Small town librarian discusses crafts, books, comics, media, teens, and more.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Printz and Newbery award books

I just finished listening to "Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy" by Gary Schmidt. It is the winner of both the Printz Award and a Newbery Honor, which is a pretty big honor. Now this is also tells you some things about the book with having even seen it.
-The main character will be between 11 and 14 years old
-It will very likely be historical fiction
-It will almost certainly be realistic fiction
-There will be some sort of death
-There will be issues
-It will be depressing in at least some parts
-It will likely not circ great at my library

Now I haven't read all the Newbery books or even all the Printz ones. I'm certainly making some generalizations here, but there are definite trends to be observed in the winners and honorees. Of the 2008 Newbery books, all four are historical and realistic fiction, and all deal with race, religion, or class issues. The 2007 batch brought us two of historical and two contemporary, with the issues of families and disablities thrown in. Only about 12 fantasy or sci-fi books have won the Newbery Medal going book all the way to 1922. And that is including the ones that are fantastical because they are about and told through the point of view of animals.

As my father said when I spoke to him about this the other day, the depressing nature of the books and the issues like racism, classism, and religion are things that real youth are experiencing and helps them connect them to the book.

The Printz Award is definitely edgier, but still it is fond of historical fiction, issues, and depressing bits. But they at least chose winner and honor books with good amounts of humor and interesting characters and narrators like Death, demons, the Monkey King, and ghosts.

My current bet for a Newbery this year is The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. It appears to have all the requirements, other than historical. Looks like it has some strong fantastical elements at least.

In the case of the Printz, I haven't a clue. It seems to be the book no one predicted in the past couple of years.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Summer Reading Countdown

Summer Reading is a great, wonderful, fun thing for kids, teens, and libraries. But preparing for it makes me pull out my hair.

Here's a piece of my To Do list:
- Choose movies
- Screen movies
- Choose crafts
- Make sample crafts
- Book program space
- Buy prizes
- Photograph prizes
- Write up prize descriptions
- Create bulletin board
- Make fliers for schools
- Use up all the copier toner
- Make packets (will be done as soon as more toner arrives)
- Visit schools
- Website
- Prepare a book list for visiting 4th graders
- Make drawing bins
- Print sign-up sheets

Writing it up actually makes me feel better.
Getting close to the end!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Reading lots, but not writing

Summer Reading is hurtling towards us, and I feel sort of ready. I'm trying to get a lot of things going with the Teen Advisory Board too. They have agreed to make posters promoting Summer Reading, and the review blog is finally getting off the ground. I'm very pleased that it is finally happening, so I hope it continues to grow.

We are talking about meeting at Barnes and Noble to do some end of the fiscal year shopping, as there is always money that needs to be spent quickly in May or June. The TAB has been asking about a field trip and this might be a good opportunity. I'm always asking them for purchase suggestions and understandably they have trouble thinking of specific titles. The nearest bookstore that carries teen books is about an hour away, so they aren't as easily exposed to the newest titles.

Might get a couple reviews up later.