It’s been a privilege to co-blog with Nina these past several years at Heavy Medal. I would like to think that we’ve elevated the conversation about the Newbery Medal on a national level, and that we have constantly pushed each other and our audience to consider what we mean by literary excellence.
This past season, we particularly explored the relationship between social, political, and cultural values and distinguished literature for children, an exploration that seemed at times to be part of a wider conversation about such issues (think: A FINE DESSERT and A BIRTHDAY CAKE FOR GEORGE WASHINGTON).
While the bulk of our conversation here focused on THE HIRED GIRL, most of our shortlisted titles had one element or another that we questioned in this regard. I know I’ll continue to ponder and discuss these things throughout the spring and summer. I hope you’ll do the same so that we can continue the conversation in the fall. Until then, mis amigos.
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About Jonathan Hunt
Jonathan Hunt is the Coordinator of Library Media Services at the San Diego County Office of Education. He served on the 2006 Newbery committee, and has also judged the Caldecott Medal, the Printz Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. You can reach him at email@example.com
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