Kiddosphere: And the Winners Are…
Last Monday, the Youth Media Awards were announced at the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference. Committees for the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and other awards have been reading and critiquing like mad all year long. It’s an honor to serve on these committees, but it’s an enormous time commitment (and financial, since members have to finance conference attendance if their employers do not). You can see the full list here, but I’m just going to mention my favorites:
Newbery Medal: Hello Universe
I did not have a favorite for the Newbery this year. From reading other blogs and Twitter feeds, I know that I was not alone in that. The only one I haven’t read is Long Way Down. Crown (also an Author Honor recipient for the Coretta Scott King award) was one of my favorite 2017 reads, so I’m very excited that it received so much recognition. Piecing Me Together (also the Author winner for the Coretta Scott King award) is on the older end of the Newbery eligibility (0-14); it’s a fantastic middle school read. Hello, Universe is moving and memorable; definitely a worthy selection.
Caldecott Medal: Wolf in the Snow
Excellent selections in this group! Big Cat, Little Cat was on my hopefuls for the Caldecott, so I’m excited that this sweet “circle of life” story won. Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is utterly unique, fresh, and joyous: it deserved everything it received. A Different Pond is a beautiful father-son story and a tribute to the immigrant spirit. Grand Canyon is a marvelous depiction of one of our greatest national parks. Wolf in the Snow was a surprise for me; it’s definitely a fun book, so not unhappy that it won.
Geisel Award/Honor (for beginner readers/chapter books): King and Kayla is one of my new favorite beginning chapter book series, so I am thrilled that King and Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats is one of the honor titles for 2017’s best beginner reader/chapter book. This mystery series featuring a girl and her dog solving mysteries is adorable (and narrated by the dog, King!)
The Sibert Medal for nonfiction titles often goes to history/science/biography books, which is why I was not expecting Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask About Having a Disability to be one of the honor titles! This is an eye-opening, honest and revealing read by a charismatic author.
Two of my favorite 2017 reads were honored by the Pura Belpre committee, which recognizes outstanding Latino/Latina authors and illustrators: Lucky Broken Girl and The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. If you want something powerful and compelling with unforgettable characters, read these two titles.
The Printz, oh, the Printz. This award for YA literature is always difficult to predict. I’ve read and admired two of the honor titles: The Hate U Give (winner of the Morris Award for an outstanding debut YA title and an Author Honor for the Coretta Scott King award) and Vincent and Theo (also the winner for YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction).
The Schneider Family award honors books that depict “the disability experience.” One of its winners, You’re Welcome, Universe, is a poignant and occasionally funny YA novel about a student kicked out of her deaf school for creating a graffiti mural in order to cover up an ugly slur against her friend.
Want more award winning books? These awards will be included in next year’s Youth Media Awards presentation, giving these awards more visibility!
Asian Pacific American Library Association recognized Saints and Misfits, Cilla-Lee Jenkins, Future Author Extraordinaire, and A Different Pond as distinguished titles by Asian/Pacfic Islander authors.
Association of Jewish Libraries acknowledged The Language of Angels: A Story About the Reinvention of Hebrew, Refugee, The Librarian of Auschwitz, and This is Just a Test for its Sydney Taylor award.
For program highlights and staff suggestions for children and young adult readers, make Kiddosphere your source for all the latest on what to read and what to do for kids!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library