Great: Nonfiction all over the place — Almost Astros wins the Sibert; Phil Hoose gets a Newbery honor and a Sibert honor for Claudette Colvin; Jim Murphy wins the Margaret Edwards; Deborah Heiligman’s Charles and Emma Darwin both a Prinz honor and the winner of the new YALSA nonfiction award. Wonderful. And to add to the good spirits, Kirkus has found new owner and will be back and in operation very soon. Great.
Terrible: Best Books for Young Adults is now (under who knows what name) Best Fiction for Young Adults. Nonfiction, graphic novels, and adult books have all been declared ineligible. This was a unanimous and vile decision of the YALSA board — and the halls of Midwinter were filled with the anger/disbelief. The worst part is no one could give a clear explanation of the logic for the decision — or how this decision addressed the valid concerns of the YALSA membership. In effect YALSA has destroyed its heritage in the interest of what?
Many past BBYA heads plan to speak up and protest and hope all of you do as well. I will supply a link to articles in which the Board spells out its reasons — they deserve that chance. But then I/we get to speak up, speak out, have our say.