Fuse #8

Monday, March 19, 2007

And Speaking of the Newbery: Newbery 2008 Predictions

Don't look at me like that. Yeah yeah yeah, it's March. It's March and half the books coming out in 2007 haven't even been published. It's March and half the books coming out in 2007 haven't even been published AND making any kind of a prediction this early in the game can only lead to tears. And dark horses win all the time and a person could lose their life savings betting on the big kidlit awards and on and on and on.

So. That said. Here are my buzz-worthy thoughts thus far:

First of all, I'm hearing good things about Gary Schmidt's Wednesday Wars. Three different people I've talked to have been cooing over it. Remember Gary Schmidt? This was the fellow who won a Newbery Honor for Lizzie Bright and Buckminster Boy (a book that many feel should have won the Award fair and square that year). Well Wednesday Wars isn't out until May and I haven't been able to track anyone down who has a copy they're willing to share, but you can bet it'll be at the top of my list when I DO find it.

Recently I finished The Baptism by Sheila Moses and I am happy to report that she is in fine form. If you read The Legend of Buddy Bush then you know that, yellow telephone notwithstanding, Moses is a great writer. Her Return of Buddy Bush was a pale sequel to the original, but with The Baptism she's back and better than ever. I have a quibble as to whether or not it stands on its own without the other two books, but I've faith that it'll win over a reader here and there.

Emma Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis is going to be one of those books that goes any which way. It's definitely a contender in terms of dark horse candidates. The cover does it no favors, but the story is certainly strong and the writing good. I'm not sure how it'll fare later in the season, however.

And then, of course, there's good old The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick which hasn't a snowball's chance in hell. A wonderful, fun book that I'm definitely going to make my homeschooler book group read the minute I have a chance, but it hasn't a prayer in terms of standing on its own without relying on its pictures. Plus the writing, while fun, isn't extraordinary. If there were any justice in this world it would win a Caldecott, but I'm not sure the committee will see it that way. Then again, Roger Sutton's on that committee and he's professed to love the title....

I love me my Faeries of Dreamdark by Laini Taylor and wish it could win just a little something-something, but that something-something will not be the Newbery. I figure I'll rally my forces to push for it to win the Fantasy category in next year's Cybils.

And yourself? Read anything top-notch lately?



At 6:39 PM , Blogger Brooke said...

Hey, thanks for this list -- this is exactly the kind of thing for which I began reading blogs. 2007 was the first year wherein I had read all of the Newbery books before they won -- let's do it again!

At 1:16 AM , Blogger The Buried Editor said...

I just discovered Emma Lazarus at our store. We only have a single copy, and you're right the cover does it no favors. But I've never heard of the others. Thanks so much for the heads up. I like to use your recs for getting books into the store. Of course sometimes the more daring ones (like the Manny Files) gets shot down. But I keep trying, and I find your recs invaluable.

At 7:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love love love The Wednesday Wars! I swallowed it whole as soon as I received my ARC. I would be thrilled to see Schmidt win the Newbery.


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