Yes indeed - it is that time of year once again! At the American Library Association's Mid-Winter Meeting in Philadelphia, the awards for youth literature for 2013 were announced! Huzzah!
Just so everyone is clear on this -- the books are chosen by a committee of people (mostly school and public librarians) that spend the year reading, re-reading, analyzing and discussing a LARGE assortment of books. Folks that I know who have served on a committee often do not want to even pick a book up for six months after their year is over. Or at least not read anything seriously. So it's not a popular vote. Or a vote done by kids (though there are many, many "Mock" awards presented that ARE done by kids.) Anyway - just so folks know the groundwork of how the selections are made.
I was happy with the choices for this year! I had actually read (and rooted for) quite a few of them. Without further delay -
NEWBERY goes to Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo - Hooray! This choice makes me happy! This one took me about 25 pages to get into so please, give it a chance! You'll want your very own squirrel. With superpowers. And a giant doughnut.
There were also four Newbery Honor Books- Doll Bones by Holly Black, The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes, Paperboy by Vince Vawter and..... One Came Home by Amy Timberlake! VERY excited about One Came Home receiving an Honor Award.
CALDECOTT goes to Locomotive written and illustrated by Brian Floca. It's beautiful. If you like trains, you'll love this book.
And - three Caldecott Honor Books! Journey written and illustrated by Aaron Becker, Flora and the Flamingo written and illustrated by Molly Idle, and Mr. Wuffles written and illustrated by David Wiesner. I thought Journey and Mr. Wuffles were both delightful. Journey is a wordless book about where your imagination can take you - especially when you are lonely. Mr. Wuffles is about a cat defending his home against alien invaders. :-) As for Flora - I enjoyed the theme and story; I just was not delighted with the delivery. Lots of lift the flaps which were pretty much destroyed in the copy I borrowed from my library.
PRINTZ (for excellence in lit for young adults) goes to Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. I read this - it is very well written. I am not sure how many teens will like it -- it is definitely for an older teen audience. A bit of a dark fantasy intertwined with a mystery. Four Printz Honor books - Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (have not read it but I want to!); Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal (don't know anything about this one!), Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner (have not read it) and Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool (read it; loved it - wonderful read for 7th and up!)
More tomorrow -- if you want to explore the awards on your own, take a peek here http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/01/american-library-association-announces-2014-youth-media-award-winners