According to the Newbery Medal terms and criteria,
“Distinguished” is defined as:
• Marked by eminence and distinction; noted for significant achievement.I started thinking about that last definition after writing my most recent post. Which are the individually distinct titles of the year - the ones that aren't Another Folksy Missing Mom Book or Another Victorian Thriller? The titles that are "making it new," as Pound exhorted?
• Marked by excellence in quality.
• Marked by conspicuous excellence or eminence.
• Individually distinct.
- Mr. and Mrs. Bunny. Yes, it falls firmly within a tradition of tongue-in-cheek nonsense, following in the slightly unstable footsteps of Norton Juster and Daniel Pinkwater. But it's not quite like anything else, is it? After all, it's translated from the Rabbit.
- Starry River of the Sky. As I noted, it's not really like anything else, except for its companion book, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. Nothing else that I can think of is both folklore and meta-folklore in quite the same way.
- The One and Only Ivan. Children's lit is full of animal rescue stories, of course, but I can't think of one that resembles this one in tone and style - that odd, melancholy hybrid of poetry and prose that makes Ivan's voice so memorable.
- No Crystal Stair. There are other "documentary novels," but not many, as several people have pointed out in their reviews.
- What Came from the Stars. It doesn't sound like it succeeds, but it was at least trying to do something new in its blend of science fiction and realism.
For now, what do you think? What titles are we missing here?