Sorry for my silence! I set some new goals for my own writing, and have had little time to write anything else. I’ll have my next review up very soon—Holes by Louis Sachar. In the meantime, there’s been plenty of Newbery-related news in the past couple weeks, so I’ll give you the highlights here.
- First of all, I’ve discovered yet another blogger who’s reading all the Newbery medalists, so I’ll add her to my list on the right. You can find her at Newbery Quest.
- Margi Preus, who just won a Newbery Honor for her book Heart of a Samurai, is big news on Japanese TV. The main character of this novel is based on a real figure in Japanese history, and her novel is a great opportunity for American kids to learn about Japanese culture. She was filmed back in November for a morning news segment, and soon they’ll be interviewing her again to ask about her Newbery. The full story is here.
- Jonathan Hunt, at the very detailed and informative Mock Newbery blog Heavy Medal, has some interesting thoughts on Newbery winners over the last few decades.
- Get out the video cameras! It’s time to make a 90-second movie of your favorite Newbery book! Author James Kennedy and NYPL librarian and reviewer Betsy Bird recently launched the 90-Second Newbery Video Contest, asking kids to make a video and send it in by September 15th. Select videos will be shown at their own special film festival at the main branch of NYPL. Complete rules can be found at James Kennedy’s blog and at A Fuse #8 Production. Here’s a 90-second A Wrinkle in Time to give you some ideas:
- Lots of blogs have been spreading the news about this contest, and author Grace Lin recently made an offer you can’t refuse: if you do a 90-second version of her 2010 Newbery Honor Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, she’ll give you a free print from her Etsy shop!
- You may have already heard about the Today Show debacle. If not, here’s what happened: For the past eleven years, NBC’s Today Show has interviewed the winners of the Caldecott and Newbery Medals the morning after their win. However, this January 11th, Erin Stead and Clare Vanderpool were nowhere to be found on the show. At first it seemed that the show may have been too busy reporting on the shooting in Tucson, but then people like Monica Edinger noticed that they did have time for an 8-minute interview with Snooki about the book she’d just published. Various blogs and book sites have now reported on this (here are some reactions at School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, and the blogs Gotta Book and Collecting Children’s Books), and a Facebook page was started to encourage the Today Show to try again.
I’m definitely unhappy about The Snub, but I don’t know what I can say about this that hasn’t already been said more eloquently by many people. No, wait, I do have one thing to say: stop beating up on Snooki. No, it’s not fair that she got to talk about her book and the winners of the oldest and most well-known children’s book awards didn’t. But it’s not Snooki’s fault, it’s NBC’s. They decided whom to put on the air. So let's all Like the Facebook group, direct our frustration at NBC, and leave Snooki alone. (I'd like it if we could all stop ragging on her book so much, too. I think we're safe in saying it's probably not a good book, but perhaps it'll introduce some new readers to books, and bring the two circles of this Venn diagram closer together. Maybe Snooki herself will be inspired to try a third book.)