Tag Archives: Newbery Thoughts

Do I have the right to be angry…

… at the really badly penned lyrics of a potentially interesting and weird Rock Musical? I sat through this off-Broadway production in painful silence, averting my eyes to the stage and the actors because I felt so sorry for them, having to deliver those lyrics! And anger simmered in my gut the whole time: how dare someone put on stage this production: in public, sell tickets, and demand all the production crew’s time and energy without at least putting SOME effort in coming up with more than 1 verse per song? Or at times, more than 10 words per song? The inane repetitive lyrics do not drive the points into the mind of this audience member but away from her thoughts – I tuned most of the words and ideas out when they were repeated 20 times over. I guess I just really dislike when I know that something could have been made better if only a little more effort was put into the process or perhaps the creators had bothered to seek some honest opinions to improve the results!

Then some doubts set in. Do I have the right to be angry at something that is quite subjective. Apparently someone must have liked it enough, or is not bothered by the lack of writing talent to appreciate the production as a whole: weird but interesting world, most actors are capable or even quite talented, and a storyline that is simplistic and juvenile but at least has a convincing enough arc.

All of these thoughts brought me back to the discussion of books and their flaws. I sometimes get really mad (or disappointed) when I find certain aspects or elements or devices in a book sub-par, and believe that these flaws could have been easily fixed. Sometimes, they become quite “fatal” and ruin my enjoyment of the whole. Over at Educating Alice, Monica Edinger wrote about her reaction to the Heavy Medal discussion on Fatal Flaws that might ruin the chances of a children’s book winning the Newbery. Fascinating discussion and valuable thoughts to digest. One person’s fatal flaw can be merely a blemish to another viewer or reader.

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Since Newbery announcement I have Caught up with…

Since Newbery announcement, I have: Caught up with Downton Abbey season 3 episodes, started three books (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe, V for Vendetta, and Kiki Strike: The Darkness Dwellers), seen four performances of our middle school’s amazing production of Fiddler on the Roof and cheered my daughter on with her parts in the show (mostly dancing): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kElU7v9rbwI and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJWHgZygg98, graded assignments, taught Library classes, and promoted the newest Newbery (and other awards) winning titles … pretty much, things are back to normal!

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February 4, 2013 · 12:09 am

First 2013 Newbery Seals!

I had fun help putting the first set of Newbery seals on the four 2013 titles.

Read all about the 2013 Newbery and many other youth media awards on this press release.


(evidence of hard work — photo taken on my phone at the

meeting room after we chose the winner and honor books.)


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5:32 A.M., Seattle

Got up, washed up, brushed up, got dressed, and headed toward the Press Room where the committee’s phone calls to the authors will be made shortly. Yes, I am excited.


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Excited….. This is where we will be making the early morning phone calls to the winning authors.


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January 27, 2013 · 5:02 pm

Almost… There… Seattle!

I have not posted for a long long while… spending most moments reading and re-reading all the officially nominated titles. Can’t tell you exactly how many books are “on the table” but it’s definitely more than 7 (if we ALL have nominated the same titles) and quite a bit fewer than 105 (if we ALL have nominated different titles.) The great news is that because there are so many wonderful children’s books in 2012, I have no single “top choice” title in mind. Rather, there are more than top 20s for me! I’ll be so pleased if any of these gets recognized as the 2013 Newbery winner or honor book! The slightly sad reality, though, is that many of these deserving books will not be in the press release come Monday morning. I hope to be able to talk a little more about my favorite 2012 books once the 2013 Newbery titles are determined and known throughout the world! I’m excited!!!! I hope many others are, too!

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December 4th Marks the Final Suggestions of the Year

This is IT… somewhat… we have submitted ALL the suggestions by now.  Two more nominated titles in two weeks and then it’s the final sprint: re-reading and re-evaluating and re-thinking.

I spent the last few weeks trying to find titles worthy of suggesting and nominating — and am happy to report that I found two outstanding books that gave me tremendous pleasure to read and made me consider seriously to suggest/nominate.  One of them made to my final Suggestion to the chair today.  It’s a fresh book that feels very different from all the other books I encountered this year which, at this late in the year after reading so many wonderful books, speaks for its uniqueness and distinguishing quality.  I am still unsure, though, whether I will nominate it.  Time to agonize again!!!

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