Daily Archives: January 19, 2008

Thoughts on Newbery: Another Happy Predictor

GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido must also have been very happy on Monday. Here’s what she had written a while back on her webpage:

My favorites of 2007
Gary Schmidt’s The Wednesday Wars. What a lovely book. What a great read. Long Island in 1968, Holling is in seventh grade. He has a great teacher, a best friend, a girl he likes, and an older sister. His dad is one of the genuinely awful parents of children’s literature. There is great stuff about running, about baseball, about school and what really happens there, about bullies, and about Shakespeare. There is some really great stuff about Shakespeare. This is probably my Newbery pick for the year.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a medieval Village: Seventeen monologues from young people in an English village about 1255. This is about as perfect a volume as could be. It’s lovely, it’s research is solid, Laura Amy Schlitz writes like an angel, teachers all over the country will be weeping with joy and relief, and librarians will love it. Not only that, I think the kids will, too. My favorite book of the year.

1 Comment

Filed under Newbery

Thoughts on Newbery: Ms. Fuse Gets Her Wish

Here is what she wished for on January 7th:

WHAT SHOULD WIN:

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!: Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz
It’s got everything, man. Fiction. Non-fiction. An actual honest-to-god way to use it with kids. Humor. Pathos. History. Life. Death. The writing’s good and the pictures don’t detract so give it up.

And here is her post about her response at the press conference.

Leave a comment

Filed under Newbery

Thoughts on Newbery: Esme’s Take

On January 8th, just a few days before the announcement, Esme Raji Codell wrote a glowing review of Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, concluding, “A hybrid of many literary forms, this book is deserving the high honor of a Newbery, but barring that, it certainly wins the Time Machine award of the year.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Newbery

Thoughts on Newbery: Shannon Hale’s Day of Glee! (in memory)

Good Master! Sweet Ladies! is a collection of wonderful monologues, each character a denizen of a medieval village. This is going to be a fabulous book in the classroom. Teachers are going to love using it to incorporate drama, literature, history, and social studies. (and I’m feeling a bit smug, having predicted this one as the winner last night to my husband.) Read the rest at day of glee! (in memory)

1 Comment

Filed under Newbery

Thoughts on Newbery: Which Way To Ye Olde Newbery Awardes?

Gave Hugo the day off today. I wanted to spend today shouting out some props to Laura Amy Schlitz for taking the most distinguished medal for young adult literature, the John Newbery Award. Would you please look at her. It’s a dream come true! Her book Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village was sort of a dark horse and although a lot of people are singing its praises now, many of us weren’t aware of it until very recently. Again, the ALA surprised everyone, pushing the envelope and forcing us to look beyond the more traditional formats.

The book does feel different. It’s not a play per se, nor a narrative, but interrelated monologues about youngsters living in a medieval village. It is beautifully illustrated and full of historic insight and information.

Read the rest here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Newbery

Thoughts on Newbery: The Newbery Project

I came across this blog a few weeks ago. The Newbery Project is focused on reading ALL the Newbery Medal winners. They have over fifty participants (many are bloggers) and have been going strong for some time. And, happily, they have two very enthusiastic posts about this year’s winner: here and here.

Leave a comment

Filed under Newbery

Philip Pullman: new brand of environmentalism

Philip Pullman in conversation with Andrew Simms, policy director of the New Economics Foundation, an edited extract from Do Good Lives Have to Cost the Earth? (Constable & Robinson), edited by Andrew Simms and Joe Smith, published on Thursday in England.

1 Comment

Filed under Philip Pullman

Blogger Unions?

Chris Mooney thinks labor organizing for bloggers isn’t far off.  CJR: Blogonomics

(Thanks to blog of a bookslut for the tip.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Other

Thoughts on Newbery: Lois Lowry Approves

I tend not to mention social events here because I worry about people feeling envious, left out, or suspicious that I’m being bought. But I must mention my Thursday lunch with Lois Lowry because in her blog post about it, she wrote, “… Two of them just back from serving on the Newbery Committee! and though of course they can’t describe their process of deliberation…at least I was able to tell them what a wonderful choice I thought they had made with this year’s winner. “

And now since I did mention the lunch, I might as well tell all. We were at the elegant Eleven Madison Park and the food was superb and beautiful. Lois is right that the beet salad was exquisite in presentation. I can’t comment on how it tasted as I had the excellent mushroom risotto followed by red snapper. (Boy, does this sound like a really bad restaurant review? That is another reason I don’t write about these events — I can’t do it well at all!)

More important was the conversation. A charming and smart woman, Lois told an extremely amusing story about her stint as a National Book Award judge and others related to The Willoughbys. How terrific that she ranges so far and wide as a writer, trying out new forms all the time. I have read part of the book and so far it reminds me of M. T. Anderson’s Thrilling Tales more than Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events to which it is already being compared. But even more so, she seems to be placing herself consciously, tongue-in-cheek, into an even older tradition of snarky children’s book writers — Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, and P. L. Travers come to mind. In fact Dahl and Travers are included in the book’s bibliography. Yes, there is one along with a witty glossary.

A pleasant coda to my Newbery week.

1 Comment

Filed under Newbery