It’s September, and that means it’s time for Heavy Medal to get started up again, and we could not be more excited to be here. Roxanne, Steven, and I have been hard at work behind the scenes talking and organizing and learning about each other and most of all READING AND READING AND READING.
It’s hard to know exactly where to start us off. I’m tempted to jump right in with a book, but I think I’m going to take it slowly and let Steven and Roxanne further introduce themselves by starting off our book discussions later this week, and instead will just take a minute to talk about some things I’ve been doing and noticing.
I keep coming across recurring themes and plot devices in what I’m reading, but in sort of unexpected places, and I really look forward to getting more into that. Has anyone else noticed the jewel thievery going on thsi year? I wonder what these themes say about our collective psyche and I also wonder what my noticing of these themes says about my own. Grief is popping up for me everywhere, and personally, that makes sense. But I’ll get into that more later.
There are so many exciting ways to talk about books and how we evaluate them.
I know we will talk about diversity in children’s literature. Diversity in our authors and the stories they tell. Also diversity in format and the many types of books that are eligible for this award. Every year I’m amazed at how we manage to talk about graphic novels, books for older children, poetry, picture books, non-fiction, and everything else imaginable all under the guidelines set forth by the Newbery Manual. It seems like such a monumental task. It is such a monumental task! Isn’t that what makes it so awesome, though?
Meanwhile, I’ve been keeping up with all of the blogs that continue year round, and I’m spying on all the Newbery discussions I can find. I’m a lurker on the Goodreads Newbery group, I wait with baited breath for Fuse #8’s seasonal predictions, and I religiously watch for Jen J.’s updates. All of that, though, is at least partially just biding my time until I could get here, dig into the criteria, and see what we all think about the amazing books that have come out so far this year, and the many more still to come.
Say hello! Introduce yourselves in the comments. It’s a new year with new bloggers and big big plans! Let’s get this started!
Filed under: Intro
About Sharon McKellar
Sharon McKellar is the Supervising Librarian for Teen Services at the Oakland Public Library in California. She has served on the Rainbow List Committee, the Notable Children’s Recordings Committee, The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Committee, and the 2015 Caldecott Committee. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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