For those of you not familiar with this, a few days ago the American Library Association announced a lot of different book awards, collectively called the Youth Media Awards (as there are also awards for videos and audiobooks) at its annual midwinter conference. Some of these–the Newbery and Caldecott medals in particular–are really well known. Some should be more well known (my personal favorites are the Printz and the Alex Awards). You can see the full list here.
I’d like to just share my reactions to and thoughts about a couple of these, and would love if you all would do the same! Please, if you’ve posted on your own blog about it, I’d love if you’d leave the link in the comments, and if not, I look forward to reading your comments.
The Newbery medal was won by Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz. I haven’t read this one, but I’ve seen it appear on a few lists of predictions, and I’ve heard good things about it, so I look forward to the chance to read it. I haven’t read any of the Newbery Honor books, either, although I did just get a copy of The Wednesday Wars, so I am looking forward to reading that as well. I thought maybe this year I’d have read at least one on the list, seeing as I read MG fiction for the Cybils, but no such luck. Anyone care to comment on the awards who has read the books?
The Caldecott was won by The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. The Caldecott is about the best illustrations, and I probably wouldn’t mention it here except that it’s unusual in that the winner is an illustrated novel. It was nominated for a Cybil, but I didn’t get the chance to read it; I’m not usually much for books with pictures. Maybe I will, though.
The Michael L. Printz award is the one I was really looking forward to hear about. It’s for “excellence in literature written for young adults,” which, as you know, is most definitely my thing. I was pretty surprised by the winner and honors list, though! The winner was The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean. The honor books were Dreamquake by Elizabeth Knox, Repossessed by AM Jenkins, One Whole And Perfect Day by Judith Clarke, and Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath by Stephanie Hemphill. Surprisingly, considering how into YA literature I am, I’ve only read one of these books: Repossessed by AM Jenkins. It was really good, yeah, but it didn’t blow me away, and it certainly wasn’t something I would have pegged as a potential Printz honor book! I’ll have to read the winner and other honor books, though. I hadn’t even heard of One Whole And Perfect Day before this, and none of those books were buzzed about enough that I would have suspected they’d be on that list! I don’t know what I was expecting, though.
I’d also like to mention the Schneider Family Book Award, which is for books that”embody the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” The reason I mention this one is that I was really pleased with the Middle Grade winner; I adored Reaching for Sun by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer.
I was thrilled to see that the winner of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults went to Orson Scott Card. I love Orson Scott Card. I really should go back and reread his books.
I won’t list the ten winners of the Alex Awards, for the best books written for adult audiences that will appear to teen readers, but they’re on the ALA site, and know that they’re going on my want-to-read list!
So that’s all I have to say for now, but I want to hear from you all: what do you think about the winners? Is there something you’d rather have seen or thought would win one award or another?