Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The 1st NCBA at the Rizal Library International Conference

PBBY was fortunate to be given a fifteen-minute presentation on the 1st National Children's Book Awards (NCBA)-Best Reads of 2010 at the 4th Rizal Library International Conference last 21 October 2010 in Ateneo de Manila. The topic of the conference was digital and virtual library services. But books remain viable, if not important, formats of information. There were four hundred participants, local and foreign librarians, who now have an awareness of the 1st NCBA. It was an opportunity to fully introduce the Best Reads to them as professionals who provide access to books and other formats of information.

A space was allotted for a poster session on the NCBA-Best Reads of 2010 at the lobby near the entrance hall of the conference venue. Participants were able to read the citations on the winning books. On display were sample books and a trophy borrowed from the Adarna House. Thanks to Dir. Lou David of the Rizal Library, Ms. Waldet Cueto, Conference Chair and Ms. Susan Pador for their support in this initiative of the PBBY and NBDB.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Teen Read Week listmania 2

Here are three more lists from our board members!

From Ani Rosa Almario, Secretary-General, PBBY

To Kill a Mockingbird (medyo na fixate ako dito nung grade 6 for some reason ...)
Everything by Jane Austen
100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Mythology Class, Wasted and all those indie comics na xinexerox
Nancy Drew, Kay Tracey, Beverly Gray and all those female sleuths
Fairytales from around the world (Tatay had all these volumes--one volume, one country. From Portugal, France, Bolivia (yes, Bolivia), from everywhere!)
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (read while eating pastillas and ube)
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Laud Montgomery (Nanay's copy, from her own teen years )
Heidi by Johann Spyri
Sweet Valley High series
Asterix series
Lat (Malaysian comic book series)

Thanks for making me do this list, Zarah. I now realize I also read a lot of pictures


 From Neni Sta Romana-Cruz, sectoral rep for reviewers

1. Heidi by Johann Spyri (child's version and "real" book, eventually gave me nightmares about being orphaned)
2. Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
3. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
4. Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
5. An Old-Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott
6. Book of Greek myths (esp fascinated by the Cyclops and Ulysees and Daedalus, stories first told to me by my mother)
7.  Bridge of San Luis Rey by Thornton Wilder (the idea of dying at the precise moment you are fated to, possessed me)
8.  Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
9.  Judy Bolton series by Margaret Sutton
10. Trixie Belden series by Julie Campbell Tatham
11. Hardy Boys series by Franklin W. Dixon (in reality, also Carolyn Keene)
12. Rose in Bloom by Louisa May Alcott
13. My Fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe (memorized the lyrics)
14. Penrod by Booth Tarkington
15. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
16. Father Brown stories by GK Chesterton
17. Phyllis Mcginley's Christmas Poems collection that Doreen gave me
 18. An old book (a PECO publication?) my mother owned with (clumsy) colored illustrations but rich with Philippine folk tales, riddles, proverbs, etc--a book i still hope to find in our family archives
19. My first book given to me on my birthday by a male cousin, Millard Teopaco--a circus pop-up book with intricate fold-out pages--another book I have to find.

These books were "forcefed" me by my mom and my Lucero cousins: Doreen Gamboa Fernandez, Bee and Patsy Monzon, Sylvia Mayuga...Decades after, I have them to thank for my love of the written word.


From Dina Ocampo-Cristobal, sectoral rep for researchers

Heidi by Johann Spyri 
The Diary of Anne Frank
Jo's Boys by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
1898 by Ceres Alabado
Book of Greek myths (esp fascinated by the Cyclops and Ulysees and Daedalus, stories first told to me by my mother)

Mom had these books on teens ala self help and I read them all
Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene
Hardy Boys series (from the companion library)
Gulliver’s Travels by J Swift
Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
The Five Little Peppers and How They Grew by Margaret Sidney
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
The Swiss Family Robinson or something like that (Johann Rudolf Wyss)
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
The Little Lame Prince by Miss Mullock (Dinah Maria Mullock)
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (Charles L Dodgson)
Aesop’s Fables, Grimms’ and Hans Christian Andersen fairytales

