lucky, is often pointed to as one of the inaccessible ones." (Boy, you're articulate.) But she's also speaking from broader experience than that. Patron was a children's librarian for L.A. Public Library (City, not County--very important distinction if you live in L.A.) for thirty-five years. She knows whereof she speaks.

What do you think of the points Patron raises?

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