Monday, January 10, 2011

A Big Year for Children's Historical Fiction and the Newbery

Sometimes when I tell people that I blog about children's historical fiction, they are surprised, wondering if there are still titles in that genre being published now that everything in the publishing world is vampires and werewolves.

But lo and behold, I couldn't help but notice that both the Newbery winner, Moon Over Manifest (congratulations to author Clare Vanderpool--and it's her first novel, no less!) and three of the four Newbery Honor picks this year are historical fiction (and not surprisingly, given the focus of this blog, I had read all of them, although I didn't get to Moon Over Manifest until the end of 2010 and was still trying to decide whether to review more 2010 titles or not). The three honor books, Margi Preus' Heart of a Samurai, Rita Williams' Garcia's One Crazy Summer, and Jennifer Holm's Turtle in Paradise, were all reviewed here on my blog around the time of their release (titles link to my reviews).

I was also delighted to see that A Sick Day for Amos McGee won the Caldecott; sometimes I find that the Caldecott winners, while always beautiful to look at, don't always have strong kid appeal.  Definitely not the case with Amos McGee, a great read-aloud for preschoolers and lower elementary school age kids, full of kid-pleasing zoo animal characters and a storyline that is touching and funny, but not sentimental and maudlin.

Congratulations to all the winners, and especially to all the committee members who spend so many hours in meetings and reading all the nominated titles!


Beth G. said...

Considering how many kids I see in the library looking for historical fiction, I certainly *hope* it's still a healthy segment of kids' publishing. I'm always looking for good new titles to add to our selection.

Fourth Musketeer said...

Yes, that's true--I'm not sure if it's their own interest or that the teacher has assigned them to read a historical title, but either way works!

BookBlogFun said...

I have not read much Historical Fiction but find myself more and more interested in it lately. My daughter just read:
The Orphan of Ellis Island: A Time-Travel Adventure
by Elvira Woodruff

~Lauri Chandler

Fourth Musketeer said...

Thanks for the heads up on The Orphan of Ellis Island! Your daughter might enjoy her recent release, also a time travel story, called George Washington's Spy, which is reviewed here on my blog.

Anonymous said...

I must admit, historical fiction is definitely not my strong point, but you have inspired me to give it another go.

We recently did a school visit and one of the books we talked about was Wicked Girls: A Novel of the Salem Witch Trials by Stephanie Hemphill. Told from the point of view of the accusers, and in verse to boot!!!

Fourth Musketeer said...

Yes, I read Wicked Girls, although I wound up not reviewing it on my blog. It reminded me a little bit of Mean Girls set in Salem!

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