Archive for January, 2016


Saturday, January 9th, 2016

I haven’t been blogging this year. It’s been a crazy time, with my new JOB (did I mention I have a job now?) and a book to write, and so on and so on.  Also, this winter I’m embarking on a big adventure– a group of friends and I are hosting a refugee family from Somalia.   So there’s a lot to do, always.

But it happens to be THAT weekend. The BIG weekend for kidlit folks.  ALA Midwinter.  So I dashed over here to get my own choices for the big awards on the record.

For Newbery… there’s no question in my mind but that Rebecca Stead deserves the medal again. I didn’t love Goodbye Stranger as much as When You Reach Me, but I thought it was the most unusual and well written middle grade book I read this year.  I’m especially interested in seeing more upper middle grade books in the world, and I felt like this book managed the true voice of that “tween” age deftly.

For Caldecott, my money is on Waiting.  I HATE that this is the case.  I think I’ve made it pretty clear how I feel about the lack of female illustrators being awarded the medal.  But I fell hard for Kevin Henkes’ newest book.  It’s just a perfect quiet picture book.  So, there we are.  I’d be lying if I said otherwise.

But of course there are any number of amazing women in the mix too, and I’d love to see some medal-love shining from Emily Hughes’ The Little Gardener.

Or Pamela Zagarenski’s The Whisper.

Or Sophie Blackall’s Finding Winnie.

And for Printz?  I don’t read a ton of YA, so I’m limited in my ability to evaluate, but the YA book I loved most this year was X, by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon.  There was a special sort of magic to this book– it walked a line, including “edgy” material in a way that I almost felt my third and fourth grade boys could handle.  The tone is amazing, a sort of headlong dash.  I loved it.

So there we are.  I won’t make predictions, because the ALA evaluation process is so mysterious and bewildering, and  I’m ALWAYS WRONG.  But these are the books I’d be arguing for, if I sat on those committees.

And hats off to the people who do!

Now, what about YOU? What are your favorites of 2015??  Tell me why I’m wrong.