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November 26, 2014

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November 25, 2014

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Newbery Knockouts & Caldecott Clashes, FINAL ROUND!

Caldecott Clashes
And in Newbery Knockouts
The best will succeed

I greet you with a haiku because I threw my competitors for a loop when I requested that they write one about their books in addition to telling me why their books should win the coveted award!

So let’s get to it!

Newbery Knockout:

BOMB by Steve Sheinkin
Trevor, Editorial Manager for Tab & TeenRC Book Clubs

BOMB by Steve Sheinkin
A better book you won’t find.
Newbery or bust!

A book that teaches readers about the costs of war and proves the old adage that “with great power comes great responsibility.” A book that entertains readers with engaging prose and a gripping narrative. A book that readers will not only love reading, but they’ll want to read again and again. Sounds like a Newbery book to me. Each of these things makes BOMB a great book, and the sum of their parts is why it should win the Newbery…and wouldn’t it be cool if a narrative nonfiction book won?

Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Ann Marie, Editorial Director for Arrow, TAB & TeenRC Book Clubs

Wonder wins the prize
Because it makes you and me
Better in the end.

Please don’t hide your face.
Let your beautiful light shine.
Auggie, you’re a star!

Wonder should win the Newbery Medal for its clever and eloquent writing and its equally memorable story of human experience. It provides a mirror through which readers can look within themselves, for better or for worse. Not only is it a wonderful piece of literature, but it is a remarkable and defining look at humanity.

Caldecott Clash:

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen
Heather, Senior Marketing Manager for Honeybee & Firefly Book Clubs

Never-ending yarn:
Cashmere, qiviut, angora,
Cotton, alpaca,

Wool, merino, silk.
The fiber doesn’t matter.
Sweater knit with love.

The Academic: What works about this book is the interplay of light and dark, ink and watercolor, and the way the story is fully realized through the illustrations. Even without the words, the pictures tell the tale and keep the viewer turning the pages. (This doesn’t mean that Mac Barnett’s text is anything less than awesome.)

The Gut: Because fiber-arts folks are crazy and if Extra Yarn wins we’re likely to knit and crochet and weave something truly fabulous to celebrate that shiny gold sticker on the front of this year’s most important book. Wouldn’t you like to see the ALA office building wrapped in a handmade sweater? (In fact do have a neckwarmer I made that totally works as a book cozy!)

Unspoken by Henry Cole
Kate, Editorial Manager for SeeSaw Book Club

Searching for safety,
Eyes connect and hearts open.
Vision to freedom.

This book should win the Caldecott because, simply put, it is an extraordinary picture book that brings illustrations to the forefront. From the sepia-toned pages to the graphite-sketched images, readers are transported to a bygone era. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and in Unspoken, the pictures alone tell the tale. Readers will be drawn in by the details on each page, telling the story in their own mind. (Not to mention that a Caldecott Medal would complement the bronze end pages oh-so-perfectly!)

And a surprise entry (due to unforeseen mailbox complications):

Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin
Alison Morris, Senior Editorial Merchandising Manager for Scholastic Book Clubs

“Magical stories -
Woven with intrigue they are.”
- Review by Yoda

Starry River of the Sky is truly magical. It sweeps the reader along, delivering delight, surprises, and a deeply satisfying conclusion. Chinese folktales are woven so seamlessly into the story that by the end it’s hard to tell the pieces from the whole. Each tale reveals something about the teller and holds the key to a mystery. It’s rare to find novels as fine—and fun!—as this. Enchanting illustrations make each copy a keepsake.

So there you have it, our final entries for the Newbery Knockouts and Caldecott Clashes! Who do you think should win? Tell us in the comments!

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One Response

  1. Extra Yarn. I read it to a children’s book group and the kids and parents alike loved it to pieces. I’ve never had such a great reaction to a picture book.

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