All the recent kerfuffle about the Newbery . . . well, it just makes me feel old. As I told a Boston Globe reporter on the phone yesterday, his was at least the third phone call I've had from his paper in the last twelve years on the very same topic. What galled me most about Anita Silvey's original premise was the idea that her observation was something new, that the Newbery had been going downhill only since 2004 (possibly the fakest statistic I've seen since the one that allegedly demonstrates that Goodnight, Moon causes bed-wetting.) Way to take the long view, Anita. It reminded of me of the way sportscasters whip up excitement by proclaiming that so-and-so hadn't hit such-and-such since, oh, last month. For people who think whining about the child appeal of the Newbery began with Kira-Kira, I have four words: A Gathering of Days. Oh, look, four more: A View from Saturday. And it wouldn't be a party without Onion John.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Not since . . .
For those of you lucky enough to live in the Bay Area, the Oakland Public Library is again sponsoring its Mock Newbery discussion, this year at the Golden Gate branch. (I would love to be able to tell people I worked at the "Golden Gate Library.") Librarians Sharon McKellar and Nina Lindsay have assembled a discussion list of eight titles (seven novels and one biography) of which I think five are ringers.