Friday, January 25, 2008


Is it too early to start making Newbery predictions for next year?

I just finished an advance reader's copy of an absolutely exquisite book: Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt. It's a beautiful, touching, and poignant work of fiction. I was sorry it had to end, but since it did... I don't think the author couldn't have picked a better place to stop his narrative. The cover is beautiful too. I saw a picture of it in a 2008 Spring catalog from the publisher, Clarion, but I don't think the cover art is available online yet.

It's a bit cruel of me to write about it now... since the book won't be published until April. I'm not doing a formal review of it yet, because I don't want to spoil the plot for you in any way. It's one of those books that has brilliantly interwoven twists and turns... and you should discover them through the text and not through a review.

Keep an eye out for this book. Reserve it in advance from your library. Buy it at a bookstore in April. Dig out the advance copy (if you have one) from your stack of books to be read and put it on top of the pile.

Once you've read it, tell me what you think... and if you love it as much as I do.

On January 26, 2009 (almost exactly a year from today) in Denver, Colorado, the press conference will be held announcing the winners of the 2009 American Library Association Youth Media Awards. I'm not much of a gambler, but I'm betting that Trouble will be on one of those lists. Check back in a year, and we'll see if I'm right.

And... the book jacket would look truly beautiful with a gold Newbery Medal on it.

Update: The cover art is now available. Here it is:

Look under the "ou" in Trouble, about level with the nose on the face in the clouds. Isn't that the perfect place to put a Newbery sticker?

There's a lovely review of this book at The Reading Zone.


  1. It's wonderful. It was one of those books that left me sort of open-mouthed at the end - I was that impressed with what Gary Schmidt pulled together.

  2. Sarah- I'm delighted someone else has read the book this early! You described it perfectly... I was open mouthed at the end too- and so impressed with the tapestry Gary Schmidt wove together.

  3. Ooooh! I am DYING to read this. I didn't see any ARCs at Midwinter and I'm so annoyed. It sounds like I am going to love "Trouble", though.

  4. Sarah- it won't help you this time, but here's what to do next time you're at a conference. Find out who the publishers are of the books you're dying to read... and then go to that publisher's booth and ask them for an advance copy of that specific title. Usually, each publisher only has a few ARCS available in mass quantity... but if you know what you want and ask for it, they'll almost always have it under the table or stashed in a corner.