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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Congratulations to the finalists--

Guest room decor, 2012

Much of my year was taken up with reading (and sometimes rereading) 316 books for the National Book Award in Young People's Literature, along with panelists Judith Ortiz Cofer, Susan Cooper, Daniel Ehrenhaft, and our fearless leader, Gary Schmidt. I am honored to have been asked to judge, and I enjoyed being part of a harmonious group. I am looking forward to meeting the others at lunch on November 14th and then attending the awards banquet, when the winner will be announced.

The five finalists were announced earlier this morning. I am glad and happy for them. And I wish for all of those nominated by their publishers much pleasure in words in the years to come.

The five finalists

Stacks. And stacks!

In alphabetical order by author:

William Alexander, Goblin Secrets
Carrie Arcos, Out of Reach
Patricia McCormick, Never Fall Down
Steve Scheinkin, Bomb
Eliot Schrefer, Endangered


  1. So glad you are finished with this task!

  2. All that remains is fun (aside from catching up with all my other work), so that is pleasant.

  3. Reading your posts/tweets re the number of books you had to read as part of the panel was always amazing to me...but...seeing the stack is honestly overwhelming. i simply cannot imagine being that type of reader! My eyes are wondering how yours did it! Knowing that you truly read each and everyone...i think i shall now go lie down on your behalf.

  4. zephyr,

    Thank you. Take a nice long nap for me, do!

  5. As the others said! I'm quite awed at the stacks and stacks of books you have read, and still manage to write and have a life! Good you can now have some fun.

  6. Wishing for a maid, a chauffeur for children, and a secretary in order to catch up now!

  7. Hello, I simply wanted to take time to make a comment and say I have really enjoyed reading your site.

  8. Thank you, Anonymous--

    You were lost in the Gulf of Spam along with sellers of Ugg boots, ambien, viagra, and voile.

  9. When I was younger, this would have been my dream job. Though of course like most dream jobs I'm guessing there was no pay. It still might be my dream job as long as I didn't have to justify my opinions or write a report, just say "There, that one, it's the best." And leave it at that. Because I read it and I said so.

  10. There's an honorarium, and we have lunch together--the five--and then go to the banquet. No report! We each wrote a tiny piece that goes on the website about one of the books...


Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.