ALA Notables List Is Up!
This past Mid-Winter I got a chance to sit in on the ALA Notables committee to watch them pick the best books of the year. Should you ever get a chance to attend a Mid-Winter conference, this is an activity that cannot be beat. Unlike those debates that go on behind closed doors, the Notables are chosen in an open room. At one end is the table with the committee members. At the other are chairs where anyone can slip in and watch the proceedings. I assume that it must make a huge difference to a person when they debate a book in front of its editors, but there would have to be a kind of thrill involved, right?
This year I was pleased as punch to recognize at least three people on the committee. Lisa Von Drasek, Rita Auerbach, and Katie O'Dell (who proves that I know librarians outside of the NYC area) were exemplary. It was also rather cathartic to have finished the Newbery and then watch people go through the very process I'd just completed. Better than a massage. Really.
And now the list is up. I was saddened by the gaping holes where A Drowned Maiden's Hair and Fly By Night should have been, but otherwise it's a great list. Lots of stuff that's been missed by other Best Book showings. Los Gatos Black On Halloween, for example, deserved greater attention this year. Definitely worth checking out.
I had a momentary lapse of judgment where I toyed with the idea of applying for an upcoming Notables committee, but I think I'll take a break of a year or two instead. I am not, after all, insane.