Carnegie Medal Short List 2013 
submitted by Caren

For me, spring doesn’t mean basketball “madness”, or chicks and bunnies, but the arrival of the new short list for the Carnegie Medal. I spend the time from late March, when the list appears, until June, when the winner is announced, deliciously immersed in reading the best of the best in children’s literature. The CILIP Carnegie Medal is the British equivalent of our ALA Newbery Medal. The winner is chosen by a panel of twelve children’s librarians.

What sort of book wins? From their website, here is what they are looking for:
”The book that wins the Carnegie Medal should be a book of outstanding literary quality. The whole work should provide pleasure, not merely from the surface enjoyment of a good read, but also the deeper subconscious satisfaction of having gone through a vicarious, but at the time of reading, a real experience that is retained afterwards.”

I couldn’t have said it better! The short listed books are always varied but top-notch.

Here, then, is this year’s list. Please note that I have omitted only one book from the CILIP list as that book won’t be published in this country until July 2013.

The books I have read so far:

1. A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle - Irish writer, Roddy Doyle, has won a Booker prize for one of his adult novels. In this book, four generations of females (a twelve-year-old, her mother, her dying grandmother, and the ghost of her great-grandmother) take a midnight road trip to what was once their family farm.

2. Wonder by R. J. Palacio - August ("Auggie") was born with a rare genetic facial deformity that required many surgeries through his younger years. During that time, he was homeschooled. He is finally going to enter fifth grade at a private school, and this novel tells of his year there. I love the way his story is told through the eyes of different characters, and the ways in which the reader is given insights into each character's own personal struggles.

3. A Boy and a Bear in a Boat by Dave Shelton - This has got to be one of the quirkiest books I have ever read. The title really says it all. Why is a boy traveling along in a boat rowed by a bear? Where are they headed? I don’t know. The adventures along the way are lots of fun though. Could their journey be a metaphor for life itself? Hmm….here’s a book to make you think.

4. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein - Two British young women from different social classes meet during World War II. One is an airplane pilot, the other a spy. They become best friends and are sent on an undercover mission into occupied France. To say much more could ruin it for you. Let’s just say, this is a real thriller that will keep you awake reading late at night, and which you will be thinking about for weeks after you close the book. Earlier this year, it won a Printz Honor (which is awarded by ALA for excellence in young adult literature).

Here are the books I will be reading in the coming weeks:

1. Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner

2. In Darkness by Nick Lake - This one won the Printz Award this year.

3. Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick

Won’t you read along with me? As C. S. Lewis said,
“A children's story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children's story in the slightest.”

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Mad About Basketball 
submitted by Tony

March Madness has begun!

When you’re not watching the game, you might try some of these great titles.

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The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life: What 35 Years of Running Have Taught Me About Winning, Losing, Happiness, Humility, and the Human Heart by Amby Burfoot 
submitted by Tommy

When I picked this up to read I didn’t notice the sub-title, but as it turns out I too have been running 35 years (with some interruptions because of injury or life.) For the most part I’m not into motivational books, but since Amby Burfoot seems like a really cool guy and was once a great runner, I thought I’d give it a try.

It is surprisingly good! At 150 pages it is a quick read but it is packed full of wisdom and fun. Yes, Fun! The book itself is fun, nothing too deep and depressing. He emphasizes that running should be fun. There will be some work and some obstacles at times, but isn’t that just what life is? But the pleasures as well as the health benefits (both mentally and physically) are tenfold.

Amby was in his mid-50’s when he wrote this, so it is from the wise perspective of a once great runner who is slowing down. He isn’t trying to teach us how to go out and run fast and hard, but instead he is instructing us to go out and ENJOY running to the best of our individual ability and we will learn much about life and ourselves in the process.

He also emphasizes that It is possible for all of us to take part. We may experience losing, failure, and probably injuries, but it helps us in everyday life when we are bound to experience the same challenges. Everyone who runs is a winner. The only opponent is yourself.

He has many quotes and one of his favorites is by Rudyard Kipling (the end of the poem, IF).
"If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!"

I have always liked that poem, but I had never noticed the importance of these lines before in relation to running. Don’t worry about your running time too much is the lesson here. Just run! He also gives a list of his heroes and a list of essential reading. Both are nice.

My favorite chapter/lesson in the book is #7: LISTENING. Running is my meditation time. Walking can be the same, but to a lesser degree. He describes it well with his line, “...the sound of mindless thoughts flitting through my head.” Since Amby is a writer/editor he also notes how easy it is to write while running. He quotes Joyce Carol Oates,
“Running! If there’s any activity happier, more exhilarating, more nourishing to the imagination, I can’t think what it might be…”

All runners should read this book and anyone who is trying to understand a runner should also read this. Read this book…and go for a run!

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Experience the Realm of Downton Abbey Through the Library 
submitted by Rob

Considering the ever-growing popularity that the television drama Downton Abbey has enjoyed over its three seasons, it would seem appropriate to provide readers with a list of books that would potentially appeal to those who are enamored with the story line, time period, and social changes that are chronicled in this incredibly-detailed series.




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Want to Go Private? by Sarah Littman  
submitted by Damera

Teenagers today breath, sleep, and eat technology. They are either texting, chatting on Facebook, or sending tweets with Twitter. This is how Abby Johnston and her best friend, Faith, meet Luke. They are chatting with each other on a new teen website called Soon Abby is chatting with Luke daily even though he is older. Gradually the story becomes even more intriguing and also scary. Luke has Abby doing things that are very uncomfortable for her but she wants to do things for him because he “loves” her.

I must admit that when I first started reading Want to Go Private, I was a little bit thrown. It is an older teen novel but some of the content was very adult in nature. As I got more into the story, I realized that it is a perfect book for parents to read and also share with their kids.

It is a great example of the dangers of the Internet and what can happen when you act recklessly on the web. I believe that every parent of a child who has access to a computer should read this book. It changed my life and could possibly save a child.

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