Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New (and returning!) arrivals

The announcements and aftermath of the ALA awards is always exciting - I love the rush of folks calling or stopping in to look at the winners and the thrill of reading books I would have otherwise accidentally overlooked. The only downside is when the publisher goes out of stock!

Happily, we have a few award winning titles returning to our shelves. Moon Over Manifest, the Newbery Medal winner, never quite left, but now it has a shiny medal sticker to entice you even more, if spies, fortune-tellers, and rail-hopping wasn't enough!

We also have back in Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (say that three times fast, wee!), the Printz Medal and National Book Award finalist. I'm looking forward to reading this dystopian adventure. This is Bacigalupi's first venture into young adult literature from general adult science fiction, and with such encomiums, let's hope he returns to it.

Two of my favorite books from last year are now out in paperback: Fire by Kristin Cashore and The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly. Fire is a companion to novel to Cashore's debut Graceling. These two novels are incredible fantasy adventures for fans of Robin McKinley and Tamora Pierce: with fierce female protagonists, palace intrigue, journeys through wild lands, passionate romance, and solid, enthralling writing, what more can you ask for? (Maybe a Po or Brigan of your very own...).

The Evolution of Calpurnia
Tate is for a younger audience (ages 9 up), but is no less gripping for that. This Newbery Honor takes place in the hottest Texan summer eleven-year-old Callie can remember, 1899. Callie is that lovable tomboy we all adore reading about, a la Jo March or Caddie Woodlawn, who chafes against learning needlepoint and pie-making. This summer, she befriends her grumpy, reclusive naturalist grandfather and learns how to look at and think about her world more closely, making a few surprising discoveries along the way. With American Girl's budding scientist Lanie, and the numerous accessible non-fiction about Charles Darwin, this is an encouraging trend for girls' middle grade reading.

We are still waiting for the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Illustrator winner Dave the Potter and Caldecott Honor Interrupting Chicken to be reprinted, but hopefully they will be also be back on shelves soon!

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