There are those who look forward to the Academy Awards…those who look forward to the Grammy’s or the Emmy’s…I can’t wait to hear the ALA Awards! That’s right, I want to hear what book won the Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and Michael Printz Awards. Every year, I dream of attending the ALA Midwinter conference, to stand there in the same room as the awards are announced live (I can just see it now…). But, I settle for watching the live video feed on the internet.
It’s actually quite humorous…one minute you might hear me whispering under my breath, “Please, oh please, oh please…” and the next, I’m giggling like a little school girl or shouting “Yes!” because a book I loved won or at least got honors. Then, there are the moments, where I’m stunned—“why, this book wasn’t on anyone’s radar!”
See, the thing about the ALA awards, is that there are no shortlists ahead of time for the Newbery or Caldecott…it’s a complete guessing game up till they announce the titles. Titles are picked for quality, even if the quality of the writing or illustrations would never catch the attention of their intended audience (and by that, I mean kids)…artistic merit trumps popularity. This might come as a shock to people, but it’s true—as the “motto” for both awards revolve around being a distinguished contribution to American literature and picturebook for children.
I hope that the Newbery award (or at least, an honor) go to either Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper or One Crazy Summer by Rita Garcia-Williams.
I hope that the Caldecott award (or at least, an honor) go to either Art & Max by David Wiesner (this is humorous in its own right, seeing as just two years ago I said I wished he’d stop winning the award) or Ubiquitous by Joyce Sidman (I've heard inklings for Dark Emperor too).
Coming soon…my take on the award winners…waiting till next Sunday just won’t due!