Monday, January 18, 2010

Newbery and Caldecott Medals

When You Reach MeI picked the right book to listen to on my iPod over the weekend.

When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead, is the 2010 Newbery Medal winner.
It's a terrific book and not only because it pays homage to one of my childhood favorites: A Wrinkle in Time. It's written from the point-of-view of a 12-year-old girl in 1970s Manhattan and involves mysterious notes that appear to come from the future, her mom's impending appearance on the $20,000 Pyramid, shifting friendships and a seemingly impossible tangle of plot threads. But it does get untangled. The conclusion is harrowing, thrilling and moving.

Unlike some other years, it's a Newbery book that will be easy to get kids to read.
Here's a quote from the Newbery committee Chair Katie O'Dell:
"When You Reach Me’ is an exceptionally conceived and finely crafted work of fiction that will engage and satisfy readers for years to come.”
The Lion & the MouseThe Caldecott Medal went to The Lion and the Mouse, the gorgeous book, by Jerry Pinkney. It was a choice that was one of the least surprising of many in recent years of Caldecott medals.

This is what Caldecott committee chair Rita Auerbach had to say:
“Pinkney’s stunning watercolors add new dimensions to an ancient tale in a book which is sure to become a beloved classic."
All the World, by Marla Frazee, and Red Sings From the Treetops: A Year in Colors, by Joyce Sidman, both also exquisite, were named Caldecott Honor books.
Here's a press release from the American Library Association that tells more about this year's Newbery, Caldecott and the selection process.

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award went to Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes. There were four Geisel Honor books: I spy Fly Guy! by Tedd Arnold; Little Mouse Gets Ready, by Jeff Smith; Mouse and Mole: Fine Feathered Friends, by Wong Herbert Yee; and Pearl and Wagner: One Funny Day, by Kate McMullan.

Newbery Honor books are: Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, by Phillip M. Hoose; The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jaqueline Kelly; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin, and The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, by Rodman Philbrick.

For these authors and illustrators, winning a Caldecott or Newbery (or many other of the awards announced this morning) is as good as a Golden Globe or Oscar. It means their books get those shiny gold or silver stickers on the cover and now will probably NEVER go out of print.

Here's a link to a list of all the winners of the awards announced this morning.

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