YMA Favorites

When you’re reading this, a lot of us will be heading or preparing to head to Chicago for ALA Midwinter. There are many things to be excited about during Midwinter–meetings, exhibits, seeing friends.

But not a lot actually meets the level of excitement, that the Youth Media Awards. This will be my first YMAs in person! I’m so jazzed. So I thought I’d take a moment and reflect on my favorite winners of past YMAs. Honestly, I could go on for pages and pages about this, but I’ll just do a quick overview because y’all are packing or flying.  My very favorites of the Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal, and Printz Award Winners:

I know this is everyone’s favorite, but it’s totally mine. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. It won the 1963 Caldecott award. This book was written over 20 years before I was born, but I adored it as a child. I remember asking my mom to read it to me over and over and over again. And it holds up. I use this one in storytimes often, and I’m lucky enough to live near the de Grummond Children’s Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi and have seen some of the original art. It’s as gorgeous as you think it is.

The View From Saturday by E.L. Konisburg won the Newbery Medal in 1997. This is one that I was wild about as a child. I was 9 years old when this book came out, and I was part of a program in my school that was similar to the Academic Bowl Team. Well, not entirely similar. But it felt similar. My fourth-grade self resonated with this one DEEPLY. I actually have not read this one as an adult. A part of me is terrified that it won’t hold up. But it will, right? Because Konigsburg? This is the first time in my life I remember being aware that the Newbery medal is something that was actually awarded, and that the seal didn’t just magically appear on books in my school library. I remember my school librarian telling us that this book had won and being very excited because I had read it and loved it so much. Maybe it’s time for a reread?

 

The Printz Award is a little different. It’s a much newer award. The first Printz was awarded in 2000. I wasn’t really aware of the existence of the Printz until college library school, but I quickly became obsessed. I actually wrote my master’s project on the Printz. In doing so, I read many Printz and Printz Honor titles. Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, the 2009 winner, is my favorite, and continues to be my favorite Young Adult title of all time. I understand that my approach to this book was different. I was an adult the first time I read it, upon the recommendation of a colleague at my library, unlike the other two titles, which I came to as a child. But this book, like the other two, changed me and stayed with me. Marchetta is now one of my favorite authors. I’m fond of telling friends that if she wrote ingredients lists on the side of cereal boxes, I’d have them shipped over from Australia to read.

That’s the thing I love about award winners, and all books. Remember this when you’re putting award seals on books next week and when you’re teaching classes about the Caldecott and Newbery and when you’re excitedly handing your tweens and teens the Printz Honor book you’ll know they love: these are the books that will stay with them forever. And we get to be a tiny part of that.

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Our cross-poster from ALSC today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a youth services librarian in Mississippi, and has worked with kids ages birth-18 for the last 5 years.

Awards, Lists, Reviews and Readers’ Advisory Possibilities: It’s Not Just One Big Chocolate Shop

Each Midwinter, I listen to and watch the immediate responses as YALSA’s media awards are announced, fascinated by how many interpretations audience members make of what doesn’t “win” and what the winning titles “say” about those who selected them. book with post it notes francisca goldsmithOver the years, I’ve served on three YALSA awards committees (Margaret A. Edwards, Odyssey, and Printz), a couple of YALSA list selection committees (former versions of these are now swept into what we call Amazing Audiobooks), and both award and selection list committees for other organizations (the Eisners, the Audies, and the California Young Reader Medal among them). For way longer, I’ve been reviewing books and media for an array of professional journals (Library Journal, School Library Journal, Booklist, VOYA, Public Libraries, Busted) and a couple of “general reader” publications; my typical annual review production numbers somewhere between 100 to 150 titles, mostly assigned to me by editors.

As a fairly long-term readers’ advisory practitioner and instructor, I read widely beyond what I review and what I judge for lists and awards. What I hope to provide here is some focus on how all these different book and media considerations differ in both purpose and approach.

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Thanks for Joining Us in Seattle!

It was great to see everyone who was able to attend Midwinter and to tweet and chat with those of you who joined our live blogs. Thanks for bearing with us for some blog outages and video kerfuffles. We’ll have video up to accompany the live blog replays from both the BFYA teen feedback session and the YMA announcements just as soon as we’re able. As many of you know, the crush of attendees and interested viewers around the world can wreak havoc with conference wireless and our websites, so we really do appreciate your patience.

On a more personal note, this marks my last ALA conference as the member manager of YALSABlog. I’m thrilled to be passing the baton to the highly capable Wendy Stephens, and I have no doubt that under her direction this blog will continue to thrive and reach new heights. Thank you, dear readers and YALSA bloggers, for creating such a dynamic community of writers and readers.

Join the Youth Media Awards Live Blog!

