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Awards for Top Children's, YA Books Announced at ALA Midwinter Meeting

The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery, and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia late last month. The big news, as I mentioned in "Association for Library Service to Children Awards Newbery and Caldecott Medals," is that Kate DiCamillo, authoress of Flora & Ulysses, and Brian Floca, illustrator (and author) of Locomotive, are the 2014 winners of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, the most prestigious awards in children’s literature.

 Authoress Kate DiCamillo (L) and actress Sigourney Weaver (R) pose at the afterparty for the premiere of Universal Picture's THE TALE OF DESPEREAUX (2008) at the Hollywood Palladium on December 7, 2008 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, written by Kate DiCamillo, won the 2014 John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

Four Newbery Honor Books also were named: Doll Bones, written by Holly Black and published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; The Year of Billy Miller, written by Kevin Henkes and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; One Came Home, written by Amy Timberlake and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.; and Paperboy, written by Vince Vawter and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. Presented every year since 1922, the John Newbery Medal is named for the British publisher and bookseller John Newbery (1713-1767).

John Henrik Van Loon won the first Newbery Medal in 1922 for The Story of Mankind. Receiving the Newbery Medal virtually guarantees that the winning book will remain in print and on library and bookstore shelves for years to come. It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (A.L.S.C.), a division of ALA.

John T. Gillespie and Corrine J. Naden wrote The Newbery Companion: Booktalk and Related Materials for Newbery Medal and Honor Books. Libraries Unlimited published the third edition in 2006.

Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca, won the 2014 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children. The publisher is Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

Three Caldecott Honor Books also were named: Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker and published by Candlewick Press; Flora and the Flamingo, written and illustrated by Molly Idle and published by Chronicle Books LLC; and Mr. Wuffles! written and illustrated by David Wiesner and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Presented every year since 1938, the medal is named for Randolph Caldecott (1846-1888), an English illustrator known for the action, vitality and humor of his picture books.

Dorothy P. Lathrop won the first Caldecott Medal in 1938 for Animals of the Bible. Receiving the Caldecott Medal virtually guarantees that the winning book will remain in print and on library and bookstore shelves for years to come. It is also administered by the ALSC.

P.S. Be Eleven, written by Rita Williams-Garcia, won the Coretta Scott King Author Book Award recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Three King Author Honor Books were selected: March: Book One, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell, and published by Top Shelf Productions; Darius & Twig, written by Walter Dean Myers and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; and Words with Wings, written by Nikki Grimes and published by WordSong, an imprint of Highlights.

Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me, illustrated by Bryan Collier, won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award. Daniel Beaty wrote the book, which was published by Little, Brown and Company, Hachette Book Group. One King Illustrator Honor Book was selected, Nelson Mandela, illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III, won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award. The publisher is Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

Authors Patricia and Fredrick McKissack are the winners of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award is presented in even years to an African-American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.

Patricia McKissack and her late husband Fredrick McKissack, both natives of Tennessee, began their writing and research partnership in the 1980s.Their subject matter from family-based folklore to non-fiction titles, are scholarly researched and written with accurate, authentic text, creating a cultural transmission of history. Their immense range of topics are informative, readable and enjoyable, covering accounts from slavery days to biographical studies of noted men and women in African-American history past and present.

Midwinterblood, written by Marcus Sedgwick, won the 2014 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults. The publisher is Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Four Printz Honor Books also were named: Eleanor & Park, written by Rainbow Rowell and published by St. Martin’s Griffin (Macmillan); Kingdom of Little Wounds, written by Susann Cokal and published by Candlewick Press; Maggot Moon, written by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Julian Crouch and published by Candlewick Press; and Navigating Early, written by Clare Vanderpool and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, Penguin Random House Company.

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, won the Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience for children from infancy to ten years of age. The publisher is Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Handbook for Dragon Slayers, written by Merrie Haskell and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, is the winner of the Schneider Family Book Award for children in middle-school (ages eleven-to-thirteen). The Schneider Family Book Award for teenagers (ages thirteen-to-eighteen) is Rose Under Fire, written by Elizabeth Wein and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

The Alex Awards for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences went to Brewster, written by Mark Slouka and published by W. W. Norton & Company; The Death of Bees, written by Lisa O’Donnell and published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; Golden Boy: A Novel, written by Abigail Tarttelin and published by ATRIA Books, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.; Help for the Haunted, written by John Searles and published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers Lexicon: A Novel, written by Max Barry and published by The Penguin Group, Penguin Group (USA) Inc.; Lives of Tao, written by Wesley Chu and published by Angry Robot, a member of the Osprey Group; Mother, Mother: A Novel, written by Koren Zailckas and published by Crown Publishers, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.; Relish, written by Lucy Knisley and published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership; The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel, written by Katja Millay and published by ATRIA Paperback, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.; and The Universe Versus Alex Woods, written by Gavin Extence and published by Redhook Books, an imprint of Orbit, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of Bink & Gollie: Two for One, won the Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video. The ALA states, "The video’s cast is anchored by Kate Micucci and Riki Lindhome, with music by David Mansfield. Tony Fucile’s artwork is brilliantly brought to life by Chuck Gammage Animation."

