Monday, January 23, 2012

Youth Media Awards

So. The Youth Media Awards have been announced. And what a relief! Only a few books that we need to order, but I'm pleased with the outcome.  First of all, major thanks to ALA for a smoothly running webcast. I had no problems tuning in, and it started on time. Kudos. It's much more fun to watch it live (and to hear the reaction from the audience) than it is to follow on Twitter or Facebook. 

Schneider Family Award:

This award honors books that depict the disability experience.  There are three categories.

Children: Uh oh, the committee didn't find a children's book that they decided was worthy of the award.  Surprised murmurs from the crowd. Too bad, but admirable that the committee stuck to their guns if they felt that there weren't any that were deserving of the award.

Middle School: Close to Famous and Wonderstruck.  Hot dog. Very nice. I had a few quibbles with how soon Foster learned to read, but it's very, very minor. I'm a big Joan Bauer fan.  Haven't been able to read Wonderstruck yet (I know, I know), but that's on the agenda.

Teen: The Running Dream. Wow! This book is tremendous.

Coretta Scott King Awards honor African-American artists and illustrators.

Lifetime Achievement: Ashley Bryan. A very well deserved honor for Mr. Bryan.

Illustrator Honor: Kadir Nelson for Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.   Well, naturally.

Illustrator Winner: Shane W. Evans for Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom.

Author Honor: Eloise Greenfield for The Great Migration: Journey to the North and Patricia McKissack for Never Forgotten.

Author Winner: Kadir Nelson for Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans

Margaret Edwards Award honors the work of a young adult author, focusing on specific titles. This year's award goes to Susan Cooper, whose fantasy works straddle the children's/YA divide (her books are in both our children's and YA collection). The committee singled out Over Sea, Under Stone, The Dark is Rising, Greenwitch, The Grey King, and Silver on the Tree.

William C. Morris Award honors a (YA) debut book. 

Finalists: Girl of Fire and Thorns, Paper Covers Rock, Under the Mesquite, Between Shades of Gray, and Where Things Come Back.

Winner: Where Things Come Back

YALSA Excellence In Nonfiction. Pretty self-explanatory.

Finalists: Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom, And Science, Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, And the Lawless Years of Prohibition, Wheels of Change, Music Was It, and The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, And Treachery

Winner: The Notorious Benedict Arnold

(Huh. No Amelia Lost.)

Printz honors the best in young adult literature.

Honor Books: Why We Broke Up, The Returning, Jasper Jones, and The Scorpio Races

Winner: Where Things Come Back

You know, if I had just gone ahead and ordered the finalists for the Morris Awards, I'd be feeling pretty smug right now. Oh, well. We'll get Where Things Come Back (and the others not currently in the collection) soon enough.

Pura Belpre Awards honors Latino/Latina illustrators and authors.

Author Honors: Xavier Garza for Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller and Margarita Engle for Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck.

Author Winner: Guadalupe Garcia McCall for Under the Mesquite.  Oooh, I just returned this today. Fabulous book.

Illustrator Honor: Rafael Lopez for The Cazuela That the Farm Maiden Stirred  (like this very much!) and Sara Palacios for Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match.

Illustrator Winner: Duncan Tonatiuh for Diego Rivera: His World and Ours.

Batchelder Award honors books translated into English and previously published in another country. Well, I've heard *of* the books this year, so there's an improvement!

Honor: The Lily Pond (the sequel to A Faraway Island)

Winner: Soldier Bear

Sibert Medal honors children's informational (nonfiction) books.

Honor: Black and White: The Confrontation Between Rev. Fred L. Shuttelsworth and Eugene 'Bull' Connor, Drawing From Memory, The Elephant Scientist, and Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem (I reviewed and starred this for School Library Journal!)

Winner: Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy's Parade

(Hey! This is great! What a great selection of books.  Boy, I'd like to read that Black and White book when it comes in. Wait a second....where's Amelia Lost? Well, we still have the Newbery, right?)

Geisel Award honors early readers.

Honor: I Broke My Trunk, I Want My Hat Back, and See Me Run

Winner: Tales For Very Picky Eaters. This is interesting; this seems like an early chapter book.

Caldecott Award: Honoring the best in children's picture books. Now in its 75th year!

Winner: A Ball For Daisy

Fist pump! We have all the honors and the medal! A Ball For Daisy wasn't a surprise; I saw it mentioned numerous times on Mock Caldecott lists and predictions.

Newbery Medal honors the best in children's literature. Can be fiction, nonfiction, poetry, picture book, easy long as it's published for children.  Usually, it's fiction....

Honor Books: Inside Out and Back Again and Breaking Stalin's Nose

Winner: Dead End in Norvelt

....and like last year, historical fiction.  Look, I'm a fan of historical fiction. I really am.  But when every single honor and winner for this year's Newbery is historical fiction, and when all but one (out of four) Newbery Honor books and the Newbery Medal winner from last year were historical fiction....I'd just like to see more variety among the choices. I'd like to see some fantasy, or a mystery, or realistic fiction. Or a poetry title win.

Or a nonfiction win, because Amelia Lost won nothing. Nada. Zip.

Or a nonfiction book that isn't history or biography. I'm happy that we have the titles, and I see that folks have already placed holds on the books. That makes me very happy, because these are good books, and the two honor books deal with a young Vietnamese refugee living in Alabama and the experience of a young Soviet boy during Stalin's Russia. Important stories to read, and brilliantly told. And Jack Gantos is a superb writer!  If the committee truly felt that the most distinguished books published in 2011 were all historical fiction, then I'll respect that.

I would just like to see some variety.

That being said--go read! I have not one specific complaint about any of these books. Congratulations to all the winners.

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