I still have steam coming out of my ears regarding the widespread boycotting of the 2007 Newbery Award Winner, which the committee judged to be THE BEST book written for children up to age 14. I will be writing on the blog about this but have to wait until I’ve calmed down a bit. I’m sure you’ve read that the ruckus is due to the use of an anatomical term.
I myself have the honor of having served on the Newbery Committee in 2001. The Newbery Comm. is comprised of 15 librarians selected or elected from the US and Canada. One has to read every book that is published that year. It is extremely intense, time-consuming, and emotional. An author who receives a Newbery Award is essentially ensured to be published forever, reap great financial rewards due to sales generated by the award, and have a place in American literature for children. The deliberations of the Newbery Committee are top-secret, and never to be revealed, even years after one served on the committee.
The 2007 Newbery Committee did not make its selection lightly, with an eye toward controversy, or to be provocative. Instead, the committee members voted that Susan Patron’s book made the most significant contribution to American literature for children in the year 2006.