Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Newbery Award Winners: 2012

Some people get excited about the Golden Globes, Oscars or the Grammy's. Kid lit fanatics like myself get excited about the Newbery & Caldecott Awards. The winners were announced yesterday!

2012 Newbery Award Medal Winner:

The John Newbery Medal is for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

Title: Dead End in Norvelt
Author: Jack Gantos
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (September 2011)
Summary from Goodreads:
Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air. Dead End in Norvelt is a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Fiction title for 2011. One of Horn Book’s Best Fiction Books of 2011.
My thoughts:

Most of the Newbery award winners that I've read needed a little warming up to for me, with the exceptions of Holes and Tale of Despereaux. Dead End in Norvelt has been on my radar for a few months now and I just ordered it with my next Scholastic book order for my classroom. I'm looking forward to reading it!


2012 Newbery Honor Winners:


Title: Inside Out & Back Again
Author: Thanhha Lai
Publisher: HarperCollins (February 2011)

Summary from Goodreads:
No one would believe me but at times I would choose wartime in Saigon over peacetime in Alabama.

For all the ten years of her life, Hà has only known Saigon - the thrills of its markets, the joy of its traditions, the warmth of her friends close by...and the beauty of her very own papaya tree.
But now the Vietnam War has reached her home. Hà and her family are forced to flee as Saigon falls, and they board a ship headed toward hope. In America, Hà discovers the foreign world of Alabama - the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape...and the strength of her very own family.

This is the moving story of one girl's year of change, dreams, grief, and healing as she journeys from one country to another, one life to the next.

My thoughts:
I thought this book would win the Newbery because of all the buzz about it leading up to the announcement yesterday. I have really wanted to read this book for several months now. The premise of it just sounds so fascinating.



Title: Breaking Stalin's Nose
Author: Eugene Velchin
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company (September 2011)

Summary from Goodreads:
Sasha Zaichik has known the laws of the Soviet Young Pioneers since the age of six:The Young Pioneer is devoted to Comrade Stalin, the Communist Party, and Communism.A Young Pioneer is a reliable comrade and always acts according to conscience.A Young Pioneer has a right to criticize shortcomings.But now that it is finally time to join the Young Pioneers, the day Sasha has awaited for so long, everything seems to go awry. He breaks a classmate's glasses with a snowball. He accidentally damages a bust of Stalin in the school hallway. And worst of all, his father, the best Communist he knows, was arrested just last night. This moving story of a ten-year-old boy's world shattering is masterful in its simplicity, powerful in its message, and heartbreaking in its plausibility.


My thoughts:
I have never heard of this title up until today. Sounds interesting though!



What do you think of this year's winners?

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