Coretta Scott King Awards 2015

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Some of the most eagerly awaited announcements during the ALA Youth Media Awards press conference are the Coretta Scott King Awards. This year, with all the discussion about diversity, anticipation was high about what would captivate the CSK jury. Would previously decorated authors and illustrators receive additional accolades to gild already outstanding bodies of work? […]

Review of Finding Audrey

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Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella Middle School, High School     Delacorte     287 pp. 6/15     978-0-553-53651-5     $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-553-53652-2     $10.99 Audrey wears dark glasses all of the time, “even in the house.” But it’s not out of excessive devotion to her movie-star namesake; it’s because she’s afraid. Of everyone. We learn, incompletely, that “some […]

Review of Little Bird’s Bad Word

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Little Bird’s Bad Word by Jacob Grant; illus. by the author Preschool     Feiwel     32 pp. 7/15     978-1-250-05149-3     $16.99 “*@?#%!” chirps Little Bird from the cover, piquing curiosity about what the bad word might be. Inside, Papa and Little Bird are flying home with a wriggly worm for lunch in tow. Then Papa accidentally drops lunch…and […]

Caldecott and Newbery 2015

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Handicapping the Newbery and Caldecott awards is a favorite pastime (blood sport?) among aficionados of books for children and teens. We gather in hallways, on blogs, around water coolers, to guess and argue and wonder. We postulate, some of us for twelve full months, until the ALA Midwinter meeting’s Youth Media Awards Press Conference when […]

2015 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA

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Mad, man! The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis No Printz for the princes The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett #WWBYD (What Would Baba Yaga Do?) Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire Slow and steady didn’t win the race The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Betsy Peterschmidt […]

Profile of 2015 Wilder Medal winner Donald Crews

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Looking back on my childhood, it is clear that my parents, Donald Crews and Ann Jonas Crews, gave my sister and me a visual education. They taught us to look at the world and shared with us their passion for visual and cinematic art. They taught us that the way something is presented is a […]

Review of Stonewall

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 Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum Middle School, High School     Viking     120 pp. 5/15     978-0-670-01679-2     $16.99 Bausum begins her history of the gay rights movement with a careful, detailed exposition of the June 1969 Stonewall riots, laying out the events leading up to the clash between the […]

Profile of 2015 Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander

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I laugh with my students…I hope never at…when they tell me they are having Writer’s Block…No Such Thing…I declare…that’s only a sign…of not enough knowledge…go do your research…and to me that’s the end…yet…I am having Writer’s Block…because I want so much…to write the perfect introduction…to one of the nicest young men I know Do I […]

Profile of 2015 Caldecott Medal winner Dan Santat

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Dan Santat is one of the hardest-working people in publishing. This is widely known among his followers on Twitter and Facebook, who often see him burning the midnight oil, and the editors and art directors at the several publishing houses with which he’s worked. This is obvious in the number of books that bear his […]

Review of Hit Count

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Hit Count by Chris Lynch High School   Algonquin   362 pp. 5/15   978-1-61620-250-7   $17.95   g e-book ed. 978-1-61620-490-7   $17.95 As a lowly freshman, junior varsity football player Arlo Brodie sets his future goals: varsity linebacker by sophomore year, then college ball for a Division One team, then the pros. After freshman year, Arlo works out like […]