This year, thanks to a Baker & Taylor/YALSA grant and a calendar that puts Annual in July, I am going to the ALA Annual Conference! The stars have aligned to give me not just a great professional experience for a school librarian, but also an opportunity I never imagined as I studied the Newbery Award poster that hung in my elementary school library.
Since it's Wendy who actually read all the Newbery winners, I have promised her a full report from the banquet and will share it here as well. I am very excited, as well, about attending the Printz Award Program. While the Newbery is the award of my childhood, the Printz began when I was an adult working in a bookstore, and the Printz books have been fantastic over the years. This year's winner, Jellicoe Road, is not an easy book, nor can it have been an easy choice for the award, but... WOW.
(I considered also writing a post about Nicholas Kristof's column, but fortunately I can now point you to this response from Lisa Von Drasek at Early Word. "Hoary old favorites" is right. The only thing I will add is that if you did not already know that Kristof grew up in Oregon, the bizarre inclusion of On to Oregon on his list would tip you off. I loved pioneer stories when I was a kid too, Nick, but I don't go around recommending Tree Wagon to kids today.)