And the winner is…

Every January, I look forward to the announcement of the American Library Association (ALA) award winners for children.  Since I read reviews and order titles for my branch, it is interesting to see if I selected the titles that win.  A number of years ago, CPL staff had a Mock Newbery Award where staff read qualifying titles and discussed them before having their own vote. Many winners have become classics like Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell.


Island of the Blue Dolphins

Some years, a nonfiction title has won, such as Lincoln: a Photobiography by Russell Freedman.

    Lincoln: a Photobiography


Starting in 1994, with The Giver by Lois Lowry,  there was a trend where the winners were Teen titles.

 The Giver

Last year’s winner, CrossOver was  by Chesapeake’s very own Kwame Alexander, which was exciting and we were able to have him come to autograph copies.


In  2007 , a  533  page book (half illustrations) called The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick won not the Newbery but the Caldecott award for illustrations.

     Invention of Hugo Cabret

This year is even more unusual.  The winner, Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, is a picture book, and also won as a Caldecott honor book.  Be sure to take a look for yourself, and enjoy the poetic writing and moving illustrations.

 Last Stop on Market Street

 What are your favorite award winners?

ALA Newbery Award Winners

Staff Recommendation: Modern Romance




Actor and stand-up comedian Aziz Ansari was approached to write a “funny” book a few years ago. Somehow, what he wound up doing was an extensively researched, fascinating, and enlightening years-long project studying the evolution of how people form–and keep–relationships. Covering everything from the 1950s style of formal courtship where people often wound up coupling with someone in their own neighborhood, to the seemingly limitless choices offered by chatrooms and online dating apps today, Modern Romance is a mixture of social anthropology, humor, fascinating anecdotes and optimistic insights that never gets boring. In fact, it’s one of only a handful of nonfiction books I’ve read cover to cover.


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Staff Review: Touch of Power

Touch of Power is the first book in the young adult Healer series by Maria V. Snyder.





After a devastating plague killed over half the population of the Fifteen Realms, Healers were blamed for causing the ravaging disease. So, instead of being revered for helping people with her healing magic, Avry of Kazan, an Apprentice Healer, has been on the run for the past few years. That is, until she was caught healing a child and thrown into jail to be executed for her crimes.

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