Tuesday, January 12, 2016

ALA Book Awards!

Good morning!  I am not sure about you, but somehow the ALA's Youth Media Award winners snuck up on me this year.  And I am usually one who is on top of it - checking in often to see if my picks won.  In case you missed it, here are the winners and honorees, along with my two cents!

I tell my students that the Newbery award goes to the best story, and it's usually a chapter book.  I might have to revise my explanation as this year's winner, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, is a picture book!  I am not always a rule follower, and I love the idea of shaking things up a bit!
Honor books were The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, and Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan.
I just finished The War that Saved My Life last night, and I loved it.  It will make a fantastic read-aloud!  Your comic book readers will love Roller Girl, and have probably already read it.  Echo is amazing, too.

Caldecott!  Best Pictures!
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall walked away with the gold medal.  I love Blackall's illustrations in general, but to be honest, I haven't seen this particular book.  I'm sure it's awesome.  See a two minute YouTube video on the book here. Caldecott honor winners include Trombone Shorty by Collier, Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Holmes, Last Stop on Market Street by Robinson (Newbery AND Caldecott nods!  I haven't done my research to know if this has ever happened before!), and Waiting by Henkes.  Friends, I loved Waiting, and I thought the pictures were great.  But Kevin Henkes has won before.  I would have liked to have seen someone new win an honor.

I believe it is also important to note the Coretta Scott King Awards, which recognize African American authors and illustrators, and the Pura Belpre Awards, which commend Latino writers and illustrators who best "portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience."  These awards, along with multi-cultural books on our library shelves overall, make sense.  Not only because there is a push for diverse books, but because it makes sense that books from cultures be written by authors who have experienced it first hand.  Our school also has a new ELL classroom, and we have almost 30 ELL students!  Of course they would like to see people like themselves on book covers. Think about this as you make your purchases!

Coretta Scott King Author Awards are as follows:
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia.  This is the third and final book in the series featuring three sisters: Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern Gaither.  If you haven't read these books, move them to the top of your list!
Honor books include All American Boys by Reynolds and Kiely, The Boy in the Black Suit by Reynolds, and X: A Novel by Shabazz and Magoon.

CSK Illustrator Awards:
Winner!  Trombone Shorty by Bryan Collier.
Honors!  The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore by Christie and Last Stop on Market Street by Robinson.

The CSK/John Steptoe New Talent Author and Illustrator Awards go to Hoodoo written by Ronald L. Smith and Voice of Freedom illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

The Pura Belpre Illustrator Award goes to The Drum Dream Girl by Rafael Lopez.
The three honor books are My Tata's Remedies = Los remedios de mi tata by Castro L., Mango, Abuela, and Me by Dominguez (watch a one-minute book trailer here), and Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calveras by Tonatiuh. Be sure you let your art teachers know about Funny Bones!

The Pura Belpre Author Award goes to Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle.  Here is a curriculum guide created by the author.  
The Smoking Mirror by Bowles and Mango, Abuela, and Me by Medina were the honor books.

There were so many awards given on Monday.  I can't name them all, but here is a complete list, including the award given to George by Alex Gino and the Alex awards, which are adult books that teens would enjoy!  I always happily devour these fast-paced titles!

What do you think of the winners?  Were one of your favorites on a list?  Do you follow @WeNeedDiverseBooks on Twitter?  In Waiting by Henkes, what do you think?  Did the elephant jump or was it pushed?  ;-)