Monday, January 26, 2009

ALA winners!

This morning the American Library Association announced the award winners for 2009.  You can see the whole list here (and I highly recommend checking it out because they are other really amazing awards), but for those dying to know who won the Caldecott, Newbery, and Printz, here they are:

Caldecott winner:

The House in the Night illustrated by Beth Krommes, written by Susan Marie Swanson

Caldecott Honor Books:

A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever written and illustrated by Marla Frazee 

How I Learned Geography written and illustrated by Uri Shulevitz 

A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant 

Newbery Winner:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Newbery Honor Books:

The Underneath by Kathi Appelt, illustrated by David Small

The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle

Savvy by Ingrid Law 

After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson

Printz Winner:

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

Printz Honor Books:

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II, The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

Nation by Terry Pratchett

Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan

Many seem surprised by Jellicoe Road's win, but I read it after it was announced as a Cybils YA finalist and it's riveting (as long as lots of F-words don't disturb you and that's never seemed to bother the Printz committee).  The only book I might have wanted to win more was poor Frankie Landau Banks, but at least it got the honor.

As for the Newbery, this was the first year that I couldn't think of a book published this year that I was dying to see win.  I'm glad to see Savvy with an honor, and sadly I have to admit that I have yet to read The Graveyard Book so I better rush out and pick it up before it's impossible to find.

Last week I was flipping through my copy of BYU Magazine and saw an article featuring one of the Newbery judges, Michael Tunnell, a BYU Professor.  When asked what he was looking for in a Newbery winner, Tunnell said, "You've got to have a good strong plot on which to hang character development, on which to hang your beautiful language.  It's the tree on which you hang the other ornaments.  And I think we're not getting that as consistently and we used to."  He also said his favorites from 2008 include Masterpiece by Elise Broach, Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman, When the Sergeant Came Marching Home by Don Lemna, and The Willowbys by Lois Lowry.

I've never known a Newbery judge to name some of their favorites from the year before the official announcement is made, have you?  In fact, I remember the year Betsy Bird served on the Newbery committee, she was asked to remove her reviews of eligible books from her blog so I thought it was kind of forbidden, but maybe I'm wrong.

So were you happy with the ALA award results?  What were you rooting for?


Okie said...

I wasn't paying enough attention to the awards to be surprised or disappointed by any of the results.

I do look forward to reading many of the winners as well as other nominees. While I may not always agree with awards or critics, it's always nice to find a good quality list to use for new recommendations. :)

Anonymous said...

Excited to read many of these books!

I had Mike Tunnell at BYU too. Have you heard of Mormon Artist Magazine? I think that's the name. He has an interview in there too.

Anonymous said...

I was asked to remove my reviews until they could tighten up the rules regarding blogging. Once that happened (committee members are now OFFICALLY allowed to blog) they said I could repost my reviews and I did. A committee member may present their own personal opinion. Just not that of the committee itself. And, as you can see with Mr. Tunnell, it has little bearing on the final result.

Stephanie Ford said...

Thanks for clearing that up Betsy! It's actually pretty cool to know which books are committee members' favorites so hopefully we'll see more of that.

J.R. and Meg +3 said...

Always interesting and fun to hear the yearly results. I am reading The Underneath right now, so I need to finish it up and start some of the others as well!

Meridee said...

I love The House in the Night-- it was my pick at the Mock Caldecott that I attended at the Provo Library. But as a group we picked We Are the Ship.
I will admit to being bothered by lots of F-words. And it bothers me that they are showing up in so many children's literature books these days. I loved The Graveyard Book and I really loved The Underneath. I have Savvy on reserve and am glad for your recommendation of it.

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