One of my favorite parts of any Midwinter Meeting is the announcement of the Youth Media Awards. There’s an Oscar-like buzz in the room. I love the pride and enthusiasm from juries and selection committees (many of whom dress up for the event). I get chills at the emotional outpouring for beloved authors and titles, and it’s a particular thrill when a dark horse title wins.

But if you can’t be in the room for the announcements, have no fear–YALSABlog and The Hub will be jointly covering the YMAs with a live blog, complete with streaming video! Join the session here or on The Hub to watch the video, answer reader polls and add your own commentary live. We’ll also be pulling selected hashtags (like #yma13, #printz, #alexaward and #morrisaward) to bring you thoughts and reactions from Twitter.

If you miss the live session, you can replay the whole thing (including the video) at any time after the live session ends. Don’t miss out on one of the best parts of Midwinter!

Join the Youth Media Awards LIVE!

Join YALSA with LIVE streaming video of all the YMA announcement, presented jointly by the YALSA Blog and The Hub. Along with the video, we’ll also be offering quick polls and pulling Twitter hashtags like #printz and #alexawards. You can log in to the live session with your Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or OpenID username (which will include your avatar), or just jump right in.

YALSA Blog manager mk Eagle (username pandanose) will be offering transcriptions of all the announcements, with live video from The Hub blogger Jessica Pryde. Coverage begins at 7:30 central on Monday, January 23.

Broadcast News: Today & the YMAs

Yesterday, many a fan of children’s and young adult literature tuned into Today, expecting to see a segment on ALA’s recently announced Youth Media Awards, featuring the authors of the Newbery and Caldecott, as well as a representative from ALA to discuss the awards. This year, along with the authors, YALSA’s own Sarah Debraski was pitched to lead viewers through a new year of outstanding books for children and teens, just as many ALA leaders have for the past eleven years.

Unfortunately, this year, Today turned ALA’s pitch down, citing a lack of interest and scheduling problems.

It’s a unfortunate that the YMAs weren’t able to make the cut this year, but we do appreciate the many years that Today chose to feature the awards.

UPDATE: Mark Gould, director of ALA’s Public Information Office, offered this statement:

“The American Library Association did reach out to the Today Show, and’ multiple conversations took place between’ show’ producers and Pro-Media Communications, ALA’s media relations firm,” said Mark Gould, director, ALA Public Information Office. “Unfortunately we were turned down.

“The ALA Youth Media Awards have had a spot on the Today Show for more than a decade, and while not being on this year was’ a disappointment for ALA members and book lovers across the country, we hope’ the Today Show’ can find room for us in the future.”

Change to Blogger Meetup Time & Midwinter Liveblogging

Our blogger meetup at Midwinter, originally scheduled for Sunday from’  1:30-3:30, unfortunately conflicts with the teen feedback session for Best Fiction for Young Adults–which we are, in fact, live-blogging. Any bloggers, new or returning, planning on attending the meetup should come to the Best Fiction location (conference center room 14) instead. I’ll be there starting at noon, and we’ll keep the agenda informal as usual to accommodate folks coming in from other meetings.

In related news, join us for live coverage of the teen feedback session, Sunday from 1:30-3:30! If you’re not at Midwinter you can hear what the teens have to say and join us in discussing nominated titles. As always, we’ll do our darndest to stream live video from the session. You can join the session directly from the blog, or you can participate by using the #bfya hashtag on Twitter. You can also log in with your Facebook or Twitter profile to include your profile picture with your comments.

YALSA will also be liveblogging the Youth Media Awards on Monday morning, so if you can’t get into the official ALA broadcast, join the discussion with us!

YALSA announces Morris shortlist

YALSA has selected five books as finalists for the 2011 William C. Morris Award, which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author. YALSA will name the 2011 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on Jan. 10, at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

The 2011 finalists are:

  • Hush by Eishes Chayil, published by Walker Publishing Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.
  • Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, published by Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group
  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, published by Henry Holt
  • Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber, published by Margaret McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
  • The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston, published by Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group

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YALSA announces 2011 Nonfiction Shortlist!

YALSA has chosen five books as finalists for the 2011 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, which honors the best nonfiction books written for young adults between Nov. 1, 2009 and Oct. 31, 2010. YALSA will name the 2011 award winner at the Youth Media Awards on Jan. 10, during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

The 2011 finalists are:

  • “Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing” by Ann Angel, published by Amulet/Abrams
  • “They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • “Spies of Mississippi:’  The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement” by Rick Bowers, published by National Geographic Society
  • “The Dark Game: True Spy Stories” by Paul Janeczko, published by Candlewick Press
  • “Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates” by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw, published by Charlesbridge

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