Books about a boy’s bus ride with his grandmother and the real-life bear that became the inspiration for Winnie the Pooh were among the books honored by the American Library Association in January.
The 2016 Randolph Caldecott Medal for illustration went to Sophie Blackall, illustrator of Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, by Lindsay Mattick. The book is the real-life story of a Canadian veterinarian on his way to fight in World War I. The veterinarian rescues a little black bear at a train depot and names her Winnie in honor of his hometown of Winnipeg. Winnie eventually ends up in the London Zoo, where she captures the eye of author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin. Milne went on to write Winnie the Pooh.
Winning the 2016 John Newbery Medal for literature was Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña. It tells the story of a young boy on a bus with his grandmother, wondering why the family doesn’t have a car. De la Peña is the first Latino author to win the Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
The Newberry and Caldecott awards are the most prestigious awards given in children’s literature. But they weren’t the only ones presented by the American Library Association. The list also included videos as well as books. Here are some of the other winners:
Coretta Scott King awards for an African-American author and illustrator. Author award: Rita Williams-Garcia for Gone Crazy in Alabama. Illustrator award: Bryan Collier for Trombone Shorty, written by Troy Andrews and Bill Taylor.
Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe New Talent Award. Author award: Ronald L. Smith for Hoodoo. Illustrator award: Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Carole Boston Weatherford.
Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for lifetime achievement for illustrator/author: Jerry Pinkney, whose award-winning works include the 2010 Caldecott Award-winning The Lion and the Mouse.
Margaret A. Edwards Award, for an author’s significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature: David Levithan for The Realm of Possibility, Boy Meets Boy, Love is the Higher Law, How They Met, and Other Stories, Wide Awake, and Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist.
May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children’s literature: Author Jacqueline Woodson will deliver the 2017 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Woodson is the 2014 National Book Award winner for her New York Times bestselling memoir Brown Girl Dreaming and the author of more than two dozen books for young readers.
Pura Belpré awards for a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. Author award: Margarita Engle for Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir. Illustrator award: Rafael López for The Drum Dream Girl.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, honoring an author or illustrator whose books, published in the U.S., have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children: Jerry Pinkney.
Stonewall Book Award, the Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award for books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience: George, by Alex Gino, and The Porcupine of Truth, by Bill Konigsberg.
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience. This award goes to books for different age groups. Young children’s book: Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, written by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls. Middle grade book: Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. Teen book: The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B, by Teresa Toten.
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning reader book: Don’t Throw It to Mo! written by David A. Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks.
William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli.
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for informational books for children: Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh.
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults: Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War, by Steve Sheinkin.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award for a book published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States: The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy, written (in French) and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna and translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick.
Odyssey Award for best audiobook for children and young adults: The War that Saved My Life, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Jayne Entwistle.
Andrew Carnegie Medal for children’s video: That Is NOT a Good Idea, produced by Weston Woods Studios Inc.
Alex Awards for 10 adult books that appeal to teens: All Involved, by Ryan Gattis; Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Bones & All, by Camille DeAngelis; Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits, by David Wong; Girl at War, by Sara Nović; Half the World, by Joe Abercrombie; Humans of New York: Stories, by Brandon Stanton; Sacred Heart, by Liz Suburbia; Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League, by Dan-el Padilla Peralta; and The Unraveling of Mercy Louis, by Keija Parssinen.
Congratulations to all of the authors and illustrators. These all look like books worth checking out next time you’re at the library!