Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Book That Keeps Going And Going And Going

Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes is often used as an example of the significance of the Newbery Medal. Forbes' novel won the Newbery in 1943 and has never been out of print. The year before, she won the Pulitzer Prize for Paul Revere and the World He Lived In. Unlike Johnny Tremain, that book has not remained in print continuously for the last sixty-plus years, though it is available now.

So which is the more powerful award in terms of generating long-term sales and providing for some literary immortality, the Newbery or the Pulitzer?

This all came to mind because J.L.Bell is in the midst of a three-day Tremainathon at Boston 1775. Yesterday, he covered the path to publication. Today, he told the story of the deleted scene. And tomorrow...the misread document!

Seriously, we history geeks go all tingly for a misread document.


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