Monthly Archives: January 2013

Congratulations to the Winners

Today the 2013 award winners were announced for outstanding works in literature for children and young adults.  Though my favorite (Wonder) was not a winner, these fabulous books all deserved their awards.  I highly recommend each of these books.

Newbery Winner:   THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN

Ivan“The One and Only Ivan,” written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated byPatricia Castelao is byHarperCollins Children’s Books.  Ivan’s transformative emergence from the “Ape at Exit 8” to “The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback,” comes to life through the gorilla’s own distinct narrative voice, which is filled with wry humor, deep emotion and thought-provoking insights into the nature of friendship, hope and humanity.  

Caldecott Winner:  THIS IS NOT MY HAT
“This Is Not My Hat,” written and illustrated by Jon Klassen and published by Candlewick Press. In this darkly humorous tale, a tiny fish knows it’s wrong to steal a hat. It fits him just right. But the big fish wants his hat back. Klassen’s controlled palette, opposing narratives and subtle cues compel readers to follow the fish and imagine the consequence.

Printz Award Winner: IN DARKNESS

11451112[1] “In Darkness,” written by Nick Lake tells the story of fifteen-year-old Shorty who awakens beneath the ruins of a crumbled hospital in Haiti, where his weakening mind begins flashing back through his own violent history, the loss of his twin sister, and his mystical connection to Toussaint Louverture, the nineteenth-century revolutionary who helped liberate his country.


9781442408920_zoom[1] “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe,” by Benjamin Alire Saenz, brings readers the tale of 15-year-old loner Aristotle Mendoza and his friendship with Dante Quintana. Sáenz exquisitely captures the story of two boys on the edge of manhood. By addressing issues of identity, friendship, family and love, Sáenz pushes beyond geography, sexuality and cultural identity to create a truly universal novel.The book was published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.


9781596434875_zoom[1] “Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon,” by Steve Sheinkein, published by Flash Point,is a riveting thriller told in three parallel stories: the race against time to build the world’s first atomic bomb; the determination to stop the Nazis from developing it first; and the stealthy efforts of Soviet spies to steal the American plans.

William C. Morris Award: SERAPHINA

officialcover[1]“Seraphina” written by Rachel Hartman, when the death of a royal prince threatens the fragile peace between humans and dragons in Goredd, court musician Seraphina is drawn into the murder investigation. But even as she aids Prince Lucian in his mission to uncover the murderer, Seraphina conceals a dangerous secret of her own—her half-human, half-dragon heritage.


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And the Newbery Winners 2013 are???

The 2013 Newbery Winner has not be announced yet (that won’t come until January 28) but I would not want to be on the committee this year.  I have not seen, or read, so many wonderful books over the past year that I would consider giving this prize to.  I truly cannot remember a year that had this many possible award winners.  Here are just a few of the ones I believe to be the top contenders.


MAY B. by Caroline Starr Rose  

May is helping out on a neighbor’s Kansas prairie homestead—just until Christmas, says Pa. She wants to contribute, but it’s hard to be separated from her family by 15 long, unfamiliar miles. Then the unthinkable happens: May is abandoned. Trapped in a tiny snow-covered sod house, isolated from family and neighbors, May must prepare for the oncoming winter. While fighting to survive, May’s memories of her struggles with reading at school come back to haunt her. But she’s determined to find her way home again.


THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN by Katherine Applegate

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.  Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.  Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

12 kinds of ice

TWELVE KINDS OF ICE  by Ellen Bryan Obed

With the first ice—a skim on a sheep pail so thin it breaks when touched—one family’s winter begins in earnest. Next comes ice like panes of glass. And eventually, skating ice! Take a literary skate over field ice and stream bed, through sleeping orchards and beyond. The first ice, the second ice, the third ice . . . perfect ice . . . the last ice . . . Twelve kinds of ice are carved into twenty nostalgic vignettes, illustrated in elegantly scratched detail by the award-winning Barbara McClintock.

Liar and Spy

LIAR AND SPY by Rebecca Stead

When seventh grader Georges (the S is silent) moves into a Brooklyn apartment building, he meets Safer, a twelve-year-old coffee-drinking loner and self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: how far is too far to go for your only friend?


WONDER by R.J. Palacio

I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.  August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

We've Got a Job

WE’VE GOT A JOB by Cynthia Levinson

In 1963, the Civil Rights movement was falling apart. After a series of setbacks across the south, the movement was losing direction and momentum. No southern city was more divided than Birmingham, Alabama, home of the infamous Bull Connor. Dr. Martin Luther King conceived an ingenious plan: fill the Birmingham jails by arranging a series of public protests at which participants would be arrested as a result of their nonviolent action, paralyzing the city and drawing national and world attention to the horrors and injustices of segregation. But the stakes were too high for much adult participant in the movement job loss, jailing, and quite possibly even death. Instead, against Dr. Kings better judgment, young people led the protests.

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A bullying book that speaks to the masses

First published as an eBook Eric Kahn Gale’s semi-autobiographical tale of his life as a sixth grade.  Part mystery, tragedy and comedy this is an amazing story that any middle school student, educator or parent of a middle schooler read.

The Bully Book

What is The Bully Book? Part mystery, part tragedy, part comedy.

When the author was eleven, he was bullied. This book is loosely based on incidents that happened to him in sixth grade.

Eric Haskins, the new sixth-grade bully target, is searching for answers. And unlike many of us who experienced something awful growing up, he finds them. Though they may not be what he expected.

A Top Ten Indie Next List pick of 2013!

“layered and attention-grabbing mystery. Gale’s accounts of bullying are subtle and chilling, but readers will finish the book believing that the humiliations Eric suffers can be conquered,”–Publishers Weekly

Book Trailer for the Bully Book


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The No Book Library?

I have to admit this does not surprise me. With more and more people using tablets and schools using ebooks for their textbooks. Does this make me nervous? No not really. I guess I am still wondering if people will not miss holding an actual book. I can not see print media falling away completely. After all there are several eBooks that have been published in true paper format, so not all library’s will go book-less. But this is still a good article to read and to think about.–abc-news-tech.html


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