Wednesday, January 20, 2010

No love for Marcelo: The 2010 YALSA Awards

The YALSA book awards are not nearly as well known to the general public as are the Newbery and the Caldecott, but the Printz is still eagerly anticipated by YA literature fans. We have some new awards this year as well, which spreads the wealth even more.

I'm a yuuuuuge (as Donald Trump would say) fan of Libba Bray on a normal day. For some reason, the day I picked up Going Bovine was not that day. In its (and my) defense, I was juggling books for Capitol Choices and Jefferson Cup, so my attention was definitely elsewhere. I've heard people either really love it or really dislike it; not too many, apparently, are lukewarm.

Printz Honor Books:

I was surprised but pleased to see Charles and Emma on the Honor list. Printz usually goes for upper YA fiction, and this skewers near the middle school nonfiction mark. With 2009 being the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, the requisite books and articles examining his life were published (but not to the extent of Lincoln's recent anniversary or the recent Apollo 11 anniversary). Charles and Emma is unique, for it centers on the Darwins' marriage. A most unusual marriage, for Emma Darwin was a devout Christian and Charles Darwin was an agnostic. I think it's a very special book; science and history fans will love it, and those with a romantic sensibility will enjoy it too. Since it was ignored by the Sibert, I'm happy that the Printz committee recognized it.

To the surprise of many, Marcelo in the Real World was completely shut out. It happens.


Almost Astronauts

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

The Great and Only Barnum

Awesome. This is a terrific book; it's joined my go-to biography recommendations.

Written in Bone: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland

I'm glad to see a Virginia-related book get recognized, but this one is a bit tough to get through.

Are there any more awards to go through? I'll check tomorrow. The 5:00 whistle is about to blow.

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