Academy Awards 3After strolling down the red carpet past a dozen paparazzi, Hill School’s readers enjoyed a ceremony celebrating favorite books, authors, characters, and series at the Third Annual Academy Awards of Books on February 5. Lower School students and teachers dressed in book-inspired costumes for the occasion.

This year’s honoree was the author/illustrator of over 100 children’s books, Maurice Sendak, who died in May 2012. Four seventh graders, dressed as Sendak characters, emceed the ceremony: Rosie of Really Rosie, Ida of Outside Over There, Max of Where the Wild Things Are, and one of those Wild Things. They kept the audience entertained through twenty-one categories, including First Grade’s “Favorite Runaway Food Story” (The Gingerbread Girl), Third Grade’s “Best Scary Mystery” (A Tale Dark and Grimm), Fifth Grade’s “Best Historical Fiction” (Born to Fly), and Eighth Grade’s “Best Description” (Charles Dickens).Academy Awards 2

The awards ceremony is the climax of a months-long process of reading, discussing, and advocating categories and candidates, nominating, and finally voting. As the emcees announced the winner of each Golden Leo, the audience cheered while representative students strode up to receive the awards. And murmurs passed through the gathered throng.
“I remember reading Patricia Polacco!”
“Didn’t Michael Morpurgo also write War Horse?”
“Maybe I’ll look for that Mysterious Benedict Society.”
“Percy Jackson wins again!”

The shared love of books filled the room. We filed out full of the joy of reading.