.....all of us, of course! Because we got to follow the progress of 16 fabulous books for young readers.
Marching for Freedom, by Elizabeth Partridge. All of Gary Schmidt's agony in the first round was worth it. Everyone loves a winner, and he made the right call, setting this book on the path to victory.
Personally, I find it thrilling that a non-fiction, picture book for older readers (remember one of my favorite sayings: "picture book is a format, not a reading level") managed to out-last and out-wow the judges in a playing field with the likes of award winners (When You Reach Me,) runaway bestsellers (The Last Olympian,) popular high-fantasy (Fire,) and librarian darlings (Marcello in the Real World.) Let this triumph be a reminder that non-fiction isn't just for homework or coffee tables; it is a genre which has potential for mass appeal to a generation growing up with reality television and 24 hour news access. Non-fiction is real and readable. And victorious, too!
The only down side to this entire experience? It's over :(