Excitement is building over who will win the ALA Youth Media Awards, to be announced in a few days at Midwinter. Librarians aren’t the only ones who will be watching their Twitter feeds. So will the thousands of kids around the country who have voted in various Mocks.
The kids at my old stomping ground, the Center for Children’s Literature Bank Street College of Education recently voted in their Mock Printz program, ably led by Jennifer Brown, Director (look for their Mock Newbery winners in the next few days, unless the East Coast snow storm delays it).
While the Honor Book the kids chose has been on many best books lists and was a National Book Award finalist, their winner did not get recognized on the major lists we tracked (see our downloadable spreadsheet 2013 Best BooksChildrens and YA), proving once again that kids and critics often differ.
Below, Jenny reports the winners and highlights of the discussions:
Twerp by Mark Goldblatt (Random House BYR; Listening Library).
Highlights of the students’ book discussion:
“I had never read a book set in the 1960s. It was cool to see how someone who was my age back then was going through life.”
“I liked that it included phrases you’d expect a 12-year-old would say.”
“When he admits what he did, I liked how he wrote it. The whole book he was putting it off. He was having trouble admitting it because he felt really bad.”
“I liked how he would be talking about something and then get off-topic.”
“I liked that the characters were all really different from each other.”
“I liked that there was a real sense of hard reality.”
Far Far Away by Tom McNeal, (RH/Knopf; Listening Library)
This title came in closest with the next highest number of votes. Students commented,
“It was a mixture of a lot of genres. The mystery made me want to keep reading.”
“I like that it was told from the point of view of a ghost. I’ve never read a book like that.”
“All the characters had different personalities.”
“You can’t staple it with a genre, it has aspects of different ones.”
“It was really creative and smart.”
“I couldn’t put it down.”
“The point of view of the ghost made it special and different.”
“It was a fantasy, but the characters seemed real.”