Today is a big day in the world of KidLit, today the Association for Library Services to Children handed out its 2011 Honors.
The big honors are the Caldecott, Printz and Newbery. This year I watched the live webfeed and followed along on Twitter. It was a book lovers utopia.
They starts with the myriad of minor awards including the Belpre Award, which I mention here because it was the only book of the award winners that I had actually read. The winning book was The Dreamer written by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sis. The Dreamer is a great story that tells a somewhat fictional account of poets Pablo Neruda’s young life. I really liked the book and have always loved Peter Sis and his artwork.
The Printz award was given to Paolo Bacigalupi for his book Ship Breaker. I have heard nothing but great things about Ship Breaker, so i just went out and used a few Christmas gift cards to pick it up. It tells the story of a teenage boy who works as a ship breaker in a futuristic gulf coast of America. A ship breaker is someone who takes apart old and unusable ships for the spare parts. This is a real industry and the people who do it face terrible hardships. I am really looking forward to getting into this book this evening.
The Newbery Award is the big kids lit award and will give the author and the book new life in the publishing world. I was nervous with excitement as the webfeed listed off the Newbery Honor awards, but when the winning book was announced I must have looked like a dog trying to understand Greek…I had never heard of the winning book. Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool is the winning book. After a little online research I sort of sunk my head in almost defeat. “How am I going to sell this book to my Guys Read club?” I wondered. This book may be great, I ordered a copy from Borders and will give it a try, but as a guy it just does not look like a great read.
My initial disappointment about the Newbery got me thinking about awards and getting guys to read. Many of these big awards highlight books that may be appealing to the masses, but fall short when it comes to a middle school guy. To help remedy that I am thinking we need to create a new award (they have a ton already, what’s one more) that is given to the best guy book of the year. I want to get started on this as we come back to school and start meeting again.
What do you think of looking at the books that are published in 2011 and next January we choose the best Guys Book of the year? I think it could be a great long-term project that would get us all reading and talking about the best new books out there. So guys help us out…get reading the new books of 2011. Send us in your reviews of your favorite books and we will come up with the best guy book next January.
I can already think of two books that might be on the list…
Are you looking forward to a book this year? Are you excited about Ship Breaker or any of the other award winners? Hit that comment button and let us know what you are thinking.