Read On!

Mrs. Farquharson’s musings about books for children and young adults

Awards Season


Every year, on a Monday morning at the end of January, book aficionados wait with baited breath to learn the winners of the children’s and young adult’s book awards that are presented by the American Library Association. These are the “Academy Awards” for authors, publishers, and librarians. When this year’s winners and honor books were announced, there was a happy buzz among our reading community. Since I was watching the awards on a live feed, some of the fourth graders felt like they were the first to know the winners, and they definitely wanted to get them right off the shelves to judge for themselves.

The Newbery Medal was awarded to The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate (Harper). Applegate’s poignant tale is fiction, but she based it on the life of a real gorilla. Ivan’s story demonstrates the changes that have been made for animals that are kept in captivity. The author wrote about her inspiration for the book on her website.
Also, do check out this official book trailer.

The Newbery Honor books for 2013 are Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz (Candlewick Press), Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point), and Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (Dial Books for Young Readers).

The Caldecott Medal is awarded not to the author of a book, but to the illustrator. In many cases, this is the same person. 2012 was a banner year for picture books, and the judges honored five illustrators as well as the Caldecott Medal winner.

This Is Not My Hat by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press) won the award. Klassen’s artwork in this book has a simplicity that is both sophisticated and humorous. Klassen’s earlier book, I Want My Hat Back (Candlewick), is equally delightful.

This pre-publication book trailer gives readers a glimpse into this work of art.

The Caldecott Honor books are Creepy Carrots!, illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), Extra Yarn, illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett (Balzer + Bray), Green, illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Neal Porter Books), One Cool Friend, illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo (Dial Books for Young Readers), and Sleep Like a Tiger, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue (Houghton Mifflin Books for Children).

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