Monday, October 10, 2016

My Secret "Reading Project": The Massachusetts Book Awards

massbook.org
So toward the end of summer, I took kind of an unexpected break from the blog.  In fact, it may have appeared that I took a break from reading completely.  I did mention that I was working on a secret reading project . . . and now I can finally talk about what that project entailed.

I was chosen to be a judge for the 2016 Massachusetts Book Award in the Middle Grade/Young Adult category.  I felt honored and so excited to be part of such an important program!  The Massachusetts Book Awards honor Massachusetts Authors or Books with strong Massachusetts connections each year in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Middle Grade/Young Adult and Picture Book/Early Reader categories.  I had the good fortune to be on a panel with another public librarian and a school librarian, each from other parts of the Commonwealth.

I still have a little bit of work to do before the award and honors are officially presented to the authors at the State House celebration, so I will not comment on these books just yet... but I can share them now:

The Winner:  The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

Honor Books:

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M.T. Anderson

 The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Baba Yaga's Assistant by Marika McCoola

My congratulations to all of these authors!  For the full list of Winners and Honor Books, including the Long List, please click HERE.

Serving on this Judging Panel was quite an experience, and one I'd gladly do again.  It was a little stressful, reading on a deadline like that, but it was reading for a purpose and I really took that seriously.  I'm looking forward to going to the State House and not only meeting these great authors, but showing support for the MA Center for the Book and our state's long legacy in literature to our legislators.


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