Sunday, October 5, 2008

Thoughts on Anita Silvey's "Has The Newbery Lost Its Way?"

In a recent School Library Journal article, Anita Silvey poses the question, "Has the Newbery Lost Its Way?"

The whole piece was interesting on many levels but one line resonated with me as an author:
titles that combine quality writing with exciting pacing and heart-tugging characters—remain perennial best sellers even though they never captured Newbery gold."

So that's my goal for the week, the month and my entire writing life-- to aspire to create stories that combine:

1. Quality writing
2. Exciting pacing
3. Heart-tugging characters

Will my books ever win a Newbery or Newbery honor? I wish. Will they become best sellers? I have little control over that. What I can control is immersing myself in reading great books with quality writing, exciting pacing & heart-tugging characters--then keep working at perfecting the craft of my own writing.

We've finally had a hint of rain here in San Francisco and it makes me want to reserve a stack of good books from the S. F. Public Library.

So please tell me Imaginary Readers, which (old and new) middle grade and YA novels do
YOU think fulfill Anita Silvey's 3 criteria above? Which books would you recommend reading or rereading on a rainy fall day?

Forecast: Fall rain and lots of good books


Anonymous said...

Books that meet the criteria (but let's make a game of it. Here are their initials):

Lynn E. Hazen said...

Okay Anonymous, whoever you are-- Game on.

I figured out the last one:
CW= Charlotte's Web, and I agree with you. It definitely has Anita Silvey's criteria:
1. Quality writing
2. Exciting pacing
3. Heart-tugging characters

Imaginary Readers, please help me figure out Anon's other titles...

Oh, I figured out the 2nd one, TKAM and I agree. To Kill a Mockingbird.
Who can figure out 1 & 3? And I'll add a 5th: TBT

Anonymous said...

Well, LOTR must be Lord of the Rings, right? I've seen it abbreviated that way often. TGC...hmmm...I'll have to think about that one.

david elzey said...

TGC - The Golden Compass?

Lynn E. Hazen said...

Jean & David,
I'm guessing you are right.
Anon, could you confirm?