Monday, January 10, 2011

ALA Youth Media Awards 2011

Color me surprised! What an interesting selection of winners.

The winner of the 2011 Printz award was Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi.  I was glad to see a science-fiction title win.  It sounds quite steampunkish. I haven't read it yet, but am glad to see that I am number one in line for it at the library. Even though it's a grim, dystopian tale, I'm hoping that it isn't as cheerless as Philip Reeve's Hungry City Chronicles.

I was so happy that the Theodore Seuss Geisel award went to Bink and Gollie by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee. What a rare gem this book is. So well deserved.

For the Caldecott award, I was surprised to see Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein pick up an Honor.  I'd heard lots of buzz about A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip Christian Stead and Erin Stead. If I'm totally honest, I hadn't been rooting for it, especially.  I was disappointed that Flora's Very Windy Day by Jeanne Birdsall and Matt Phelan didn't at least pick up an Honor.

For the Newbery award, talk about a dark horse! I'm amazed. I haven't even heard of this book, Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.  I was so ready for One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia to sweep the awards and pick up everything.  Still, One Crazy Summer did get the Scott O'Dell historical fiction award, the Coretta Scott King award, plus a Newbery Honor.  That's not too shabby!

Waiting to hear the awards felt so very odd to me this year.  When I'm not at the ALA conference in person, I'm used to being on the West Coast, and getting up at ridiculous hours of the early morning in order to hear who's won.  This year, I'm on the East Coast, and the awards were announced on the West Coast... meaning I had to wait all morning and into the afternoon to find out who the winners were.

My kudos to the award committee members, who give so much of their year to make these awards happen. I'm already looking forward to another year of reading, speculating and betting on next year's winners.


  1. MOON OVER MANIFEST took me by surprise, too, and I haven't even seen AMOS MCGEE.

    I'm second in line at LAPL for SHIP BREAKER now.

  2. I'll definitely have to check out Bink and Gollie from the library - it sounds like a great book to read with my son.

  3. So, Madigan, we meet again.;-) I love librarians' blogs...I feel ever so much more informed, just hanging about.

    Plus, I don't feel so bad about not having read Ship Breaker or knowing anything about Moon Over Manifest. :-)

    Enjoyed chatting with you Saturday night at the Kidlit. I'm sure I'll see you around, out there in virtual world.

  4. Ship Breaker is really good, better than the Hungry City Chronicles. On hold for Moon over Manifest - that one was totally out of left field for me, although the reviews were starred.

  5. @Beth - This was a year for unexpected wins, that's for sure. I couldn't have predicted any of these wins... except for Bink and Gollie, of course, which I knew deserved something.

    @Cathy Thanks so much! Kidlit Drink Night was so much fun, I hope it takes off and becomes a regular thing.

    @Sophie I'm glad to hear it. It's what I'm hoping. I enjoyed the first few Hungry City Chronicles, but then it got too grim and disturbing, even for me.

    Moon Over Manifest - so many libraries are going to be unprepared for the demand for this one, I'm sure of it. Everyone's been saying it reminded them of the year that Higher Power of Lucky won, as it was such a surprise. But of course, I had high hopes for Lucky, because I knew Susan Patron already. I've been surprised in a couple of different ways in the past few years. The Graveyard Book surprised me, because Gaiman is British, and I hadn't realized that he's living in the States now. And, The Invention of Hugo Cabret's Caldecott surprised me (in a good way) because it was so unusual, I didn't know if it would win anything.

    Hey, you know what else surprised me this year? Dark Emperor and Other Poem of Night by Joyce Sidman picking up an Honor. I loved Ubiquitous, and figured having two books in one year might hurt Sidman's chances, but I didn't think the Newbery committee would pick a poetry title.



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