The Newbery Committee has to follow a very detailed set of rules which may help explain some of the recent choices (including last year’s which I helped to select) questioned in Silvey’s article. As for the perennial popularity question, “Note: The committee should keep in mind that the award is for literary quality and quality presentation for children. The award is not for didactic intent or for popularity.” I’ve served on real juries before and found my experience on the Committee to more like that than anything else I have done.
Daily Archives: October 1, 2008
Fortunately, Neil Gaiman did a reading a few blocks away from me. Unfortunately, I did not go. Fortunately they are posting videos of the tour readings here. Unfortunately, the one of last night’s reading doesn’t seem to be working (but probably will by the time readers of this post go check it out). Fortunately, you can also hear Neil read the first chapter here.
I fully intended to go. The weather was nice and so it would have been easy enough to wait in line for a couple of hours. (fairrosa called at 5 and said around 40 people were already in line for something that was to begin at 7.) But the puppy spent spent the day at the vet where she was given a general anesthetic to do x-rays and to pull some baby teeth. Seemed overly cruel to stuff her in the crate and leave her after that. She was pretty spooked by the whole thing and stuck close to me all evening. (The x-rays were because she’s been limping after getting up; the good news is they didn’t see anything so it may be a growth thing and I’m just to monitor her for now and hope it goes away. Fingers crossed.)
But the important thing is the book. I think it is fabulous. So does my class as I’m reading it aloud to them. Some think the first chapter makes it for older kids; my fourth graders and I beg to differ. I’ll have more to say about this once I’ve finished with it. Mean time, I urge you to go find it and read it.