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 bed...no 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.