by Cheryl Crosby
With past Newbery Medal winners including Massachusetts’ writers Jack Gantos and Lois Lowry [click here to read our interview with these two authors here], 2014’s winner is Kate DiCamillo, who won this top prize for her book Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. It’s a heartwarming story about 10-year-old Flora and her squirrel suddenly getting superpowers.
In addition, Newbery Honors went to: Doll Bones, written by Holly Black; The Year of Billy Miller, written by Kevin Henkes; One Came Home, written by Amy Timberlake; and Paperboy, written by Vince Vawter.
This next award is also a coveted prize for authors. The 2014 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children is awarded to Locomotive, illustrated by Brian Floca. Readers can travel through the mountains to the ocean by train while learning all about the sounds and the speeds in this picture book of America’s railroad.
In addition, three Caldecott Honor Books are awarded to: Journey, written and illustrated by Aaron Becker; Flora and the Flamingo, written and illustrated by Molly Idle; and Mr. Wuffles! written and illustrated by David Wiesner.
Recognizing African American authors and illustrators for outstanding books for children and young adults, this year’s Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award is for to P.S. Be Eleven, written by Rita Williams-Garcia, while the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award is for Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me, illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Daniel Beaty.
P.S. Be Eleven is about 11-year-old Delphine who struggles with the responsibilities of 6th grade and wonders why everything around her is changing. Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me displays an inspiring message about the love between a child and a parent. It shows the strength that children display as they continue to follow their dreams as they grow up.
In addition, there are three King Author Honor Books for 2014. The honors went to March: Book One, written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell; Darius & Twig, written by Walter Dean Myers; and Words with Wings, written by Nikki Grimes.
One King Illustrator Honor Book is selected for 2014, and that honor went to Nelson Mandela, illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson.
by Cheryl Crosby
This year, the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award is given to When the Beat Was Born: DJ Kool Herc and the Creation of Hip Hop, illustrated by Theodore Taylor III. Synopsis: Travel from Jamaica to the Bronx as DJ Kool Herc grows up and continues to spin records that define culture.
The Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is awarded to an author who has made impactful contributions to literature for his or her body of work. This year, it is given to the husband and wife team Patricia and Fredrick McKissack. Authors Patricia and her late husband Fredrick, who was a researcher, began writing books together in the 1980s, focusing on folklore and nonfiction titles with historical accuracy and brilliance in writing, honoring past and present African American men and women.
The 2014 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults went to Midwinterblood, written by Marcus Sedgwick. Readers can jump into 2073 and witness a heart wrenching love story about Eric and Merle on the secret island of Blessed.
In addition, there are also four Printz Honor Books: Eleanor & Park, written by Rainbow Rowell; Kingdom of Little Wounds, written by Susann Cokal; Maggot Moon, written by Sally Gardner, illustrated by Julian Crouch; and Navigating Early, written by Clare Vanderpool.
This year, the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience is awarded to the following authors in two age groups, 0 to 10, 11 to 13 and 13 to 18.
For children ages 0 to 10, the winner is A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet. It’s an inspiring story about how Horace Pippin went to war and returned home injured and unable to make art. Determined to make his drawings come alive again, he regains use of his arm and begins to get noticed for his beautiful drawings.
For ages 11 to 13, the winner is Handbook for Dragon Slayers, written by Merrie Haskell. Readers can travel with Tilda as she goes on the run with two dragon slayers. During her travels, she learns about dragons and about herself.
For teens, ages 13-18, the winner is Rose under Fire, written by Elizabeth Wein. Pilot and amateur poet, Rose Justice gets kidnapped by Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. Rose finds hope and friendship in her fellow prisoners.
by Cheryl Crosby
This following 10 books won Alex Awards for the best adult books that appeal to teen readers:
Brewster,” written by Mark Slouka. A powerful story about the friendship between two teenage boys and how they try to follow their dreams.
The Death of Bees, written by Lisa O’Donnell. Two sisters try to keep it all together and avoid suspicion after their parents mysteriously die.
Golden Boy: A Novel, written by Abigail Tarttelin. Behind the Walker family is a secret they are hiding from everyone. Max digs deep into the secret to try and figure out what his future holds.
Help for the Haunted, written by John Searles. Sylvie takes on the mystery of finding out her family’s past and figuring out who murdered her parents.
Lexicon: A Novel, written by Max Barry. Emily joins an exclusive school where students are taught to persuade instead of history and math. She is very successful up until she falls in love.
Lives of Tao, written by Wesley Chu. Roen wakes up one day with an ancient alien life form as a passenger in his brain. Roen experiences some difficulties while dealing with this passenger as he trains to be a secret agent.
Mother, Mother: A Novel, written by Koren Zailckas. Josephine Hurst has her family and household completely under control until her daughter runs off with her mysterious boyfriend. Her once perfect home turns upside down.
Relish, written by Lucy Knisley. In Lucy Knisley’s memoir, you learn about what she was eating at times in her life as she learned about food, cooking and life. Each chapter ends with an illustrated recipe.
The Sea of Tranquility: A Novel, written by Katja Millay. Nastya Kashnikov learns about second chances when she moves to a new town and meets Josh Bennett. Both are hiding tremendous secrets but continue to grow close to each other.
