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January 18, 2008

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Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!

Ah, remember how large the Newbery Award used to loom? It seemed like every other book in the elementary school library bore one of those golden foil badges. Was just reminded of this by a lovely Ypulse post about the latest winner, a book called “Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!” by Laura Amy Schlitz:

Originally written in the form of monologues to be performed by her students, the Baltimore librarian wanted to make sure every one could get a part in the production of this piece. And no one wanted a small part.

There are 17 roles, a substantial piece for every single person in her fifth grade classes. She said in an interview that she wrote it with all of her students in mind. She remembered being so disappointed and sad when she would get a token tiny part in the school plays of her own childhood. If for only three minutes, she wanted everyone to be big, to be a star.

I am so going to read this book.

Also, as long as we’re talking kids’ stuff: Check out Peter Sis. His picture-books Starry Messenger (about Galileo) and The Tree of Life (about Darwin) are over-the-top beautiful and good.

Posted January 18, 2008 at 12:12 | Comments (2) | Permasnark
File under: Books, Writing & Such, Briefly Noted


I can't believe a posting on the most recent Newberry Award winner, making reference to Mrs. Breslin's librarianship, without so much as an update on the status of the Caldecott Award.

Posted by: Patrick on January 18, 2008 at 06:44 AM

But what's Sis's Follow the Dream: The Story of Christopher Columbus like? Hard to imagine that being simultaneously factual and good. And of course hard factual basis is my main criterion for children's lit.

For the grownups, and the illustrations here are pretty good too!

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