Once again, it is award time in the world of young adult and children’s literature. This is always fun - seeing which books were chosen from the previous year’s pool of published works. There are three categories: Printz, Newbery and Caldecott.
The Printz award is given annually to the best young adult novel published in the previous year. It’s named after the late Michael L. Printz, a youth services librarian who made a significant impact on his young patrons over the years. The award was established in 2000, and stands with the Newbery Award (best juvenile literature) and the Caldecott (best picture book illustrations) as a standard of excellence in children’s literature.
Every year, the libraries try to add both the award winners and the honor books to our collections. These titles are always popular once they’ve been labeled as award books, and we get quite a few requests for them. This is also a nice opportunity to donate a quality set of books to the library of your choice. For a donation of only $44, you can provide one complete set of the Newbery winner and honor books. A donation of $63 will purchase one complete set of Caldecott winner and honor books. And finally, a donation of $48 will donate one complete set of Printz young adult literature winner and honor books.
This year’s Newbery winner is “The One and Only Ivan,” by Katherine Applegate.
It’s the story of Ivan, a gorilla who lives in a shopping mall, in a small glass enclosure. He tells his own story and hooks you immediately. A wonderful tale that should make children think about the compassion all creatures deserve.
The Caldecott winner is “This is Not My Hat,” by Jon Klassen.
Caldecott awards are for illustrations, but the story here is fun, as well. A small fish begins the story by confessing that ”This is not my hat. I just stole it.” He swims on, wearing a small blue bowler hat, unaware that the owner of the hat is in quiet pursuit.
Young adult fiction so often lately is about the paranormal, or has a post-apocalyptic setting. This year’s winner, “In Darkness,” by Nick Lake, is set during the 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti. The narrator, Shorty, a 15-year-old hospital patient survives the earthquake itself—but it’s the aftermath that might be his undoing. A hard, unflinching, yet inspiring look at a country fighting for survival.
Please consider giving the children and teens in Pocahontas County some new, quality books to read. Who knows - some of us adults may enjoy them, too!
It’s a small amount, and it will make a huge impact.
If you are interested, just call me at 304-799-6000. You can specify which library you would like to help, and I will be happy to tell you more about the titles that won the awards, or that were given honorable mentions.
Thanks in advance!