Friday, January 29, 2016

Looking at why Newbery Award books are great

Editor Patricia Lee Gauch has penned an interesting Horn Book article examining those book who have won Newbery Awards and Honors trying to discover why these books were considered the most distinguished children's books of the year.  (actually the award is given the year after publication, so you can bet if a book won the 2016 Newbery award, it was published in 2015.
And no, I never want to be on that committee - they have to read and re-read and discuss and re-read and discuss and sometimes are still discussing and voting on them into the wee hours of the day that they have to call the winners. And they have to make these calls before the 8 am announcement session at the Winter American Library Association.
See, the thing is, I need my sleep.

However, she concludes that it's the Character. The character that sticks in your mind and makes us think about the book even after we have closed the covers.
"Not just a character who carries the weight of story, but a character original in voice, in spirit, in ideas, perhaps even in looks! Certainly original in imagination."
Then she continues to enumerate other aspects of these tales that make them the best of the best.

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