Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cybils and Looking for Newbery - Love, Aubrey

We need to take a quick break from our Newbery hunt to say that the Cybils short lists were posted yesterday. Bill and I were pleased to be part of the Nonfiction Picture Book category panel. What was amazing to us is how many excellent nonfiction picture books were published in the last year. Nonfiction has come so far as a genre; there are so many more wonderful choices that a reader can make when looking to read nonfiction. That being said, we are quite pleased with the shortlist to which our panel agreed. I'd like to give a public shout-out to all of the members of our panel for being so delightful to work with. Thanks Jone (our fearless leader), Carol, Kara, Mandy, Franki, Debbie, and Bill for a wonderful experience!!

Regarding our Looking for Newbery, Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur is the book of the day. This book was actually recommended to me this summer by a friend. I read it and loved it (see my original post). But, since I've been reading a lot lately and didn't want to confuse story plot lines, I reread Love, Aubrey again yesterday to help me remember the details of the story. I realized that on a reread, this book just got even better. In fact, I was so impressed with it the second time, I went online to look up the exact terms and criteria for the John Newbery medal.

In my opinion, Love, Aubrey qualifies to have the Newbery committee take a look at it. It is definitely "distinguished". There is a clear-cut theme throughout this story. The development of plot and delineation of characters is breath-taking. Even the setting plays a huge role within the story. True, this is my opinion, but I am happy to report that the good folks participating in the Allen County Public Library mock Newbery also agree with me.

What is doubly amazing to me is that Love, Aubrey is Suzanne LaFleur's first book. LaFleur is definitely an author to watch in the coming years!


  1. I totally agree!!!! I fell in love with Aubrey and ached for her situation. The unique style and voice were that of a seasoned author, not debut. I now need to read it again. However, when I finished it the first time I felt as if I wanted to know more. Was she okay with her decision? How long did it last? What about friendships? What about other relationships? Then as I'm thinking these questions I had to remind myself that it was a story. This if fiction, Lara. Not sure if a sequel would take away from the richness of this first one, but I'm still curious. Thanks for mentioning this worthwhile novel that could easily be MG or YA...also a great read aloud.

  2. Hi Lara!
    We really have to get together again sometime. Bill and I had so much fun with you guys at dinner that night!
    As far as Aubrey, so glad to hear you feel the same way. I loved her decision for the moment but also wondered what would happen down the road.
    Take care and hope to meet again soon.

  3. I love your "Looking for Newbery" posts. I hope you continue this wonderful annual event. I'm checking out as many as possible from public library.

    Thank you,
    Sara Ralph
    School librarian from NC

  4. Sara,
    Thanks so much for your input! It is a little more work, but we love it. And, with any luck, we just might have read the Newbery by the time they're announced. (I must admit that last year we didn't succeed. But there's always new hope for this year!)