Link: A Poem from Kate Messner

I hope author Kate Messner doesn’t get mad at me for this. She looks mean and tough . . .

and I sure don’t want to tangle with her. Just look at those teeth!

Fierce.

But on her live journal Kate shared a pretty great response to the events today in San Diego, where the ALA hands out all the big awards for the year’s best books.

I’ve always had mixed feelings about the season’s emphasis on winners. Yet I do like the conversations about books that spring from the awards process, the passionate recommendations, the undiscovered titles that are suggested, then devoured, and loved (or hated!). To me, that’s easily the best thing about these awards, that the process helps shine a light on many deserving books. A single winner? Shrug. Give me a Top Ten any day of the week.

Even so: Congratulations, winners. Thanks for writing those books.

To read Kate’s poem, What Happened To Your Book Today,” click here. To be honest, I don’t know much about Kate. She’s not my friend or anything. We’ve never met. But I’ve kept a link to her blog on the trusty blogroll, because I like her spirit, and I’ve had The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z on my reading list for some time.

Below, here’s just a few sample lines from the poem:

Somewhere, a kid who has never read a whole book on his own

(Really. Not even one.)

picked up yours and turned a page.

And then another.

And then one more.

And it was pretty cool, turns out.

He brought it back – huge smile on his face –

(and I mean huge)

And he read that, too.

Somewhere, a teenager who thought she was alone

Opened your pages and discovered she’s not.

And somewhere, somebody who thought about giving up

will keep on trying,

keep on hoping.

Because of that book you wrote.

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