Row, Row, Row Your Boat Gently Down the Stream

This Monday post comes to you a bit later than usual — firstly, because it’s ALA award day, and I wanted to be able to link to the 2009 Caldecott, Printz, Newbery, et al winners; and secondly, because I wanted a little time to reflect.

Warm congratulations to all those who won awards and honors. Here’s the list. I’m particularly thrilled that Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road won the Printz Award, which recognizes excellence in literature written for young adults. Jellicoe Road is a marvelous, complicated, sad, hopeful book. Well chosen, Printz committee! And The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is a Printz Honor book — yay! And I’d be raving about the other Printz books, as well, no doubt, except that I just haven’t read them yet. :o)

Also, a very special congratulations to Elizabeth C. Bunce, author of A Curse Dark as Gold, the winner of the ALA’s new Morris Award, which honors a book for teens written by a first-time author. The other finalists for the award were James Lecesne’s Absolute Brightness; Christina Meldrum’s Madapple; Jenny Valentine’s Me, the Missing, and the Dead; and my Graceling :o) — which is why I particularly wanted to mention Bunce’s achievement. Curse is rich and gentle, with gutsy characters and a gorgeously-realized setting that’s easy to drop yourself into; it happens to be a Rumpelstiltskin retelling; and it was one of my favorite reads of the year. Congratulations, Elizabeth! You make me proud to have been a finalist!

Today I have the oddest feeling: I feel that my life is a beautiful dream. No, I didn’t win anything, but somehow, not winning anything shows me my blessings, if that makes any sense at all. What a blast to have been nominated for an ALA award. And what a gift I’ve been given in my life: the time to think, feel, reflect, and write.

Have you seen the minute-long video of dolphins playing with bubble rings? I’m going to share it today, because today it matches my mood. Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily; life is but a dream.
Congratulations, everyone! :o)