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>What’s Gonna Win?

>SLJ’s always entertaining Heavy Medal blog is back for the season and today Fuse #8 speculates on Newbery and Caldecott possibilities. I’m hopeless at this game and anyway remember the way Betsy Hearne was (verbally) spanked for having the temerity to suggest in a BCCB editorial that the Newbery Committee ought to give serious consideration to Brock Cole’s Celine. In those pre-blog days, nobody was supposed to tell the award committees what to do, especially in print.

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. >Oooh, I remember that. And you responded by saying that the next year's committee should give serious consideration to . . . The Cuckoo's Child, do I have that title right? Suzanne Freeman, I think. Just daring people to spank you.

    How do you feel about the all the discussion? I was pleased with the picks last year, but I remember that it was a bit of an anti-climax by the time the "real" Newbery was announced.


  2. Roger Sutton says:

    >And I totally got into trouble for that, ferwas. When I called Susan Hirschman to tell her that Lynne Rae Perkins had won a BGHB Honor for Home Lovely, Susan lit into me because Cuckoo's Child had won nothing. (I pick the BGHB judges, but not the winners.)

    While I agree that all the chatter can take some of the air out of the announcements, I think it's great for the awards–any award, really. It means the award matters. My July 2010 editorial was on this topic.

  3. >On the one hand, the insight into the Newbery Committee has kind of taken the shine off it for me — shucks, they are mere mortals, after all.

    On the other hand, so many more books get the benefit of being "Newbery Contenders" which is great. Every year there are things that I *wish* had won something, that don't. This way, they get at least a little bit of the attention.

    And for what it's worth. I was with you on the Freeman book. But I don't think your comments sunk its chances. That was a book with very high expectations of its audience.


  4. >Ugh. NO. I hate the overtalking and handicapping and analyzing. I know some people love it, and consider it a hobby, and we've all talked about it on and off for years, but it trivializes things for me, personally.

  5. >On the one hand, I have fun with the speculation; enjoy using the talk to discover books I haven't read yet; and also like that it forces people outside the committees to really think about the charge beyond "but I like this book."

    On the other hand, it puts too much a focus on N/C eligible books, meaning that those by English/Australian/other non Americans fall by the way and don't get the buzz/ talk/ support.

  6. >I'd agree. On the other hand, those non-eligible books get a fair amount of discussion when people howl with cries of pain upon discovering that their favorite book of the year cannot win. I'm certainly more curious to read the book a person is weeping openly over as opposed to another that is merely considered "eligible".

  7. >"The Cuckoo's Child" certainly fits MVP's definition of "uber-Newbery, as outlined in one of the most thoughtful critical works to date about the award is and what it should be. It's also an example of a book (and dare I say, author?) that fades into obscurity without some kind of recognition for its literary quality.

    And, honest to Pete, I am not kidding, my word verification is "Shabanu."

  8. Roger Sutton says:

    >KT is talking about Martha Parravano's "Alive and Vigorous": Questioning the Newbery.

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