Monday, May 2, 2016

2017 Nutmeg Reader Meghan C. Tells All

The 2017 Nutmeg Nominees were announced today. Did you ever wonder who picks out the books that are on the Nutmeg Book Award Nominee Lists each year? According to their website, each Selection Committee has a maximum of 15 members including: 1-2 chairpersons, 1 reading teacher, and a mix of school and public librarians. The Intermediate, Teen, and High School Committees also has 2-3 student readers.

It is with great pride and pleasure that I am able to share the experiences of Burlington's own Meghan C., who was a student reader on the 2017 Nutmeg Awards High School Nominating Committee. Meghan is a junior at Lewis S. Mills, where she excels academically, and is a very active member of the Burlington Public Library's Teen Advisory Council.

Q How did you hear about the Nutmeg Student Reader position?
A Our wonderful Teen Librarian, Sara Lo Presti, told me about it and I was immediately interested. Before then, I had no idea that students could be involved in the selection process at all. (Editorial comment: Awwwwwww. Thanks, Meghan!)

Q Was it hard to apply?
A Not at all; all I had to do was fill out an online application, write an essay explaining why I wanted to take part, and provide a reference from a librarian or teacher.

Q How many books did you have to read?
A In total we read about 80 books over five meetings; and discussed anywhere from 15 to 30 books per meeting.

Q What were meetings like?
A We met at the Public Library in West Hartford in a conference room. It was very casual; we all sat around a table, discussed the books we’d read and then voted on whether or not to keep it in the running to be a nutmeg book. We had four two-hour meetings and our last meeting was three hours long, but the time really flew by. It felt exactly like talking about books with your friends.

Q Okay – be truthful – did you REALLY read them all?
A Well, I did read most of them eventually, but not all in time for the meetings. And I’ll admit that there were a few that I started and abandoned; I figured if they couldn’t hold my interest at the beginning, they weren’t going to end up on the list anyways.

Q Were there books that were just awful??? Are there books you really wished made the list?
A There were definitely some bad ones (they can’t all be good I guess) and most were just okay. Most of the ones I really loved were favorites in the group, so they made the list, but a few weren’t able to be Nutmegs because they weren’t going to be available in paperback in time.  I hope that All the Bright Places will be in the running next year!

Q If you had to choose, what was your favorite title that made it on the list?
A It’s so great to FINALLY be able to tell people what made the list!!! I would have to say that my absolute favorite was Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman. It almost didn’t make the list because of complications with publishing, but thankfully Mr. Shusterman stepped in to save the day!

Q Is there anything else you want to tell us about the experience?
A This was probably one of the best things I could have done; it was a great opportunity to read books that I normally would never have even considered and to meet a ton of different people who loved books just as much as I did. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who loves reading and can handle reading a lot of books in a short amount of time. You definitely have to be good at managing your time.
All things considered, I think that this was a really great experience. I really loved having the opportunity to have a part in deciding what books people my age are recommended to read, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

View a complete list of all the 2017 Nutmeg Nominees here.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for compiling such a great nutmeg list! I read the summaries for all the books that made the cut and they sound fairly enjoyable - especially compared to previous years!