While my Newbery journey to date hasn’t been as fraught as poor Alex’s completely different life journey in Portnoy’s Complaint (and, I promise, not the slightest bit arousing — my being a menopausal female and the eligible books being pretty staid in terms of sex), I did feel a tremendous sense of elation this past weekend after my committee meetings. You see, I’ve been waiting for this since the summer of 2005 when I was invited by a member of the ALSC Nominating Committee to run for election to this particular Newbery Committee. And so while not quite Alex Portnoy’s life-to-date (and certainly there is no monster mama in my story), two years is still a pretty long prologue.
I headed to DC fairly anxious because at the two previous ALA meetings, the greater attention to award committee members’ potential conflicts of interest had caused some well-meaning folks to give me some worrisome “Danger, Will Robinson” warnings resulting in my leaving each time feeling pretty unhappy. (Fortunately, the revised policy has now set my mind at ease — I mean, here I am, blogging, after all!)
The committee met for the first time at Midwinter this past January —- an open meeting (anyone could sit in) so I can say that it was mostly procedural. Then we all went home and began reading (and reading and reading and reading…), and preparing for this past weekend’s meetings.
They were fantastic. And since I am now under a veil of secrecy (I gotta say that I feel like a Mason) — what Roger said (“I’d tell you all about the Caldecott meetings, but then I’d have to kill you.”). I will say that the meetings were wonderful, that the whole committee was wonderful and that I can’t wait till next January. We will make some of you happy, some of you curious, and some of you miserable, but I am confident that the fifteen of us will put heart and soul into our decision.
Take that, Dr. Spielvogel!