Monday, October 24, 2011

Georgia Book Award Nominees Are A Great Bet!

Each year books are nominated for the Georgia Book Awards by teachers and media specialists from the state of Georgia. The award is given in two categories – picture books and middle grade novels. The final list of 20 nominees are selected by a committee of teachers and media specialists (chaired by a member of the University of Georgia faculty from the Department of Language and Literacy Education). 
(information from the Georgia Book Awards Website)

Mimi Mayberry-White, media specialist at Glynn Middle School says,
 "We want our students to enjoy reading and to be lifelong readers – many of these books will be the ones that turn them on to reading. At GMS, we can’t keep the Georgia Book Award Nominees on the shelf!
These book nominees are one of my first stops when looking for books that will  engage my girl's book club. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is one of this year's nominees and an easy favorite for taking the prize. In March, kids get to vote and this beginning novel of the trilogy is a big favorite, plus the movie will be coming out at the same time (March 23).

But since most teens and preteens may have already read The Hunger Games, the list has lots of great choices. The first book from the list that my daughter and I both read this fall was Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper. Melody is eleven years old and has never spoken a word. Chapter 2 opens with this exposition.
"I can't talk, I can't walk. I can't feed myself or take myself to the bathroom. Big bummer."
The reader gets pulled into Melody's life, just as she finally has the opportunity to communicate with the outside world through a device that can talk for her. This is no sappy idealized story about a girl with cerebral palsy. It is a realistic look at how "different" children are treated and how it feels to be one. Melody is a character that will stick with you and I'm pretty sure you will be glad you took the time to step into her mind!

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