Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My life with the Newbery

I have loved Newbery books and the Newbery award for over 6 years, which is saying a lot because I'm 12, so that is most of my life. When the awards were about to be announced on Monday, I was a little sad because this year I haven't been able to participate in any Mock Newberys or other Newbery-related events. This year I've been ridiculously, annoyingly, painfully sick. I was even a little worried that I might not have (Gasp!) read this year's winner. My mom consoled me by saying that I had read many amazing books this year, many of them due to the extraordinary "books as medicine" effort of authors all around the world. And then the announcement was made. You might have heard my squeal all the way from Indiana. It was The One And Only Ivan! I had read it (and, of course, loved it), but that's not all.  Early in the books as medicine barrage, Katherine Applegate had sent me an amazingly over-the-top and wonderful package, which included my own autographed copy of The One and Only Ivan, plus my very own Ivan. The stuffed version of Ivan has accompanied me on many recent medical excursions, which means that I had this year's Newbery with me all along. When I first read The One and Only Ivan I thought it was sad but wonderful. In a lot of ways, that has been true in my recent life. It is not amazing that Katherine Applegate won the Newbery because she wrote an amazing book, but I am unbelievably happy that I've had Ivan with me all the way.


  1. Wow! That is so fab! I am eager to read The One And Only Ivan. Most of my reading this year has been related to research. I am way behind on my fiction reading.

    Here's hoping your next year feels much healthier!

  2. This made me tear up. Books are such a healing thing, and to know Ivan was with you, to know Katherine Applegate was that generous... wow. This is truly a gift!

  3. Can't wait to meet your Ivan! Grandma Hardin

  4. I have a secret. I think you are becoming an author. When I first read your post, I understood it as a celebration of the support you received.

    Then a few minutes later I thought about the support your blog has provided to so many others. Readers, librarians, authors and many lesser luminaries have been lifted up through seeing the world through your eyes.

    I think stimulating this shift in view (from inside to outside or from the singular to the general) may be the motive of every author. Their stories are only part of the gift they share.

    Thanks for teaching us all that hope within the narrowest boundaries is limitless.

    Granddad Hardin

  5. Hi Laura....I was wondering what you thought about this year's winner. I haven't read it yet but obviously Katherine Applegate is a wonderful person, a wonderful author and I am betting that I too will like it a lot. And I love your Ivan.
    (Just a reminder....I am Sam's mom and I am rooting for you!)

  6. And I just have to tell you how much I love your grandparents! Lovely!

  7. I am going to read Ivan to my Grade 4/5 class in Ontario, Canada. I'm sorry to hear that you've had a tough year. I think you are an amazing role model to all children to prove that you can make a difference in the world. Keep smiling!

  8. What a wonderful post, I'm glad that you've had The One and Only Ivan to keep you company recently

  9. Excellent blog, Laura! What a wonderful goal, too.

  10. Hi again, Laura: I'm not familiar with "Books as Medicine." Do you know where I can find out more about it? Would love to write about it in the Association for Library Service to Children's newsletter, journal, and/or blog.

    Sending love and positive vibes your way. <3

    Laura, ALSC, Chicago

    1. Laura,
      Books as Medicine started last fall when I stopped posting on my blog. Kathi Appelt, my fairy book-mother, noticed and sent a Facebook message to my mom asking if I was okay. I was not, and she arranged for me to be sent some signed books to cheer me up. It turned into the magic that I'm sure is at least partially responsible (along with the wonders of modern medicine) for the fact that I got better.
      Links you might want to check out: