ALA Awards Announced! and My Two-Cents

The Newbery Medal goes to Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Meieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick), while honors are given too Christopher Paul Curtis's Elijah of Buxton, Gary D. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars, and Jacqueline Woodson's Feathers. A surprise indeed that Schmidt didn't take the medal or Curtis since much talk on different blogs and boards have mentioned them over and over. No one had mentioned the Schlitz work. Never the less, congrats to these writers.

The Printz Award this year goes to The White Darkness (HarperTempest) by Geraldine McCaughrean (while I thought Alexie's The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian was a shoe-in; just goes to show how little I know). Honors were doled out to Dreamquake: Book Two fo the Dreamhunter Duet by Elizabeth Knox, One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke, Repossessed by A. M. Jenkins, and Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath. Again, kudos to these authors.

The Caldecott Medal was awarded to Brian Selznick for his massive book, The Invention of Hugo Cabret (a pleasant surprise because one normally thinks this award will be given to a more traditional picture book (that is, a 32-pager, large format; while Selznick's is a book, looking more like a thick novel), encouraging like last year's Printz award given to Yang for his graphic novel American Born Chinese, forcing teachers and librarians to rethink the novel, and now the picture book). Honors were given to Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad (Kadir Nelson, illustrator), First the Egg (Laura Vaccaro Seeger, illustrator and author), The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain (Peter Sis, illustrator and author), and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity (Mo Willems, illustrator and author). Disappointing is that Christopher Myers didn't get the nod for his wonderful and magical Jabberwocky: The Classic Poem from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There: Reimagined and Illustrated by…."

The Belpré Award, sadly, was not given to me! Boo hoo boo hoo. Bring out the violins. For illustration, the prize went to Yuyi Morales for Los Gatos Black on Halloween (though I think her own Little Night goes to show her worth as author and illustrator and is more deserving of this particular honor, though I guess it can't get the recognition because it isn't particularly Latino in nature). Margarita Engle received the prize for author for her The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano. This would be the only title on the list that isn't a picture book, per se. Which seems odd to me (and might seem like sour grapes to you) because it was a good year for novels by and about Latinoa/as: Gary Soto wrote a hilarious novel, Mercy on These Teenage Chimps; Malin Alegria penned Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico; then there's La Linea by Ann Jaramillo; and (here're the sour grapes) my own The Whole Sky Full of Stars; plus several more, I'm sure.

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