January Madness: Newbery and Caldecott Awards Coming Soon!
The American Library Association will be handing out their annual medals on January 26. Topping the awards list will be their award to the authors of the best American work for children and/or young adults--the John Newbery Medal and Newbery Honor Medals--and the award given to the artist for the best book illustrations of the year--the Randolph Caldecott Medal and Honor Medals.
Of the books I've reviewed recently, two titles, Kathi Appelt's The Underneath, a unique and moving magical fiction work for middle readers (reviewed here on August 14, 2008), and Laurie Halse Anderson's historical fiction National Book Award finalist Chains, (reviewed here on November 10, 2008) have appeared in several lists of potential winners or among the nominees for the many "mock Newbery Awards" contests held around the country.
Among the books reviewed here, my favorite for the Caldecott is Kadir Nelson's extraordinarily illustrated We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball, posted here on February 8, 2008. A solid piece of historical nonfiction, Nelson's text is strikingly illustrated in his unique style.
For lists of books speculated to be under final consideration from the super-secret award committee check out this blog with a great track record for predictions.
I'll be watching for the announcements as soon as they are made, beginning at 7:45 p.m. on January 26, and will post them as soon as I can get the information. Last year's National Book Award winners were reported from members of the audience first on Twitter. Perhaps that will again be possible this year for the American Library Association's list of various award winners.