I am ready to get the CMBAs off to a roaring start tonight. 2014 brought us an astounding amount of great books, and we only get to award a few. It’s like choosing the best blizzard flavor at DQ. They’re all good. How do we pick just one?
My first hour class is 10 wonderful freshmen. They are all over the map as readers, loving picture books, graphic novels, fantasy, realistic fiction, mystery. . .just about everything. They nominated 4 books for their class award, and when they voted among these 4, a curious thing happened.
2 books received 40% of the vote. A tie.
So we discussed. And we made pleas. And we talked about the finer points of each book. And we voted again.
One book received more votes.
. . .and so did the other.
Each received 50% of the vote. A tie.
So we discussed. And we decided that instead of going through this again, let’s just acknowledge what we all know: these are great books, and we should award both. So. For the first time in the history of these awards, we have a dual winner.
Without further ado, let me reveal to you the TWO winners of the Freshman First Hour Award:
El Deafo by Cece Bell and Tea with Grandpa by Barney Saltzberg
El Deafo is a book that brought one of my students and her mom to tears, as the student’s mom lost her hearing in one ear when she was growing up. Hearing my student tell me of how she finally understood what her mom went through is not something I can even remember without getting misty-eyed.
Tea with Grandpa is a book one of my students has often talked about. When he first mentioned it, he couldn’t give away the ending, but just left us with, “it has a great life lesson.” I think we’ll hear more from him in book talks as the year goes on.
Neither Ms. Bell nor Mr. Saltzberg could be with us tonight. They are both welcome to stop by at any time to pick up their award! Congratulations!