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.
Some years, a nonfiction title has won, such as Lincoln: a Photobiography by Russell Freedman.
Starting in 1994, with The Giver by Lois Lowry, there was a trend where the winners were Teen titles.
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.
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.
What are your favorite award winners?