Oh what the hell, everyone else is posting about it.
The latest What is the Newbery discussion. Looking for an idea of the linkage out there? Check out Fairrosa's Reading.
My scattered thoughts:
To those who disagree with Anita Silvey's article: why do you assume she, or others who raise questions about Newbery winners, hasn't read the rules? Some comments seem to be along the lines "if you only read the rules, you wouldn't think that." It may not be about whether the rules are being read, it's how those rules are being interpreted.
To the "the Newbery doesn't mean what you think it means" argument. Goodness knows, I agree with this. But. If there are that many people out there, including professional librarians, who don't "get" what the Newbery is about, whose fault is it? I'm a bit reminded of a time in fifth grade where my entire class failed a test. My mother, a teacher, told me that while I still needed to do my best, etc., that when that many children in a class didn't "get" the material, the fault was as much on the teacher as the students. Where are those who don't "get" it getting their impressions from? I'm wondering if there is a bit of having ones cake and eating it, too, going on. On the one hand, literary award (and see what Carlie has to say about what that means.) But are we (global we, libraries, librarians, etc.) promoting it as something else, resulting in people thinking the Newbery is something it isn't?
Finally, yes this argument happens enough we could turn it into a drinking game. Still, I am disturbed by just how insulted people get over people raising questions about the Newbery winners. I love discussions of things and different viewpoints, and the idea that there can only be one viewpoint for the Newbery (either you agree totally with every selection, or you're someone who didn't read the rules, don't get the award, and is blinded by 'popularity') bothers me.
My introduction to the Newbery was the gift of a boxed set of Newbery winners. Do they still do that? They were books I wouldn't have picked up on my own, but because now they were there, I was bored, I read them and enjoyed them. (Come to think of it, being bored plus access to books at home led to many great discoveries of books I would never have picked up otherwise.)