2000 Blue Ribbons
In the symbolism of heraldry, azure blue signifies sincerity. Among the Druids, blue was the symbol of truth; among the medieval Christians, blue was an emblem of immortality. In the United States--at county fairs, in spelling bees, in competitive events--the blue ribbon is the coveted prize, the symbol of the first place winner, the designation of an accomplishment not contained by regular parameters. When discussing possible titles for The Bulletin Blue Ribbons list, our reviewers loyally present their favorites, while at the same time they sincerely attempt to understand one another's reservations and criticisms. We look for those titles that we believe will stand the tests of time, young readers, and changing literary fashions. The rigors of our discussions leave us tired and satisfied*, and in possession of a list of Blue Ribbon titles we are proud to present to our readers.
*If we're not satisfied, we write a Blue Ribbon Dissent for the January webpage.
Janice M. Del Negro, Editor
Casanova elegantly relates the tale of a self-sacrificing hunter, ably assisted by Young's expressive and moody art.
This droll folkloric tale employs a Regency setting to good advantage in its chronicle of three devoted daughters determined to replace their father's missing buttons.
Unforced bilingualism adds utility to these simple and effective concept books.
Monochromatic illustrations invigorated with red and a spare, sly text introduce one of the most magnetic young pigs you're likely to meet.
Luminous illustrations add atmosphere to this loopy but effective look at magnitude.
Muth's fluid and imaginative illustrations bring to vivid life this story of a man's coming to terms with the price of his arrogance.
Lester's droll textual contradictions and punchy, clued-in cartoons make this alphabet book into a sly, funny send-up and game.
The tall tale takes a mystical turn in this story of Jabe, protector and liberator of one plantation's slaves.
Potatoes on a nighttime spree find themselves on the verge of becoming soup in the controlled lunacy of this vegetable adventure.
Elaborately created faux memorabilia provides a backdrop for the famous poem, giving the legendary Casey the historical due he'd have doubtless received if only he'd been real.
Oversized pages offer a cornucopia of numbers, daily-life vignettes, and just plain bunny fun.
Hyperactive photocollage makes this chicken's global run into cackling comedy.
When she makes a friend in Walter, Iris discovers that moving to the country might not be so bad.
A very patient knight comes to the aid of some pajama-clad little dragons who aren't quite ready for bed.
In this novel based on the author's family history, a boy tells of his family's and people's tragedy in the Armenian massacre of 1915.
Sophie comes to terms with new family and old sorrows on a sailboat voyage across the Atlantic.
Nick's ready for basketball stardom, but his progress to fame is complicated by a troubled teammate and neighbor.
A girl missing her long-departed mother finds that a friendly dog becomes a bridge between her and some other lonely people.
Sophie finds a new friend helps her to come to terms with the death of her brother and her loving but limited father.
Joey's summer with his estranged father brings painful insights as well as pleasures.
Richard puts baseball above everything, which is why he's determined to maintain his interracial friendship with another talented young ball player in the face of opposition.
This sequel to The Thief involves Ged, the Queen's Thief, in further political-and personal-turmoil.
Lyric is in awe of her beautiful older sister, but soon it becomes clear that all is not well with Summer.
Ten different high-schoolers each narrate a chapter of this story about a town in self-image turmoil.
A trio of brothers struggles with individual and collective demons after the death of their mother.
Both Adler's succinct text and Widener's concrete, blocky illustrations effectively convey the determination of the first woman to swim the English Channel.
Aronson examines not only Ralegh's exploits but also the cultural myths they drove and were driven by in this thoughtful biography.
This succinct and highly visual account provides a savory introduction to the archaeologist who became the model for Indiana Jones.
Brown dexterously incorporates Kingsley's own words in this evocative introduction to the iconoclastic Victorian explorer.
This piquant, kid-accessible treatment introduces young readers not just to the maverick architect but also to architecture itself.
Gifted historian Murphy uses primary source materials to chill readers right along with the victims of the northeast's Blizzard of 1888.
Between Small's sharp-edged caricatures and St. George's chatty but penetrating overview, this is a magnificent introduction to the history of the presidency.
Classical design, effective illustrations, and a sparkling selection of tales make this a memorable collection.
Cartoonist Winick effectively uses the graphic-novel format to tell of his friend's death from AIDS.
This page was last updated on January 1, 2001.