Sunday, January 11, 2009

2009 Colorado Children's Book Awards

I frequently complain that the Newbery Award is often given to a book that a child would not willingly read. That’s why I like the Colorado Children’s Book Awards. The books are nominated by children and the winner is selected by children. This year my students will once again participate in the voting.

The 2009 Nominees are:

Junior Books
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Gossamer by Lois Lowry
Heat by Mike Lupica
Homework Machine by Dan Gutman
May Bird and the Ever After by Jodi Lynn Anderson
No Talking by Andrew Clements
Peak by Roland Smith
Rules by Cynthia Lord
Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Picture Books
Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan
Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy by Jane O'Connor
Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst
Henry's Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity by Mo Willems
Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen
Move Over, Rover! by Karen Beaumont
Perfect Nest by Catherine Friend
Poor Puppy by Nick Bruel
Three Snow Bears by Jan Brett

Of the 20 books I’ve read all but Peak by Smith. I hope to have a chance to read it before the students vote. I’m almost glad I can’t vote. The only Junior Book I didn’t like was May Bird and the Ever After. I really had to force myself to finish the book. Not only was it confusing, it was a very slow read and somewhat scary for elementary students. The whole time I was reading it, I kept asking myself what child would read this book, much less the other books in the series. (Yes, it’s a series and the first book ends rather abruptly.) Then I reminded myself, that enough Colorado students liked the book enough to get it nominated. What do I know? If pressed to pick one of the Junior Books, I would most likely go with Clementine or No Talking – maybe The Homework Machine. However, based on my students’ reactions, I’m guessing that Diary of a Wimpy Kid will come out on top.
As for the picture books, I love the illustrations in Jan Brett’s Three Snow Bears and Jane O’Connor’s Fancy Nancy and the Posh Puppy. I’ll let you know what my students think.

In a couple of weeks, ALA will announce the Newbery and Caldecott Winners. I do not even have a clue about which book might be awarded the Newbery, but I’m hoping Kevin Henkes’ Old Bear will take home the Caldecott.

What books do you consider award winners?

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