As soon as the calendar turns to the new year, I start hearing voices. No, they aren’t the voices of my 2013 resolutions reminding me of their long-ignored status; they are the queries from children’s book people wondering, “What will win the Caldecott and Newbery awards?” This is a dreadful question because the only correct answer is a mumbled, “I dunno. I am not on the committee.” And, even if I were on the committee this year, I still wouldn’t know. I would only have a tiny flicker of an idea, as the committee would have a list of all the nominated books by this time. But that’s it.
Still, the question persists. The one (and only) advantage that Martha and I have over everyone else in the world is that we have served on committees and know a little about that process. We know how weighted voting works and we know the kind of details that a committee of smart, passionate readers will discuss. But that’s it. We do not know who on the committee will launch an assault on a favorite book or who will champion a “sleeper” book and somehow move fellow committee members in a particular direction.
So I do not like to predict (see how I semi-dodge the issue, here). I do not have a crystal ball. But over the next few days (and there are very few left), we will re-highlight a few of the books we have already discussed. We will attempt to compare a few head to head, the way the committee will. And maybe we will slip in a few subtle predictions. Maybe not.
And then, you will vote.
Do you have any predictions at this moment in time? Is your crystal ball in sharper focus than mine is? Share away in the comments.