The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Animal stories. Never been a big fan. Well, I did read the Rats of NIMH a few years ago, which was pretty awesome, and there is always Charlotte’s Web. But on the whole, even as a child, they never really thrilled me. I’m a realism girl through and through.
However, there was a bit of critical buzz around The One and Only Ivan these past few months, I and I’ll admit – I was a bit intrigued. A caged gorilla narrator who likes to think about art? I could dig it.
Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
Well, well, well, Ms. Schlitz. Two out of your last three books have earned Newbery nods. I liked Good Masters, Sweet Ladies well enough, but wasn’t quite sure what to make of it – I don’t read a lot of collections of dramatic shorts, especially those set in medieval England. I have heard that Splendors and Glooms is complex, long, and maybe not quite accessible to younger readers. But I’ve also heard on good authority that the writing is lovely and the effort rewarding.
Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
What can I say about Bomb that I haven’t already said?
Bomb certainly cleaned up this year. Newbery Honor, Sibert Award, YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Award, National Book Award Nominee – could life be any sweeter for Mr. Sheinkin? We shortlisted Bomb for the Cybil’s MG/YA Nonfiction Award, so maybe next week will be yet another honor for a completely deserving book.
As always – three cheers for nonfiction in the major awards mix!!
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Not super-suprised this book got a Newbery Honor, but let’s be honest, were we super-suprised by any of the above? Well, I mean, if you’d asked me in the 6th grade if I thought the author of Animorphs would win a Newbery Award, I would probably not have believed you, but there you have it.
Three Times Lucky, however, has a plucky heroine, a dynamic setting, a cast of interesting townsfolk, and a murder mystery, which makes for a crowd + critic pleasing read. Personally, I love reading books set in the South, so I might give it a read.