Saturday, November 27, 2010

Reflections on the 2010 National Book Awards (YPL)

I've finally finished reviewing all five of the 2010 National Book Award finalists in Young People's Literature. Yes, I did read them all before the award ceremony! But I didn't get my review of Ship Breaker posted until yesterday.

Naturally, I'm thrilled that Mockingbird won. Of the five books, the two I rated most highly were Mockingbird and Lockdown (both got five of five stars on Goodreads). I gave four stars to both One Crazy Summer and Ship Breaker, and three stars to Dark Water.

Mockingbird is still my favorite, mainly because I think Kathy Erskine nailed the voice of Caitlin, an eleven-year-old with Asperger's Syndrome, as well as the reactions of the people around her.

One Crazy Summer and Mockingbird are both being discussed as Newbery contenders on Heavy Medal. However, the guidelines and criteria for the National Book Award are very different from those for the Newbery Medal. The NBA is awarded by a panel of authors, who are allowed to make up their own criteria, while the Newbery Medal is decided by a committee of librarians, who are given very strict criteria. So winning the NBA doesn't make Mockingbird a favorite for the Newbery; in fact, One Crazy Summer seems to be holding that position.

So what's next? I may read a few other Newbery contenders, but as we're heading into the holiday season, I have no formal plans.

1 comment:

pragmaticmom said...

You are a rockstar for reading all the newbery award winning books plus these! thanks for the post. now i know what books to steer to my 5th grader!

ps the one with aspergers would be perfect b/c there is a little girl in her class with that.