Markus Zusak won the 2014 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. His books include: The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, and Getting the Girl and Fighting Ruben Wolfe, published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Scholastic.

Brian Selznick won the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award, which recognizes an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature. The winner then presents a lecture at a winning host site. Selznick will deliver the 2015 lecture.

The ALA states, "Author and illustrator Brian Selznick graduated from Rhode Island School of Design intending to be a set designer for the theater, but a stint at Eeyore’s children’s bookstore in New York City changed his mind and his first book was published while working there. He left to pursue a full-time career in children's book illustration, but he still designs theater sets and is a professional puppeteer. Among his award-winning works are illustrations for two Sibert Honor Books and a Caldecott Honor Book. His groundbreaking 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' was awarded the 2008 Caldecott Medal."

May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, IA, and graduated from The University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master's degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers— better known as the "Dick and Jane" series—for children published by Scott, Foresman and Company (now Pearson Scott Foresman).

Mister Orange won the 2014 Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children's book originally published in a language other than English in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the U.S. Originally published in Dutch in 2011 as “Mister Orange,” the book was written by Truus Matti, translated by Laura Watkinson, and published by Enchanted Lion Books.

Three Batchelder Honor Books also were selected. The first was The Bathing Costume or the Worst Vacation of My Life, written by Charlotte Moundlic, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick, and published by Enchanted Lion Books.

The second was My Father’s Arms Are a Boat, written by Stein Erik Lunde, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, translated by Kari Dickson, and published by Enchanted Lion Books. The third was The War Within These Walls, written by Aline Sax, illustrated by Caryl Strzelecki, translated by Laura Watkinson, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Scowler, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, won the 2014 Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. Daniel Kraus wrote the book, which is narrated by Kirby Heyborne. Four Odyssey Honor Recordings also were selected: Better Nate Than Ever, produced by Simon & Schuster Audio, written and narrated by Tim Federle; Creepy Carrots! produced by Weston Woods Studios, Inc., and written by Aaron Reynolds; Eleanor & Park, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Rainbow Rowell, and narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra; and Matilda, produced by Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., written by Roald Dahl (1916-1990), and narrated by Kate Winslet.

There are two awards named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the ALSC and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

Niño Wrestles the World, illustrated by Yuyi Morales, won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. Yuyi Morales wrote the book.

Roaring Brook Press published it. Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were selected: Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía una Llamita, illustrated and written by Angela Dominguez and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC; Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo, illustrated by Rafael López, written by Monica Brown and published by Rayo, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; and Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, written by Meg Medina, won the Pura Belpré Author Award. The publisher is Candlewick Press. Three Belpré Author Honor Books were named: The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist, written by Margarita Engle and published by Harcourt, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; The Living, written by Matt de la Peña and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company; and Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Parrots over Puerto Rico, written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, and illustrated by Susan L. Roth, won the Robert F. Sibert Award for most distinguished informational book for children . The book is published by LEE & LOW BOOKS, Inc.

The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois. ALSC administers the award. Four Sibert Honor Books were named: A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.; Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, written and illustrated by Annette LeBlanc Cate and published by Candlewick Press; the aforementioned Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca; and The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius, written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

The ALA also gives out the "Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience." Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, written by Kirstin Cronn-Mills and published by Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd won the 2014 Stonewall Children’s Book Award.

Fat Angie, written by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo and published by Candlewick Press, won the 2014 Stonewall Young Adult Literature Award. Three Honor Books were selected: Better Nate Than Ever, written by Tim Federle and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; Branded by the Pink Triangle, written by Ken Setterington and published by Second Story Press; and Two Boys Kissing, written by David Levithan and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

The Watermelon Seed, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers. The publisher is Disney Hyperion Books, an imprint of Disney Book Group. Three Geisel Honor Books were named: Ball, written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; A Big Guy Took My Ball! written and illustrated by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group; and Penny and Her Marble, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Charm & Strange, written by Stephanie Kuehn, won the 2014 William C.Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. The publisher is St. Martin’s Griffin, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, a division of Macmillan.

Four other books were finalists for the award. The first was Sex & Violence, written by Carrie Mesrobian and published by Carolrhoda LAB, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group. The second was Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, written by Evan Roskos and published by Houghton Mifflin, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

The third was Belle Epoque, written by Elizabeth Ross and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. The fourth was In the Shadow of Blackbirds, written by Cat Winters and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi, written by Neal Bascomb, won the 2014 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. The publisher is Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Four other books were finalists for the award. The first was Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, written by Chip Kidd and published by Workman Publishing Company. The second was Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II, written by Martin W. Sandler and published by Walker Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.

The third was Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers, written by Tanya Lee Stone and published by Candlewick Press. The fourth was The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, written by James L. Swanson and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.