Thursday, October 27, 2011

My Thoughts (as the book's biggest fan) on the Shine Debacle...

I know this is kind of old news, but given my love for this book, I felt like I had to spew my thoughts on this matter...

If you've been a follower for any amount of time, you know that Shine (by Lauren Myracle) is my favorite book of 2011, and one of my favorites of all time (read my review HERE to find out why).  A couple of weeks ago when it was announced that it had been nominated for a National Book Award, I did a happy dance that lasted at least 5 minutes (which may not seem like a long time, but try it and see if you're not sweating at the end).  I was so happy for her because a.) I really, REALLY love the book, and b.) I think Lauren is the type of person who could teach a class (or write a book?) to help 90% of the world's population get a clue as to how to act; she is honest, sweet, down-to-earth, and kind- beautiful inside and out.  She has been the target of so many nutjobs wanting to dictate to others what they should read, when all she is really doing is being real.  She understands the teenage mind, and the crazies out there don't want to believe what they (really aren't) reading.  But that's another post (read it HERE if you want to).  Anyway, I was thrilled.  I usually think the judges of these awards (with very few exceptions) have their heads up their asses with their choices, so I was surprised when they finally got one right.  I should have known it was too good to be true...

While I was toiling away, running the book fair at my daughter's (who, by the way, is the reason I ever picked up one of Lauren's books, so Thank You, Emma!) school- away from the blogs, twitter, and the news- all of the chaos over Lauren's un-nomination took place.  (If you aren't aware of what happened, read this POST by Libba Bray, because she does a great job summing it up!)  When I heard, I was absolutely crushed, so I can't imagine how Lauren must have felt...  Yet, she handled herself with grace and dignity.  She gave several interviews, and while it was clear she was disappointed, she never once made it about her.  She was all about the message of the book and her reasons behind writing.  She was gracious to the point of excusing the morons at the National Book Foundation for their mistake.  After reading her responses, I felt embarrassed thinking about how I would have responded in her situation.  The National Book Award earned my respect by making Shine a finalist.  They lost it to the point where there is nothing that could earn it back when they retracted that.  Shine will always be a winner in my eyes and it certainly doesn't need that gold sticker, especially since it will never mean anything to me again after what they have done.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

If you tweet about this, make sure to use the hashtag #ISupportShine.  We want everyone, especially Lauren, to know that we as a community are behind her and her beautiful masterpiece!  If you haven't read it yet, drop everything and read it now. A couple of months ago I ranked it my #1 YA read of 2011, and that ranking still stands (read that post HERE).  Everyone, EVERYONE needs to read this book!

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