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Battle of the Books

So How Did Our Contenders Do At ALA’s Youth Media Awards?

Not bad at all, this year! Half of our list was recognized one way or another. We’ve got ALL the Newberys (Medal and Honors) here. And, for the first time, a Caldecott Honor in THIS ONE SUMMER. (In retrospect perhaps this last isn’t completely surprising as one of us was on the Caldecott Committee, but he certainly never gave us an inkling that it might be under consideration there.) What do you all think?  By all means let us know if we overlooked any. And keep an eye on this space as we will begin revealing the judges tomorrow.
BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson: Newbery Honor, Sibert Honor, Coretta Scott King Author Award

CHILDREN OF THE KING by Sonya Hartnett

THE CROSSOVER by Kwame Alexander: Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Honor

EGG & SPOON by Gregory Maguire

EL DEAFO by Cece Bell: Newbery Honor

THE FAMILY ROMANOV by Candace Fleming: Sibert Honor, YALSA Nonfiction Honor

GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Andrew Smith: Printz Honor


THE MADMAN OF PINEY WOODS by Christopher Paul Curtis

POISONED APPLES by Christine Heppermann

THE PORT CHICAGO 50 by Steve Sheinkin: YALSA Nonfiction Honor

THE STORY OF OWEN by E. K. Johnston: Morris Finalist

THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki: Caldecott Honor, Printz Honor


WE WERE LIARS by E. Lockhart

WEST OF THE MOON by Margi Preus


  1. I’m very excited for The Crossover, which I just finished last week and loved. I am perplexed by the love for This One Summer, which I also read last week and hated. But I will freely admit that the art is beautiful.

    • I read This One Summer months ago and found the book to be very disappointing. At the age of 69, I might be too far out of touch with the typical experiences of today’s youth to appreciate the merits so many see in this work. Six stars from all major review journals.! I also was unable to appreciate the art. In the past two days I have read many comments regarding the Caldecott Honor for This One Summer and those comments express disappointment and confusion.

      Hopefully, there will now be some discussion and I will be able to understand others’ points of view!

  2. I wish you had chosen Rain Reign–it is super popular at my school with 4th and 5th grade girls, especially. I listened to the audiobook–which was read beautifully. However, the reader had to spell out every single homonym which became annoying after a while, although I guess they had no choice.

  3. Barb Outside Boston says

    PLEASE put EL DEAFO and THIS ONE SUMMER in opposite brackets! I’m really looking forward to the judges write-up of these vs ‘normal’ print books instead of against each other.

    You do arrange this just for me, don’t you?

  4. Barb Outside Boston says

    And the first judge is unveiled tomorrow! What time does the post usually go up? (I’ve actually read a ton of them already so I’m especially excited this year!)

  5. Battle Commander Battle Commander says

    Posts tend to go up early morning given that one of us up then:)

  6. We Were Liars and The Crossover are both top ten Best Fiction for Young Adults and both Egg and Spoon and Grasshopper Jungle are on the Best Fiction for Young Adults list as well.

  7. I just finished Crossover and I love it! What I really love is that ALA is finally getting away from the old snooty attitude and beginning to recognize excellence no matter what the genre or format. I don’t believe a sports book has ever won the Newbery before! I also really loved Story of Owen but my heart belongs to El Deafo. Please don’t put my favorites against each other, at least not in the first brackets???? (fingers crossed!)

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