Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Resolutions and the Newbery

As I read the posts of many of the blogs I follow, I've noticed that quite a few bloggers have posted their New Year's resolutions. One of the things I have struggled with since I started this blog is how much personal information to post. I started the blog as a way to share resources about children's literature for the readers of The Joy of Children's Literature and anyone else who happens upon this blog. Surely no one is interested in my personal life.

However, if there is anything I know for sure, it's that for reading to be meaningful, it must be personal. As I wrote JCL, one of my goals was for my passion for children's literature to be palpable. I want the reader to know that I care deeply for children's literature and one reason for that is how it has touched me personally. The way I conveyed that feeling in the book was to share stories from my own childhood and from my work with children as a teacher and a mother that exemplified the affect children's literature can have on our own lives and the lives of others we touch.

Posting personal information gives the reader the opportunity to get to know the person behind the blog. I value the information posted on the blogs I read because I have some idea of the person posting the information. She may be a children's librarian, author, teacher, professor or mother but I read the post because I value her opinion and the only way I know her opinion is because she shares it on her blog.

So, one of my New Year's resolutions is to not only post about children's literature resources, but also about my own life experiences that make me the reader I am. So, here goes:

One of the things I try to do all year long is to have already read the Newbery winner before it is announced. I know this is not a big surprise and lots of others do the same thing, but given the fact that the Newbery will be announced in a few weeks, I wanted to share with you how I'm doing so far.

A few weeks ago, Fuse #8 posted a round-up of mock Newbery winners. The titles that received the most votes were:

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (7)
My One Hundred Adventures by Polly Horvath (6)
Savvy by Ingrid Law (6)*
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (5)
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost (5)*
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (4)
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor (4)
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look (4)*
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry (4)
We are the Ship by Kadir Nelson (4)

I've not always done a good job of keeping track of the books I read throughout the year, but since I started this blog at the end of March, I've posted the titles on the sidebar to the right. So, the three titles with asterisks I still need to read in the next two weeks.

There has been much written in the news and blogs about the Newbery lately. The basic gist is that the Newbery winners are not popular with children. The Newbery is a literary award not a popularity award and that's the way it should be, in my opinion. There are lots of other awards given throughout the year in which children vote for their favorite books. Of the 10 titles listed above and of the 7 I have read, all are of outstanding literary quality, but not all will appeal to children. I will write more about this when I've finished reading the other three.

I am thankful for so many wonderful books that were published this year. As the excitement mounts for the announcement of the Newbery so does the excitement for the 2009 year in children's books. I know it will be another amazing year. I'm not going to delete the list of books I've read on the sidebar until after the Newbery announcement. Then, I'll start documenting my reading for a full year in 2009!

This is my last post of 2008. It's been a great year for me in so many ways as I hope it has been for you. I wish everyone a Happy New Year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


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