The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson
Caldecott Honor Books:
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever written and illustrated by Marla Frazee
How I Learned Geography written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Newbery Honor Books:
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small
The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
Savvy by Ingrid Law
After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
Printz Honor Books:
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
Many seem surprised by Jellicoe Road's win, but I read it after it was announced as a Cybils YA finalist and it's riveting (as long as lots of F-words don't disturb you and that's never seemed to bother the Printz committee). The only book I might have wanted to win more was poor Frankie Landau Banks, but at least it got the honor.
As for the Newbery, this was the first year that I couldn't think of a book published this year that I was dying to see win. I'm glad to see Savvy with an honor, and sadly I have to admit that I have yet to read The Graveyard Book so I better rush out and pick it up before it's impossible to find.
Last week I was flipping through my copy of BYU Magazine and saw an article featuring one of the Newbery judges, Michael Tunnell, a BYU Professor. When asked what he was looking for in a Newbery winner, Tunnell said, "You've got to have a good strong plot on which to hang character development, on which to hang your beautiful language. It's the tree on which you hang the other ornaments. And I think we're not getting that as consistently and we used to." He also said his favorites from 2008 include Masterpiece by Elise Broach, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, When the Sergeant Came Marching Home by Don Lemna, and The Willowbys by Lois Lowry.
I've never known a Newbery judge to name some of their favorites from the year before the official announcement is made, have you? In fact, I remember the year Betsy Bird served on the Newbery committee, she was asked to remove her reviews of eligible books from her blog so I thought it was kind of forbidden, but maybe I'm wrong.
So were you happy with the ALA award results? What were you rooting for?