I read this post on author Michelle Davidson Argyle's blog the other day, and it got me thinking a lot about book awards. Remember the Shine/Chime fiasco late last year? Or this unabashed slam on anything not a classic...YA being the main target?
As a homeschooling mom, we read a lot of classics at home. From Shakespeare and Dickens to practically every Newbery Award winning novel ever written. But guess what? My kids don't love ALL of them. Awards are nice. You get a shiny sticker on the cover, a fancy tag added to your name. But it's an award from adults to adults for a book they think people should read.
As a writer for children, I can't help but wonder--shouldn't a child's opinion be the most important? From toddlers to teens? They are the ones reading it, after all? (Okay, I know parents are reading them to the kids a lot of the time, but just go with me :)
That's one reason why I love the Beehive Book Awards. It's a local award given here in my home state of Utah that is voted upon by children. They read the books. They cast the votes. Brilliant, no?
One of my dear friends hosts a girls writing group which my daughter attends. A couple of years ago, my friend challenged each of the girls to read every book on the Beehive list and cast their votes. As a reward, she took them to the Beehive Awards Banquet for a fancy dress-up dinner to hear the results. It has been a tradition ever since, and this last weekend I got to go with the group.
*Me at the banquet with child #1...soon to be 13 y.o. Yikes*
How fun to be in a room full of librarians and children's literature enthusiasts with a table of kids who cheered and hollered when their favorites won. Talk about making them feel their opinion matters when it comes to what they should be reading. I loved it.
How do you feel about book awards? Do you know of other child-voted awards out there?