Wednesday, February 4, 2015

2015 ALA Youth Media Awards

On Monday, February 2, the American Library Association (ALA) announced its Youth Media Awards.  These are a number of awards for books and other media (such as audiobooks and videos) given annually in January or early February - check out the link above for a list of the winners.

Two of the award winners are also on the Texas Bluebonnet Award reading list for 2015-2016, and are already available in both the Dick Smith Library in Stephenville and in the Texan Hall Library in the Hickman Building in Fort Worth.  Many of the other winners, including all of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert winners and honor books, have now been ordered for the Dick Smith Library, and should be available for checkout in a few weeks.

The Right Word:  Roget and His Thesaurus, won the 2015 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for the most distinguished informational book for children.  It was also named as an Honor Book (a runner-up) for the 2015  Randolph Caldecott Medal, which "honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished American picture book for children."  It also received a 2015 National Council of Teachers of English Orbis Pictus Honor Book designation, for outstanding nonfiction for children. Jen Bryant (a previous winner of the Schneider Family Book Award, another ALA award, last year; a Charlotte Zolotow Award Honor Book designation in 2009; and the Orbis Pictus Award last year) was inspired to write about Peter Mark Roget (1779-1869) when she accidentally picked up an early edition of his Thesaurus instead of the novel she'd planned to read on a road trip.  This picture book biography features watercolor, collage, and mixed media illustrations by Melissa Sweet, a previous winner of the Sibert Award (in 2012) and a Caldecott honoree (in 2009, for A River of Words, written by Jen Bryant).

 A runner-up for this year's Sibert Award was Separate is Never Equal:  Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation.  This picture book is about the little-known school desegregation case in California that preceded the more famous 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education case by seven years.  This book was also named a 2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book, given to "Latino/Latina ... illustrator[s] whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth."  The author and illustrator of this book, Duncan Tonatiuh, won the latter award in 2012 and had honor books named in 2011 and 2014.  His books also won the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children’s Book Award in 2012 and 2014.  His artwork is inspired by ancient Mexican art, particularly that of the Mixtec writing system.  

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