Jane Addams Children's Book Awards

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards are given each year to children’s books that “effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.”  In other words, they are an award that will lead you to books that are often amazing, powerful and oh so worthwhile. 

The 2007 winners are:

Books for Younger Children:

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow
by Amy-Lee Tai, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino.

Books for Older Children:

Weedflower by Cynthia Kadohata.

The website offers a list of the four honor books as well.  Enjoy!

LA Times Book Prize

The LA Times Book Prize for YA Literature goes to:

Tyrell by Coe Booth (another one buried in my TBR pile!)

The other finalists were:

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation by MT Anderson.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Just in Case by Meg Rosoff
Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin (one of my favorites of the year)

Edgar Award Winners

The Edgar Award Winners have been announced! 

The winner for YA is

Buried by Robin Merrow MacCready
(a book sitting deep within my TBR pile which will find its way towards the top!)

The winner for Juvenile is

Room One: a mystery or two by Andrew Clements

Teen Read Week Site Launched

YALSA has announced the launch of the 2007 Teen Read Week website!  This year’s theme is “LOL @ Your Library,” a friendly, light theme which will be lots of fun.  I also like that the title ties into IMing. 

To inspire quick registrations, the first 100 people to register will get a free unabridged audiobook from a Printz or Alex award winning author!  Yippee!

Teen Read Week is October 14-20 this year. 

Daemon Quiz

The beautiful Golden Compass website which advertises the upcoming film, now has a new section where you can discover what your Daemon is! 

This is my Daemon:


What’s yours?

I'd Really Like to Eat a Child

I’d Really Like to Eat a Child by Sylviane Donnio, illustrated by Dorothee de Monfreid.

Achilles is a little crocodile with a big appetite, for children.  His mother brings him bananas to eat, but he really would rather have a child.  His father tries to tempt him with a huge sausage, but Achilles is having none of it.  They both make him an enormous chocolate cake, but Achilles cannot be turned away from his taste for a child.  Then Achilles finally sees a child by the river!  He creeps up, sharp teeth and all, but the child is not scared and calls him “cute” and “scrawny.”  She grabs him, tickles him and throws him in the river.  So Achilles runs home, calling for food so that he can eventually grow large enough to eat a child.

What a treat!  A book whose very title will have children gasping and surprised.  Then the ending where the girl is not threatened at all by the crocodile is marvelous.  It is pure fun from start to finish. 

Share this one in units about nutrition and eating, just for a fun break.  Or add it to your crocodile storytime for preschoolers.  I guarantee children listening to every word after you just read the title alone.

Hiromi's Hands

Hiromi’s Hands by Lynne Barasch.

Told from the point of view of Hiromi, this picture book explains how her father became a sushi chef in  Japan after years and years of training.  He then moved to New York and eventually opened his own sushi restaurant.  Hiromi grew up respecting Japanese traditions, but quickly became fascinated with her father’s work.  She became his apprentice, despite the fact that traditionally girls are not allowed to work with sushi.  Her true story of hard work, determination and respect for tradition is inspiring.

I really enjoyed this picture book.  It is paced perfectly for reading aloud and children will be fascinated by the long years of work that it takes to make sushi.  The illustrations are simple but compelling, showing the varieties of fish and sushi and demonstrating the pride with which they are created.

In fact, you may find yourself with children’ interested in actually trying sushi for the first time!

Book Crush

Nancy Pearl, the famous model for the Librarian Action Figure and wonderful speaker on behalf of reading, has published a new book.  Previously she had done a couple of books for adults filled with recommended reads.  Now she has written Book Crush, a book filled with over 1,000 recommended reads for children and adults. 

We can all cheer one paragraph in the article about the book:

“There’s no rhyme or reason” why some books become best-sellers while
other, better contenders languish, she said. She prefers to highlight
“books under the radar that if life were fair, would be read.”

Don’t we all have examples of that!

At the Firefly Gate

At the Firefly Gate by Linda Newbery.

Henry and his mother and father move from London to a small village in Suffolk.  Henry worries that he won’t make any friends and that he will be bored as can be compared to his life in the big city.  The first night that he spends in his new room, Henry sees glowing fireflies at the end of the garden and a shadowy figure standing there looking at him.  As Henry meets people in the village, he forms a close connection with an elderly lady who lives next door.  Dottie seems to recognize Henry and Henry finds himself dreaming and experiencing things that are the memories of a man killed in World War II who was Dottie’s fiance. 

The book is a magical juxtaposition of history, dreams and real-life childhood.  Henry is a winning protagonist who is down-to-earth but experiencing amazing things.  His counterpart and neighbor, Grace, is equally as well drawn as a sulky teen with a soft side she rarely shows.  And the wonderful character of Dottie makes us all wish to enter the garden and spend some time playing Scrabble and having afternoon tea.

Recommend this to boys who enjoy World War II stories, but also to kids who like historical fiction.  With its meshing of history and modern life, it will also be a good bridge book to introduce children to historical fiction.