Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Envelope, Please...

OK< so they don't actually say that at the ALA Youth Media Awards. Yes, the Oscars of the children's/YA literature world were announced yesterday. I'm happy that we already have a very good sampling of the award winners (save for the Printz, but that award is tricky to predict). And yes, there are some books that I felt were overlooked. That's the way the cookie crumbles.

Let's start with the biggies.

Newbery Medal: Moon Over Manifest

It's fun when the Newbery goes to a book that was not considered the front-runner. Well, maybe not so much fun if you are the author of the book that was considered the front-runner. You know what's even more fun? When we have the winning book in our collection. I ordered this several months ago, thought it looked like my cup of tea, but didn't push it to the top of my reading list. I started it yesterday. This is my cup of tea. Oh, yes. Although the two books are quite different, it reminds me in spirit of The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. It has that same expansive American historical fiction with a lovable and unique girl character feel to it. The Wednesday Wars, another favorite of mine, has a similar feel, although the main character is a boy. I'm planning to finish it today; I know a lot of people are anxious to read it!

Newbery Honor

Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night: I've heard wonderful things about this. I had it marked for an order coinciding with National Poetry Month, but I will order it ASAP.

Heart of a Samurai

I haven't read this yet (will start tomorrow). I ordered it due to the great reviews and the fact that it sounded like an exciting historical fiction read (rescue at sea, remote islands, panning gold in San Francisco, and all that). It's also based on the true story of Nakahama Manjiro, the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States.

One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer showed up on many Newbery Medal predictions list. It's an engaging, memorable, and occasionally emotionally difficult read about a young girl reconnecting with her mother, who has recently joined the Black Panthers movement. (Have you noticed a historical fiction theme?)

Turtle in Paradise

Jennifer Holm is one of all-time favorite authors, so I'm happy that she's been awarded a Newbery Honor for the second time (the first was for the wonderful Our Only May Amelia). Still hoping for a shiny gold medal for her one day, though. I like this one very much; it's a Depression-era story set in Key West.

Caldecott Medal

A Sick Day For Amos McGee

This is adorable. A zookeeper falls ill. Not to worry; his beloved animals have his back. I'm very happy this won.

Caldecott Honor

Interrupting Chicken

Ha! Very happy this received the Honor. It's a situation with which many parents are familiar: a child interrupting (and redirecting) a bedtime story.

We don't have Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, but we will order it.

In my next post, I'll touch on the other awards announced for the ALA Youth Media Awards.

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