Thursday, December 22, 2005

Vote for the Newbery!

No, not really, but Oakland, CA children's librarian Nina Lindsay is running a mock Newbery discussion in January that sounds like it is going to be a lot of fun. So, for those of you in the area, the details are: Saturday, January 7 from 1pm to 5pm at the Oakland Public Library, 125 14th Street (near Lake Merritt and 12th St. BART stations. You must RSVP to Nina at nlindsay@oaklandlibrary.org (phone: (510) 238-3615, and (I love this part) read the official criteria for the Newbery Award, which can be found here. I love that Nina is asking you to read the criteria because too often these mock discussions have no ground rules, and you thus gain no idea of how the Newbery is actually selected.

You will also need to have read the eligible books Nina has chosen for discussion. They are:

Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
John Lennon: All I Want is the Truth
by Elizabeth Partridge
The Penderwicks
by Jeanne Birdsall
Criss Cross
by Lynne Rae Perkins
Harry Sue
by Sue Stauffacher
Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue by Julius Lester
Show Way by Jacqueline Woodson
A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson
The Game of Silence
by Louise Erdrich
The Old Country
by Mordicai Gerstein

This is a savvy and excellent list (I guess by that I mean that my choice for the Newbery Medal is on it, and, no, I'm not telling).


11 comments:

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

There you go; no one cares who gets the Newbery but everyone is dying to tell you how to dress. That says it all for you as a species. (I exempt myself because apparently I am some sort of subspecies created by H. Rider Haggard and a Pet Shop Boy.)

Roger Sutton said...

I know! The t-and-a is only meant to be a come-on for more serious debate. So what's YOUR choice?

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

Oh, no, you won't draw me into this type of silliness. I stick to serious subjects like bow ties and lunch menus. I forgot to warn you before you went off that falafels are for eating not throwing. Was it a problem?

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

Besides which, if you don't know what my choice is, you're not as smart as I thought you were, Roger.

Roger Sutton said...

Not at all. But then, Bill O'Reilly wasn't there.

Jane said...

Interesting list: two of my ex writing students and three of my neighbors!

Jane

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

And I'll give you a clue, it's not on that list.

Roger Sutton said...

Well, thank God there's one prize J. K. Rowling can't win.

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

She wouldn't be MY pick to win any of the prizes.

shewhousuallydoesn'tdothistypeofthing said...

Suppose someone took it into her head to rank the dying and give awards for best last days or near to last days based on certain well thought out criteria, culminating in lots of sugarplums and press and endless discussion. How would that remove us from the experience? How would it remove us from the immediacy and all it might offer us. How would it remove the dying from it, distracted as they are by the possibility of this last big award? it is a toxic practice. There was a writer in East Germany who wrote there before and after the wall came down. Afterward everyone told her how wonderful that she had the opportunity now for artistic freedom, success, money. She said she had more freedom before the wall came down when she simply wrote, knowing her readership would be there, working in peace, nothing to aspire to. Now she had the great seduction of success, competition, it removed her from the freedom of the work. Suppose you could read books without having the distraction and removal to the level of judging them against each other. Then we would see what was there. Each its own experience because of what it is not because of where it is in the line up. Moving freely from book to book. I will not participate in these Newbery talks again. They are only a chance to say look how smart I am. I can tell you what is good bettr best. They have nothing to do with the truth. They have nothing to do with the artists' intent. Merry Christmas to all and to all a still night.

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