ALA Awards Announced

January 28, 2009

If you haven’t heard by now, on Monday the ALA awards were announced at the Midwinter Conference.  Here are winners:

winner…. Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book (listen/watch him read it here!)
honors…. Kathi Appelt – The Underneath;  Margarita Engle – The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom;  Ingrid Law – Savvy;  Jacqueline Woodson – After Tupac & D Foster

winner…. Susan Marie Swanson – The House in the Night
honors…. Marla Frazee – A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever;  Uri Shulevitz – How I Learned Geography;  Melissa Sweet – A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams

winner…. Melina Marchetta – Jellicoe Road
honors…. M.T. Anderson – The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves;  E. Lockhart – The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks;  Terry Pratchett – Nation;  Margo Lanagan – Tender Morsels

I have to admit that so far I haven’t read a single one of these.  I’m hoping that changes soon.  I’ve heard great things about Savvy and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, so those will likely come first.

The Book Thief

June 16, 2008

In this book by Markus Zusak, Death serves as a narrator telling the story of a young girl adopted by a couple in Germany during WWII. The book starts out slowly because you have to adjust to the writing style. Zusak uses fragmented sentences, short episodic chapters, and lots of metaphors. It’s an interesting style, but it was difficult to get into and by the end it felt too “artsy” for me. However, I did enjoy the characters and the setting of Nazi Germany. Death as the narrator also adds an interesting aspect to the book. The story is really long, though, and I kept finding myself just wanting to finish, not because I really wanted to know what happened but more because I wanted to be done and move on to something else. It’s not a bad book; I think there are a lot of good themes, and I can see why it was nominated for a Michael L. Printz award. It would be a good book to include in a high-school literature class or in a WWII unit.

There are many varying opinions of this book, so be sure to read it yourself and form your own!