2012 National Book Award Winner

The winner of the 2012 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature went to William Alexander for Goblin Secrets

The other finalists for the award were:


Carrie Arcos for Out of Reach

Patricia McCormick for Never Fall Down

Eliot Schrefer for Endangered

Steve Sheinkin for Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon


You can see the full list of winners on the National Book Foundation website.

Have you read the winner?  I haven’t yet, so I’d love to hear what you think!

Review: The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

cavendish home

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand

Victoria has always tried to be the best that she can be with her perfect hair, great grades and neat room.  So when she gets a B in music, she is distraught and refuses to show her parents her report card.  Lawrence, her one and only friend, doesn’t have the same appreciation for perfection.  He’s a musician who is often untidy and has a habit of humming constantly.  As Victoria obsesses about her grades, she starts to notice that strange things are happening around town.  Some of the students at her school have disappeared and no one seems to care.  When Lawrence disappears and his parents are unconcerned, Victoria realizes that there is something horribly wrong.  She knows it must have to do with the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, an orphanage which never seems to have any children around.  In Mrs. Cavendish, Victoria finds another person with a will for order and perfection.  In Victoria though, Mrs. Cavendish may have met her match.  As this book turns from mystery to horror, readers will taken on a frightening ride.

From the endpaper that is designed with bugs to the bugs scattered along randomly inside the book, readers will realize that this is a little darker than most mysteries.  It begins as a classic story of a girl who is top of her class and fairly self-centered.  She is likeable despite these faults thanks to her natural inquisitiveness and bravery.  As the book becomes more dark and creepy, Victoria rises to the challenge, turning into a heroine before your eyes.  It’s a credible and impressive transformation.

Legrand slowly builds the tension in the book, creating a story that you can never quite relax into.  A great example of this is on page 83:

Outside, the streets glistened. Storm clouds sat fat, black, and heavy all along the sickly yellow sky. Victoria wondered if they would ever break or if they would just keep spitting bits of rain forever when no one was looking. She tightened her grip on the umbrella beneath her raincoat and tried not to think about how it felt like the trees were watching her.

It’s a book that twists and turns, becoming the unexpected. At several moments, I thought I had figured it out and the doubted that that would be the outcome in a children’s book.  Children will delight though in realizing that Legrand does not shy away from the horrid, the frightening and the disgusting. 

This is a wild ride of a book clothed in a classic mystery disguise.  Get it into the hands of children who enjoy a good shivery read.  It’s perfect for reading at night under the covers, if you are brave enough.  Appropriate for ages 11-13.

Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster.

This Week’s Tweets and Pins

Here are the links I shared on my Twitter and Pinterest accounts this week that you might find interesting:


8 Thanksgiving Story Books http://buff.ly/TCYeAt #kidlit

‘Baby-Sitters Club’ series to be released as ebooks | Shelf Life |http://buff.ly/y4ZbiJ http://buff.ly/W7K92b #ebooks #kidlit

"The Cybils are turning me into Sybil, and my personality is fracturing." #nerdybookclub essay today. by @polkinghttp://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2012/11/11/the-trouble-with-cybils-by-william-polking/ … Retweeted from @Loveofxena

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/15/who-could-that-be-lemony-snicket?CMP=twt_fd … Daniel Handler’s new Lemony Snicket novel! – Retweeted from @communitydisco.

From the Horn Book Guide: Artists and Masterpieces http://buff.ly/TCZBz8 #kidlit

Interview: Katherine Marsh, Author Of ‘Jepp, Who Defied The Stars’ : NPR http://buff.ly/TmMIsK #kidlit

Interview: Phillip Pullman, Author of ‘Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm" : NPR http://buff.ly/VTk8n6

Making Picture Books: The Pictures by Barbara Cooney — The Horn Book http://buff.ly/VYTMQR

Making Picture Books: The Words by Charlotte Zolotow – The Horn Book – http://buff.ly/TwWdFT #kidlit

Monica Edinger: Stop Calling Books for Kids ‘Young Adult’ http://buff.ly/XIWfPS #yalit #kidlit

Raising Kids Who Love Books « mama smilesmama smileshttp://buff.ly/W35vhf

Utah district sued for segregating children’s book about lesbian mums – http://buff.ly/UIwAAG #kidlit

