Thursday, November 17, 2005

NBA Winner . . .

. . . has been announced; see Carolyn Shute's review for the Horn Book Magazine here. Unless things have changed since I was a judge in 1999 (Kimberly Willis Holt's When Zachary Beaver Came to Town was our choice), the voting procedure is both more casual and more dramatic than the exquisitely ritualized Newbery and Caldecott voting: the five judges, having previously come up with a shortlist of five titles, meet for lunch the afternoon of the award ceremony and pick the winner. Theoretically, no one but the judges know who won until the committee chair makes the announcement from the podium. The NBA tends to go toward the YA-ish end of children's books, and The Penderwicks seems solidly middle-grade to me; how do we find its chances for the Newbery?

7 comments:

Mr. Nobody said...

I just think it's wonderful that all those basketball players are so supportive of childrens' literature.

Roger Sutton said...

as does the NFL--see GAME DAY, by Tiki and Ronde Barber.

Elizabeth said...

I know! They really embrace diversity. You would think they would have given a book like "Michael's Golden Rules" by Dolores Jordan or "Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery"

Fern said...

Re: the Penderwicks . . . It felt to me like the modern American movie version of the sort of old-fashioned domestic novel to which it owes its superficial appeal. Too many of the characters and situations are anachronistic and there are too many forced incidents that would make for broad film humor (picture the soccer ball at the garden party). The rise of this novel suggests to me that we're very very hungry for this sort of cozy fiction. (*Inexcusable* is my choice for the Printz; I'd like to see *Criss Cross* get the Newbery, but I'm not betting on it.)

Roger Sutton said...

When Fern says "we're very very hungry for this sort of cozy fiction," I'm prompted to query her "we." Would that be grownups wary/weary of the darker-themed YA novel? Grownups wanting a more wholesome alternative to the slutty girl series? Or is our cultural Anglophilia at work--The Penderwicks certainly resembles a lot of English domestic comedy for children, although without the barbs or eccentricity of Anne Fine or Hilary McKay.

Fern said...

You have unpacked my "we" beautifully. And I think there's more than a dash of both nostalgia and cultural Anglophilia at work in the grown-ups' responses to this book. But maybe *The Penderwicks* will win reader's choice awards too: there are lots of young readers who eschew the dark side of YA lit and probably lots who respond to more frivolous works with discomfort or dismay. I don't want to deny anyone a nice cozy read! I just wish *Penderwicks* had either been truly a cozy for our time or an historical fiction, rather than an anachronistic mish-mosh.

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