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.
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.
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.
If you can't quite read it, click the picture to go to Twitpic for the much higher quality original.