Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And the winner is....

Congratulations to Laura Amy Schlitz (school librarian!) and Candlewick Press (my favorite children’s publishing company ) for winning the 2008 Newbery medal! In Good Masters! SweetLadies: Voices from a Medieval Village, Ms Schlitz presents us with a realistic and gritty world of 1255 England through the voices of 23 young villagers. Their world is filled with fleas, dung, and lice (now THAT will grab the attention of many of our Middle School readers here in Medfield) with flashes of goodness, warmth and humor. This will be a wonderful resource for teachers and librarians studying the Middle Ages with their students.

The choice was unexpected by many booksellers who are now madly trying to get copies of the new award winner on their shelves. Candlewick went back to press on Monday (the day of the announcement) for 60,000 new copies. Another 80,000 copies, which had already been ordered, are being air-freighted from China. How fortunate that I have connections at the Wellesely Booksmith (mile 13 on the Boston Marathon course). Alison has reserved us a copy from the 15 she has coming her way.

“I itch in the cathedral
When I pray upon my knee
God, You saved us from damnation;
Now save us from the fleas!”

Another fabulous and award-winning novel about the Middle Ages is Karen Cushman's Midwife's Apprentice. Lots of fleas, dung and lice in this tale, too. I guess you just couldn't escape it in the 13th century!

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