Monday, January 18, 2010

Ladies and Gentelman May I Present Your 2010 Children's Literature Awards

It has been a very good morning indeed: a bit of snow, good companions, and TOTAL VINDICATION.

Two of my intrepid Fantasy Newberyers, Matt and Shannon, joined me in the early hours of the AM in my more than frigid library to watch the proceedings. Also joining us, via speaker phone, was my sister in Portland who couldn’t master the connection. All events should have a disembodied voice in attendance.

Enough on setting and character development let us proceed with the action portion of the tale. I will begin at the end and work backwards for those of you who just showed up for the Newbery results.

Meaningless points will be scored under the following criteria:

  • 5 point if my predicted winner won the medal
  • 3 points for every honor book (also for any books that I choose to win the medal but won the honor, and vice versa)
  • 1 point if I have read the book, but did not choose it to win.

In addition:

  • 3 points for every book I have for the library prior to the awards.

Naturally I will be ignoring all the awards that didn't manage to score me any points but you can get a comprehensive list here.



  • When you Reach Me by Rebecca Stead - Oh how little faith I had. So, so deserving, however one among us still maintains "If you have to engage in time travel apologetics to explain a book, then perhaps that book lacks the necessary criteria of plotting and organization." I on the other hand was nothing but smiles and giggles. (6 points, I can’t take the 5 for the medal as my prediction moved it down to the honor spot)


  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose – also winner of the most bling of the day. (6 points)
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly – In my world there will be many more books like this, and I’m hoping Jackie is up to it. (6 point, I know I’m cheating as I didn’t put her in my predictions, but I’m taking the points anyhow, deal with it)
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin – Well earned and deserved. (6 points)
  • The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick – I think hearing this title announced may have given me the biggest thrill of the morning as it was the most unexpected. Up until a week ago, when I had to make my final decision, this was on my Goodreads 2010 Newbery List. Our book club read it very early in the year and unanimously adored it, but as time went on, as time does, it slipped from my memory, as memory does. I hope an audio book is in the works. I’m most excited, however, that it was one of the required books for our student Mock Newbery. (4 points)


  • The Lion & the Mouse, illustrated and written by Jerry Pinkney – No surprises or complaints here (8 points)


  • All the World, illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon - Sigh, I guess I’ll have to break down and give this another chance. Let the record show I was on board with the illustrations from the beginning. Go Frazee! (4 points)
  • Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman – This is a lovely addition to an elementary library with its soft poetry about the season and their colors and of course it’s now award winning illustrations. (6 points)


  • Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream,” written by Tanya Lee Stone – also a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award nomination. It ranks for an older audience than my students. (0 points)


  • The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer's Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors,” written by Chris Barton, illustrated by Tony Persiani – Have it, have it - but haven’t read it yet - maybe today. (3 points)
  • Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 written and illustrated by Brian Floca – Caldecott should be feeling ashamed for passing on this most perfect of books. (6 points)
  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” written by Phillip Hoose – with a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award nomination and the National Book Award the count is 4 shiny objects that can be plastered on this vivid account of injustice turned historic renovation. (6 points)

GEISEL MEDAL: (Can I go on the record here as stating that this is the committee I want to serve on. Being a bit dyslexic I could never give the Newbery its just due, but the oversized and evenly spaced words in this field would be just right)

  • Benny and Penny in the Big No-No!, written and illustrated by Geoffrey Hayes – Not the TOON book I picked for the medal but I’m guessing Art Spiegelman is considering this a very good day. (3 points)


  • I Spy Fly Guy! written and illustrated by Tedd Arnold – This is so fitting, I first encountered Fly Guy due to the first Geisel awards 5 years ago. This disease ridden superhero is a crowd pleaser with my students. (3 points)
  • Little Mouse Gets Ready, written and illustrated by Jeff Smith – Told you he would be there, I love this little guy. (6 points)
  • Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends, written and illustrated by Wong Herbert Yee – I am totally ignorant. Guess what just went into my Amazon cart? (0 points)
  • Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day, written by Kate McMullan, illustrated by R. W. Alley – I will be taking the two books I have in the series home today for some serious professional reading. I’m a big fan of McMullan’s “I’m” series; I’m Bad is a big crowd pleaser with the story time set. (0 points)

There you have it. Total points - 67. If any other School librarians want to play please feel free to count up your totals and post them in the comments.


  1. Thanks for this post. I blog on children's literature at I have a posting Favorite Picture Books You've Never Heard Of, so I'm eager to my hands on these!
    pragmatic mom

  2. I can only score myself in Caldecott and Newbery since I didn't really attempt the others, I'm only one man for cryin' in a bucket! Anyway, put me down for 27 points for the two awards.

  3. You did do an amazing job with predictions of / having read the Newbery winners! Congratulations!

    Though I have to agree our little get-together sounded a lot warmer than yours. :)

  4. Way to go Bill!

    Karen, I'm so suggesting breakfast next year.

  5. I love reading who won which award and about the books that win and the stories of the authors behind the winning books. I find it so inspiring. Congratulations to everyone!