Monday, January 16, 2012

Awards and Accolades

Awards season is officially upon us.  I know this because I sort-of watched three hours of Golden Globes last night, even though I had seen very few of the nominated shows or movies.  Pretty dresses.  (But what was Meryl Streep wearing?)  Some great speeches -- I'm thinking in particular of The Help's Octavia Spencer, quoting Dr. King: "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance."

Likewise, it is now Awards Season (with capital letters) in the kids' book world.  Each year, it seems that the ALA is inventing a new award to bestow.  (Is it just me?)  I remember being at Vermont College when the Newberys were announced and the flurry of excitement of being in the presence of big-time award-winning authors.  The excitement, the adrenaline.  Heady times.

To be honest, I am THE WORST TA to be kicking off this new topic.  As I have proudly admitted on numerous occasions, I have populist taste.  Many of the "brilliant, dazzling" books that wow awards committees are not the books that excite me.  Of course I have adored (ADORED) many of the Newbery winners through the years.   I was looking at the book discussion lists for this year's awards -- for some reason I have not read many this year, though several are on my dying-to-read list.  Usually the ones I most admire are the ones that make the list but never win.  Quiet books (not too quiet), relatable books, books that I would have read ten times when I was ten years old.  

My daughter is old enough now to vote for our state books awards (the Black-Eyed Susans), and I admit that those are the awards that guide MY reading choices.  We are not writing for Newbery committee librarians, after all.  We are writing for children -- which should always be a labor of infinite dignity and importance. 

Don't forget to enter our latest TA Book Giveaway (from April's most recent post):
To enter our drawing for an autographed copy of Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzberg, post a brief comment sharing an "oops" in your life and how you (or someone else) turned it into something beautiful. Be sure to include an email address (formatted like: teachingauthors at gmail dot com) or a link to an email address. can email your comment to teachingauthors at gmail dot com with "Contest" in the subject line. Entry Deadline is Wednesday, January 25th, 11 pm (CST). You must have a U.S. mailing address to win. The winner will be announced on January 27th. Good Luck!


Linda at teacherdance said...

I enjoyed the description of those books you look for and love: "Quiet books (not too quiet), relatable books, books that I would have read ten times when I was ten years old." They are the ones quietly waiting in the library for a young child to discover. Here's to a crazy week of anticipation however. Thanks for your thoughtful words!

Carmela Martino said...

Love this, JM:
>>We are not writing for Newbery committee librarians, after all. We are writing for children -- which should always be a labor of infinite dignity and importance.<<

Tara said...

Hooray for kids and for books kids love! Thank you for this thoughtful post!