January 11, 2011

Bizarro World ALA Winners

1-15-2011 Update: Wow!  What a response I have gotten from my Bizzaro Newbery Award- may be the Today show would have me on!   I was mentioned this article... I wondered why one of MY posts would have over 289 views! I have received some very nice comments and email messages- I am posting messages from 2 amazing authors- the winners of the 2011 Bizzaro Newbery!  

I would like to announce the Bizarro Newbery Winners for 2011...  the books that I would pick if I was in charge!  (And how did these books NOT win?)

Bizarro Newbery
The Strange Case of Origami Yoda
by Tom Angleberger F ANG
You KNOW how I feel about this book!   This book gets kids to read.  To me, that is what an award winning book does.  I know that usually, the winners are serious and brooding, but in Bizzaro World, the winners fun and kids can really relate to them.  Angleberger's ability to capture the voice of kids is what resonates with me- and with my students too.
In this funny, uncannily wise portrait of the dynamics of a sixth-grade class and of the greatness that sometimes comes in unlikely packages, Dwight, a loser, talks to his classmates via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that weren’t strange enough, the puppet is uncannily wise and prescient. Origami Yoda predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Dwight’s classmate Tommy wonders how Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. With contributions from his puzzled classmates, he assembles the case file that forms this novel. 
(from Shelfari.com)
Update:  Here is the message I got from Mr. Angleberger himself!  (Starstruck!)
"I wanted to thank you in more than 140 characters for this great honor! I really mean it! I was very very happy about it!
It would be fun to come up with a list of Bizzaro Newbery winners throughout history... Lizard Music, for example. But oddly, Secret of the Andes would STILL win!
I wanted to post a comment about Out of My Mind on your page, but I can never get blogspot to accept my comments. Anyway, I can't believe Out of My Mind didn't get the real thing! At least an honor.
And WHY won't Blogger accept Tom's comments?  For shame!  

Bizarro Nebery Honor Book:
Out of My Mind
by Sharon Draper F DRA
Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down- in fact, I gripped it and held so tightly, that I think I had white knuckles by the end.  Never has a book dared to explore this topic- the voice of a child who has no voice.  I wanted to hug that mom and tell her how much I felt for her, I wanted to be Meoldy's best friend, I wanted to throttle the bullies and I wanted to give Mrs. V the Noble Peace Prize.  This book took me through a roller coaster of emotion- and although it didn't end with sunshine and rainbows, it was real, and it felt right.  
Melody, an 11 year old girl, with Cerebral Palsy, can't talk but is brilliant. She doesn't fit in and gets frustrated because she is more intelligent than anyone her age. With the help of neighbor, Mrs. V., and her aide, Catherine, she finds a computer that allows her to finally speak her mind. Once people can see how brilliant she is, she is able to make it onto the school quiz challenge team, helps them win, only to be left behind for the biggest competition - the finals. 
(from Shelfari.com)
Update: This is the very kind email I received from Ms. Draper!  I can't wait to read her new book! 
"You make me smile.  And you make me feel hugged.  I admit I was disappointed at Monday's results. 
But I keep telling myself--I wrote the book for kids, not for librarians, and it seems the kids are loving it.  And many, many librarians as well.
I've moved on, and I've already started another book--which I'm writing, once more, for the children!
Thanks so much for your kind words.  Great blog!
Sharon Draper



  1. I can't BELIEVE that Out of My Mind didn't win anything! I was totally gutted!

  2. In my recap of the awards, Out of My Mind was filed under "Wait, what didn't win an award?!" Couldn't believe it.

    Haven't read Origami Yoda but I've heard nothing but great things about it.

  3. As a huge fan of historical fiction, I'm pleased two such books made the list but I would have added Karen Cushman's big-hearted Alchemy and Meggy Swann. . .

    I am behind on my reading but have just picked up Origami Yoda and, on your recommendation, Out of My Mind is next on my list. Thanks!