My Newbery Half a' Year
I highly recommend that you get on a Newbery committee if you're at all able. Even if it's for six months rather than twelve, you've gotta give it a try. Yes, my dearest darlings, I've returned from Seattle. Last night saw me taking the red-eye from the Seattle airport to LaGuardia followed by sleeping in as long as I could justify. But now I am returned, refreshed, rested, and remarkably happy with the results.
I've looked over your Newbery guesses, and I have to say that the prize for best guess goes to Anonymous. Congratulations, Anonymous! I owe you a coke. To be honest, I checked your guesses on Sunday when I knew the winners but few others in the world (including the author) did. That was a bit of a thrill.
Was it a good year? It was. Am I happy with the choices we made? I am. Were there books that I wanted to win that didn't make it? Of course. The same could be said for every other committee member as well. And that, dear children, is why the good Lord invented the Cybils. Now I've made a quick once-over of youse bloggers out there, and the general consensus seems to be that you don't dislike the choices, but that few of you have actually read the winner. Kelly at Big A little a reviewed the book, but not as many other people have even gotten a chance to see it (though I was pleased to see that Mitali Perkins had written an Amazon recommendation). I reviewed it, of course, but I haven't yet gotten word as to whether or not I can repost my old reviews yet. I'll keep you informed.
Fun Fact: I helped write the Higher Power of Lucky press release. Which means that my little summary has now been the most widely read thing I've ever had a hand in.
Interestingly enough, much of the Mid-Winter Conference concerned ALSC's upcoming policy change regarding bloggers and award committees. Nothing's been decided one way or another, but I assure you that debate has been hot and heavy on many front as to how to best proceed.
But you realize what all this means, don't you? I'm FREE! I can spout off on any topic I choose again! Any topic aside from anything regarding the 2007 Newbery, of course. But this coming Newbery season? Oh-ho, my chickens, watch out!
Now then. The Call, as you are all designating it. That's the moment you live for. It's the only thing that will get me out of bed at 5:30 in the morning willingly. The Call went smoothly this year. All the committee members, as you may or may not know, get to place a telephone conference call so as to alert all the winners. The Chair must be very clear when informing the lucky ones that the winner is the winner and that the honors are just honors. Apparently there has been some confusion surrounding this in the past. Now I'm not sure how much I can say about the calls themselves. I suspect that the winners may want to give these tiny details in their acceptance speeches and that it would be callous of me to one-up them at this time. So here's what I can tell you: 1. Everyone was in and answered the phone though one person was, as far as I can ascertain, chasing their cat through some snowdrifts and missed our first two tries. 2. One person was awake because she was planning on watching the webcast. We told her she should probably do so anyway. 3. Kirby Larson actually attended the official announcement in person and I got to meet her. She's a native of the state and just the sweetest gal. Her SCBWI fellows were, to put it mildly, delighted.
Now that The Higher Power of Lucky has won, there's only one thing left to decide: How to decorate the banquet hall for the Newbery/Caldecott banquet this coming June?
Various Suggestions That Will Only Make Sense If You've Read the Book:
- Place one block of government cheese on everyone's plate to play with.
- Large selections of Fig Newtons and Mint Milanos should be available.
- One copy of Are You My Mother? for every guest.
- Intricate knots should decorate the napkins at every table.
- Parsley for everyone!
Of course, in some ways I'm no less busy. I've some ideas for articles, and maybe books, and maybe professional review sources and oodles and oodles of stuff. Today, though, I'm going to settle for answering my e-mails. It's good to be home. It's good to blog again.