Monday, November 12, 2007

Let the speculation begin

It's that time of the year again.... conversations are starting about which books will be this year's Newbery and Caldecott award contenders. It can be pretty hard to guess- but I always find it intriguing to hear what books people love from the previous year. It's a great way to discover some fabulous books.

The awards mentioned above are given by the American Library Association (ALA)... and they are a huge deal in the world of American children's literature. This year's awards are being announced on Monday, January 14, 2008 at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. Awards given by the Association of Library Service to Children (ALSC) are listed here, and awards given by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) are listed here. Both ALSC and YALSA are divisions of the ALA.

I plan to post some of the pre-award buzz and post-award reactions on this blog. A great place to start is with the best books of the year lists that have started to appear (even though the year isn't technically over yet). Let's get the ball rolling with this list from Publisher's Weekly of their picks for the best children's books of 2007. Although this isn't a list of speculation about the awards, it does mention a lot of the books that have been garnering buzz this year.

Books that I really like (but that aren't necessarily award contenders) that appear on the Publisher's Weekly list include:
  • Nothing by Jon Agee
  • Orange Pear Apple Bear by Emily Gravett (see my review here)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (see just about any post on this blog for my opinions on this book =)
  • The Arrival by Shaun Tan.
There are also lots of books on the list that are on my endless "to read" pile. Keep in mind that the Newbery and Caldecott awards can only be given to American authors and illustrators, so that takes the books by Emily Gravett, J.K. Rowling and Shaun Tan out of the mix of possible contenders. An exception to this rule is the Printz Award for young adult literature... last year two Australian writers (Sonya Hartnett and Markus Zuzak) received Printz honor awards.

Got any 2007 favorites? I'd love to hear them.

1 comment:

  1. This is always tough, because like so many other readers, I find the books I seek out and enjoy most rarely get the shiny stickers. (That's not to say I don't love a lot of shiny-stickered books. I do. But I almost always read them *after* they've received the award.) Likewise, I don't read books until after they're on shelves and reviewed, so I'm usually behind the game. I'll take a look at my read-this-year list and get back... :-)