This is the season for awards. The Grammys, the Oscars, but most thrilling of all, the ALA YMAs. What is that you ask? They are American Library Association Youth Media Awards, and they were announced this past Monday.
The oldest of these awards are the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature and the Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.
The 2017 Newbery winner is The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill. Is about Luna, whose magical
abilities are emerging, who was raised in the forest by a witch, a swamp monster, and a dragon, but when a young man from the Protectorate is determined to kill the witch, Luna must use her magic to protect her family.
Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat,” illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe is the 2017 Caldecott Medal winner and also the winner of the 2017 Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award. The book presents the life of the artist, who was inspired as a child by a book of anatomy given to him by his mother after being injured in a car crash.
The 2017 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent affirms new talent and offers visibility for excellence in writing and/or illustration at the beginning of a career as a published African-American creator of children’s books. This year’s winner is Nicola Yoon for “The Sun Is Also a Star”. Is about Natasha, whose family is hours away from being deported, and Daniel, a first generation Korean American who strives to live up to his parents’ expectations, unexpectedly fall in love and must determine which path they will choose in order to be together.
The complete list of winners and honorees is available here. Take a look to see which of these honored books you might enjoy sharing with your children.