Books: ALA Awards and My Own Recent Reading

Wow.  What’s that relaxed feeling?  That’s a book reviewer not running around like a woman possessed on the day the ALA announces the medalists.  Instead, I can just sit back and continue what I’m already reading knowing that I can simply request the winners I haven’t already read later in the day.


The paper now publishes a wire story on the reviews which is ok by me.  Here’s a hint:  You cannot acquire, read and review 5 or more book in three days and do justice to the books involved.  Just cannot.

I’ve been planning to post on my recent reads so I’ll do that first and then go on to the ALA winners.

Last week, I read:

  • 204 Rosewood Lane by Debbie Macomber (Thorndike Press):  Women’s fiction.
  • The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O’Connor (Farrar Straus and Giroux): Middle grade novel. Of the three books, this was my favorite.  At first I wasn’t sure I liked it — why is the girl character the pest?  That is so stereotypic in a boy’s book.  But O’Connor knows her publisher and her audience.  Click here to read my review.
  • The Twin’s Daughter by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (Bloomsbury):  Young adult mystery.

And now on to the ALA winners!

John Newbery Medal winner: Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Press)
Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm (Random House Children’s Books)
Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus (Amulet Books)
Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children).  I haven’t read this one but I enjoy Sidman’s work.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers)
Randolph Caldecott Medal winner: A Sick Day for Amos McGee illustrated by Erin E. Stead by by Philip C. Stead (Neal Porter Books/Roaring Brook Press)
Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave illustrated by Bryan Collier by Laban Carrick Hill (Little, Brown and Company)
Interrupting Chicken written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick Press)
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults winner: Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown and Company).  This one caught my attention, but I haven’t read it yet.
Stolen by Lucy Christopher (Chicken House/Scholastic Inc.)
Please Ignore Vera Dietz A.S. King (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House Children’s Books).  I love, love, love Kings writing and can’t believe I missed that this had come out.  Naughty me!
Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick (Roaring Brook Press)
Nothing by Janne Teller (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award winner: One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers)
Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers (Amistad/HarperCollins Publishers)
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little, Brown and Company)
Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty written by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke (Lee & Low Books Inc.)
Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award winner: Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave illustrated by Bryan Collier by Laban Carrick Hill (Little, Brown and Company)
Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, written by Gary Golio (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company).  Check out my review of this title here.  This is one that I picked up because I know the author’s wife and ended up simply adoring the book.
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award winner: Zora and Me written by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon (Candlewick Press)
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Illustrator) Award winner: Seeds of Change illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler by Jen Cullerton Johnson (Lee & Low Books Inc.)
Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement winner:  Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith.
Schneider Family Book Award winners picture book, middle grade, ya:
The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Lynne Avril (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick (Scholastic Press)
Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John (Dial Books/Penguin Group (USA) Inc.)
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:
The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel by Alden Bell (Holt Paperbacks)
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender (Doubleday/Random House, Inc.)
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni (Amy Einhorn Books/G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Room: A Novel by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown and Company)
The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: A Novel by Helen Grant (Delacorte/The Random House Publishing Group)
The Radleys by Matt Haig (Free Press/Simon & Schuster, Inc.)
The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton (Thomas Dunne Books for Minotaur Books/St. Martin’s Press)
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok (Riverhead Books/Penguin Group)
Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray (Hyperion)
The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To by DC Pierson (Vintage Books/Random House, Inc.)
Take a close look at these titles.  Do adults really need you to tell them when a book is a novel?  Really?
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner: Tomie dePaola.  Not a surprise here since he’s the fabulous author/illustrator of something over 200 books.  Maybe the question should be — how long have you been giving out this award and why wasn’t he first?  But then my adoration may make me biased.
Margaret A. Edwards Award winner: Sir Terry Pratchett.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award winner: A Time of Miracles by Anne-Laure Bondoux, translated by Y. Maudet (Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books)
Departure Time by Truus Matti and translated by Nancy Forest-Flier (Namelos)
Nothing by Janne Teller and translated by Martin Aitken (Atheneum Books for Young Readers/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
Pura Belpré (Author) Award winner: The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan, illustrated by Peter Sís (Scholastic Press).  Read my review here.
¡Olé! Flamenco written and illustrated by George Ancona (Lee &Low Books Inc)
The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt and Company, LLC)
90 Miles to Havana by Enrique Flores-Galbis (Roaring Brook Press)
Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award winner: Grandma’s Gift illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez (Walker Publishing Company, Inc./Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.)
Fiesta Babies illustrated by Amy Córdova,  by Carmen Tafolla (Tricycle Press/Crown Publishing Group/Random House, Inc.):  Wow.  Wonder what will happen since Tricycle has gone Adios?
Me, Frida illustrated by David Diaz, by Amy Novesky (Abrams Books for Young Readers):  I love Diaz’s work so I’m really looking forward to this one.
Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams Books for Young Readers).
Robert F. Sibert Medal winner: Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot by Sy Montgomery (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)
Honors:  Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca (Neal Porter Book/Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing).  This is amazing since I’ve actually met Greenberg!!
Lafayette and the American Revolution by Russell Freedman (Holiday House):  Not surprising to see Freedman’s name on this list but sure glad it is here!
Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award winner: Almost Perfect by Brian Katcher (Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books)
will grayson, will grayson by John Green and David Levithan (Dutton Books/Penguin Group (USA) Inc).
Love Drugged by James Klise (Flux/Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.)
Freaks and Revelations by Davida Willis Hurwin (Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group, Inc.)
The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake (Penguin Young Readers Group)
Am I the only one wondering if lesbian teens might also need a book or two?
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner: Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile (Candlewick Press)
Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same! written and illustrated by Grace Lin (Little, Brown and Company)
We Are in a Book! written and illustrated by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children)
William C. Morris Award winner: The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston (Carolrhoda Lab/Carolrhoda Books)
Hush by Eishes Chayil (Walker Publishing Company/Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.)
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group)
Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride (Henry Holt)
Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber (Margaret McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division)
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults winner: Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing by Ann Angel (Amulet/Abrams)
They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Spies of Mississippi:  The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement by Rick Bowers (National Geographic Society)
The Dark Game: True Spy Stories by Paul Janeczko (Candlewick Press)
Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw (Charlesbridge)
Now off to request a couple dozen books!