Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy 200th Birthday Charles Dickens and the ALA Youth Media Awards

I apologize for the second paragraph (having some formatting problems). 

Apparently today is Charles Dickens' 200th Birthday and I found this article on FB that I wanted to share, which contains ten facts you probably didn't know about the author. Apparently bells rang all over London in celebration of his birthday, his resting place in Westminster Abbey was cleaned up, my favorite English actor Ralph Fiennes did a reading from Bleak House at a memorial service for the author at the Abbey (which was also presided over by the Archbishop of Canterbury) and Prince Charles cut a cake in honor of the occasion with Camilla at the Dickens Museum. My favorite Dickens work, and yes I'm sorry to say the only one I've actually read, is Tale of Two Cities. It is such a sad story but a good one and of course one of the most quotable of his books, i.e. "It is a far far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known;" and "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." I, like so many others, have seen countless adaptions of his works, such as A Christmas Carol, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Great Expectations. I will say though that British actor Simon Callow's portrayal of the great author himself in the BBC production The Mysteries of Charles Dickens is quite good. Here is an interview with the actor about the show. 

The American Library Association (ALA) has released their picks for the 2012 Youth Media Awards after their Midwinter Conference in Dallas on Jan 23. Here is the press release that lists all the award and honor winners. I was surprised by how many I had never heard of. Most of the time I wonder what the people on the award committees are thinking as I sometimes can seriously not get why they picked the books they do pick, but I guess they must be seeing something that I don't see. Anyways, yay to Jack Gantos for winning the Newberry! He is one of my favorite children's writers. I have not read Dead End in Norvelt yet but it is on my to-read list.Congrats to Brian Selznick for a Schneider Family Book Award (ages 9-13) for his amazing book Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures. Thanhaha Lai, one of the Newberry honor winner's book Inside Out & Back Again about escaping Vietnam and coming to the US looks interesting. I also want to check out the Caldecott honor book Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, the Coretta Scott King Author Award and honor Ilustrator award winning book by Kadir Nelson Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, and more that I have yet to discover on the ALA award list. 

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