>Huh? seems to be the main question directed at the Children’s Book Council’s just-announced Children’s Choice Book Awards, an Internet election for “Favorite Books,” “Favorite Author,” and “Favorite Illustrator.” The five nominees, “compiled from a review of bestseller lists, including those prepared by BookScan, The New York Times and USA Today,” for each of the latter two categories include the expected names (Rowling, Horowitz, Willems, Brett, etc.). But the “favorite books,” with five nominees for each of three age categories are more surprising in that they include no books from any of the favorite authors or illustrators, nor, as Betsy Bird points out, any novels at all among the nominees for the Grades 5-6 category. Maybe the Horn Book really is an ivory tower, but I confess no more than a passing acquaintance with a dozen of the fifteen nominated titles, all 2007 books.
According to the CBC, these fifteen “finalists were determined by the IRA-CBC Children’s Choices Program.” Watch out for the passive voice, it bites you in the ass almost every time. The Children’s Choices program has been around since 1975, enrolling children in schools around the country in a system of book discussion of several hundred books (nominated by their publishers) that results in a list of 100 titles each year. As far as I know, this list has no “top fifteen,” so we don’t know how these “finalists” were chosen. I suppose it could be that these books are the ones the Children’s Choice children did like best, but their relative obscurity prompted the CBC to supplement those choices with ballots for the authors and illustrators who were unaccountably ignored. Ya got me.