Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Few Good Books

On Monday, January 10, the American Library Association announced their yearly award winners for children's and teen literature, including the most famous medals, the Newbery and the Caldecott. It's kind of like the Oscars for librarians, except that attendees tend more toward slacks and sweaters than ballgowns and diamonds.

The list is much too long to reproduce here, but check out the ALA website's press release if you're interested. I just wanted to mention a few of the winners and honor books that I've read and particularly liked.

Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan is about two boys, both named Will Grayson, and how their lives intersect through another boy, Tiny Cooper, who is one Will's best friend and the other one's boyfriend. Told in alternating chapters, it's funny, painful, and some of the best work of both these massively talented authors.

This won a Stonewall Honor. This award recognizes the best books relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.

Ballet for Martha: The Making of Appalachian Spring by by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca
The ballet "Appalachian Spring" is a 20th century classic. In this fascinating book, readers learn the story of the artistic collaboration between composer Aaron Copland, cheoreographer Martha Graham, and set designer Isamu Noguchi as they fused their tremendous talents to create a uniquely American work of art.

This won a Sibert honor, given to the best informational books for young readers.

And finally, if you have little ones in your life, or if you're just young at heart, don't miss this one.

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead
Amos McGee is a zookeeper beloved by the animals for his caring and nurturing ways. When he stays home sick one day, the animals decide that it's their turn to care for him. Erin Stead's light, delicate art brings out all the charm of Philip Stead's sweet story.

This won the Caldecott Medal, which is given specifically for excellence in illustrations.

Find them at your library by clicking the titles!

--Maureen K.

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