Jan 28, 2014

Geeking out over the ALA Youth Media Awards

Newbery Caldecott Printz Coretta Scott King Award Seals
Geeking Out over the ALA Youth Media Awards
Yesterday was the day known among lovers of children’s and YA literature as “kid lit Oscar day”: the American Library Association announced the winners of the 2014 Youth Media Awards, which include the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott medals and the Printz Award. The Youth Media Awards always feel like “my” awards in a way most other awards don’t. Part of this probably has to do with the fact that the winners are selected by librarians, but to be honest I think I felt this way even before I started working in libraries. And I always feel invested in and really excited about the announcements even though I’m on the wrong side of the pond to get truly involved. (I can, however, nominate for the UK’s equivalent, the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway medals. In fact, the prospect of doing so again is a very strong motivator for me to renew my lapsed CILIP membership.)

Going over this year’s list of winners caused me to have several “yay!” and “I need to read it NOW!” moments. The former were caused by, first and foremost, the Newbery Honor Medal for Doll Bones by Holly Black and the Printz Honor for Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor and Park. Both were among my favourite reads of last year and I couldn’t have been happier to see them among the honourees. I was also thrilled that Journey by Aaron Becker, one of my favourite picture books of last year, was one of this year’s Caldecott Honor Books. Lastly, hooray, Mo Willems got a Theodor Seuss Geisel Award (for the most distinguished book for beginning readers)! I completely fell in love with his work recently and you should expect a post singing his praises very soon.

cover of Flora and Ulysses Kate DiCamillo. cover of Midwinterblood Marcus Sedgwick.

As for the “I want to read it NOW!” moments, well, obviously I want to read the Newbery and Printz winners — Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo and Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick respectively — and I was very pleased that both are already in my house. I almost read Midwinterblood over the Christmas holidays as you might remember, but then I got sidetracked by Geraldine McCaughrean’s The White Darkness (another Printz winner which, I’m sorry to say, I didn’t get along with in the way I expected). Oh well; it’s never too late! Here are some more winners and honor books I’m now dying to get my hands on:

  • Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool (Printz Honor Book) — I actually have her earlier Newbery winning novel, Moon Over Manifest, so I guess I should probably read that too.

  • Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn (winner of the William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens).

  • Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross (Morris Award Finalist) — I can’t believe this wasn’t even on my radar up until now. I mean, Belle Epoque!

  • Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronn-Mills (winner of the Stonewall Book Award for works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience).

  • Fat Angie by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo (also a Stonewall Award winner).

  • P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia (Coretta Scott King Award winner) — sequel to One Crazy Summer, which has been on my radar for years and which I should read as soon as possible.

    Covers of Youth Media Award winners P.S. Be Eleven, Navigating Early, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, and Fat Angie.

    Tell me, my fellow kid lit geeks: anything you were particularly excited to see win, or anything you now really want to get your hands on?

    1. Such fun to read this--so much fun in fact, you almost caused me to let Max miss his bus! (Clever there, how I blamed you, huh? :P ) I can totally get why these are "your" awards. I sort of feel that way too, and I don't even have that librarian connection. I don't even know what I'm most excited to read (okay, it's Eleanor & Park, but that's been true ever since you read it). I inevitably end up putting them *all* on my wish list (you know, in case it's ever revealed that I'm immortal and will actually get to read all the books I want to read).

    2. I immediately downloaded the audiobook of the Odyssey Award winner Scowler after hearing the clip they played. The narrator is fantastic.

      I was excited to see Doll Bones get a Newbery Honor. I actually thought of you when they announced it. Your review of Doll Bones was one of my favorites.

      I had just returned Flora & Ulysses to the library unread so I hurried up and got it back. :)

    3. I really enjoyed Doll Bones this year, so happy to have seen it won. Other than that, I haven't read a single book from the award list other than Zusak...I should get on to that.

      I've been meaning to read Midwinterblood for a while - I have it on audio - so I'm definitely gonna have to get down to that!

      Interested in Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, too, from title & subject alone, as well as Charm & Strange!

    4. I was so out of the loop last year I entirely missed most of the books to really have much of an opinion. The winners just made me want to read them all now!

    5. Such awesome picks this year!! I can honestly say I'd love to read everything on this list that I haven't already read! You'll love Flora & Ulysses :) I thought it was great. Fantastic that she won the Newbery! Can't wait to read the Sedwick now! I love me some Printz books :D

    6. That's a brilliant name for it! :D Used to look at the lists for reading recs, but then I used to read much more kid's and YA lit. The books you mentioned sound wonderful I hope I'll get around to some of them, the city library is weirdly awful with acquiring new books (probably budget problems) and I have to make to with the university library.

    7. Debi: Maybe it helps that Dewey was the one to introduce me to the Printz? Lots of great memories there <3 Anyway, you so need to read E&P!

      Jennifer: Aw, that's nice to hear! I've actually just finished Flora & Ulysses - I enjoyed it a lot but IMHO Doll Bones is infinitely superior :P

      Lulu: I've one read one Zusak, The Book Thief. I really love it and have no idea why I've yet to pick anything else by him! And I'll definitely get to Midwinterblood sooner rather than later.

      Kelly: Awards are always a good excuse to catch up!

      Chris: You were right, of course - I totally loved it :D Now I want a poetry-writing squirrel of my very own :P

      Bina: Yeah, budgets are usually a problem these days :\ Fingers crossed that they get at least some of them!


    Thank you so much for taking the time to comment - interaction is one of my favourite things about blogging and a huge part of what keeps me going.