Monday, October 7, 2013

Three real winners

This weekend, I attended the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards and the Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, which focuses on the books that were honored. Though a bit lesser-known than the Newbery and Caldecott Awards, the BGHBs are a high honor within the children's book community, and the winners often don't get enough attention. (Heck, these days even the Newbery and Caldecott don't make it onto the Today show.) This year's winners were all books we're enthusiastic about here, so I thought I'd give them some screen time.

The Picture Book Winner:

Building Our House, by Jonathan Bean
With spare text but very informative (and very '70s) illustrations, Jonathan Bean tells the story of how his family built their own house when they moved to the country. This one is a must for any budding engineer. Just ask Paul about how he and his family have embraced Bean's work; Bean's new book, Big Snow, "makes [his] heart sing!!"

The Fiction Winner: 

Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell
This young adult novel is romantic but not just about the romance. It has characters with big problems, but it isn't just about those problems. It's funny, sometimes even while it's heartbreaking. It takes place in the '80s, but you can get it without having experienced them. John Green loved it. What more do you need to know?

The Nonfiction Winner:

Electric Ben, by Robert Byrd
Don't be fooled by the thinness of this picture book biography. It's full of information, arranged for maximum grabability. Ben Franklin had personality, and by the end of the book, you'll feel like you're on a nickname basis with him.

There's variety in kids' and YA books, is what I'm saying. Particularly in good kids' and YA books.

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