professornana (professornana) wrote,

Weather Whether

BH and I are finishing up our trip to Southern California this weekend. My sister lives out here, and was planning to spend Friday with us. She changed her plans, though, when they announced it would be raining on Friday, and opted to spend a day in the middle of the week. Sure enough, the forecast was for rain Friday. According to the local news (mostly out of LA), it was Armageddon in liquid form. Inches of rain would fall. Inches! BH and I hunkered down the for downpour. Yes, it did rain. Yes, there was some localized flooding. But many folks opted to stay home and wait out the rain.

Well, if you hail from my neck of he woods, and you opt out of driving in the rain, you wold never get far, right? But when Texas has some sleet or snow, we shut down in much the same way as So Cal in rain. New Yorkers must guffaw at our fear of driving in snow, much as we raise our eyebrows and smirk at their grappling with heat and humidity. Whether you view certain weather patterns as troublesome depends, in large part, on your level of comfort with the particular weather pattern.

Okay, Teri, get to the part about books and reading.

Here it is: I have served on more than one committee where members were comfortable with, say graphic novels but not with novels in verse, with realistic fiction and not perhaps science fiction. I have heard members from other committees remark that they do not care for X, Y, or Z with X being an author, Y being a genre, and Z being a form or format. I get that. I have comfort books in much the same way I have comfort foods. I have preferences. I enjoy some types of books more than others. BUT (and you did see that coming, right?), when I serve on a committee, all that has to be put to the side. I need to consider the book itself and how to meets or does not meet the criteria for the award.

And so as listservs are lighting up with discussion of Newbery, Printz, and the like, I have to keep the weather analogy in mind. It is not about whether sun or rain or snow is preferable or more easily navigable. It is about the book at hand be it windy or cloudy or damp. I saw a post that said award committees dismiss funny books. Not so. My Printz Committee awarded GOING BOVINE the gold and an honor medal went to TALES OF THE MADMAN UNDERGROUND. OFFICER BUCKLE AND GLORIA is just one of the Caldecott winners that contain great good humor. And how could anyone dismiss FLORA AND ULYSSES?

The work of the committees is an arduous process. My mantra this season leading up to the announcements is TRUST THE PROCESS. Yes, your favorite might not garner accolades. But if you love it and pass it along to kids, there are accolades to be had in that process.

Does this mean I agree with the selections? I do not have to agree or disagree. I merely have to know the titles, read them, and then share them with the appropriate reader. And one last thing, I need to thank the committee for their hard work.
Tags: awards, preferences, weather
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