Maureen at Confessions of a Bibliovore sent out this challenge:
"What are you most looking forward to in 2009? Post it to your blog!"
Ha ha! I’ll do you one better. I’ll show you what I’m looking forward to reading in ’09.
First off, here’s a glance at my To Be Read in 2009 Shelf. Mind you, it does not contain all the galleys I own and want to read. A lot of the books on my shelves are 2008 releases that I’m still trying to cram in before the year’s end. I do think that it’s a fair smattering of some of the things I’m looking forward to, though.
Now, what do I really really want to see? I’ll tell you but if you are an author or an illustrator and I haven’t mentioned your book that does NOT mean I don’t want to. I’m just plucking out some sample titles. Behold:
Gettysburg: The Graphic Novel by C.M. Butzer
The text consists of original quotes from the time period and the art appears to be above par. I am interested.
The Snow Day by Komako Sakai
I’m not gonna give anything away with this one. Just want to point out that it’s a doozy of a picture book and something for you to keep a very clear eye out for.
The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
Admittedly my enthusiasm for this book might have a lot to do with the fact that I desperately need a good Black Panther book for my files. Talk about a subject that nobody has the guts to touch. Sheesh! Kudos to Kekla then.
Heroes of the Valley by Jonathan Stroud
Please select from the following. Jonathan Stroud is:
B) An authorial genius
C) A godlike authorial genius
D) All of the above
Doesn’t matter what you pick, because anytime I see something coming from the man who brought the world the Bartimaeus trilogy (Hollywood, give me a call sometime and we’ll figure out how to shoot it) I am pleased.
Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan
I risk repeating myself when I follow someone like Mr. Stroud up with Mr. Tan due to the fact that both are great. Early buzz on this puppy has been good. I am probably going to toss caution to the wind and read this one as soon as ye olde New Year rolls around. That is, if I don’t devour it over Christmas break first.
The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket, music by Nathaniel Stookey, illustrations by Carson Ellis
It’s like Peter and the Wolf for the 21st century… with dead people. What’s not to love?
My Japan by Etsuko Watanabe
I just like the idea of a picture book that really delves deeply into life in Japan. Do you other librarians get those classes of first graders doing reports on one country? I’ve a class today at 10 that wants to know about China and Chinese folktales. That’s pretty easy. I’ve got a lot of books on that subject. But if a class comes in asking for first grade appropriate Japan books? Aside from "I Live in Tokyo" I am screwed. I need this Watanabe book.
Fortune’s Magic Farm by Suzanne Selfors
A funny book to include considering that my ARC doesn’t even have a cover yet. Selfors previously wrote, How to Catch a Mermaid, a hilarious and too little lauded title from a year or two ago. I kid-tested this one using my co-worker’s son as my subject. He informed me in no uncertain terms that this was even better than Mermaid (which he had also been a fan of). Hopefully this will gain Selfors a little of the notoriety she deserves.
Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed by J.C. Phillipps
I mentioned this during my Penguin preview round-up. Again, I’m saving my good comments for my review. Laugh out loud funny, anyway.
Monkey with a Tool Belt and the Noisy Problem by Chris Monroe
Nothing says "cool" more than a Monkey With a Tool Belt sequel. Joy.
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (image not available because I’m too lazy to take a picture of of the cover in the Henry Holt catalog).
This is completely unfair. I should be attracted to books due to gorgeous covers alone. This puppy has all the markings of a David Frankland affair (black silhouette against a yellow background). The story sounds pretty neat too, for that matter.
So when you’re going to ALA-Midwinter (I won’t be due to the whole can’t-afford-to-go deal), if you happen to see any of these sitting on a publisher’s table, give ’em a gander or two. They’ll be happy you did. You might be happy too.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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