Many of the books that we discussed last year continued to win prizes during our hiatus, and I want to mention a couple that I helped choose.
First, MARCHING FOR FREEDOM is the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize with CHARLES AND EMMA, THE LOST CONSPIRACY, THE RISE AND FALL OF SENATOR JOE McCARTHY, and TALES FROM OUTER SUBURBIA as the other finalists. Of course, just prior to this MARCHING FOR FREEDOM had won School Library Journal’s Battle of the (Kids’) Books, and just after it would win the Jane Addams Award, and eventually the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. I also got to moderate a panel with Betsy and Deborah the next day as part of the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Betsy and Deborah hardly needed me, however, as they were both lively, engaging, and had plenty of wit and wisdom to share.
Second, the PEN USA Literary Award is given to an author living west of the Mississippi for a children’s or young adult book. The books were selected from the pool submitted by publishers, and will be recognized in a ceremony later this year. THE DUNDERHEADS is the winner with ALL THE WORLD, LAST NIGHT I SANG TO THE MONSTER, and THE MAGICIAN’S ELEPHANT as finalists. Of course, THE DUNDERHEADS had previously been shortlisted for the Greenaway Medal (the British version of the Caldecott Medal), and word on the street is that it’s being developed into a movie, so it too had a nice run.
Other books also racked up more accolades, most notably . . .
- WHEN YOU REACH ME, a finalist for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy, also won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction.
- When the Bank Street College of Education handed out their annual awards, WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON and THE EVOLUTION OF CALPURNIA TATE shared the Josette Frank Award (fiction), while ALMOST ASTRONAUTS took the Flora Stieglitz Straus Award (nonfiction).
- WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON also won the Mythopoeic Award for Children’s Literature. (I swear I read in Publishers Weekly that Little, Brown had acquired rights to sequels for this book, but for the life of me, I cannot find it now.)
- While MARCHING FOR FREEDOM won the Jane Addams Award, CLAUDETTE COLVIN and ALMOST ASTRONAUTS filled the honor book slots.
- This is going back a couple of years now, but surely you heard that THE GRAVEYARD BOOK also won the Carnegie Medal. You might not have realized, however, that CHAINS was also up for the award.
And, finally, if you missed Nina’s excellent Horn Book article, “Newbery 2010: The United States of Newbery” then be sure to track down the July/August issue because you can also read Rebecca Stead’s wonderful Newbery speech. Two for one!