The winner of the 2008 John Newbery Award went to Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz and illustrated by Robert Byrd. Again, to say I was surprised is an understatement. I had read this book a while ago, enjoying its unique format: theatrical monologues interspersed with factual information about the Middle Ages. I remember thinking that it was a real gift for teachers, helping fill a real gap in the literature for children. The author, a school librarian clearly has in-depth understanding of her subject and her audience. There is nothing like this on my shelves. A few prescient bloggers proclaimed its excellence, but most writers asserted that a book this extraordinary could never win. Once more, the committee showed them!