13 October 2007

Heard at the Horn Book Awards

Last night I attended the Boston Globe/Horn Book Awards ceremony at the Boston Athenaeum. Here are some remarks from the acceptance speeches that struck me.


NONFICTION
Loree Griffin Burns, author of Honor book Tracking Trash, on childhood reading: "I dreamed great, big, Carolyn Keene dreams."

Sid Fleischman, author of Honor book Escape!: The remarks Sid sent about switching to nonfiction were funny, but nothing struck me as much as something he said at the SCBWI New England conference last spring: "You need two ideas to make a story."

Nicolas Debon, author-illustrator of Award winner The Strongest Man in the World: Louis Cyr: "Athletes and artists are both trying to bring to perfection one gesture."


PICTURE BOOKS
Joëlle Jolivet and Jean-Luc Fromental, author and illustrator of Honor book 365 Penguins: "A ‘Globe’ Award for a book about global warming seems fairly perfect."

Emily Gravett, author-illustrator of Honor book Wolves: no special quotes, actually, but I couldn't resist buying the book.

Laura Vaccaro Seeger, author-illustrator of Award winner Dog and Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories and bringer of the night's handsomest entourage: "I objected [to putting three stories in one book], but Neal [Porter, editor] convinced me that an eight-page picture book wouldn't sell very well."


FICTION
Sara Pennypacker, author of Honor book Clementine, illustrated by Marla Frazee: "Humorous writing is always about human frailties. When we're laughing, our guard is down and we can say, 'Me, too.'"

Tim Wynne-Jones, author of Honor book Rex Zero and the End of the World: "It's awful to hear something called historical fiction when it's your own life."

M. T. Anderson, author of Award winner The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, yadda yadda yadda, The Pox Party: "If I had not read of Centerburg, Ohio, I could not a few years later have been so haunted by Winesburg, Ohio."

The Horn Book's web content coordinator told me that an audio or video record of the ceremony will be posted on the magazine's website within weeks. So that's how long I have before people can hear the speakers' words for themselves and realize what a poor transcriptionist I am.

[ADDENDUM: Even faster than I thought, the Horn Book has posted its video record.]


As usual, I was struck by this award's sweep across the US borders. Four of the nine honored books were originally published in other countries. Among presses, I think the big winner was Groundwood Books of Toronto, who published the nonfiction Award winner and a fiction Honor book.

The Athenaeum's catering was almost stereotypically Brahmin: dry cheese, dry crackers, dry drinks. But oh, its books! In the hour before the ceremony I found some delicious stories about George Washington's arrival in Cambridge in 1775, which I'll soon post on Boston 1775.

1 comment:

Patty Cryan said...

I think "great, big Carolyn Keene dreams" is my new watchword.