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Award Winners: My Take January 26, 2012

Posted by ccbooks in Nerd Line.
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The American Library Association Youth Media Awards were announced on Monday morning. Yes, I woke up early and watched the entire webcast at 8:30am (what can I say? I like the Alex Awards). There were announcements that made me squeal with joy and others that made me go “Huh?” Below is a quick summary of the highlights.


Printz Award for Young Adult Literature
Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

I read this book back in the fall and it didn’t do a lot for me. Small town setting, two different narratives that the reader isn’t sure actually connect, a supposedly extinct bird and a sibling who disappeared. Other readers have applauded the sarcastic voice of the narrator and the novel’s structure, but I have to say I didn’t really care about any of the characters very much. I will have to go back and re-read it–maybe I’ll change my mind. At least The Scorpio Races won an honor!

Margaret A. Edwards Award: Susan Cooper

This was the announcement that made me squeal and probably wake up my housemates. Susan Cooper is one of my absolute favorite fantasy writers and the only contemporary author who truly makes me believe in historical time travel. I’m thrilled that she won this award and only the fact that I heard her speak and got her autograph at the National Book Festival this year makes up for the fact that I can’t hear her at the ALA convention in June.

Randolph Caldecott Award for Illustration:A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka

I generally don’t pay as much attention to the Caldecott predictions (there are just too many picture books out there, and my students are less interested in them) but the blog Calling Caldecott on the Horn Book Magazine website had this in their shortlist, so I had read it. While it probably isn’t my absolute favorite picture book this year (that would be Stars by Marla Frazee) I think it is a charming story and beautifully designed and illustrated.

John Newbery Award for Children’s Literature: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos

I’m ashamed to say that this is one I did not finish. In keeping with the general trend these days, it is long and it came up in my holds list at the library at a time when I was reading too many other books to give it much thought. I read the first chapter or two, and then put it down. For some reason, Gantos’ writing style is hard for me—I often find I have to re-read a page a few times before it all makes sense in my head. I noticed this with a speech he gave that was printed in the Horn Book Magazine, so it must be that there is just something about his sentence structure or syntax that my brain can’t handle. In any case, I now have the book on hold again at the library and hopefully it will come soon. Congratulations to all these winners!

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