Wednesday, January 12, 2011

And What Did I Think?

Well. I'll tell you.

I had a little easier time writing the post on the picture books over at Kid Tested, Librarian Approved, because I'd read a larger proportion of the books. When it comes to YA and MG novels, however, I'm still working through books I added to my list in 2009, so I have to largely base my reactions on what I've heard of and what I've heard about it.

I've been jonesing to read After Ever After since I heard that Sonnenblick was writing a follow-up to Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie. I haven't yet, but knowing that it got the Schneider Family book award makes me hopeful that my library will order it soon.

Y'all, Sir Terry Pratchett for the Margaret A. Edwards award! I've always said that Pratchett is a natural for teen readers, even his Discworld stuff, because it looks at the world and says, "Y'know, this is really sort of silly. And stupid. Let's mock that. A lot." See? Totally teen. His work goes beyond mere nasty-minded parody, however, by asking readers to consider The Big Questions, and respecting their capacity to do so. Teeeeeeen!

The Sibert medal winners made me all kinds of happy. First, how about some love for Scientists in the Field? Well-deserved. I always tell people about this series, not just kids but parents, teachers, and fellow librarians. And then Ballet for Martha! It was surprisingly absorbing for such an unusual subject and in fact I named it a standout the month that I read it - for illustration, I think.

And Will Grayson, Will Grayson isn't exactly love-starved, especially in the kidlitosphere, but it still made me happy to see it on the Stonewall list. 

I think I'm not alone in my giant, "Whuh?" when the Newbery was announced. I'd never even heard of Moon Over Manifest, which looks like one of those quiet and thoughtful books that tends to slip through the cracks unless a big shiny medal holds it up. I'm looking forward to reading it and seeing if I agree with the committee.

I feel like a bad person saying it, but I could not get into The Freak Observer. It was well-written, I'll give it that, so the Morris award was deserved. But my reaction was more on the lines of, "Oh, I can see that," than "Joy! JOY!!!"

First in the "Hey!" category: where was Sharon Draper's magnificent Out of My Mind? No Schneider award, no Newbery or honor. It was off the radar. Wha? Not even a nod from the Coretta Scott Kings, although because the main character's race is never specified, I can see how that would have been left off.

I also would have liked to see a pretty sticker for Finnikin of the Rock. As the Printzes don't require American citizenship, Marchetta's novel still would have been eligible. Ah well.

But the biggest "Hey!" of this awards season was the winners getting bumped from the Today show. Wha? You know what, Today show, when you run a story about how American children aren't reading anymore, we librarians have our response all ready for you.


Elizabeth O Dulemba said...

I didn't realize they weren't on the Today show! My gosh- like there are more important things going on? Gads. e

Terry Doherty said...

Well put, Maureen. What a farce the Al Roker book club looks to be when they don't even acknowledge such wonderful milestones!

Bibliovore said...

At first I thought it was because of the tragedy here in Tucson, but apparently the ALA proposed it awhile back, and were told that there wasn't any interest and no room in the schedule.

However, they had room for Snooki. *facepalm*

Agreed, Terry. Couldn't Al Roker with his much-vaunted kid's book club have done a segment? How hyped would those kids be to meet a Real Live Author? I'll tell you . . . WAY hyped.

Jennifer said...

I'm very happy about Scientists in the Field too! and I had never heard of Moon over Manifest either. But where was Chalk???

Bibliovore said...

Oh my goodness, Chalk! I wrote about the picture books on my other blog but forgot about that one. I was saving my ire for Mama, Is It Summer Yet? but Chalk definitely deserved a little more recognition.

Trisha said...

Completely agree with your reaction to The Freak Observer winning the Morris. And the Today show.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

I love your comment about Pratchett - such a great writer for teens (and even MG, with Only You Can Save Mankind)! :)

Came by through the blog hop! Glad I did! :)

MissA said...

I was going to say maybe the winners weren't on the Today show because of the shooting in Tucson but if they had time for literary genius SNOOKI... And yes, what happened Al Roker?

I haven't read Out of My Mind but so many people are wondering why it didn't get the Newberry, Schneider or CSK. I'm determined to read it asap though. My HEY! moment was trying to figure out why 8th Grade Superzero didn't receive the Steptoe or at least a CSK honor.

I've never read anything by SIR Terry Pratchett. I need to get on that

Bibliovore said...

Trisha - Thanks for the agreement. So many of my kidlitosphere buds have luuuuurved it that I feel kinda bad with my "meh" reaction. Nice to know I'm not alone.

Thanks for stopping in, SKQ! Agreed, his MG stuff is great too. The Johnny series, and Tiffany Aching straddles the border between tween and teen.

Miss A - I forgot about 8th Grade Superzero, I think because it came out almost a year ago and thus fell off my radar. Sad but true. You're in for a treat if you've never read any Terry Pratchett. :)

Debbie Diesen said...

Love the rundown of your reactions on these titles. And I agree 100% with your final paragraph!

MotherReader said...

How did Comment Challenge work out for you? Even if you didn't make the five-a-day goal, come by the Finish Line at