the oscars of the library world

A week ago today, the morning of January 28, the American Library Association announced its 2013 youth media award winners. I attended the announcement — that was the first time that I had ever been there in person. Later that day, I went to a working meeting/ dimsum with the APALA Finance and Fundraising Committee. One of the members of that committee is Janet Wong, author of acclaimed books such as Apple Pie 4th of July, Night Garden, A Suitcase of Seaweed, The Trip Back Home. She was the one who planned that lunch, and  I met her for the first time that day.

The next day, we (the folks who were at the lunch) received an email from Janet. In that email, she included the following poem that she had written in honor of the youth media award winners. She had written it on the same day as the announcement. Congratulations to all the winners and honor recipients! I look forward to more great works this year. And thank you, Janet, for writing this clever poem. Enjoy!

The Oscars of the Library World
by Janet Wong
(January 28, 2013)
This Is Not My Hat.
This hat belongs to
The One and Only Ivan.
In Darkness
you might confuse this hat
with something worn by
Aristotle and Dante
(while they)
Discover the Secrets of the Universe.
A hat like this is
The Bomb.
You put it on and suddenly
you are
Katherine Paterson.
Or you are,
Hand in Hand, Ten Black Men
Who Changed America.
“I, Too, Am America”
Martin de Porres (The Rose in the Desert)
and Chengli (of the Silk Road Caravan).
With your hat
(or not your hat)
you’re a winner
to me.

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