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2017 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win. Grounded The Airport Book by Lisa Brown Before Morning by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Beth Krommes Left at the altar The Best Man by Richard Peck Some oversight! Some Writer! by Melissa Sweet Alternative facts? The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge Not […]

2016 in Review: The Year in Pictures: Somehow Still Beautiful

His drawings are not neat or clean, nor does he color inside the lines. They are sloppy, ugly, and sometimes weird, but somehow still beautiful. —from Radiant Child by Javaka Steptoe At the end of each year, I take a step back to reflect upon the latest crop of picture books to see if any […]

2016 in Review: The Year in Words

For fans of children’s literature, social media has enabled a community of kindred spirits to collectively speculate about what might win the year’s biggest awards at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards — which determine the cream of the crop, the most excellent books, the most distinguished contributions to literature. The excitement that starts […]

BGHB at 50: Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, illus. by Marla Frazee

Clementine, a 2007 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction and Poetry, is a 136-page master class in characterization. Sure, its protagonist is a spunky girl in the grand tradition of spunky girls. But just look at how much we learn about her — at how much is specific to her — beyond the usual […]

See You in Chicago by CSK Author Award co-winner Andrew Aydin

Editor’s note: The 2017 Coretta Scott King Author Award acceptance speeches for March: Book Three by coauthors John Lewis and Andrew Aydin that we would normally publish in this issue were not available at press time. John Lewis and Andrew Aydin are scheduled to deliver their acceptances at the CSK Breakfast in Chicago on June […]

Profile of 2017 Caldecott Medal and CSK Illustrator Award winner Javaka Steptoe by Azure Thompson

When I first met Javaka, he was on year two of his six-year journey to the birth of Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, a book that we now know begins: “Somewhere in Brooklyn, between hearts that thump, double Dutch, and hopscotch and salty mouths that slurp sweet ice, a little boy […]

To Know Nikki Grimes Is to Know an Artist: Profile of 2017 Wilder Award winner Nikki Grimes by Junko Yokota

With the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, ALA’s Association of Library Services to Children celebrates Nikki Grimes for her lifetime contribution as a poet and novelist. From Danitra Brown to Dyamonde Daniel and more, Grimes has created characters in which diverse child readers can see themselves reflected. Who is the person behind the poetry and novels? […]

Profile of 2017 Newbery Medal winner Kelly Barnhill by Karlyn Coleman

Kelly Barnhill is magic. Once, when she and I were walking our bounding black dogs in the woods along the Mississippi River, she began to tell a story, and I swear the giant cottonwood trees leaned in, the mighty river slowed, and the dogs trotted closer to her side so that they could hear her […]

2017 CSK–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance by Rudine Sims Bishop

Good morning. Thank you to the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Jury. This award is very special to me. I thank you for choosing me and thereby placing me alongside honorees such as star librarians Dr. Henrietta Smith and Deborah D. Taylor. It is an extraordinary constellation to be a part of, […]

A Lifeline Called Hope: 2017 Wilder Medal Acceptance by Nikki Grimes

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” That is one of my favorite verses of scripture, largely because of the word hoped. I’ve long had a fascination with words, and the word with the deepest resonance for me is hope. The journey that brought me to this moment […]