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Intellect

BYU professor elected to 2009 Newbery Award Selection Committee

Michael Tunnell, a professor in the Department of Teacher Education at Brigham Young University’s David O. McKay School of Education, has been elected to the 2009 Newbery Award Selection Committee.

The national committee will choose the winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal, an annual award recognizing the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Tunnell will serve on the committee with 14 other librarians, university professors and professional book reviewers.

This is not the first time Tunnell has been selected to serve on the committee. In 1991 he participated in selecting “Maniac Magee” as that year’s Newbery Medal winner. He said his experience on that committee has given him some idea of what to expect this time around.

“In 1991 we came to a decision for the winner pretty quickly, but then fought for hours over which titles should be named as Honor Books, or runners-up,” he said. “I’ve heard stories of real fighting going on — people in different camps going at it until two or three in the morning.”

Tunnell has published several books about children’s literature. Most recently, Tunnell and James Jacobs, also from the Department of Teacher Education, released the fourth edition of the textbook, “Children’s Literature, Briefly.” He has also published 10 children’s books and awaits the release of two more.

A professor at BYU since 1992, he received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Utah, his master’s degree in instructional media from Utah State University and his doctorate in curriculum and instruction from BYU. For more information, contact Roxanna Johnson at (801) 422-1922.

Writer: Aaron Searle

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