For our meeting in March we read the newest Newbery and Caldecott award winners. Here's the reading list:
2009 Newbery Medal Winner
The 2009 Newbery Medal winner is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave McKean, and published by HarperCollins Children's Books.
A delicious mix of murder, fantasy, humor and human longing, the tale of Nobody Owens is told in magical, haunting prose. A child marked for death by an ancient league of assassins escapes into an abandoned graveyard, where he is reared and protected by its spirit denizens.
"A child named Nobody, an assassin, a graveyard and the dead are the perfect combination in this deliciously creepy tale, which is sometimes humorous, sometimes haunting and sometimes surprising," said Newbery Committee Chair Rose V. Treviño.
2009 Honor Books
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing)
Underneath the canopy of the loblolly pines, amid the pulsating sounds of the swamp, there lies a tale. Intertwining stories of an embittered man, a loyal hound, an abandoned cat and a vengeful lamia sing of love, loss, loneliness and hope. Appelt's lyrical storytelling heightens the distinguished characteristics of this work.
Savvy by Ingrid Law (Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group in partnership with Walden Media, LLC
This rich first-person narrative draws readers into a wild bus ride, winding through the countryside on a journey of self-discovery for Mibs Beaumont and her companions. Newcomer Law weaves a magical tall tale, using vivid language and lively personalities, all bouncing their way to a warm, satisfying conclusion.
2009 Caldecott Medal Winner
The 2009 Caldecott Medal winner is The House in the Night, illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson (Houghton Mifflin Company)
Richly detailed black-and-white scratchboard illustrations expand this timeless bedtime verse, offering reassurance to young children that there is always light in the darkness. Krommes' elegant line, illuminated with touches of golden watercolor, evoke the warmth and comfort of home and family, as well as the joys of exploring the wider world.
2009 Honor Books
A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, written and illustrated by Marla Frazee (Harcourt, Inc.)
In lively, detailed, subtly retro cartoons, Frazee gently pokes fun at adult expectations and captures the unbounded joy of two friends experiencing a parent-free summer adventure.
How I Learned Geography, written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz (Farrar Straus Giroux)
Recounting memories of his family's flight from the Warsaw Blitz and his years as a refugee during World War II, Shulevitz employs watercolor and ink to depict a boy liberated from his dreary existence through flights of fancy inspired by the map his father buys in the village market.
A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.)
Sweet's mixed-media collage and primitive watercolors flow seamlessly with Bryant's prose to reveal the important bits and pieces of Williams' ordinary, yet extraordinary, life as a doctor and poet.
That means we're leaving off a few of the Newbery honor books, The Surrender Tree: Poem's of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle and After Tupac and D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson, so the reading list won't be too long, but if you have a chance to read them, we'd love to hear your opinion on them.