Book Buzz Blog

Mock Awards 2009

In the runup to the announcement of the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Award winners on January 26, libraries around the country are holding “mock award” meetings where participants discuss a short list of children’s books worthy of the prizes.

Happy 200th Birthday, Mr. Lincoln

The two hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth has prompted a flood of new books for children.  Barry Denenberg's "Lincoln Shot: A President's Life Remembered" is the most striking.

Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss

Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2 has become cause for celebration in libraries and schools across the land.  At the Central Rappahannock Regional Library, free festivities for kids will be held this Saturday and Monday at various branches.  Check librarypoint.org for details.

Don't Miss These Storytellers

Bring your school-age kids to the library this Thursday to for a real treat as Megan Hicks, storyteller extraordinaire, tells humorous stories about greed, gratitude, and why you must never forget to thank the good fairy.  She’ll be at the Headquarters library at 4:30, and at 7:30 she’ll be telling civilian stories from the Civil War and World War II to teens and adults at the Salem Church Library.  Her appearances are the final events in this year’s Ardiena Ann Tromley Family Storytelling Series.

Coretta Scott King Awards 2009

The Newbery and Caldecott Medals may be better known, but the Coretta Scott King Awards, now in their fortieth year, have become a highlight of the American Library Association's awards ceremony.  Given to African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, these books are among the most distinguished of the year.

The Stories of the Shanachies

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here’s to shamrocks, shillelaghs, and most of all to shanachies!

For a thousand years in Ireland, storytellers known as shanachies were ranked second only to kings. Even into the twentieth century, they could be found telling stories in villages, where they kept alive the myths, history, folk and fairy tales of the Irish people. The shanachies may be gone, but their stories live on in the bounty of picture books and story collections for children.

Newbery Medal: A Prize for Popularity?

The Newbery Medal, the world's oldest and most prestigious award for children's books, has come under fire recently.  Last fall children's literature expert Anita Silvey wrote a widely read article, "Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?", that questioned the recent medal winners.  She quoted librarians who claim the winners are too special, with appeal to only a few readers.  Sales figures do bear out the fact that recent winners have sold less well than many earlier selections.

Some Books That Can't Win the ALA Awards

The American Library Association announced its prestigious children's book awards yesterday, including the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished picture book and the Newbery Medal for most distinguished contribution to American children's literature. 

This morning's column takes a look at a few of the best books of the year that did not win either prize - not because they're not worthy, but because, being British, they're not eligible. 

Books for Inauguration Day

This historic Inauguration Day has inspired me to gather up a few of the best children’s books on American history. Check them out (the library’s open today) and share them with your family while you watch the festivities on television.

Caldecott Contenders

 

Which book will win the prestigious Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of the year? Join librarians and other interested folks at the Headquarters Library downtown to discuss five of the contenders. Our library’s Mock Awards program, a discussion of books eligible for the American Library Association’s Caldecott and Newbery Awards, runs from 3:00-5:00 in the library theater, and all are welcome.