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Posts Tagged ‘Award Winner’

I have noticed a theme here lately in the books that win the Newberry Medal award or other awards. It seems to me that they all have a sad tone or dark mood. Here are some books I have read that have been given awards.

“Wolf Hollow” by Lauren Wolk, was such a sad story that I had a hard time reading this to my school children. It was sad and depressing and did not give you any hope in humanity. Yes, there are life lessons in it. Yes, it is more realistic with the ending. But how are these books judged? Do they get an award because of how much they make you feel or cry?

“Hello Universe” by Erin Entrada Kelly, is another story that leaves you feeling a little sad at the ending. Yes, again there were life lessons. It had a better ending than the other books but you feel the innocence is gone from these children.

“Pax” by Sara Pennypacker, is a story that you just cannot stop reading even though you have guessed the ending before the last three chapters. Another sad story of loss and a young boy having to grow up and face the reality of war. It breaks your heart.

Now, these are only the books I have read in the last year that have gotten rave reviews and won awards. I have read other books that were good and uplifting.   But there is a universe of sad books that have received awards like, “Old Yeller”, “Shilo”, “Holes”, “Beyond the Bright Sea” (Another book by Lauren Wolk. You can see her pattern of style.) and “Inside Out and Back Again”.  And they all have a sad tone to them.

So what makes these books so loved by critics or literary scholars? The harsh reality in them? The fact they bring grown men to tears? Who knows?

I think we need more good books for children where they can feel happy about the ending. We need beautiful books that show that the world is not all ugly. We need books that children can escape into for a while. Children are already seeing the ugly side of the world it is time we give them books that encourage them to see the bright side of things now.

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