Last week or so, the Newbery and Caldecott winners were announced at the ALA convention. Having been a school librarian for 9 years (that’s a crazy statement) I have always followed these awards and checked out the books that won. Usually, not always, I don’t 100% love the books that they have chosen. This year was no exception. I am only going to focus on the Newbery in this post – because I have not had a chance yet to see the Caldecott winner and honors books in person.
Winner of the 2017 Newbery Award is The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. I had the pleasure of reading this book, last year in November; I gave it 3 stars on Goodreads and as I said in my review, I liked it but I’m not standing on rooftops screaming for other people to read it. The honor books are Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan, Wolf Hollow written by Lauren Volk, The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog,.
Winner of the 2017 Caldecott Award is Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe. I have not had the pleasure of seeing this book yet, but I look forward to picking it up and checking it out! The Honor books are Leave Me Alone! illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol, Freedom in Congo Square, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, Du Iz Tak?, illustrated and written by Carson Ellis, and They All Saw a Cat, illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel.
Over the years that I have been a librarian and actually paid attention to the Caldecott and Newbery winners, there haven’t been many that have blown me away. I am currently reading Wolf Hollow (which won an honor) and I will be picking up the other Newbery books soon. The last Newbery book that I read and loved was The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate which won in 2013. And honestly, I didn’t read it when it first came out – I waited until a couple years ago to read it. My favorite of the past years has been The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. That book flies off my shelves when I book talk it – vs when I have tried to book talk other Newbery winners (I’m looking at you Moon Over Manifest).
Overall, I can’t say whether I’m happy or unhappy with the pick this year. It just wasn’t what I would have chosen. Some other middle grade book that I read that I thought should have won were Pax by Sarah Pennypacker, The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (do yourself a favor and go read that…just omg….) and Ms. Bixby’s Last Day by John David Anderson which is my favorite out of all three…. maybe… I don’t know… it’s hard to say. But my point is there are other things I feel were better than The Girl Who Drank the Moon. Not saying it was a bad book, because it wasn’t, but it wasn’t my pick.
Ok, enough ranting for now. Enjoy and keep reading!!
Currently reading : Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk