On March 15, 1950, a consortium of book publishing groups sponsored the first annual National Book Awards Ceremony and Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Their goal was to enhance the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans, and to increase the popularity of reading in general.
An exhilarating new collection by the poet often acclaimed as the modern Walt Whitman, his "spiritual reincarnation.""This healthy collection of new poems and selections from seven previous volumes is remarkable for its generosity of spirit, manifested in a warm surrealism that is often turned with humor toward his own past as a way of understanding the recurrent questions of growing old: 'Why did it take so long / for me to get lenient? What does it mean one life / only?' " Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Gerald Stern's achievement is immense. In this beautiful gathering . . . one encounters a poet who praises and mourns in turn and even at once." Grace Schulman, The Nation "Stern is one of those rare poetic souls who makes it almost impossible to remember what our world was like before his poetry came to exalt it." C. K. Williams
Stern was 48 years old when his first collection, Rejoicings, appeared in 1973. A quarter century later, he has selected his finest work for This Time. Immediately one notices a consistency of style and concern. Indeed, one of his earliest poems, "When I Have Reached the Point of Suffocation," foreshadows his major themes of desolation and survival:
It takes years to learn how to look at the destructionIn his most moving poems, Stern witnesses this destruction of beauty and learns or resolves or forgets to take it on the chin. Many embody glimpses of delight made all the more poignant by their brief duration, the "one minute / to study the drops of silver hanging in the sun / before you turn the corner past the gatehouse." And though they focus intensely on their literal subjects, their scope expands to encompass what has been lost in this century--not just people and places, but an attainable sense of peace and solitude. --Edward Skoog
of beautiful things;
to learn how to leave the place
and how to make your own regeneration
out of nothing.
Tree of Smoke is the 2007 National Book Award Winner for Fiction.
One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year
Named a Best Book of the Year by Time, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, Slate, The National Book Critics Circle, The Christian Science Monitor. . . .
Tree of Smoke is the story of William "Skip" Sands, CIA--engaged in Pschological Operations against the Vietcong--and the disasters that befall him. It is also the story of the Houston brothers, Bill and James, young men who drift out of the Arizona desert and into a war where the line between disinformation and delusion has blurred away. In the words of Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times, Tree of Smoke is "bound to become one of the classic works of literature produced by that tragic and uncannily familiar war."
Caldecott Honor and Geisel Honor Book
What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pigall toys arranged on a childs windowsillwait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Timesbestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.
Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?
Waiting is a big part of childhoodwaiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happenbut in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkess extraordinary career.
The short sentences of the text flow with the precision one would expect from a master picture-book creator like Henkes. Little ones, to whom each experience is new, will know what its like to dream and wait.ALA Booklist
The red words painted on the trailer caused quite a buzz around town and before an hour was up, half of Antler was standing in line with two dollars clutched in hand to see the fattest boy in the world.
Toby Wilson is having the toughest summer of his life. It's the summer his mother leaves for good; the summer his best friend's brother returns from Vietnam in a coffin. And the summer that Zachary Beaver, the fattest boy in the world, arrives in their sleepy Texas town. While it's a summer filled with heartache of every kind, it's also a summer of new friendships gained and old friendships renewed. And it's Zachary Beaver who turns the town of Antler upside down and leaves everyone, especially Toby, changed forever.
With understated elegance, Kimberly Willis Holt tells a compelling coming-of-age story about a thirteen-year-old boy struggling to find himself in an imperfect world. At turns passionate and humorous, this extraordinary novel deals sensitively and candidly with obesity, war, and the true power of friendship.
When Zachary Beaver Came to Town is the winner of the 1999 National Book Award for Young People's Literature. This title has Common Core connections.
With Zachary Beaver, Kimberly Willis Holt, author of the award-winning My Louisiana Sky, further explores southern-flavored small town life. Toby's quirky, yet ultimately rewarding coming of age story will serve as a gentle reminder to teens that sometimes the best way to work through your problems is by helping others with theirs. (Ages 11 to 15) --Jennifer Hubert