Childrens Book Awards Announced

The American Library Association made some pretty good decisions this morning with their Youth Media Awards.

Newbery Award: When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

A personal favorite of several employees (and by favorite, we mean if you were between the ages of 8 and 12 we pretty much would not let you leave the store without this book), When You Reach Me deserves every bit of praise it has received and more. The writing is crisp, the characters are lovable and relatable, and the plot is quick and exciting. Rebecca Stead joined us for our Young Reader Book Club meeting in November to share her experiences writing the book and growing up on the Upper West Side like her main character, Miranda. One interesting bit we learned: Rebecca was inspired to write the novel after hearing a news story about a man in Washington state who lost his memory, and the only part of his identity he remembered were things that hadnt happened yet. We also talked about the lovely cover, illustrated by Sophie Blackall. You can see how the cover came together here.

Newbery Honor books can be found here.

Caldecott: The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney

It takes a special talent to tell a story entirely in pictures, which is probably why the ALA is fond of giving the Caldecott to books without words. One thing theyve never done before, though, is give it to an individual* African-American illustrator. The Lion and the Mouse follows in other wordless books** footsteps, but illustrator Jerry Pinkney blazes a new trail for African Americans with his much-deserved win this morning. Wordless books are a great way for pre-reading kids to learn about story structure, and are also a fun way to challenge kids who can read to approach books in a new way. The gorgeous watercolor illustrations of The Lion and the Mouse are a welcome addition to the genre.

Check out the Caldecott Honor books here.

Printz: Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Lastly, we were delighted to see that frequent BookCourt guest Libba Bray was awarded the Printz award for Young Adult Literature. One thing the big ALA awards are sometimes lacking is genuine humor, but the audience at our recent Going Bovine reading repeatedly cracked up at the antics of 16-year-old mad-cow-disease sufferer Cameron. Libba Bray writes smart, witty, less-than-perfect teenage characters who might not always be likable, but theyre all the more believable for it.

The ALA handed out quite a few other awards this morning as well. A complete list of awards are here and up-to-date information on recipients can be found here. Congratulations to all the winners!

*Cobble Hills own Leo Dillon is actually the first African American to win the prize. He won it twice with his wife, Diane, back to back in 1976 and 1977.
**Okay, theres some onomatpoeia worked into some illustrations. We dont really think those should count towards the books word count, which is otherwise zero.

2 Responses to “Childrens Book Awards Announced”

  1. rebecca says:

    YAY for When You Reach Me!!!!!

    and YAY for the bookcourt kids blog!

  2. [...] wrote about the American Library Associations three big awards announced Monday, but there were actually 17 [...]

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