Book Reviews

The 2008 Newbery Medal winner is Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Robert Byrd, and published by Candlewick.

In “Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village,” thirteenth-century springs to life using 21 dramatic individual narratives that introduce young inhabitants of village and manor; from Hugo, the lord's nephew, to Nelly, the sniggler. Schlitz's elegant monologues and dialogues draw back the curtain on the period, revealing character and relationships, hinting at stories untold. Explanatory interludes add information and round out this historical and theatrical presentation.“Schlitz adds a new dimension to books for young readers - performance,” said Committee Chair Nina Lindsay. “Varied poetic forms and styles offer humor, pathos and true insight into the human condition. Each entry is superb in itself, and together the pieces create a pageant that transports readers to a different time and place.”

The 2008 Caldecott winner has been chosen. It is The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. This book is a complete change from last year’s selection. It is a hefty 500+ page picture book. The story and black and white illustrations (284 pages) are compelling and unique. The main character is an orphan, a clock keeper and a thief. He lives in the walls of a busy train station in Paris.

 So what is, “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” anyway? “… this is not exactly a novel, and it’s not quite a picture book, and it’s not really a graphic novel, or a flip book, or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” These are author Brian Selznick’s words describing his 2008 Caldecott winner.

To find out more about the 2008 award winners or skim the lists of past winners, follow the American Library Association link below. SES has an extensive collection of past Caldecott and Newbery winners. 

Please visit the school library on a Tuesday or a Friday and I will be happy to help you locate them.

Happy Reading ,

Eileen Vaughn





Dr. Seuss Books
Come to the SES library and celebrate on March 2nd.