Friday, January 9, 2009

Anokaberry Presents the 2009 Anokaberries: Our Selections for the Best Books of 2008 for Middle-Grade Readers, Ages 8 to 14

A Difficult Boy by M.P. Barker
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost
The Facttracker by Jason Carter Eaton
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (Illustrator)
and Quadruped Delights by David Elliott
The Last Invisible Boy by Evan Kuhlman, J. P. Coovert (Illustrator)
Little Leap Forward: A Boy in Beijing by Guo Yue, Clare Farrow, Helen Cann (Illustrator)
Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich, Louise Erdrich (Illustrator)
by H. M. Bouwman
Skylar by Mary Cuffe-Perez, Renata Liwska (Illustrator)
Trouble by Gary Schmidt
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small
The Unnameables by Ellen Booraem
The Walls of Cartagena by Julia Durango, illustrated by Tom Pohrt
Ways to Live Forever by Sally Nicholls
Where the Steps Were by Andrea Cheng
The Willoughbys by Lois Lowry


Jen Robinson said...

Congratulations on announcing the Anokaberries, Nan. This looks like an excellent, comprehensive list. I'm pretty sure that you'll have some overlap with the ALA awards when those are announced.

From your list, I especially liked The Willoughby's. I thought that The Underneath and The Graveyard Book were both brilliant (though neither is a favorite of the year for me personally, and I didn't actually review the latter, because everything seemed to have been said).

You have several others on the list that are on my shelf, waiting to read, and this will encourage me to move them up on the list. Especially The Remarkable & Very True Story of Lucy & Snowcap, Six Innings, and The Unnameables.

Thanks for sharing the list. I'll be sure to link to it in my next roundup. Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

That is wonderful news! I have been following your blog religiously and am truly honored to be on your list. I have also seen you mention Facttracker on
several other literary blogs--I'm tremendously grateful.
Please let me know when I can find anokaberries at my local market so I can bake a gigantic anokaberry pie and serve it all my friends and family. Best wishes, Jason

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Nan! It's very exciting to see that!! And I'm interested in the other books, too! There are some books on the list I haven't read yet--and I'm about to head to the library, so this works out very well.... :->

James Preller said...

Nan, thanks so much. Sports books don't often get treated as literature, and it means a lot to me that you saw I was up to something more. I also love how you didn't feel beholden to an arbitrary number, like, say, ten. Looks like an interesting list, with some of the oft-repeated choices and a few that I don't know much about.

I am honored by you, Nan, and glad to be in such company. Congratulations to all the other authors fortunate enough to make it on Nan's list.

Um, there's a cash prize, right? I mean, okay, a check would be fine -- along with two proofs of I.D. -- but cash is preferred. Hold on, let me get my wheel barrow . . .

James Preller

M.P. Barker said...

Thank you BERRY much, Nan! I'm thrilled and flattered and honored that my difficult boys made the grade. As Ethan and Daniel would say, "TA!!"

I'm also pleased that fellow Class of 2k8er Ellen Booraem is on the list. I loved "The Unnameables"!

M.P. Barker
Historical fiction from Holiday House

Mrs. F-B's Books Blog said...

I am in deep trouble here. How come every time people start putting these lists out they're all books I don't know about??? I feel like I know some stuff as a middle school librarian most days, but these lists remind me there's still a lot of reading to be done. Thanks for the new great fodder for my reading lists!

Anonymous said...

Dear Friends All, How immensely gratifying to receive your comments. Seriously - what a way to start my Saturday, I'll be working at the library all day today with a wonderful grin on my face. And optimism about my task here at Anokaberry. Cheers!

Ellen Booraem said...

Thanks for including me--what a great way to start a weekend!

Right back at you, Michele (M.P., I mean)...A Difficult Boy is definitely on my "best of 2008" list.

Karen said...

Ok, the books I know on your list are amazing! What scares me is that there are some books her I didn't have on my radar, and Bill and I are in the middle of doing our Looking for Newbery series. I have to quickly do some reserving at the library!

Thanks for compiling such a great list!

Anonymous said...

Hi Karen, Isn't it wonderful that there are so many great books this year that each list brings us a few that we missed but others bring to our attention. As the comments have come for this post, I have sighed over the ones not on this list that were in my top 60! Most are on other lists so all will receive recognition and be face-out on the shelves!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Nan, and please thank your young readers for me. I love the school bus picture!
And I love the company I'm keeping here, like going to a party with a mix of old friends and interesting new people to meet.
I hadn't realized that Louise Erdrich was the illustrator as well as the author of Porcupine Year.

Helen Frost
Diamond Willow, Frances Foster Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for alerting me to my being on such a distinguished list! Of course, as you know from reading the author bio on "The Willoughbys," I am a crochety old lady who sits hunched over, frowning at my computer, all day (and into the night) dreaming up things to fret and obsess about. It is very, very rare for my thin grim line of a mouth to stretch into even the hint of a smile. But today it did. Very briefly.

Anonymous said...

Dear Nan,
Thanks so much for the wonderful news! I am honored to have WHERE THE STEPS WERE on your list. My sister(Miss D.)teaches third grade in an inner city school in Cincinnati, and her third graders did some amazing projects and readers theater with STEPS. I captured some on video and am trying to edit it now. Your list looks great. Can you tell me more about Anokaberry?

Ms. Yingling said...

I'm requesting the ones I haven't read today. It is funny, though, how one person's favorite can be gag-inducing to someone else, but that's why it's so helpful to get other opinions. Imagine you aren't biking in the rain today-- it was a trudge through the snow for me. Thanks for the list!

La-la said...

As a reader I would like to thank Nan for all her hard work in 2008. I know that she has stuggled with some issues and yet she still manages to get the word out about all of these wonderful books.
I am looking forward to more reading in 2009 and can't wait to she what she is going to blog about next!
Thank you Nan, from your pal in the corner.

Julia Durango said...

Dear Nan,

Thank you for the lovely recognition. I am honored to find myself in such talented company.

Your fan,
Julia Durango

Anonymous said...

...Please forgive this belated gratitude for naming RINGSIDE 1925 as one of your top 20 books for middle grades and teens. WOW! I’m so very pleased and honored.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anokaberry!
Thank you so much for including my book, THE UNDERNEATH, on the Anokaberry Annual List. I'm delighted and happy and honored.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Nan, for commenting on the Eva Perry Mock Newbery blog. The kids (and I) feel truly honored. Thanks for your hard work in compiling this list... we definitely used your blog's info throughout our year.

Nan Hoekstra said...

I would so love to have coffee with all of you Mock Newbery bloggers --- I am so elated to know that you have visited and used Anokaberry this year. What a year of reading it has been for me! What amazing authors we have!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this list - I see some familiar and some new names here. It's off to the library for me!

Marcia Calhoun Forecki
Better Than Magic