Monday, January 28, 2013

ALA Awards = Academy Awards for Books

I was sharing with my students before we started watching the live stream of #ALAYMA today how, for me, this hour-long awards program is equivalent to the Academy Awards, only this time we are honoring books, authors, and illustrators.

I actually let out several girly screams while awards were being announced.  So many wonderful books under each category.  But after the excitement, I reflected a bit and I thought I'd share some of that thinking with you.
  • I am soooooo excited that I actually read all 4 of the Newbery winners -- the 3 honor books and the winner.  This is a first for me, and I'm basking in the success.  But I couldn't have done it without recommendations from friends, GoodReads, blogs like Heavy Medal, and our wonderful independent bookseller, Sally Oddi.  Thanks to everyone who encouraged me to read these books.  I am so grateful for the network of readers to which I belong!
  • I thought all the winners were deserving.  Each book was an important piece of literature that I'll be delighted to share with my students (if I haven't already -- hello Ivan!!) for years to come.
  • On the other hand, there were some books I absolutely loved this year that weren't recognized with an award.  Those books will also continue to be shared with my students - I love each of them for a different reason, and I know they are books with which my students really connect.
  •  I really appreciated the article Monica Edinger posted this weekend at the Nerdy Book Club blog clarifying the daunting task of being part of the committees deciding each honor.  I couldn't help but wonder how difficult that must be to read voraciously the year you're on the committee, but not to be able to share your thinking/bias about books outside your committee.  I am grateful to all those who willingly take on this task.  I noticed the Caldecott and Newbery committees had about 15 people each; building consensus with that size of group would take some serious teamwork.  Well done!
  • Now that the awards have been announced, I am dying to dive into all the 2013 books and ARCs from NCTE I have been waiting to read.  Another year of reading and joy!!
  • In the meantime, congratulations to all the winners!!  Bravo!


  1. I haven't commented each time, but enjoyed all yours & Bill's posts about the Newbery. A great day indeed! I cannot imagine the work that is demanded by the committee members. I am grateful to them.

  2. I get excited every year for the book awards, too! I really haven't had much of an excuse - I'm no longer a school teacher, and I didn't have kids of my own - just lover of children's/young adult books. I have a daughter who is 2.5 now and she loves to read, too! My favorite hour of the day is the one that we read together, and I can't wait to share the more complex stories of the Newbery winners/honors. Thanks for your insightful posts over the last months! You have developed a follower in me :)

    The Adventurous Mind