Neil Gaiman Won the Newbery Medal: I’m Processing This Information

I’ve known for a couple of days that Neil Gaiman won the Newbery Medal this year for The Graveyard Book. But I’ve been processing this information.

Despite the fact that the man has been on the NYT Bestseller list, and had Stardust made into a major motion picture, many of us Neil Gaiman readers view him as our little secret. It’s sort of like a little exclusive club of people who know who Gaiman is. (People who read Terry Pratchett fall into the same category.)

But that club necessarily gets bigger, thanks to the prestige of the Newbery Medal. Amongst literary types, the Newbery is a Big Deal. And that means that my literary friends who don’t read sci-fi/fantasy (and some that do) suddenly know who Neil Gaiman is. He’s not my special little secret anymore.

I do feel it necessary to issue a little warning here: Go read The Graveyard Book. Let your children ages 9-12 read it. But don’t expect the same family friendly fare in other Neil Gaiman books. Because, frankly, he’s got a lot of stuff that’s PG-13 and R, and you don’t want to pick up one of his other books, like American Gods, thinking that it will be a fun one to read aloud with your 13-year-old. Neil Gaimon is undeniably brilliant, but a great deal of the time he’s profanely brilliant.

I suppose that I can assuage my feelings with smugness that I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman for years before anyone really knew who he was.

At least I’ve still got Terry Pratchett.

4 Responses to Neil Gaiman Won the Newbery Medal: I’m Processing This Information

  1. LOL I know there are plenty of people out there that read them both, but in my insulated world of friends and acquaintances, there are very few. And heaven knows Gaiman deserves the Medal.

  2. When I told my husband that Gaiman won the Newberry-he laughed and said, “for what?” when I told him the book, he laughed even more and told me the blurb from the back of the book. Hardly what you’d think of as family fare and perfect for Gaiman’s “normal” fare. Maybe he made this one more readable for the masses. We also like to think we’re in the “cool club” with Gaiman and Pratchett at our house. Jared even made me read “Good Omens” when we first married.

    Of course, he deserves the award, but does that make it okay for just *anyone* to pick up his books off the shelf? 😉

  3. LOL. The Graveyard Book isn’t straight up mainstream, but it is family friendly in terms of you not having to edit it for your kids.

    I love Good Omens. It’s one of my very favorite books.

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