Tuesday, February 3, 2015

2015 Youth Media Award Winners: News & Thoughts

I've always loved the awards season for books, and I always feel tied to the Newbery Award books in particular because of a project I did when I was in 4th grade.

I decided one summer that I was going to read EVERY SINGLE Newbery Award-winning book since the beginning. I had my mom take me to the library, and after a lot of arguing with the librarian on why I needed a children's book from 1932 to be available to me, I was able to convince her to start ordering those that were missing for the children's department. And I did it! I even made a little presentation about it at the end for my parents. I was a supremely cool child. 

Recently, I've really wanted to catch up on my award books, particularly in the Newbery series, but I also want to start keeping the others on my radar as well. It's just other books that I would like to some day read. 

The winners were announced Monday morning, and after a lot of screaming and general excitement for Jandy Nelson, I wanted to feature all the winners and give you a run-down if I've read them yet. 

   JOHN NEWBERY MEDAL - for most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Goodreads | IndieBound
Josh Bell and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse.
I haven't read this one — it wasn't even on my radar until now, but I'm definitely putting it there. While stories in verse are not really my thing, I love that this book could definitely grab some young boys into the reading world. I know working at the children's bookstore, it was difficult when parents and grandparents came in looking for something to get for a young boy that wasn't really into reading and liked sports and playing outside and running around rather than sit down to read a book. Not that girls won't love this too because I was definitely a sports kid. I'm just excited that this book might help pull in more young readers.

   CALDECOTT MEDAL - for most distinguished American picture book

The Adventures of Beekle by Dan Santat
Goodreads | IndieBound
This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and-at long last-is given his special name: Beekle.
Also since working in the children's bookstore, I've discovered how much I adore picture books, and I'm sad I'm not at the store anymore because I moved. I want to read this immediately because it looks so lovely. From the pictures I've seen on the internet, the illustrations look beautiful, colorful, and truly fitting with what the story is.

   CORETTA SCOTT KING Author & Book Awards - African American writers & illustrators

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Goodreads | IndieBound
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. 
I have listened to an audio book of this one, and I can confirm it's wonderfulness. Even though I'm not a verse person at all, this book felt like so much more than just a story of a girl told in verse. It's raw and emotional and brutally honest. I don't know what it's like reading the book, but listening was an amazing experience. It felt like the girl was telling me the story, and she was sitting next to me, letting me know the importance of the things that had happened to her and her family.

Firebird by Misty Copeland
Goodreads | IndieBound
A young girl whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.
This book is beautiful. It's one we recommended to a lot of people over the holidays in the bookstore, and I'll still recommend it. It's such a great tale for all young girls to help improve confidence and belief in themselves to do what they've always dreamed of doing.

   PRINTZ AWARD - for excellence in literature for young adults

I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
Goodreads | IndieBound
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways.
Okay, I bought this the day it came out. My hardcover is shiny and pretty. And it's been sitting unopened on my shelf ever since. I mean, then I moved, so a lot of my books are no longer accessible to me for a long time until I get settled, so I have a pretty good reason. But a ton of bloggers I love and trust have raved about Ms. Nelson's work for a long time, and I totally know she's deserving of this based on her previous works.


Obviously these aren't all the awards that were given out, but these are the main ones that a lot of people are wondering about, and some of the only ones with one winner. Lots of them have multiple honorees, and I just didn't want to put together a mile-long post about them, though I will leave the official link here so you can check out the honorees and other winners. 

Have you read these books? How do you feel about the winners and runners up?

1 comment:

  1. Ha! Your comment about being a supremely cool child made me laugh. I, for one, think you sound awesome! And thanks for the book run-down. I really, really need to catch up on Newbery books.


I love receiving comments. I read each and every comment and do my best to respond and visit your blog.