And the winners are . . . . 2007 Newbery and Caldecott Awards
On January 22 ALA announced this year's awards for literature for young people. Their best-known awards are the Newbery Awards, given to the authors of books for young people, and the Caldecott Awards, presented to the illustrators of picture books for children. The envelope, please!
The Newbery Award goes to author Susan Patron for her novel The Higher Power of Lucky. Her main character, Lucky, is anything but. Her mother is dead and her father has abandoned her to her ex-stepmother, Brigitte, a Frenchwoman who has reluctantly come to the desert town of Hard Pan to live in a trailer and be Lucky's guardian. Lucky's main mentors are the denizens of the town's ten-step groups whom she overhears as she cleans the community center where they meet. Lucky tries to find her own "higher power," a difficult goal as she observes, "It's almost impossible to get control of your life when you are only ten. It's the other people, adults, who have control of your life because they can abandon you."
The Newbery Honor Books are Penny from Heaven, by Jennifer Holm; Hattie Big Sky, by Kirby Larson; and Rules, by Cynthia Lord.
The Caldecott Award goes to David Wiesner for Flotsam. An illustrator with a very distinctive, scultural style, Weisner is already a three-time Caldecott honoree for Tuesday, Sector 7, and Free Fall.
Caldecott Honor Books are Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet, illustrated and written by David Limans, and Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
I hope to revisit some of these titles as I read them. If you have read them already, please send in your comments and recommendations, and I'll pass them along.
The 2007 Carnegie Medal goes to author Mo Willem and Weston Woods Studios for their video production of Willem's book Knuffle Bunny.