Monday, 21 January, 2019


The Time is Nigh! @ Your Library

Tracy Kampa, Children’s Library


I know you believe the most exciting, busy, fun-filled weeks of the season are just behind us. Yes, the winter holidays are great, but please don’t let that be a distraction from the upcoming, star-studded, early morning extravaganza, that is nearly upon us. Yes, my friends, in a couple of short weeks, the American Library Association will make the announcement of all the award winners of 2018. If you, too, want to watch the awards live, you can find the countdown clock here: http://ala.unikron.com/ (And yes, of course the ALA Youth Media awards are a big enough deal to have their own countdown clock!) As of a few seconds ago, the awards will commence in a mere 24 days, 17 hours, 27 minutes, and 45 seconds. I know! Who can sleep?

So, what will you be reading between now and then? You know how I feel about Jacqueline Woodson’s “Harbor Me,” my favorite book of 2018. I also loved Kate DiCamillo’s “Louisiana’s Way Home,” and Christopher Paul Curtis’ “The Journey of Little Charlie.” I also very much enjoyed Varian Johnson’s “The Parker Inheritance,” and Aisha Saeed’s “Amal Unbound.” The Newbery Committee, however, is comprised of 15 people with, hopefully, disparate backgrounds, and they have yet to just give me a call to find out my thoughts on the subject. So, we are left guessing. (Fun Fact: The Newbery and Caldecott committees are sworn to secrecy FOR LIFE about their committee discussions. We know what they pick, but we’ll never know why they made that choice.)

Other top contenders, at least from my perspective include Kelly Yang’s “Front Desk,” a story of a remarkable ten year old who manages the front desk of a hotel while her parents are cleaning the rooms. This is a story of immigration (both legal and illegal), and it introduces us to the funny and courageous Mia.

Leslie Connor has a winner in her character Mason Buttle. To say Mason is down on his luck is an understatement. He has suffered the death of family, and, most recently, his best friend. There are bullies with whom to contend. There are mysteries to solve, and police who have questions that need to be answered. Through it all, however, Mason remains steadfast to his truth. Please don’t miss meeting Mason in “The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle.”

When you’re twelve years old, and your country is broken into two parts, India and Pakistan, and you’re part of both cultures, where do you belong? Nisha’s story is one of both finding your country and finding yourself. The journey is arduous, on both accounts. “The Night Diary” by Veera Hiranandani will have you cheering for Nisha, perhaps while questioning the history that you know.

Oh, for crying out loud, I’m almost out of space, and there are so many good books! Okay, in addition to the books mentioned above, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see these mentioned on Newbery Monday: “Ghost Boys” by Jewell Parker Rhodes, “The Book of Boy” by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, and “Betty Before X” by Ilyasah Shabazz.

On the Caldecott list, (given for the best illustrations of a picture book,) I would hope to see “Dreamers” by Yuyi Morales and, perhaps, “A House that Once Was” by Julie Fogliano. “They Say Blue” by Jillian Tamaki, “Drawn Together” by Minh Le and “Julian is a Mermaid” by Jessica Love were also favorites of mine this year. (Along with about two dozen others…sigh…)

Finally, there are two books that I think should be considered for the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult literature. “The Poet X” by Elizabeth Acevedo and “Hey Kiddo” by Jarrett Krosoczka are both outstanding.

So, there you have it, a few titles to keep you busy until the big day. If you can, tune in to the announcements, live. They may not yet be in Prime Time, but I think you’ll have a prime time. (And you can always say, “I watched it when…”) Happy Reading!



This Week at Your Library

Monday, January 7 at 9:30 and 10:30, it’s Book Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books, songs, finger plays, flannel board stories, and all other sorts of fun! Then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit.

Saturday, January 12 at 10:15 and 11:15 it’s time for Saturday Story Time! Join ECFE teachers in the Story Circle for books and songs, then move to the Community Room for a snack, a craft, and a time to play and visit. Families may earn one Baby Steps coupon for attending this Story Time.