Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I'm enjoying thumbing through Ruth Allen's Winning Books: An evaluation and history of major awards for children's books in the English-speaking world, published in the U.K. by Pied Piper Publishing (ISBN 0-954638-45-X). Although the lack of running heads makes the book a bit difficult to use for reference, it's a very browsable paperback, with complete lists of just about every English-language children's-book award complemented by histories of each award, shrewd observations about trends and choices, and the occasional anecdote. I've just been reading Allen's account of Lucy Boston winning the 1961 Carnegie Medal. Boston had madly prepared and memorized an acceptance speech, only to be then told that a simple "thank you" was all that was required--or wanted: "I lost my temper and hit the table till the cups danced. I poured out my rage at the wasted time and nervous exhaustion, the nights of fear. With rage came adrenalin and I knew I could address thousands without turning a hair, that I was in fact all agog to do it and mad at being defrauded."