Monday, August 4, 2008

It’s 2009 Newbery Preview Time, Part Deux

A couple weeks ago I posted some thoughts on the Newbery and where it seemed to be headed for 2009. Here’s my original list:

Shooting the Moon by Frances O’Roark Dowell
After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
Bird Lake Moon by Kevin Henkes
The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti
The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman
Eleven by Patricia Reilly Giff
Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor

Another book was suggested, one I’d heard about but hadn’t included. The Underneath by Kathi Appelt. What can I say but the truth? I judged the book by its cover. Jowly dog, kittens, under the thanks. But I said I’d add it to the list. Consider it added.

So now I’m three titles into the list…well, two and a half actually…and what I feared might happen is happening: I’m not having any fun. I’m not having fun reading the books, I’m not having fun adding the “Not Recommended” label to new posts, and I’m not having fun trying to explain why I don’t recommend books that so many other people consider excellent.

I’m getting away from my purpose. The banner at the top of the page makes it pretty clear that the site offers books that will Help Readers Love Reading! Unfortunately people keep checking in for new updates and find…another non-recommended book. It’s also pretty clear (right here) the kind of book I’m looking for, and still, since the original 2009 Newbery post two weeks ago, no one has offered any suggestions of books that fit that description and qualify as distinguished.

Will I get back to the list sometime? Maybe. I’ll definitely read the award winners in January and offer my opinions then. We’ll see. Right now there’s a book about supervillians waiting for me that I have a hunch might just appeal to some fifth grade boys I know. Even if it doesn’t appeal to any committees.


  1. Okay, I'm glad I am in good company. I haven't really LOVED any of those books either. I have liked them. But not enough to put the stamp of Newbery on them. Although, I admit, I haven't read The Underneath yet.

  2. Maybe you're starting at the wrong end of your list. The bottom (WAITING FOR NORMAL) one is my top pick for for 2009! Many emotions are touched with this book.
    Lara Ivey

  3. Attention: Repeated Comment

    I posted this on the "It's 2009 Newbery Preview Time" post, but thought I'd put it here too.

    Lara was on my case to read Waiting for Normal since the beginning of August. Now February is nigh upon us, and I don't know how to contact her, other than here.

    Lara, I read it, and I'm sorry to say, I respectfully disagree. Yes, Addie is a wonderfully strong character and Dwight is ever so compassionate. (I couldn't figure out why he kept sending checks to Mommers...was it simply his compassion for Addie? It wasn't child support, but there was a certain expectation at the first of the month.)

    Anyway, I can't say it's not well written, but I can say I didn't enjoy it. It's one of those bad to worse books. Father dies. Mom remarries. Divorce. Babies. Neglect. Lose babies/sisters. Trailer. More neglect. Burn the place down. Friend dies. I half expected a dust storm and the crops to fail too.

    Lara, thanks for stopping by the site and thanks for the suggestion. Let me know if you're still reading.


All comments are moderated and will not appear until approved. If your comment is an answer for the PBID Challenge, it will appear with all other answers on the following Monday. Remember to check back then!