From school
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Romeo and Juliet and Hamlet by William Shakespeare

Jose Garcia Villa’s poems
Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough, stolen from mom
Mills and Boon also stolen from mom
This lovely book of religions and beliefs with lots and lots of pictures

Madami pa!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Teen Read Week listmania, 1

Last week, PBBY chair and librarians' sectoral rep Zarah sent this e-mail to the PBBY:

"I'm starting a blog carnival for Teen Read Week. I've invited friends and advocates of books and reading to list their top ten reads when they were teenagers. It's for my library blog and this will commence on the 17th being the start of Teen Read Week. It will end on the 23rd :-)"

Here are two lists from the PBBY, with Zarah's coming first.

Zarah Gagatiga's List (with annotations)

Books I Read as a Teenager

1. S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders — discovered this one from a schoolmate. I loved the theme on isolation and belonging that I asked my mom to check her library for books written by the author. She was successful! She borrowed That Was Then, This Is Now, Rumble Fish and Tex.

2. Richard Peck's Close Enough To Touch — a love story about a guy coping with his girlfriend's death. Like S.E. Hinton, I searched for books by Richard Peck and enjoyed The Unfinished Portrait of Jessica and one book he wrote that deals with teen suicide. Geez, I forgot the title. Just recently, I finished Peck's Here Lies the Librarian. Fabulous!

3.Madeline L'Engle's A Wrinkle In Time — my first foray into sci-fi! After L'Engle, I read Bradbury and Asimov.

4. Judy Blume's Tiger Eyes — another crisis-coping themed book. Sigh. Now you have an idea how morose I was as a teen!

5. Katherin Patterson's Jacob Have I Loved — I liked this better than Bridge to Terabithia. What attracted me to the book was its cover. A girl holding a seashell. How sentimental! But the book blew my mind as I read the journey of the characters to self discovery. In the end, they grew up fine. At that point in my young adult life, I was so anxious of the future. The book gave me hope.

6. Harlequin and Mills and Boon Romances — yes. I read them.

7. Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High — a reader's rite of passage.

8. Erich Segal's Love Story — again, I read this novel because my classmates in high school were talking about it. So I borrowed the book from a classmate who found the copy in her aunt's old book shelf. We girls were so in love with Oliver. And by the end of the school year, we felt so confident like Jennifer, we could take on college smack in the face! Loved Segal's writing too!

9. Some required reading in college freshman that I will always remember — Paz Marquez-Benitez's “Dead Stars;” Lord of the Flies by William Golding; Oedipus Rex; Villa's “Footnote to Youth;” poems by Emily Dickinson; Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.

10. Laro sa Baga as serialized in Liwayway magazine.

RayVi Sunico’s list (He did not follow directions ;) )

Sorry, 10 too few :( And i've added to the original list.

Was a Marvel Comics fan too— my letter was published in Submariner # 5 and I got a free signed X-Men comic from Stan Lee.

I might add that many of my favorite grade school books were library books. Have marked all library books with asterisks, although I've since bought copies of some of them.

Grade 7
The Oz series (Baum and then Thompson)* (favorites Rinkitink in Oz, The Emerald City of Oz)
The Hardy Boys series*
Tom Swift series*
Villa's Poems 55
The Spicebox of the Earth by Leonard Cohen (poetry)

High School
Drawing the Head and Hands by Andrew Loomis*
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Little Prince by Antoine de St Exupery
The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien
The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien
A Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
Personae (poems) by Ezra Pound*
Dune Trilogy by Frank Herbert
Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
Turning On by Rasa Gustaitis
The Chronicles of Narnia by C S Lewis
Journey to the East by Herman Hesse
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

Friday, October 1, 2010

More about the National Children's Book Awards

NCBA: A ‘non-contest’ like no other 

By Neni Sta. Romana Cruz
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:50:00 04/16/2010

