1/26/09

Hooray for The Graveyard Book, and the Fantasy Genre!


It has made me so happy that The Graveyard Book got the Newbery! It was one of the books I helped shortlist for the Cybils Awards, which was very easy to do, as it met most beautifully our two criteria of fine writing and lots of appeal for a young audience. It's a lovely book, and it is hard to imagine it being a very contentious choice. However, doubtless someone will find something at which to be offended (I am now running through the book in my mind, trying to take offense. Perhaps child welfare issues, or general issues with Dead People hanging around a graveyard. But nothing easy, as far as I can recall, like a dog's Private Parts). My only quibble is that a Silver Medal would have looked better on the cover than a Gold. Maybe they can add a few gold highlights to the cover of the paperback...

Two other books on our short list were also recognized--Savvy got a Newbery Honor, and Curse Dark as Gold won the Morris Award, for best YA debut.

There were many great books that we just didn't have room for on our lists, and it was rather nice to see a couple of these get some attention as well. Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan, won a Prinz Honor (her second), as did Nation, by Terry Pratchett, and Moribito, Guardian of the Spirit, by Nahoko Uehashi, won the Batchelder for best book first published in another country.

It's gratifying to see fantasy as a genre well represented in the awards. From a selfish point of view, the more recognition fantasy gets, the more likely the publishers are to keep bringing the books on out.

6 comments:

  1. I agree: it is gratifying to have so many fantasy books get awards. Here's to more (and good!) fantasy books in the future...

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  2. Yay for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK! And Savvy, too. :) I think we did a pretty good job on our shortlist.

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  4. Yay for all the winners, and especially for CURSE!

    -N

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  5. I was absolutely thrilled to see so much fantasy too!

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  6. I know! I didn't think they'd do it, since the "ideal" Newbery is usually historical fiction or contemporary realism. I read a "short story" which was really a chapter from The Graveyard Book last spring/summer and fell in love with THAT, so I was thrilled when an entire book came out! (Thanks, by the way, for the suggestion about adding The Girl Who Could Fly to my rural fantasy list--my copy just got here this afternoon and I'm looking forward to reading it.)

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