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18 May 2012

My thoughts on 2012 ALA award winners

I got the idea to read every 2012 ALA award winner and honoree that I could get my hands on based on the Newbery/Caldecott challenge issued by Mr. Schu (@mrschureads)---(he's reading ALL the award winners since the conception on the prize). 

So far, I've read a pretty fair amount of the winners:
*Grandpa Green
*Tales for Very Picky Eaters
*A Ball for Daisy
*Hurricane Dancers
*The Returning
*Breaking Stalin's Nose
*Where Things Come Back
*I started, but haven't finished yet, The Scorpio Races

and I'm torn....I like the picture books (Caldecott, Geisel awards) but I haven't enjoyed a single Newbery or Printz winner.  I don't know why this is, but I'm really happy I'm not on those committees! 

I really liked Grandpa Green (Lane Smith).  I thought the story was endearing and the pictures wonderful.  I almost cried in the middle of Barnes and Noble reading it. 

I took A Ball for Daisy (Chris Rashka) to school with me to show my students.  Because it was a wordless book, I had them write the story based on the pictures.  They loved the book, and the activity. 

Like I stated above, I started The Scorpio Races (Maggie Stiefvater) the day the awards were announced in January.  I didn't like it.  I couldn't get into it.  Will I try again this summer?  Probably, but only when my TBR pile is severely reduced.

I thought Where Things Come Back (John Corey Whaley) was really hard to get into, and I honestly didn't care about any of the characters.  I only finished it because I was proctoring a state standardized test and didn't have anything else to do/read. 

The Returning, Hurricane Dancers, and Breaking Stalin's Nose were just "meh".  They weren't bad, but in my opinion, they weren't that super awesome spectacular either.  I'm not sure how many kids would actually read any of them.

So maybe thats where my thought train is heading (jump on if you dare...), that sometimes on committees we choose books that we, as adults like, and sometimes forget our target audience. 

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