Yes, I woke up at 5:30 this morning to watch the ALA Awards (I only wake up that early for ALA Awards and flights to exotic places like Italy). Okay, so they didn’t start until 5:45 our time, but I wanted to make sure I got one of the 10,000 slots for online viewing. Plus, I knew I’d need some tea to make it through the morning and I didn’t want to be distracted with whistling teakettles during the announcements.
I watched on my laptop, with my Bitterblue ARC close by in case I needed entertainment (of course I didn’t, I was riveted). I’m about 2/3 of the way through Bitterblue, and it is hard to put down at this point… I went to sleep reading it last night, and figured I could wake up reading it this morning!
There were definitely some surprises this morning. None of the Newbery winners were on the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery shortlist, and I haven’t read any of them! Guess I’ll have to get reading. And A Ball for Daisy and Blackout weren’t on our Mock Caldecott shortlist either, though we did have a great discussion about Grandpa Green and Me… Jane. I’ve been talking with some editors here at Chronicle about how fun it would be to have a Mock Sibert next year. Anyone else out there interested in attending one if we organized?
While watching, I texted with friends at Candlewick and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. It was a much more civilized time for viewing on the east coast, and they were watching with their coworkers. Both publishers had several Caldecott and Newbery hopefuls this year, and I know they were nervous. Houghton’s Okay for Now and Balloons Over Broadway have been much discussed, as have Candlewick’s A Monster Calls and I Want My Hat Back—we discussed all of them in our Mocks, in fact. All of those books got recognition in some form (though not for the Caldecott or Newbery) except A Monster Calls. And Balloons Over Broadway, Chronicle’s Mock Caldecott Medal winner, got the Sibert Medal, an award for nonfiction. After the announcements, I got to debate the winners with my old book club / Mock Caldecott group in Boston via e-mail. We all graduated from the masters in Children’s Literature program at Simmons College, and our beloved professor Cathie Mercier was on the Caldecott committee this year. Knowing how she thinks about books, it was fun trying to get inside her head, and imagining what the committee discussion must have been like.
I also work at an independent bookstore part-time. It helps me keep in touch with my bookselling roots, with industry trends, and with my audience. There is nothing like connecting the right book with a child reader. So, while watching the awards I was also frantically trying to order the winners for the store. It is such fun trying to remember all the winners, deciding how many books to order, and attempting to beat all the other booksellers to clicking that “order” button.
Here is the full list of award winners for your enjoyment!
What a way to start the morning!
Now, off to work.
Editorial Assistant, Children’s
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