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Children’s book awards announced today! January 14, 2008

Posted by sneaks in display topics.
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Local hero Laura Amy Schlitz (shown here speaking to her students at Park School) wins the big one – the NEWBERY MEDAL – for Good Masters, Sweet Ladies.

How amazing is that? She’s a librarian, she’s from Baltimore, her previous book, A Drowned Maiden’s Hair, was recognized only by the bloggers (it won the Cybil Award), and Good Masters, Sweet Ladies is a book of monologues (and two dialogues) that she wrote for her students at Park School to perform when they were studying medieval Europe. Whoa!

Elizabeth Bird, a librarian at New York Public Library’s Donnell Children’s Library and a member of the Newbery Committee, wrote a wonderful review of this extraordinary book back in May.

The rest of the awards list holds a few surprises and a few non-surprises.

On the surprising end was the announcement that The Invention of Hugo Cabret, illustrated by Brian Selznick, is the 2008 Caldecott Medal winner. Usually the Caldecott goes to an illustrated book for younger audiences, but The Invention of Hugo Cabret is a sophisticated work of illustrated fiction for middle-grade readers.

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And on the not-so-surprising end, once again, Mo Willems wins recognition, a Caldecott Honor for Knuffle Bunny Too and the Theodore Seuss Geisel Award for There is a Bird on Your Head! (the book that convinced my son that learning to read was a good idea). Also returning to the podium was Christopher Paul Curtis, who received the Coretta Scott King Award AND a Newbery Honor for Elijah of Buxton. Three of Christopher Paul Curtis’s six books have won major awards – not bad for an ex auto worker!

Hello, Bumblebee Bat, by my old co-workers Darrin Lunde and Patricia Wynne, of the American Museum of Natural History, was named a Geisel Honor Book.

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, written and illustrated by Peter Sís was awarded the Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children, in addition to being named a Caldecott Honor book.

Again, the whole list is on ALA’s web site.

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