The Universe Versus Alex Woods, written by Gavin Extence. Alex Woods finds an unexpected friend in widower Mr. Peterson. He learns that you only have one life and you must make it count.
by Cheryl Crosby
This year’s Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video is awarded to Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., who produced Bink & Gollie: Two for One.
This year’s honoree for the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults is Markus Zusak. His books include The Book Thief, I Am the Messenger, Getting the Girl and Fighting Ruben Wolfe.
Children’s author and illustrator Brian Selznick is the winner of the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award, which recognizes an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature. His award-winning works are illustrations for two Sibert Honor Books and a Caldecott Honor Book. His book The Invention of Hugo Cabret was awarded the 2008 Caldecott Medal.
by Cheryl Crosby
This year’s Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children's book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States, goes to Mister Orange, which was published in Dutch in 2011. The book was written by Truus Matti and translated by Laura Watkinson. It tells the story of Linus Muller, who develops a true friendship with an artist from Europe after delivering oranges every other week.
In addition, three Batchelder Honor Books include The Bathing Costume or the Worst Vacation of My Life, written by Charlotte Moundlic, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, translated by Claudia Zoe Bedrick; My Father’s Arms Are a Boat, written by Stein Erik Lunde, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, translated by Kari Dickson; and The War Within These Walls, written by Aline Sax, illustrated by Caryl Strzelecki, translated by Laura Watkinson.
Scowler, written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne, is the winner of this year’s Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. It was produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, is the 2014 Odyssey Award winner. In this horror novel, Ry is forced to defend himself when a meteorite falls and a ruthless man arrives to hurt him and his family.
The four Odyssey Honor Recordings are Better Nate Than Ever, produced by Simon and Schuster Audio, written and narrated by Tim Federle; Creepy Carrots! produced by Weston Woods Studios, Inc., and written by Aaron Reynolds; Eleanor & Park, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Rainbow Rowell, and narrated by Rebecca Lowman and Sunil Malhotra; and Matilda, produced by Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., written by Roald Dahl, and narrated by Kate Winslet.
by Cheryl Crosby
Niño Wrestles the World, illustrated by Yuyi Morales and written by Yuyi Morales, is the winner of the Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. It’s about a popsicle eater and toy lover who is put up to the challenge of taking his competition down in one single move to become the world wrestling champion.
In addition, three books to receive the Belpré Illustrator Honor are: Maria Had a Little Llama / María Tenía una Llamita, illustrated and written by Angela Dominguez; Tito Puente: Mambo King / Rey del Mambo, illustrated by Rafael López, written by Monica Brown; and Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh.
Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass, written by Meg Medina, won this year’s Pura Belpré (Author) Award honoring a Latino writer whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. It tells the story of Piddy, who has to decide what to do when avoiding Yacqui and her gang becomes a major part of her everyday life.
In addition, the three Belpré Author Honor Books are: The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba’s Greatest Abolitionist, written by Margarita Engle; The Living, written by Matt de la Peña; and Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant’s Tale, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh.
by Cheryl Crosby
This year’s winner for the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children is Parrots over Puerto Rico, written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore, and illustrated by Susan L. Roth. Witness the Puerto Rican Parrots come back from being nearly extinct to having a promising future.
Receiving Sibert Honor Books are: A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin, written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet; Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard, written and illustrated by Annette LeBlanc Cate; Locomotive, written and illustrated by Brian Floca; and The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius, written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan.
The Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award is awarded each year to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. This year, the honor goes to two inspirational books: Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, written by Kirstin Cronn-Mills; and Fat Angie, written by e. E. Charlton-Trujillo. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children tells the story of Elizabeth who struggles with the world and her parents accepting who she really is. Experience Elizabeth’s journey from being Elizabeth to being Gabe. Fat Angie narrates the story of Angie, who is struggling to make it through each day of high school. As Angie meets the new girl at school, her life will begin to change for the better.
Honors went to: Better Nate Than Ever, written by Tim Federle; Branded by the Pink Triangle, written by Ken Setterington; and Two Boys Kissing, written by David Levithan.
by Cheryl Crosby
This year’s winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished book for beginning readers is The Watermelon Seed, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. In this humorous picture book, you will experience this crocodile’s biggest fear of swallowing a watermelon seed.
In addition, three Geisel Honor Books include Ball, written and illustrated by Mary Sullivan; A Big Guy Took My Ball! written and illustrated by Mo Willems [click here to read more about Willems in our exclusive interview]; and Penny and Her Marble, written and illustrated by Kevin Henkes.
Charm & Strange, written by Stephanie Kuehn, is the 2014 William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. The story centers around Andrew Winston Winters who battles his thoughts about choosing life or surrendering to the darkness in his mind all during the course of one night.
Honors in the category were also given to: Sex & Violence, written by Carrie Mesrobian; Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets, written by Evan Roskos; Belle Epoque, written by Elizabeth Ross; and In the Shadow of Blackbirds, written by Cat Winters.
The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi, written by Neal Bascomb, is the 2014 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. The story is about a thrilling spy mission that results in of the Holocaust’s most important trials.
In addition, there were four other finalists for this category: Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design, written by Chip Kidd; Imprisoned: The Betrayal of Japanese Americans During World War II, written by Martin W. Sandler; Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers, written by Tanya Lee Stone; and The President Has Been Shot! The Assassination of John F. Kennedy, written by James L. Swanson.
We congratulate the winners and finalists for the best books, videos and audio books for kids and young adults. Happy reading!