Posted tagged ‘American Library Association’

A Bevy of Winners

January 24, 2012

The wait is over. The American Library Association announced the 2012 Youth Media Award winners yesterday. Wow! Wow! Wow! Such wonderful books! Such surprises!

It’s always exciting to see who the winners are. In my “Anticipation” post, I blogged about my choices for the Caldecott and Newbery. Although none of my choices won the top prize, I was happy to see Inside Out and Back Again written by Thanhha Lai was a Newbery Honor Book, and Blackout written and illustrated by John Rocco and Me … Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell were Caldecott Honor Books. Me … Jane also won the Charlotte Zolotow Award.

Another impressive book I was pleased to see win an award was Balloons over Broadway:  The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade written by Melissa Sweet. It won the Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book for children.

Browsing through the list of winners tells me I have a lot of great books to read. There’s no time to lose. I’m off to the library to see which books I can pick up. Ta, ta for now!

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Anticipation

January 10, 2012

The American Library Association Midwinter Meeting is quickly approaching. Do you know what that means? The ALA will announce the Youth Media Awards. I can’t wait to hear who all the winners are, but my two favorite awards are the Caldecott and the Newbery.

There are so many excellent books out there. Choosing is difficult. I’m not an expert, but I know what I like. Here are some of my choices.

For the Caldecott Medal:  A colorful group.

Blue Chicken written and illustrated by Deborah Freedman (Viking Juvenile, September 2011)

Blackout written and illustrated by John Rocco (Hyperion Book CH, May 2011)

Red Sled by Lita Judge (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, November 2011)

Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat written and illustrated by Philip C. Stead (Roaring Brook Press, June 2011)

Me … Jane written and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, April 2011)

For the Newbery Medal: 

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart written by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade, February 2011)

The Mostly True Story of Jack written by Kelly Barnhill (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, August 2011)

Inside Out and Back Again written by Thanhha Lai (HarperCollins, February 2011)

Okay for Now written by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books, April, 2011)

Bigger than a Bread Box written by Laurel Snyder (Random House Books for Young Readers, September 2011)

Will one of these books be an award winner or will the selection committee surprise us all?  What do you think?

 

 

Banned!

September 27, 2011

“Books won’t stay banned. They won’t burn. Ideas won’t go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only weapon against bad ideas is better ideas.”  ─Alfred Whitney Griswold, New York Times, 24 February 1959

From board books to YA books, I love children’s books. It’s a wonderful thing to be able to go to a library and find that one special book I’m dying to read – unless it’s been pulled from the shelf because someone has deemed it inappropriate. So when Banned Books Week comes along, I’m on the band wagon to stop that from happening!

According the American Library Association there are four reasons people challenge books:  Family Values, Religion, Political Views, and Minority Rights. We are all guaranteed the freedom to express ourselves by rights of the First Amendment. If someone doesn’t like a book for a certain reason, that’s fine, but, please, don’t push your views on others. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions.

An author puts heart and soul into a book. Words are chosen carefully. The author sees something special in the subject matter, and that’s why it’s written. There may be some people who see the subject matter and word choice as inappropriate, but that doesn’t make it wrong. Consider this. Books that are unsettling are ripe for teachable moments. If you don’t agree with the content, use these books to teach tolerance, to teach good choices, to teach acceptable behavior, and to inform children about different lifestyles. Never hide the truth.    

Here are just a few reasons some books have been banned – racial slurs, immoral behavior, profanity, sexuality, alcohol use, and witchcraft. For some people, these appear to be good reasons to challenge a book or ban a book, but the reasons listed below boggle my mind.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen:  Descriptions of injuries are to vivid (Ah, to be able to do that as a writer.)

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh:  Deceit and back talk (Don’t all kids do that at some time or another?)

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig:  Illustrations shows police as pigs (So?)

Just So Stories: “The Elephant’s Child:” Too violent (Smack me! This is a great read-aloud story. Kids love it!)

Little Red riding Hood retold and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman:  Cover illustration shows wine in Red’s basket (I’ll take a sip!)

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak:  Bad behavior and nightmares (Isn’t that a part of growing up?)

Of course, there are many more books that have been challenged or banned for reasons I consider inane. This is Banned Books Week. Celebrate the freedom to read the books of your choice.  

“Every burned book or house enlightens the world; every suppressed or expunged word reverberates through the earth from side to side.” —Ralph Waldo Emerson


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