Get off my b(log) and read
fusenumber8 suggests in her comments to my last post that Frank Beddor (author of Looking Glass Wars) is British and therefore ineligible...but nothing could be farther from the truth. He's from LA, a Hollywood man through and through. I had the pleasure of dining with him at Dial Books' expense in New Orleans, where nearly everyone opted for the very fancy chicken with waffles. He told, in fact, of his villifying ordeal being interviewed by the BBC.
I'll continue to compile your suggestions for titles to look at (as I figure out how to work this darn thing--helpful comments appreciated!)... but I'm intrigued by the carnivorous vitriol I've heard directed at little china rabbits. That would be DiCamillo's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
I think a discussion of this title deserves some backstory. DiCamillo won the Newbery Medal in 2004 for The Tale of Despereaux. I was on that committee, and though I can't share with you the committee's discussion of this title (which shall remain forever secret...as all committee discussions are for very good reasons), I can happily share my own. I was, frankly, less than enthusiatic upon my first reading of this (is Kate reading? It gets better...) but was turned onto a second reading by a third-grade teacher friend of mine. He'd been similarly un-enthralled by the direct and stylized narration, but tried it on his students, who were compelled in exactly the places that he'd been turned off. I tried reading a second time as a third grader--a very difficult thing to do for us jaded grown-ups--but it works, I tell you. Try looking at Edward Tulane the same way. Are you thinking of Hitty? Velveteen Rabbit? Well, third graders aren't. The fact is: Kate DiCamillo is a great writer. Her language is unique, compelling, vivid, funny, tender...and with a dark edge. Third graders are open-hearted, silly, fearful, naive, and love their schmaltz. What better pairing? If it's too sweet for you, then, by all means: china rabbits with a bitter brew. But expect a night of bad dreams digesting that.
(Now, some of you have expressed to me that you've tried to post a comment but couldn't. You do have to set up a blogger account to post here, but it's very easy, and you don't have to have a blog. Just follow the links. I know who you are, and expect a swift response!)