Sunday, May 16, 2010

Analyzing The Sunshine State Young Readers' Award Books

I recently read and blogged about all 15 middle grade novels on The Sunshine State Young Readers' Award List. I grouped the novels into categories to see what they have in common.

1. Contemporary or Historical? - Eleven books on the list have a contemporary setting and four are historical fiction.

2. Humorous? Three of the books are humorous: THE MISADVENTURES OF MAUDE MARCH, AIRBALL MY LIFE IN BRIEFS, and SCHOOLED.

3. Multicultural? Four books deal with different cultures: LA LINEA, HOT, SOUR, SALTY, SWEET, THE ENTERTAINER AND THE DYBBUK, and GABRIEL'S HORSES.

4. Elements of Fantasy? Though it varies widely, seven of the books fit this category. ALL THE LOVELY BAD ONES and THE ENTERTAINER AND THE DYBBUK are ghost stories. FIRST LIGHT and GO BIG OR GO HOME are science fiction. DRAGON SLIPPERS and INTO THE WILD are more like fairytales, while FOUND is action/adventure.

5. Problem Novels? Three of the books fit this description: WING NUT, LA LINEA, and RUNAWAY. These are the books that I will long remember because they caused me to think about hard issues and see the world outside my own experiences.

All of the books have great writing in common. Though I enjoyed each and every one, my three favorities are THE MISADVENTURES OF MAUDE MARCH, LA LINEA, and RUNAWAY.

Congratulations to the authors who have a book on the list!


  1. Excellent analysis. I still don't know how / who picks those books, but it's a very good list and nice to see the diversity, genre-wise, etc.

  2. I don't know all the ins and outs, but librarians nominate books for the list.

  3. Thank you for this, Shannon. I really appreciate having the list broken down in the way that you've done it. Now I have more books to add to my "to read" pile. : )

  4. Definitely read RUNAWAY by Wendelin Van Draanen. The kids voted it as their favorite book on the list and it was in my top three as well.