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>Fanfare 2006

>For your delectation and debate, the Horn Book’s picks for the best books of this year.

Roger Sutton About Roger Sutton

Roger Sutton has been the editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc, since 1996. He was previously editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books and a children's and young adult librarian. He received his M.A. in library science from the University of Chicago in 1982 and a B.A. from Pitzer College in 1978. Follow him on Twitter: @RogerReads.



  1. >I’m going to have to sneak out to the library over lunch and get me a few of those.

  2. >Cool. Clay and Octavian. The YA world is working as it was in the beginning and should be. Hooray.

  3. >I’m confused. This year The Incredible Journey of Edward Tulane won the Horn Book award, yet this book does not appear on your list of the year’s best. It’s good enough to win your award, yet not good enough to make a list of the best twenty or thirty books of the year?

    Yellow Star does not appear on your list either, though it was an Honor Book for the Horn Book Award.

    Your picture book winner, Leaf Man, was published in 2005 but did not appear on either that year’s or this year’s Fanfare. Does this mean you don’t deem it as notable as the other picture books that did make those lists?

  4. Roger Sutton says:

    >The BGHB Awards and the Fanfare list have different judges, and different calendars. The Awards are chosen by three judges (appointed by me, but I have no say in their choices) whose year runs from summer to spring; Fanfare is chosen by the Horn Book Magazine editors in consultation with our book reviewers, and it’s run on a calendar year of publishing, January through December. So different people are looking at different pools of eligible books, two factors that make it extremely probable that the lists will be different.

  5. shahairyzade says:

    >I’m very happy that The Incredible Journey of Edward Tulane did not make the list. I’ve enjoyed many of Ms. Dicamillo’s books, but the acclaim that’s followed that one completely mystifies me. Nice artwork? Sure. Award winning story? No.

    Also, why is M.T. Anderson’s Octavian Nothing even listed as a YA book? It’s absolutely brilliant, but if it’s intended for a YA audience, then War and Peace should now be middle-grade fiction. The writing is dense, the narrative confusing (in the beginning), the science and history and language archaic, and the themes as complex as any you’ll find in adult literature.

    I have infinite admiration for what Mr. Anderson has created. I believe Octavian Nothing deserves the awards and attention it’s received. But if M.T. Anderson didn’t have a history of writing YA books (and therefore a ready market in that age bracket), Octavian Nothing would never have been tagged as a YA book.

  6. rindambyers says:

    >Two very interesting lists and both most useful to me, thanks very much.

  7. Anonymous says:

    >Roger, thanks for demystifying so much of the children’s book world!

  8. >Keeper of soles, definitely an outstanding picturebook this year. I haven’t seen such an excited picturebook for a while. The illustrator brought quite a bit bonus images for readers gave extra credit to whole. Have you tried to move on the Chess on cover?

  9. Roger Sutton says:

    >I don’t think Octavian Nothing is for everybody, but I do think it’s YA–the story of an adolescent finding himself, the story of a young person caught up in momentous events . . . what’s not YA? It is a difficult book and (I think) too slow starting, but I would hesitate to disqualify a book from being YA or children’s because it was difficult and would probably only garner a small audience. We don’t expect every adult book to be of wide appeal; why should we expect it of children’s books?

    I’m more persuaded by those who think The Book Thief is adult–brilliant and compelling it may be, but I don’t know why it’s a children’s book (and it’s certainly more of a children’s book than it is YA, although it’s more of an adult book than either)!

  10. >Interesting comments concerning The Book Thief and it’s placement within library collections. My library copy (academic library)was cataloged as recreational reading and is currently on reserve for an adolescent literature class. Since we have only a juvenile collection, not juvenile and YA, the line is often blurred between juvenile and adult title.

  11. >This is the best “best of” list I’ve seen yet. Octavian, Book Thief, Abundance, Ptolemy’s Gate (getting the shaft most everywhere else, I’m sorry to say), and Clay were all titles that put me in reader heaven this year.

    The only absence that breaks my heart is King Dork which wins my personal prize for Best Voice of the Year.

  12. KT Horning says:

    >The Book Thief was originally published as an adult book in Australia. The categories often seem to be quite arbitrary. I think it ultimately depends upon whether a book was acquired by the adult or the juvenile division.

  13. R. Perrin says:

    >Frankly, I’m sorry that The Unresolved didn’t make the list. It was absolutely breathtaking.

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