Wednesday, January 30, 2013

LibrariYAn's Take: ALA Youth Media Awards Winners!

While I wasn't able to be in Seattle for all the glory, I did get to watch the livestream of the ALA Youth Media Awards with the assistant librarian and my intern whilst chowing down on some delicious orange cookies and lady grey tea.  By now you've probably seen the list of books that received honors and awards during Monday's ALA Youth Media Awards.   So I'm not going to bother re-listing them here for you.  Instead, I'm just going to share some of my reactions (in the order listed on the ALA press release):

Newbery: Yay!  I've read and loved all of these books!  This has never happened to me before.  I sobbed my way through Ivan, thought Splendors & Glooms was so sensual (in the appealing to the senses way, so get your head out of the gutter!), have an ongoing obsession with Bomb, and (just in the nick of time!) really loved the characters in Three Times Lucky. I wish Wonder had gotten some love because the structure and the story and the characters and man, I just really liked it.

Caldecott: I haven't read most of these.  I wasn't as enamored with This is Not My Hat as everyone else was, and can't say I read any of the others.  But picture books aren't really my jam.

Coretta Scott King (Author): I bought Hand in Hand for our library, but haven't read it yet. Oops.  Each Kindness was like a modern 100 Dresses (that's a strongly favorable comparison) and No Crystal Stair was impressive to me both in format and content.  I wish Pinned had gotten some love because the characters were so well-written and I loved how Autumn chased Adonis and they defied stereotypes.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator): The only one of these I've even seen is Kadir Nelson's I Have a Dream.  It is done in his usual illustration style.  And it is beautiful.  And inspiring.

Printz: I knew that The Fault in Our Stars wasn't a lock.  I know some people just don't like John Green or his books.  And I know people feel like he already gets too much praise.  So I figured it would be snubbed.  But FIOS was the best YA book I've ever read.  To say I am disappointed is an understatement.  To each his/her own.  I'd seen In Darkness on one "best of 2012" list, but didn't bother to read it because so many other titles were on multiple lists.  There was buzz about Aristotle & Dante, but to the point that I figured it worth reading (don't worry, I've already ordered a copy).  My love for Code Name Verity has already been professed. I'd never even heard of White Bicycle.  Now that I have, I've ordered it and the two companion novels.

Schneider: Hadn't heard of any of the titles.  Went ahead and ordered A Dog Called Homeless and Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am for the MS library.

Alex: I'd heard good buzz about Dahmer and Bernadette, but haven't read anything on this list. Alex titles tend to wind up on my personal summer reading list (aka the only time - other than book club - where I read adult books).

Carnegie: Cool! A movie about condors!

Coretta Scott King - Virginia Hamilton: Demetria Tucker sounds like a great lady!

Margaret A. Edwards: Yeah, I've never read a Tamora Pierce book.  But I should.

Arbothnot Lecture: Hooray for you, Andrea Davis Pinkney!

Batchelder: I want international titles to be my jam.  But they aren't...yet.  So much catching up to do. I purchased My Family for the War and A Game for Swallows immediately.  We already had Son of a Gun, but now I need to read it.

Pura Belpre (Illustrator): Congrats to you, David Diaz!

Pura Belpre (Author): Okay, I get it.  I need to read Aristotle & Dante.  And I need to finish Evelyn Serrano.  It's on my night stand.

Sibert: Bomb is the bomb! Haven't read Ben.  Happy to see Moonbird and Titanic getting honor love here, since I feel like sometimes books for middle schoolers get shut out in favor of middle grade books on the ALSC level and older young adult fare on the YALSA level.

Stonewall: Yup, Aristotle & Dante.  My ordered book arrives tomorrow.  I will read it right away! Graphic novel love to Drama (which is circ-ing non-stop at my school).  Gone, Gone, Gone is new to me. I'd heard October Mourning wasn't good enough and that people had hoped for more.  Guess the committee didn't feel that way.  I recognized the cover for Sparks, but hadn't heard anything about it.  No Cameron Post? Why?  Was the 90s connection I had to the book making me unable to see its weaknesses?

Geisel: Mo Willems always wins or is honored in this category.

Morris: Fantasy finally breaks into this year's awards with debut author Rachel Hartman's Seraphina! Yay! I'd read only two of the other honor books (Cameron Post and Perishable Items), but Seraphina was also my pick.

ENYA: Bomb diggity! This was the most exciting award for me this year, because all of the finalists were great.  2012 was a great year for nonfiction, and any of the honor books would have been great choices.  But I loved Bomb the best.  Yay!

Phew!  Is anyone still reading?  Probably not.  Comment with your favorite of the winners/honors and/or the book you think was robbed to show me actually read this far.  Maybe I'll reward you with some ARCs I've got.

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  1. I'm still reading!

    Tamora Pierce's various on-the-border-between-children's-and-YA quartets are perfectly nice (especially the several of the girl-becomes-a-knight-in-a-world-where-only-boys-do variety), but I think where her talents really shine is in the YA books that accompany them, like The Will of the Empress. TWotE is a book about all different kinds of love, including one lesbian relationship that's great because it's such a no-big-deal.

    I've been wanting to read Splendors and Glooms simply because I like the words in the title.

    I want to thank you for all the Jewish-themed books you've talked about recently (Beyond Courage, Intentions, My Family for the War) - very useful info. :)

    1. I can send you an ARC of Splendors and Glooms if you'd like...

    2. Oho, that would be awesome! I was thinking it would be ages before I was able to get it off a hold line, now that it's an award book.

      (In fairness, I honestly didn't see the part about ARCs when I commented! I was just commenting to be nice/be part of the conversation/etc.)

    3. I'll put it in the mail ASAP (but probably not before Monday).

  2. Great post! Our mini-viewing party at the library was a lot of fun, too!

    The only big surprise for me, like we talked about, was that The Fault in our Stars didn't take more awards. But, I know the awards aren't about popularity and appeal, so I think that may explain the decisions.

    I now have a large library holds list to read. Just got a hold of Three Times Lucky (about halfway through), and I do really love Mo and her strong voice. Reminded me a little of Moon Over Manifest since the narrators have similar backgrounds, but it's definitely a stronger book.

    1. And what ARC, pray tell, might grab your interest?

  3. Do you happen to have Code Name Verity? I'm a little embarrassed to say that I haven't read it, but, there it is... I would really, really like to read it. Otherwise, I trust your judgement in picking out something awesome.

    1. And, also, I #fail at hitting reply to the thread correctly... Sorry!

    2. Haha. No worries. I have the audio for Code Name Verity. Would that do?