Wise Words from Kirkus Children’s Books Editor Vicky Smith

I hasten to add that the Newbery Medal is a bit of a false god. It is extraordinarily difficult for one group of 15 people to anoint The One book that is “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children,” and everyone I know who’s ever served on the committee (myself included), has wished it could pick, say, 15 or 20 distinguished contributions. Just because a book doesn’t go home from ALA with a sticker on it does not mean it is unworthy of attention or love. This year in particular was a banner year for the traditional Newbery readership of 8- to 14–year-olds, and I urge people interested in exploring beyond the Newbery to take a look at our list of the Best Children’s Books of 2010.

via And the Winner is… | Kirkus Book Reviews.


Filed under Newbery

4 responses to “Wise Words from Kirkus Children’s Books Editor Vicky Smith

  1. Kristin McIlhagga

    Thanks for sharing this Monica, great food for thought. In our children’s literature courses we talk about the medals and what they mean. I love to follow the buzz and listen to the announcements the day of, I share all of that with my students. But I also remind them that as teachers we need to know more than just the books with the shiny stickers. Having articles and quotes like this to share from others in the field always adds to our conversations (and hopefully to the thinking of future teachers!)


  2. Robin

    Wise words from a wise person.

    The hardest thing for me in the day following a book’s selection for an award is walking through the ALA booths, seeing all the books that were passionately discussed, much loved, and very, very good. I always feel like hugging those books and telling them how much they were loved.

    I smiled to learn that there was a time when the nominated books were made public in School Library Journal. Reading through those lists made me appreciate the titles on the nominated lists even more (knowing how they must have been discussed and revered) and made the books with the stickers seem somehow even more distinguished.


  3. Kristin and Robin, I’m so with both of you. Stickers are just one form of book dressing after all.


  4. Hey Monica…Thanks for sharing this :)


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