Skip to main content

2011 ALA Prize Winners

Lots of surprises here (at least to me).

Caldecott (best illustrated book for children)
Winner: A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead
Honors: Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick
Interrupting Chicken, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

Newbery (most distinguished contribution to American literature for children)
Winner: Moon Over Manifest, by Clare Vanderpool
Honors: Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen
Heart of a Samurai, by Margi Preus
One Crazy Summer, by Rita Williams Garcia

Printz (literary excellence in young adult literature)
Winner: Ship Breaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi
Honors: Nothing, by Janne Teller
Please Ignore Vera Dietz, by A.S. King
Revolver, by Marcus Sedgwick
Stolen, by Lucy Christopher

There are lots of other awards. You can check out the ALA site for others.

One listing I found particularly interesting: The Alex Awards are given for “crossover books”--in this case books written for adults that will appeal to teens. I was at the children’s reference desk a few weeks ago, and a teenager came up and asked for Room, by Emma Donoghue. It’s listed among the Alex honors. I was a bit surprised when the girl asked, and I said something along the lines of, that’s a new adult book, so it should be downstairs, but let me see if we have it. Then I added, are you sure you want to read it?

I have Room on my list of books to read... it’s about a woman who has been held hostage for years by her rapist and who is raising her son (begotten from the rapist) in a room no larger than a garage. The son doesn’t know the outside world at all. I thought the subject matter would be too horrifying for a teen. Especially since we know of real-like cases like this. But I guess it does have “crossover appeal.”

Working at the children’s reference desk, I often get questions for books that actually fall in to the YA zone or the adult zone (and too many questions, IMHO, for adult movies). If the child is a teen, I ask, are you sure you want to read it... it’s an adult book. If the child is indeed a child, I typically tell the mom or dad, that’s a YA book, written for kids a bit older. No judgment calls -- just information.

I have a 15-year-old son who read Brave New World when he was 12ish. I’ve never read it. So, it wasn’t until after he wrote an award-winning essay on intellectual freedom citing that book that I found out (through reading a review of the book) it has an orgy scene. My first thought was, bad mommy. But then I thought, well, he understood the novel enough to write about it. Maybe that’s good.


Popular posts from this blog

What I Haven't Read in 2017

I made an odd sort of promise to myself this year: Read fewer books. The past few years, I been reading at a pace of about 100 books per year – a mix of children’s (but not counting picture books), young adult, and adult – and I felt as if I was reading too quickly and perhaps forgetting what I was reading. (Thank goodness for Goodreads.)
However, I consider it a very important part of my job as a librarian to keep up with what’s published, even if it’s a daunting task. Hundreds of thousands books are published each year in this country, so obviously it’s beyond even a superhero librarian (and I’m not one of those) to keep all those titles straight. But I try to at least know something about some books. We have two public-facing desks in my library – one is called the information desk; the other, reference. If you are working at the information desk, you will be asked for book recommendations. You will be asked, have you read this book? You will be asked to help select a book for a r…

"Hillbilly Elegy" by J.D. Vance

I rarely get angry at a book or an author, but I found myself getting increasingly angry at J.D. Vance and his book Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis. Angry enough to blog (so you know it must be bad.) This book is filled with contradictions and in several places is downright crazy because of people making really poor decisions. I am disappointed that so many people I know love it and so many book reviews rated it as one of the best books of 2016. I thought it would be a story that would teach me something about Republican/conservative voters, so I wanted to read it. It did not do that.
A graduate of Ohio State and Yale Law School, and a veteran (marine), J.D. Vance is from Kentucky and Ohio (his family is originally from Kentucky but they moved to Ohio and the author spends much time traveling back and forth), so he grew up in a family of hillbillies. Most of them were very poor and didn't work and often moved to larger cities in Ohio to …