2011 Top books, media for kids chosen by American Library Association
The ALA announced this week the awards for the year’s best books for children and young adults.
Here are highlights of the top winners:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
“Dead End in Norvelt,” written by Jack Gantos, (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2011). The ALA describes this comedic historic novel for ages 10-14 as "an achingly funny romp through a dingy New Deal town."
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children (ages 3-6):
“A Ball for Daisy,” illustrated and written by Chris Raschka, (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011). Repeat Caldecott Medalist Raschka explores in pictures the joy and sadness that having a special toy can bring.
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
“Where Things Come Back,” written by John Corey Whaley, (Atheneum Books, 2011). This debut novel is about a teenage boy whose brother goes missing in a small Louisiana town. The ALA described the book as a "witty," "sardonic," "groundbreaking coming-of-age tale."
Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans,” (Balzer + Bray, 2011). An introduction to African-American history from Revolutionary-era slavery up to the election of President Obama.
Coretta Scott King (illustrator) Book Award:
Shane W. Evans, illustrator and author of “Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom,” (Neal Porter Book, 2011). Share the experience as a family silently crawls along the ground, run barefoot through unlit woods, sleep beneath bushes, and take shelter in a kind stranger's home.
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
Two books were selected for the Schneider middle school award (ages 9 to 13): “Close to Famous,” written by Joan Bauer (Viking, 2011). Twelve-year-old Foster McFee and her mother escape from her mother's abusive boyfriend and end up in the small town of Culpepper, West Virginia, where they use their strengths and challenge themselves to build a new life, with the help of the friends.
“Wonderstruck,” written by Brian Selznick, (Scholastic Press, 2011). Playing with the form he created in his trailblazing debut novel, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," Caldecott Medalist Selznick once again sails into uncharted territory. Set 50 years apart, Selznick presents two independent stories that weave back and forth with mesmerizing symmetry.
The Schneider teen award (ages 14 to 18) winner is “The Running Dream,” written by Wendelin Van Draanen, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011). Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She's not comforted by the news that she'll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. As she struggles to cope with crutches and a first cyborg-like prosthetic, Jessica feels oddly both in the spotlight and invisible.
Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States: “Rotters,” produced Listening Library. The book is written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne. Unforgettable characters make Rotters a moving, terrifying, and unconventional epic about fathers and sons, complex family ties, taboos, and the ever-present specter of mortality.
Ask for these and other award-winning books at your fabulous local bookseller, Betty’s Books. They will also be coming soon, of course, to your Baker County Library collection. For more information about the ALA awards and finalists, see the, ALA Web site www.ala.org/ or just ask us @your library.