Wow. What a week. We’ve seen four classroom awards, four genre/form awards, updates from ALA Midwinter, a giant snow storm that has a name (because 10 inches of snow just isn’t enough to warrant notice if it’s not also named after a beloved Peanuts character). We have one more award to announce, and it’s the big one: the Wyzbery.
The Wyzbery is what my students call the award for the best book published in the previous year. For the genre and class awards, we talk a lot about criteria. For the Wyzbery, it is up to each student. They know what they like, and they are to use their own instincts to discuss and vote for what they believe to be the best book published in the previous year. It’s a pretty fun time 🙂
The Wyzbery is the longest-running award my students have named. When I began awards in 2012, we awarded just the one award, being the Wyzbery. Veronica Roth won for her 2011 release Divergent.
In 2013, many more awards were given out, but once again the Wyzbery was among them. That year, Jon Klassen won for the 2013 Caldecott Medalist book This Is Not My Hat (and I’m not saying, but I’m just saying: we determined and announced our winner first).
This year, we have looked at many books published in 2014. 40 books were nominated for one of the 8 awards we’ve already given out. 9 of those were also nominated as the best book of the year, and each book received at least 3% of the vote.
Two books, though, rose to the top, receiving over half the votes between the two of them. This was also one of the closest votes, as it was not determined until the last couple votes were counted. There was quite a bit of intense debate and tense moments, as everyone had their favorites for this one.
So let’s get to the announcement. I mean, there are football games and commercials to watch and such.
The Wyzbery Honor Book for 2015 is:
We Were Liars by e. lockhart!
As mentioned in the realistic fiction post, this book not only grabs attention when people talk about it, but lives up to the hype. It will continue to be passed from hand-to-hand as the year goes on, no doubt. Congratulations to e. lockhart on this honor!
And now, the moment we’ve been building to all week.
Of the biggest award of the year.
Not the Printz.
Not the Caldecott.
Not the Newbery.
But one day before all that: the 2015 Wyzbery.
This year’s winner, beloved by all my students, is:
Please, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony!
This marks the 6th win for Mr. Antony in this year’s Cardinal Mooney Book Awards, making it the most decorated book by any group of my students. They love the heck out of this book, to the point where they have been asking other teachers to read it to them. They just can’t get enough. I am pleased to award this year’s Wyzbery to this book they love so much. Congratulations to Steve Antony!
Both authors: we will keep your awards for safe keeping in our classroom. You may pick them up at any time.
Thank you, everyone involved, for your wonderful books. We know how much work goes in to each and every book published. It’s the work of an author. And then his or her early readers. And then agents. And then editors. And then the cycle repeats who knows how many times. Eventually, some of these books become published. And through the work of publishers, bookstores, friends, relatives, and people throwing books around on street corners (can you imagine how great that would be?), we find them into our hands. And we read them and are transformed. I wish we could award them all, but of course that would be to award none of them. But thank you to each and every person involved in making these wonderful books: those we awarded, and those we did not. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.