On Monday, the ALA Youth Media Awards were announced at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting. That’s right, the biggies: the Newbery, the Printz, the Caldecott, and more. That means that on a Monday morning, the YA and children’s literature world was like this:
Coming about twelve hours after the Super Bowl, the ALA awards have a little less fanfare. (Although I would fully support an ALA halftime show.) But the thing I love about the ALA awards is that when you watch the livestream or follow along with the hashtag on Twitter, everyone is cheering and supportive. It doesn’t matter what publishing house you work for, or if you’re a teen librarian or doing baby story time, or if you write YA or children’s nonfiction or if you illustrate picture books. Everyone comes together to not only honor some fantastic books from the past year, but also to recognize the hard work that goes into creating these books and the hard work that goes into getting these books into the hands of young readers who need them.
There are a lot of phenomenal books, and only a few can get awarded/honored every year. But every year it’s awesome to see librarians and writers and illustrators and publishers and readers come together and celebrate books for young readers.
“When we fail to talk about sexuality, when we fail to clearly define consent, when we fail to acknowledge the various way that rape culture infuses itself into our daily lives, we fail our kids.” Christa, you are the best.
Munro is largely known for her short stories. In case you haven’t read her work before, Book Riot has suggestions for how to get started. It’s been a while since I’ve read much Munro, but I’ve always liked her style–outwardly quiet stories with a lot of depth and beautifully crafted prose and characters. You can get a good sense of Munro’s writing by this quote:
“A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.”
I love Munro’s image of exploring a story like exploring a house. I know I feel like this when I’m working on a particular story, especially since I don’t do a lot of outlining and planning. Part of the fun of writing is the exploration, seeing all the different parts of the house and learning its history.
As a reader, returning to the story-house and finding it “always contains more than you saw the last time” is one reason I love rereading. There are always more room and shelves to explore.