How do they pick the Rebecca Caudill list?

The winner of the 2010 Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award is All the Lovely Bad Ones, by Mary Downing Hahn.  I was proud to be on the evaluators’ committee that nominated this book last year, and I served again this year to develop the list of titles for 2011.

The 2011 committee met January 30 in East Moline, Illinois.  At 8:30 AM we had a continental breakfast.  Then we sat down to work.  We had each been assigned to read the same fifty books for which we would vote.  Seventy-three people attended the gathering in the large Sherrard Junior-Senior High School library, and fifty of us each book talked a title.  We made a few comments on the book and then voted.  If there was a clear majority one way or the other, the book either went on the final list of twenty or was dropped.  If there was a difference of nine or fewer in the voting, the book was tabled to be considered later.  The process continued the rest of the day, with a break for a nice catered lunch.  By about 4 PM we had placed sixteen titles on the list and had been through the list of fifty.  So we went to the list of tabled items and took votes on each one, adding the final four to the list of nominees for 2011.  The list was released to the public a few days later, and in CSD we have copies of the nominated books on display.  Many of them also are released as audiobooks.   During the month of February 2011, children in grades 4 through 8 will vote for their favorites, and the winner will be announced at the Children’s Literature Conference at Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, in March 2011.

This year’s winner, All the Lovely Bad Ones, received  4,555 votes.  The novel Someone Named Eva, by Joan M. Wolf, came in second with 3,280 votes; and in third place was Elephant Run, by Roland Smith, with 3,222 votes.  All the Lovely Bad Ones is the story of brother and sister Tucker and Corey, who go to stay with their grandmother in her reputedly haunted bed and breakfast in Vermont.  Just to liven things up for the guests, they decide to fake some hauntings.  Tourists come in droves to Fox Hill Inn.  But there is more going on than anyone realizes.

Miss Nancy

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