Following up: 2017 #ALAyma winners

The 2017 ALA Youth Media Awards were announced a week ago--I watched them live, although I had some technical difficulties and missed Leave Me Alone!'s Caldecott Honor, only to be happily surprised by it later; it was one of my favorites, and was honored at our mock Caldecott, too. Our group read all of the Caldecott Honors, but sadly, and for the first time, not the winner: Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe (Little, Brown). The public library only had two copies, both of which were checked out to librarians for their mock Caldecotts! I hope no one was too disappointed; and I also hope they will seek out Radiant Child. I bet the library is buying a lot more copies. Congratulations, Javaka Steptoe!

We also had a lot of the eventual Newbery Honors on hand, as well as the winner, Kelly Barnhill's The Girl Who Drank the Moon (Algonquin). This was my daughter's favorite, so I'm especially glad it won. I was just about her age when Robin McKinley's The Hero and the Crown (also a fantasy novel) won the Newbery, and it's still a favorite of mine, too.

The award I'm most invested in, though, is the Batchelder, which (as readers of this blog may know) is for "an outstanding children’s book originally 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." This year's winner is Cry, Heart, But Never Break (Enchanted Lion), a book about death--which is also, of course, a book about life. I'll take a closer look at Cry, Heart and all of this year's Batchelder books in another post.

Lastly, I want to give a special shout-out to my brother-in-law David Milgrim, whose beginning reader Go, Otto, Go! (Simon Spotlight) is a Geisel Honor book! Go, David!

 

2017 Newbery hopefuls

I made a little display of my Newbery hopefuls to share at our Mock Caldecott meeting last week, although I had to make a mock-up of Jason Reynolds's Ghost--the hold list for that one was too long for me to get it in time! Here they are, for posterity:

 

2017 Mock Caldecott results

After we picked the winner at our house Mock Caldecott last year, I wondered whether or not to try again this year. I'm so glad we did--it's my favorite social event. This is our fourth Mock Caldecott, and by now we have a core group of kids and adults (15 this year, just like the real Caldecott committee) who are familiar with the Caldecott terms and criteria and the discussion process (we use the CCBC book discussion guidelines).

The hardest part of my job as organizer is to select the books we'll consider (and make sure that I have copies on hand the day we meet). I aim for a diverse dozen or so, a mix of critical and personal favorites, a variety of media. Most of all, I hope the winner of the real Caldecott is somewhere on my list--so far it has been.

This year, our winner is Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis (Candlewick). 

We named three honor books:

Special mention goes to The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito; illustrated by Julia Kuo (Little, Brown), because I really liked it, too,

Will one of our choices win the Caldecott this year? There's not long now to wait and see....