ALA Announces Children’s Book Award Winners

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On Monday, January 23, at its midwinter meeting in Dallas, the American Library Association announced the winners of its 2012 awards for children’s and young adult titles.

Among the winners and honor books, which were awarded in 20 categories, are:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

  • Winner: Dead End in Norvelt, written by Jack Gantos (FSG).
  • Honor Books: Inside Out & Back Again, written by Thanhha Lai (HarperCollins Children’s Books); and Breaking Stalin’s Nose, written and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin (Henry Holt).

 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children

  • Winner: A Ball for Daisy, illustrated and written by Chris Raschka (Schwartz & Wade Books).
  • Honor Books: Blackout, illustrated and written by John Rocco (Disney/Hyperion Books); Grandpa Green, illustrated and written by Lane Smith (Roaring Brook Press); and Me … Jane, illustrated and written by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown).

 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults

  • Winner: Where Things Come Back, written by John Corey Whaley (Atheneum Books for Young Readers).
  • Honor Books: Why We Broke Up, written by Daniel Handler, art by Maira Kalman (Little, Brown); The Returning, written by Christine Hinwood (Dial Books); Jasper Jones, written by Craig Silvey (Knopf); and The Scorpio Races, written by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press).

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults

  • Winner: Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans (Balzer + Bray).
  • Honor Book recipients: Eloise Greenfield, author of The Great Migration: Journey to the North, illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (Amistad); and Patricia C. McKissack, author of Never Forgotten, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon (Schwartz & Wade Books).

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

  • Winner: Shane W. Evans, illustrator and author of Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom (Roaring Brook Press).
  • Honor Book recipient: Kadir Nelson, illustrator and author of Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans (Balzar + Bray).

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

  • Winner: Diego Rivera: His World and Ours, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams Books for Young Readers).
  • Honor Books: The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred, illustrated by Rafael López, written by Samantha R. Vamos (Charlesbridge); and Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match /Marisol McDonald no combina, illustrated by Sara Palacios, written by Monica Brown (Children’s Book Press).

 Pura Belpré (Author) Award:

  • Winner: Under the Mesquite, written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall (Lee and Low Books).
  • Honor Books: Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck, written by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt); and Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller, written by Xavier Garza (Cinco Puntos Press).

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences:

  • Big Girl Small, by Rachel DeWoskin (FSG)
  • In Zanesville, by Jo Ann Beard (Little, Brown)
  • The Lover’s Dictionary, by David Levithan (FSG)
  • The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens, by Brooke Hauser (Free Press)
  • The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern (Doubleday) 
  • Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline (Crown Publishers)
  • Robopocalypse: A Novel, by Daniel H. Wilson (Doubleday)
  • Salvage the Bones, by Jesmyn Ward (Bloomsbury USA)
  • The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures, by Caroline Preston (Ecco)
  • The Talk-Funny Girl, by Roland Merullo (Crown Publishers)

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:

  • Winner: Tales for Very Picky Eaters, written and illustrated by Josh Schneider (Clarion Books).
  • Honor Books: I Broke My Trunk, written and illustrated by Mo Willems (Hyperion Books for Children); I Want My Hat Back, written and illustrated by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press); and See Me Run, written and illustrated by Paul Meisel (Holiday House). 

 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults, ages 12 - 18, each year:  

  • Winner: The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism & Treachery, written by Steve Sheinkin (Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press).
  • Finalists: Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science, written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos (Clarion Books); Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition, written by Karen Blumenthal (Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press); Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way), written by Sue Macy (National Geographic Children’s Books); and Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein, written by Susan Goldman Rubin (Charlesbridge).

The complete list of award winners can be found on the ALA website.