January, my favorite time of the year. Committees are reviewing. Books are being re-read. And I am feverishly making my list and checking it twice. We are on the edges of the Oscars for Literature. The time of year when journals and experts alike publish their best lists of books from the previous year. Like any lover of lists, I compare my lists with those others. What titles show up on list after list? Did I read everything I should have? What did I miss?
The first book I almost missed (due to time- almost everyone starred it) was The Wednesday Wars by Schmidt. WOW! This is a must read, for sure. Great characters. Great conflicts. Lots of laughs and even a few tears. So much to think about.
Another book that flew under my radar is The Very Ordered Existence of Merilee Marvelous. Thanks to Book Sense Quarterly Picks, I found it at the last minute. However, I am afraid that this is a book, that unlike Elijah of Buxton, may not get its due. Don't miss it, even if it doesn't make the lists.
Though there are some lists that are yet to be posted, several books have already made their Notable Presence known. Elijah of Buxton by Curtis and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie are strong entries in the fiction category. Orange Pear Apple Bear by Gravett and Dog and Bear by Seeger get several nods in the Picture Book Category. The Wall by Peter Sis and The Arrival by Shaun Tan dominate the graphic novel with Robot Dreams by Varon close behind. Who Was First? by Russell Freeman and Spiders by Nic Bishop appear strong in nonfiction.
Let's not forget The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Selznick. A book that so far has dodged the first of the lists is Kadir Nelson's Henry's Freedom Box, which is my personal favorite for Caldecott and CSK. I also like Good Day by Henkes. So many books, so little time...back to reading my last minute choices. Now where did I put my coffee?