Newbery Goes to Graveyard

The Graveyard BookThis week, the American Library Association announced the winner of this year’s Newbery Medal, one of the most prestigious awards for children’s literature. 

The winner? The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. (Read the full story here.) According to Gaiman’s website, the award, though of course welcome, was unexpected. 

This was not Gaiman’s first time in the spotlight. The British-turned-American author is widely popular. In 2001, his adult novel American Gods won a range of awards including the prestigious Hugo and Bram Stoker awards.

Non-book enthusiasts may recognize Gaiman’s work from the 2007 film Stardust, which was based on Gaiman’s novel of the same name. 

Gaiman also writes for comics (the award-winning strip Sandman) and film (Beowulf, among others). 

The Graveyard Book follows other successful forays into children’s literature, including The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish (1997). 

As debate over the future of awards like the Newbery (popularist or elitist?) continue, this year’s winner seems to place a checkmark firmly on the side of the popularists.

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