Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Favorite Award-Winning Book

Since Cassy explained the Man Booker Prize yesterday (and we've covered some other book awards on the blog before), today we're picking our favorite award-winning books.

Mine is - unsurprisingly - by Neil Gaiman. It's The Graveyard Book. I like a lot of award-winning books (some of which I'm sure I don't even realize are award winners) but I remember being very excited when this one won the Newbery in America and the Carnegie in Britain. It also won a Hugo, a best novel award for sci-fi and fantasy. Gaiman also got a Hugo in 2002 for American Gods, but it's a big deal when a kids' book wins a Hugo. (Yes, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire won, and Prisoner of Azkaban was nominated, but it's not common.) Beyond all that, I also love that the first line of this children's book is "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife." I remember Stephen Colbert's interview with Gaiman, and how he made a big deal out of this, and it was funny, but I also remember thinking, "This is how we break out of treating kids like idiots in their own literature."

I've talked about John Green briefly on this blog (remember the favorites that we relate to), but I've never actually brought Looking For Alaska up, which is sad, because it's a FANTASTIC book and probably one of the ones that really cemented my love for YA literature.

It's won a PLUTHERA of awards, the most prevalent (or, at least the one that they put on the front of the book) is the Michael L. Printz award from the ALA.  The Michael Printz award actually awards teen novels based entirely on literary merit, so it's kind of a big deal.  Looking for Alaska has also won the 2006 Top Ten Books for Young Adults award and was a finalist for the 2005 Los Angels Time Book Award.  

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the book, mainly because it's a book marketed towards teens and has a lot of sex, drugs and drinking.  Generally, parents aren't fans, but Green never apologizes for the explicit things in his book, which basically just makes him awesome (he also points out that the book's target audience isn't 12 year olds; it's 15-18 year olds.)  Out of all of Green's books, this is easily my favorite one, and I've read pretty much everything he's written.  The language is beautiful, the characters are genuine and, really, deserves every award that it's gotten.


  1. Neat post. I have not heard of either of these two novels. I feel like I've read a lot of books that won awards, so it's hard to pick a favorite. I believe The Giver won a Newbery, and that remains one of my favorite books. It was my introduction into utopian/dystopian literature, which is one of my favorite genres.

    1. I am seriously lacking in my blogger duties if this is the first time you've heard of Looking for Alaska (if I had to make a top 5 favorite books list, it would easily make it.)

      I LIKED the Giver, I just don't have the same attachment to it that other people do. I never read it as a kid, so I don't really have that connection to it.