Monday, January 26, 2009

ALA and Potential Lunacy

I went to pick up my neighbor at the hospital this morning, so didn't get to watch all of the webcast for the American Library Association Awards. (An aside: My neighbor had acute, dire, torturous, monstrous pancreatitis, and drove himself to the emergency room in Ellsworth Thursday night because it was 8:30 at night and he didn't want to bother anyone. Thus the rural state of mind. He's fine now, and probably would do the same thing again given the chance, which we hope he won't be.)

Anyway, I got home and had to rip the Internet to bits before I found out who won what. Overall, I'm pretty pleased--definitely would have voted for The Graveyard Book for the Newbery Medal, and was happy that The Underneath and Savvy made the honors list. I haven't read any of the Prinz books, to my shame, but will solve that problem as soon as may be.

The best news of all is that my 2k8 classmate Elizabeth Bunce won the William C. Morris Award for debut young adult novels. I just used two chapters of A Curse Dark as Gold as an example of fairy tale retelling in my elementary school writers workshop, and the way the kids reacted to it would have warmed Elizabeth's heart.

I haven't yet gotten my hands on Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson, but from what I'd read about it I was surprised it didn't at least get a Newbery honor. Fortunately, Anderson herself got a lifetime achievement award, richly deserved. I may have a special soft spot for Chains because it was one of the signed books I left on top of the payment machine in the parking garage in September.

In other news, our little town votes tomorrow whether to join eight others in a consolidated school district. I'm planning to vote "no" --which is surprising, since usually I'm in favor of streamlining. In this case, the original law was terrible because it robbed towns of control over their schools, so it was amended to look like a pig with the head of an aardvark. We'd give up our superintendent but he'd certainly have to be replaced by two or three assistant superintendents, save money in some places but spend much more in others. It's a pointless exercise.

The chief idiocy is that towns that vote themselves into new districts won't have the option of backing out later. If we vote "no," we can reconsider. And since there's a referendum question on the ballot in June that would veto the whole consolidation law, it seems wise to keep our options open. And lunacy to do anything else.

Anyway, congrats to the ALA winners. And may sanity prevail.

1 comment:

Barrie said...

It is very exciting news about Elizabeth. And you'll love Chains (signed copy or not ;) )