Monday, January 14, 2008


Some folks did not sleep in Philadephia last night. They are the major awards committees of the American Library Association.

Some writers are up early this morning with an ear tuned to the telephone. They are the authors whose 2007 books are being considered by the awards committees. They're probably acting as if it's a normal day because, after all, winning the Newbery is a highly unlikely possibility - even if you do have a book on all the Best of 2007 lists.

Still, someone's phone is probably ringing right this second! I'm not venturing a guess here because I have read so few of the contenders. But I have a few thoughts.

1. I don’t know if THE ARRIVAL by Shaun Tan is eligible for the Caldecott but I do know it lives up to the rave reviews! I don't usually read graphic novels. I like my books with words, thank you. But this one, I loved. Tan sucked me in with fine line drawings of pathos, confusion, humor and hope. Surely, someone somewhere can find a BIG award to bestow on that book!

2. I haven’t read LAWN BOY by Gary Paulsen and I’m pretty sure it isn’t in the running for the Newbery. But there is something inside me that says, “The man has paid his dues!” I hope I live long enough to see Paulsen win the big one!

3. Last night I recorded the Amazon ratings for 30 of 2007’s top children’s books (focus on middle grade). I’m anxious to see if the Newbery winners are on my list. If so, I’ll post the changes in sales rank after the announcement in a few hours. I did this last year. It was phenomenal! Wish I’d kept them for such a time as this. But eventually, a girl has got to clean off her desk…

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