28 January 2007

2007 Newbery Medal Winner

Just in case you haven't heard (and have a manuscript of your own in the bottom drawer) :
a librarian has won the Newbery award for children's literature this year.

The 2007 Newbery Medal winner is The Higher Power of Lucky written by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan, published by Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson.

In “The Higher Power of Lucky,” Patron takes us to the California desert community of Hard Pan (population 43). Ten-year-old Lucky Trimble eavesdrops on 12-step program meetings from her hiding place behind Hard Pan’s Found Object Wind Chime Museum & Visitor Center. Eccentric characters and quirky details spice up Lucky’s life just as her guardian Brigitte’s fresh parsley embellishes her French cuisine.

“‘Lucky’ is a perfectly nuanced blend of adventure, survival (emotional and physical) and hilarious character study... as well as a blueprint for a self-examined life,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Jeri Kladder. “Through Lucky’s experiences, we are reminded that children support one another just as needy adults do.”

Here's an excerpt from "Patron and Wiesner Discuss their Award-Winning Books"

This story originally appeared in Children's Bookshelf on January 25, 2007 by Diane Roback, Children's Bookshelf -- Publishers Weekly, 1/25/2007

Some old habits die hard. Susan Patron, a Los Angeles librarian who served on the Caldecott committee back in 1988, remembered that "the call" to the winner was traditionally placed on Sunday night, in advance of the Monday morning announcements. "We all have that little hope—you dream about it,"she said, of her Newbery chances for The Higher Power of Lucky
[Atheneum/Jackson) . However, since she was under the impression that the call came on Sunday, when the phone didn't ring, she thought, "It's OK, I'm moving on.".........

As juvenile materials collection development manager for the Los Angeles Public Library, Patron says she's very accustomed to trying to gauge the possible award winners each year, to have them in stock for library patrons.

"Lucky was not among the books being buzzed about, not on any mock Newbery lists," she says. "It didn't make a splash. I truly did not expect anything. So it was a great shock."

She's been a librarian for 34 years, and says the award is especially meaningful to her because it was given by her peers.

From Martha Baker
Bibliothek / Library - Salem International College - Kurt-Hahn-Str. 1 -
D-88662 Ɯberlingen - Germany

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