Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Book Thoughts: First awards follow up post!

All of the big book awards were announced yesterday - and I've actually read some of them! I'm always happy when all of that reading pays off and I can tell people (well, any who care about YA lit) "Oh, the Printz winner? I read that months ago."

I am, however, totally out in the cold when it comes to the Newberry and Caldecott winners. Back at the Kidlit Drink Night last week, I couldn't even remember which award was for authors and which for illustrators (and this was before I'd had anything to drink!).

Printz Award Winner: Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I need to re-read this one because I sooooooooooooo didn't get it the first time around! I don't think I realized until after I wrote my review that the book was drawing from Don Quixote. Need to re-read with that in mind.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent award: The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon. SO EXCITED to see this book getting some love - it's also nominated for an NAACP Image Award in literature (which seems to have taken every blogger who mentions it by surprise - no surprise that it's nominated but surprise that the Image Awards have a literary category!). The more I think about it, the more excited I am, because I have absolutely never heard of another YA book presenting a look like this at the Black Panthers.

Pura Belpre Award (best book about latina/latino experience): Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez. As I said in my initial review, I really only enjoyed about half of this book, since some of Mari's chapters feel quite contrived in narrative style, but like The Rock and the River, I appreciate the unique spin this story takes on the immigrant experience.

Sibert Medal (best children's non-fiction): Almost Astronauts by Tanya Lee Stone. (Also made YALSA's Excellence in Non-fiction award/list) AWESOME. An overtly feminist book wins an award that's not about feminism! Recently there's been some questioning over how slanted the book may or may not be and what sort of agenda Stone may or may not had. This may be a case where I don't mind the bias because it's a bias I agree with, but it certainly feels like this is a book that would have been impossible to write in a truly neutral way - the sexism these women faced is egregious.

Schneider Family Book Award (best book about disability experience): Marcelo in the Real World by Francis X. Stork. I haven't read this one despite multiple recommendations - I just haven't gotten around to it and I think I want some of the hype to die down before I do pick it up, because this was the title that was being predicted as the big Printz win by all sorts of people, and then it didn't even get an honor! Very interesting turn of events there - would have loved to be a fly on the wall of the Printz deliberations!

As the title implies, there's going to be a post later on (hopefully still this week) with further reactions to the awards and lists, but I wanted to get some commentary out in the immediate aftermath. Feel free to add your thoughts!
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