Another guest post from Heavy Medal blogger, Jonathan Hunt:
Did we discuss a book before you had the chance to read it? Or maybe we covered it, but didn’t give it its just due? Well, here’s your second chance to chime in on some of the books we’ve mentioned earlier.
CROW by Barbara Wright . . . We lumped this book with THE LIONS OF LITTLE ROCK and WE’VE GOT A JOB for a civil rights-themed post, but perhaps this one was deserving of its very own. It remains the hardest luck title in terms of best book lists (0-5 with Bulletin the sole remaning possibility), but it has a devoted bunch of fans. I’m not sure if this one will win the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, but I have to think it’s a leading candidate, and the past two O’Dell winners have fared very well with the Newbery committee.
THE FAIRY RING by Mary Losure . . . I was really snarky about this title, but it was named Top of the List in Nonfiction by Booklist, and I’m really enjoying Losure’s next book, WILD BOY, so I think this is probably just a case of my personal taste in subject matter clouding my judgement of the author’s skill and craft. I still think this one has a hard row to hoe with such a crowded field, but it might if the committee perceives this as being a better juvenile book.
THREE TIMES LUCKY by Sheila Turnage . . . This book has a lot of recommend it, and I like it quite a bit, although I think the perception is that I do not. I’d need to reread this to figure out how serious I could get about this one. If the mystery part of the novel adheres to the conventions of the genre, that is, if I can actually figure it out by clues rather than a series of surprises, then I can be very serious indeed.
TITANIC by Deborah Hopkinson . . . I think this is the leading candidate to win the YALSA Nonfiction Award. I’m not saying it should win, or even that it will win, but I think YALSA may have goofed when they listed the finalists, inadvertently tipping the committee’s hand. But that’s just a conspiracy theory so don’t pay it any mind.
TWELVE KINDS OF ICE by Ellen Bryan Obed . . . This one has acquired fans as more and more people get the opportunity to read it. I reread it recently and found that it holds up quite nicely. I’m sure this is a title where the committee will discuss the appeal factors–abilities, appreciations, and understandings. It’s another book that doesn’t fit neatly into any one category, but if the committee can appreciate the book on its own terms, then I can easily seen this one being recognized.
WE’VE GOT A JOB by Cynthia Levinson . . . So far this one is running neck and neck with MOONBIRD in terms of leading the nonfiction pack when it comes to best of the year lists–they have four apiece. Like CROW, this one was probably deserving of its own post. It’s already a YALSA Nonfiction Award finalist, I wouldn’t be surprised with Sibert recognition, and Newbery recognition could make it one of the more decorated books of the year.
WONDER by R.J. Palacio . . . Okay, Wonderheads, take a deep breath and tell me why this one is more distinguished–according to the criteria–than BOMB, LIAR & SPY, and SPLENDORS AND GLOOMS. Go!