Ah, the award season is upon us. And I don’t mean the Golden Globes, Academy Awards, or any other silly low profile affairs like those. I am of course referring to the children’s book award season that begins with the announcement of the Newbery and Caldecott and other ALA awards and culminates with the prestigious Bluebonnet award presented at the TLA conference in late March. For those of you who have possibly not lived in Texas (or The Center of the World as we think of it here), you may not be familiar with the Bluebonnet Award. You can familiarize yourself here.

This morning the feeding frenzy began when ALA announced the winner of all of their major awards. Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, a book I’ve never heard of, won the Newberry. White Darkness won the Printz, and in what I’m sure will be a controversial move, ALA awarded the Caldecott for “most distinguished American picture book for children” to The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a mid-grade novel. Personally, I feel a picture book award should go to a picture book, but no one asked me.

And, that, I have decided, is the problem. Yet again I am unable to participate in all the non-stop discussions on these books because I haven’t read a single one of them. I tried to read Hugo Cabret, but didn’t make it past the first set of pictures. The other 2 don’t really sound all that interesting to me, so I doubt I’ll be reading them. I have read some of the Honor books, but that’s not as fun as discussing the actual winners. So if one of the books has disturbing imagery, or controversial plots, or even uses taboo words like booby, I know nothing about it. I’m spending another year in the dark concerning the winners.

But, I’m determined not to miss out on award mania entirely. Since I can’t join the talks about the “official” award winners, I just decided to present some awards of my own. So, presenting the first 1st annual 2008 Slushie Awards. (Play suitable theme music here.) From now until I lose interest, I will periodically be presenting a Slushie to a book I think worthy of notice and attention. I will be taking nominations for both book and category ideas. And since no award is complete without a seal, I made one of those too:

So as to not take away from the other award winners’ special day, I will not announce the first of the Slushies until tomorrow. You’ll just have to wait in hair pulling anticipation until then.

© Copyright 2006-2011 Madeline Smoot. All rights reserved.
May be excerpted and duplicated for educational purposes.
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