Sondy for Newbery!

It’s official! I’m on the ballot for next year’s Newbery committee!

Here I am at the 2010 Newbery Banquet. I’m such a Newbery-geek, any contact with the awards process thrills me!

Here’s the scoop. Each year, a committee chooses the “most distinguished contribution” to American literature for children. The committee is made up of fifteen people, eight of whom are voted on by members of ALSC, the Children’s Services division of the American Library Association. There are sixteen names on the ballot.

Why should you vote for me, Sondra Eklund?

Besides being an avid reader of children’s books all my life, I’ve been writing book reviews in Sonderbooks since 2001, thinking about why certain books are good.

When I discovered Heavy Medal blog a few years ago, and they posted the Newbery criteria and guidelines, I couldn’t keep myself from printing out and reading every word. I realized then how much the whole thing fascinated me. Since then, I avidly follow Heavy Medal, and have learned much from Jonathan and Nina about the Newbery Medal and the process of choosing the winners.

When ALA offered online classes, I took one on the Newbery Medal, one on the Caldecott Medal, and one on the Printz Award.

Last January, I had the privilege of attending the William Morris Seminar, an entire day of training about the process of book evaluation committees. I’m ready to carry out what I’ve learned!

Last year, I joined Capitol Choices, a DC-area group that chooses about a hundred of the best children’s books of the year. They meet monthly to discuss great books, and it gave me practice being in a formal book-discussion setting.

Last year I also got to be a first round judge for the Cybils Awards, in the category of Middle Grade Fantasy and Science Fiction. I figured it would help me find out if I like spending all my spare time intensely reading children’s books. (I loved it!)

I’m involved in ALSC, a member of the Children and Technology Committee for the past two years.

I am currently Youth Services Manager at City of Fairfax Regional Library, a large public library in northern Virginia. Last year, I started a Mock Newbery Club. I hope to keep it up to get feedback on how actual kids feel about the new books being published.

In 2008, 2009, and now 2013, I’ve been on our county’s Summer Reading Selection committee, selecting a list of books to promote for Summer Reading.

What’s more, this would be a great time in my life to devote to children’s books. My youngest son just headed off to college, so I’m living alone. I’m moving into a lovely new home next month. No more cooking and cleaning for kids! I am ready to devote all those spare hours to reading children’s books! 🙂

So, any ALSC members out there, make my dream come true! Vote for Sondra Eklund for Newbery Committee!

And Thank You from the bottom of my heart!

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