28 JUNE 2012

Daniel Handler and Maira Kalman have received the American Library Association's Printz Award for their collaborative work Why We Broke Up. The full article, partially transcribed below, can be found here.

Several award winners turned to song to accept their honors at this year’s American Library Association conference.
On Monday evening, Handler and Kalman received a standing ovation at the Michael Printz Awards ceremony. The Printz Award is given annually to the best-written book for teens; several honor — or runner-up — books also are usually chosen.
In accepting their Printz Honor for “Why We Broke Up,” Handler and Kalman performed a deadpan ditty underlining the importance of librarians “from cradle to grave.” Handler, also known for writing “A Series of Unfortunate Events” under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket, played the accordion and sang, while Kalman provided “percussion” by tapping shoes on a tabletop, popping a plastic bag, etc.

Another article, transcribed below, focused more on Handler's song and his love of libraries, and included a video of his performance. The full article can be found here.

"Without Libraries" by Daniel Handler

"Without Libraries" by Daniel Handler

Everyone has a story about being saved by literature and at a recent Friends of the San Francisco Public Library event, author Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) shared his tale, saying that he “can’t imagine a world without libraries.”
His library love began as a child, where there was hardly a day he wasn’t visiting the West Portal Branch. As a teen, he was a regular at the Merced Branch Library and even kept bookmarks in books he “didn’t have the guts to check out.”
As an adult, Handler spends much of his time at the Eureka Valley Branch, which is where he wrote most of his newest novel, Why We Broke Up, adding that:
I would mostly work with headphones on. One day the batteries went off and I took out my headphones and realized that suddenly, I was surrounded by exactly the sort of people whose voice I was trying to capture. It was a really diluted moment where I spent weeks trying to cover up the noise of teenagers so I could really get the voice of a teenager.
To properly illustrate his love for libraries and where we’d be without them, he wrote and performed a song about the importance of libraries to people of all ages–children, teens and adults!
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