However, I love seeing which books make the first cut on awards lists, and these ones do read like a list of the who's who of the children's publishing book world. Plus they make a handy list to have on hand for holiday shopping! I particularly like these two awards as they are nominated and voted on by children's librarians, because let's face it, who knows kids books better?
Of course, it is always nice to see some of our Dewey Diva picks from the past year on these kinds of lists! You can read the full shortlists by clicking on the links below, but I've highlighted a few favourites from the past year.
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010
CILIP Carnegie Medal 2010
Gullstruck Island by Frances Hardinge gets my vote! I have been a fan of this author since her first book Fly By Night, and all three of her books have now been Dewey Diva picks. I think Hardinge is one of the best and most versatile fantasy writers writing for kids today. She creates entirely different but fully realized new worlds in each book, touches on deep themes but always creates a highly entertaining and action-packed story. She is a language lover's dream, writing sentences that beg to be read aloud, creating new languages and dialects that are unique to her characters' background. Gullstruck Island was one of my Spring 2009 picks. Gullstruck Island is a land of jagged coastlines, quarrelling volcanoes (with names like Crackjem The Mad, Spearhead, and The King of Fans), and populated with creatures like elephant birds, and blissing beetles that can kill with the hum of their wings. Home to a native population called the Lace, the island has been overrun by newcomers from across the sea, the Cavalcaste, who are using up all of the arable land to build monuments to their dead ancestors. Forced to the edge of the island, living in villages literally clinging to the cliffs, the Lace do what they can to survive. Highly valued on the island are those who are born with the ability to send their senses 'travelling' independently outside their bodies. These 'Lost' can see a storm approaching over the sea, read messages posted on boards in towns on the other side of the island, and listen into conversations in neighbouring villages- all extremely valuable talents on an island whose treacherous landscape makes long distance travel slow and extemely dangerous. Not many of the Lace have been gifted with the abilities of a Lost- Arilou is the first in quite some time. Or is she? Shortly after the book begins, Hathin and Arilou must flee their home and everything they know when Arilou's supposed magical abilities are suspected to be fraudulent. The inspector sent to test Arilou's ability- along with every other Lost on the island except Arilou- die suddenly under mysterious circumstances during the test. Suspicion for the crime falls on the people of Hathin and Arilou's village and their neighbouring villages' fear and anger results in a massacre. Narrowly escaping, the two young girls have to outwit the bounty hunter on their trail and join up with a rebel group in order to stay alive. What starts as a flight for their own lives becomes a fight for their people as the Cavalcaste government uses the incident as an excuse to round up and imprison the remaining Lace tribes. Hathin must figure out what caused the Lost deaths in order to save her sister well as her people. The book touches on themes of native displacement, racial prejudice, violence (and so much more) and will keep readers on the edge of their seats. While published for middle grade readers, I think teens and adults will also enjoy this moving adventure story.
Other Dewey Picks on the list include:
- Killing God by Kevin Brooks (Published in North America as Dawn)- Janet's pick, Fall 2009
- Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur- Lahring's pick, Summer 2009
- The Midnight Charter by David Whitley- Lahring's pick, Fall 2009. Is it just me (and my inner SF geek) but does the guy on the cover of this jacket look like the evil emperor from The Return of The Jedi? Seriously, picture him wearing a black robe...
- Big Bad Bun by Jeanne Willis, Illustrated by Tony Ross- Lahring's pick, Fall 2009
- Dogs by Emily Gravett - my pick, Spring 2009 (see my post from March 20th, 09 for more)
Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile- Lahring's pick, Spring 2009
- Moon Rabbit by Natalie Russell - this was a favourite of Maylin's (see her post from April 17 for more)
- Stick Man by Julia Donadlson & Axel Sheffler-Janet's pick, Fall 2009