Archive for the ‘Book Awards’ Category

Whoever thought I’d have a Take 2 on this?  Each day is full of surprises.

‘Shine’ Withdrawn as NBA Young People’s Literature Nominee

This situation with Lauren Myracle’s book, Shine, is absurd.  The emotional highs and lows she is going through is unwarranted. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the attached article.) But what does it say about the National Book Foundation that they ‘misheard’ Shine for Chime? Did they also mishear Myracle for Billingsley?  I mean, come on!!!

To be truthful, I’ve heard great things about both books and they are now on my reading list (Chime is already on my night table), despite the fact that neither is in my ‘genre’.  You will hear my views on both books.

However, if I were on the NBF nominating committee, I’d resign in shame. My humble opinion.  I’d like to hear yours.


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There are two universal truths when it comes to me and book awards:

1.  I have read very few books on the list and

2.  I disagree about the ones I have read.

And so it goes with the National Book Award nominees this year.  I have only read one book on the list and it is the YA book My Name is Not Easy.  And, of course, I don’t think it’s deserving of a nomination.

My inital thoughts, as jotted in my Librarything review were: 

“In her Author’s Note, Debby Edwardson describes the lack of schools near Alaska’s remote villages in the 1960s and the need to send even young children hundreds of miles away to school.  She also describes Project Chariot, a plan to create an Alaskan Harbor by detonating nuclear blasts, and the military’s Cold Weather Research using iodine-131 on Alaskan children and adults.  While My Name is Not Easy describes these deplorable incidents through the reminiscences of several children at Sacred Heart School, it does not do them justice.  Rather than concentrating on the high emotions these acts might have generated, the book is more a light hearted three year diary of Luke, Chickie, Donna, Amiq and several other students.  It merely touches on these issues and the antagonism between Alaskan Eskimos and Indians.”

I thought the characters were one-dimensional and the writing adequate.  I concluded by saying ” There is a more informative, absorbing story waiting to emerge regarding these historic events.”  I still believe that.

I will not deny that Edwardson has opened up a whole new world to me that I didn’t know existed, and if that’s the criteria for nominating a book, then so be it and I stand corrected.  However, when compared to last year’s winner, Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine (which I just finished–more on that in my next post), there is no comparison.  Erskine reinforced the world of Asperberger’s Syndrome to me, as I learned it from Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork, and did it with wonderful writing, marvelous characters and a great story.

So, my record of having read few of the National Book Award nominations and my disagreeing with the decisions goes unscathed.

By the way, this obviously is my humble opinion and you are free to disagree–I actually encourage it.

Thanks for reading this.

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