Filed Under: Education, Schools

APRIL 15 THIS YEAR MARKED THE DEADLINE for the submission of all entries to the first National Children’s Book Awards Best Reads for 2010, a collaboration between the Philippine Board on Books for Young People (PBBY) and the National Book Development Board (NBDB). It is an exciting and promising initiative because it brings into public focus important tenets of reading promotion—the marketing of books; the idea of a book as a product of a collaboration of creative minds; the manifold joys of the art and science of reading that our children and young adults need to discover again and again—cherished beliefs that PBBY through its 26 years of advocacy has always stood for.
NCBA is different from your usual “competitions”—let’s use the word for lack of a better word—because it will not name a ranked list of winners. Instead, an independent board of judges, not one of whom comes from the PBBY’s 15 members, will select noteworthy titles from the previous calendar year’s releases. This being the initial year, books carrying the 2008 and 2009 publication dates qualify. Although the idea is for the judges to recommend 10 titles for inclusion in the final “Best Reads List,” the judges are not compelled to come up with that number if there are not enough books which merit commendation.
NCBA is deliberately staying away from a tiered list in the spirit of science fantasy novelist Ursula K. Le Guin’s thoughtful 2009 essay “On Literary Bests,” where she discusses her dilemma of being invited as a judge to select the three top American fiction of the last 60 years. She confesses that in conscience, she could not do the job which she thought unfair to the many other works not chosen. There are many others beyond the top three, personal choices are subjective, standards for evaluating vary, and who gains with that selection which excludes more than it includes? Le Guin, a cultural anthropologist who weaves this background in her novels like “A Wizard of Earthsea,” is the first to admit that just as there are many outstanding works, there are as many mediocre ones.
She asks: Who benefits from the convenient top three selections? Most certainly, not the cause of literature, but rather booksellers with an instant product to sell, and teachers and educators who do not have to make their own selections and who love the convenience of a ready-made list. (And who doesn’t?) “They needn’t pay attention to the books that didn’t win the prize. They needn’t exercise their own critical faculties, they don’t have to think, they can just order the prize book and believe they’ve read all there is to read.”
Le Guin concedes that competitions can be a spur for the beginning writer, just as she herself felt empowered with her initial literary recognition through such awards. However, she reminds us all of the artists that all writers are, they who write not for contests but for the craft itself: “… our tendency to consider art as a competition is a mistake …. People work extremely hard at something they have a gift for because the work is intensely, immediately and reliably rewarding. External rewards are nice but really not much compared to the satisfaction of making something beautiful, knowing you’re doing work as good as you can do.”
In an interview, Le Guin speaks of the sacredness of the very act, “Writing is my craft. I honor it deeply. To have a craft, to be able to work at it, is to be honored by it.” How then can books be regarded as any other commodity, any other consumer item?
NCBA titles will be judged and credited as a product of a team made up of the author and/or illustrator, publisher and the printer. This is to give credit where credit is due and to emphasize the steps in book production.
The NCBA choices will be publicly honored and commended through a short annotation to be written by the judges and will be directed toward children, parents, librarians and educators—the clientele of the books.
What does the NCBA hope to achieve with this honors list of books? By giving prominence and drawing attention to noteworthy books in print and non-print media, it endeavors to engage the reading public in an appreciation of the book as a finished product and the significant and critical role trade books, as opposed to textbooks, ought to play in the lives of young learners and young readers.
It is ultimately hoped that this Best Reads List, growing each year, will be used as a guide for book donations and must-buys for classrooms and school libraries.
What a boost that will be for the children’s books industry—but first, the entries must be submitted before April 15 and the 2010 choices made in time for the July announcement.
Do check out the websites of PBBY and NBDB for the complete set of rules and nomination forms.

Neni Sta. Romana Cruz is the sectoral representative for book reviewers of the Philippine Board on Books for Young People, the Foundation for Worldwide People Power, and a trustee of the Sa Aklat Sisikat Foundation.