New Canaan Children's Librarian Cathy Townsend and James Hirai, a seventh-grade student at Saxe Middle School, served on Connecticut's 2014 Intermediate Nutmeg Selection Committee, which represents schools and libraries from all around state.
They were part of a committee of 13 librarians and two students who read more than 120 books to choose the 10 books that are nominated for the 2014 Intermediate Nutmeg Award.
The Nutmeg Book Award is chosen by Connecticut's youth. The reading program encourages children in grades four to 12 to read quality literature and to choose their favorite from a list of 10 nominated titles. There are lists for three divisions: Intermediate for grades four to six, Teen for grades seven and eight. and High School for grades nine to 12. The award is co-sponsored by the Connecticut Library Association and the Connecticut Association of School Librarians. Public librarians and school media specialists are members of these two organizations.
Hirai was one of only two students chosen from more than 30 applicants across the state. "Working on the committee," he said, "was a lifetime experience that I would recommend to anyone who likes to read."
He read a variety of books for the committee and said that "for the most part I liked what I read, although they might not have been what I usually read." He is currently reading "Airborn," by Kenneth Oppel, and "Day of Tears," by Julius Lester.
Townsend has served on the Nutmeg Selection Committee for the past two years and is the chairman of the 2015 Intermediate Nutmeg Award.
They announced the 2014 Intermediate Nutmeg Nominees on May 15: "Out of My Mind," by Sharon M. Draper; "Wildfire Run," by Dee Garretson; "Wild Girl," by Patricia Reilly Giff; "Closed for the Season," by Mary Downing Hahn; "Mike Stellar: Nerves of Steel," by K. A. Holt; "Saving Arm Pit," by Natalie Hyde; "Inside Out & Back Again," by Thanhha Lai; "The Candymakers," by Wendy Mass; "The Great Wall of Lucy Wu," by Wendy Wan Long-Shang; and "The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman," by Meg Wolitzer.
Multiple copies of the titles can be found in New Canaan Library's Children's Room. Children have a year to read these recommended titles and vote on their favorite in April 2014.
For information, call 203-594-5002.