What’s Your Desert Island Picture Book? http://buff.ly/TD9JI0 #kidlit


An 81-year-old Startup Entrepreneur, Seymour Simon, Sees a Bright Future in Digital Publishing – The Digital Shift http://buff.ly/TmMLVE

Bookboard: startup offers Netflix-type model for children’s ebooks http://ow.ly/fe8os Retweeted from @victoriastrauss

Oyster App for subscription ebooks. Essentially, a spotify for books, novels and great reads. http://mashable.com/2012/11/13/oyster/ … Retweeted from @JaredFink

Penguin Ebook Pilot Test Expands Beyond NYC – The Digital Shift http://buff.ly/W7JC0r

Reading on a Kindle is not the same as reading a book – Slate Magazine http://buff.ly/XI6e88 – I don’t agree at all, but it’s interesting.

Tablets Continue to Gain Ground Versus E-Readers Among Ebook Buyers | Digital Book World http://buff.ly/W7K3rk


Art Brodsky: The Mystery of the Missing E-Books – specifically about libraries on HuffPost! http://buff.ly/XIrCdf

Cleveland Public Library working to become a "People’s University" – The Digital Shift http://buff.ly/XIOn0F #libraries

Disaster plans and #libraries http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/what-katrina-can-teach-libraries-about-sandy-and-other-disasters/40986 … – Retweeted from @T_Swanson

Making the Case for a Public Library Makerspace » Public Libraries Online http://buff.ly/TCYsrk

My Terry Kendrick (library marketing guru par excellence!) interview from the book has been published in American Libs http://www.librarymarketingtoolkit.com/2012/11/an-interview-with-terry-kendrick-now.html?spref=tw … Retweeted from @theREALwikiman

A new chapter for libraries has The London Library becoming more social and more of a hub – http://buff.ly/TmN7eN #libraries

Newcastle library closures attacked in open letter from authors |http://buff.ly/ooI9mF #libraries

RT @infoDOCKET OCLC and GoodReads Are Expanding Their Partnership http://ow.ly/fhoKq

Two publishers make large donations to help libraries & schools recover from Hurricane Sandy: http://mbist.ro/RB2GPW Retweeted from @GalleyCat


How Social Media is Changing the Publishing Industry | Social Media Today http://buff.ly/UFkQid

interesting post on newspapers fighting Google: are they stupid, or is the value of Google News decreasing?http://pandodaily.com/2012/11/10/newspapers-take-aim-at-google-news-again-maybe-because-theyre-no-longer-scared/ … Retweeted from @mathewi

Killing Rumors With Facts: No, Facebook Didn’t Decrease Page Feed Reach To Sell More Promoted Posts | TechCrunch http://buff.ly/VEmbeL


Analyst: iPad will dip below 50% tablet market share in mid-2013 | VentureBeat http://buff.ly/W0z6rA

The prevalence of #mobile in #Africa: more mobiles than toilets and 10 times as many mobiles as landlines. #Tanzania http://bit.ly/RMgZCT Retweeted from @neildrewitt


Amazon has announced their Top 10 Books of the Year, and The Fault in Our Stars is alongside Eggers, Erdrich, etc. Wow! http://shelf-life.ew.com/2012/11/12/amazon-best-of-2012/ … Retweeted from @realjohngreen

The Dudes of YA, a "Lit-Erotic" Photo Spread | The Weeklings http://buff.ly/XGkNJp – hysterically funny greatness. #yalit

Gone Girl author Gillian Flynn has landed a deal for a YA book & a new novel for adults: http://mbist.ro/T52bjH

Gregg Olsen’s top 10 deadly reads – murderous fiction for teens! http://buff.ly/XIFiVO #yalit

How Paul Zindel Saved My Life by A.S. King « Nerdy Book Club http://buff.ly/W36QVf #yalit

‘Mortal Instruments’: Cassandra Clare talks about film — FIRST LOOK | Shelf Life | http://buff.ly/y4ZbiJ #yalit

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Books You Can’t Afford to Miss in November – great mix of adult & YA – http://buff.ly/TCWSWr #yalit

The State of the YA Market http://buff.ly/W36vC0 #yalit

YA Fiction and the Many Possibilities of Manhood | Malinda Lo http://buff.ly/TzzEAr #yalit