ALA Awards 2015: Horn Book reviews of the winners

santat_adventures of beekle     alexander_crossover
The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Kwame Alexander and Dan Santat on February 2, 2015, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Chicago. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of the Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré, Michael L. Printz, Robert F. Sibert, and Mildred L. Batchelder awards and several other major honors. Follow the links below for more information about all the winning titles, including in many cases their reviews in The Horn Book Magazine or The Horn Book Guide.

Newbery Medal
Caldecott Medal
Belpré Award (Author and Illustrator)
Coretta Scott King Awards (Author and Illustrator)
Printz Award
Sibert Award
Batchelder Award

Additional ALA awards
Alex, Arbuthnot, Carnegie, Edwards, Geisel, Hamilton, Morris, Odyssey, Schneider, Steptoe, Stonewall, Wilder, and YALSA Nonfiction awards

ALSC Notable Children's Books list

Best Fiction for Young Adults list
Horn Book
Horn Book
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Mrs. EFC

What startles me concerning the question "how are these books for the Newbery and Caldecott Book Awards outside of the mainstream?" The book and author might be judged, from a Conservative, Liberal, Religious view that considers the book selected as out of the groups point of view. Perhaps readers of this column think that decisions to choose books out of the mainstream are a type of genre which encompasses different parts of the country behaviors or lifestyles that are not necessarily understood by those outside of the area or even interested in that style of writing. Certainly exposure to new or differing life styles or type of book should be determined by the committee, yet, the popularity of the genre will be determined by those who buy and or read the book. Children, y/a or adults... ATK

Posted : Feb 13, 2015 11:40

Sam Juliano

BROWN GIRL not winning the Newbery (though it it did of course win one of the Honors) was a major surprise I would think.

Posted : Feb 02, 2015 07:02


Most of the winners (including honor books) as well as Edwards, Ingalls and Arbuthnot, were so outside the mainstream, as to risk alienating those who are truly buying, checking out and reading the award books and related media. I still feel in shock. I am of the opinion the criteria for the awards and honors cannot have been followed to the letter, and certainly violated the spirit of what were once the most prestigious distinctions in children's literature and for ALA. And so it goes.

Posted : Feb 02, 2015 07:02

Sam Juliano

I feel quite the opposite. If anything the prestige of the awards was bolstered by committees that forged their own paths, staying well within the parameters of the individual qualification specifications. This year's awards were among the greatest ever, and I can't applaud the committees enough. CSK was dead on with the exception of A DANCE LIKE STARLIGHT absent; Sibert was pitch-perfect; the Caldecott committee moved mountains like never before; tough to take issues with the smaller Newbery line-up. No, this was a year to celebrate for sure. :)

Posted : Feb 02, 2015 07:02


Violet - I'm having trouble seeing what's "so outside the mainstream, as to risk alienating those who are truly buying, checking out and reading the award books and related media" about winners such as Donald Crews and Sharon Draper, not to mention the winning books for the Caldecott (a truly child-friendly story) and the Newbery (The Crossover has been very popular in the basketball-crazy place I live). Can you elaborate how these books/artists/writers are outside of the mainstream? Many of these books have been very well received by patrons and staff at the small, Midwestern library where I work, so I'm trying to figure out where you're coming from.

Posted : Feb 02, 2015 07:02


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