Skip to main content

#ALAMW17 Caldecott and Printz Predictions

Dear Kim,

Focus on books.
Focus on books.
Look to ALA and focus on books.

That's my mantra today. Does it work for you too?

ALA Midwinter is a hive of book buzz right now with just a few days until the announcements of the annual ALA Youth Media awards.
From http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/presskits/ymapk

It is an exciting time for the children's book world as we await to see if our favorites will wear foil seals. Award committees may miss one or two of our favorites, but overwhelmingly do a nice job of highlighting the very best in children's literature each year. 

What a task serving on such a committee must be, equal parts heavy responsibility and utter joy. I'm always pleased when the committees help me find new books to love, like Dan Santat's BEEKLE or THIS ONE SUMMER by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki. Both were so far from my radar. So I say, THANK YOU, COMMITTEES for bringing them to me!

I don't read enough middle grade to predict the Newbery (though, as last year pointed out, middle grade isn't a shoe-in for the Newbery.) I read both MAYBE A FOX and PAX this year and think they could both be real contenders. 

I'd love to sit and chat predictions all day...

Stonewall. 💜
Alex. ❤
Geisel. 💝

But for now I made predictions in just two groups: Caldecott and the Printz.

Let's start with the Michael L. Printz Award. 

See what I did there?
The Printz Committee's Charge:
Select from the previous year's publications the best young adult book ("best" being defined solely in terms of literary merit) and, if the Committee so decides, as many as four Honor Books. 


So many incredible YA books this year. (The same could be said for last year, right? And the committee did the crazy task of narrowing the field to two honors: OUT OF DARKNESS and THE GHOSTS OF HEAVEN, and the winner: BONE GAP.) I know the new committee will bring forward the best from 2016. Maybe a few from my list will make the cut...



BURN BABY BURN by Meg Medina
WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore
ANOTHER BROOKLYN by Jacqueline Woodson
MARCH: BOOK THREE by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell (more on this one later!)

There were many excellent books this year but based on the committee's criteria for selection ("best") and the NEED for these specific books to be on every reading list for teen readers across the country, these are my four with a strong push for BURN BABY BURN as the medal winner.


And now...


The Caldecott Medal

The criteria for this award is exhaustive, yet somehow committees do an astonishing job of weighing illustrations in mounds of picture books each year. I've embedded a link to the terms for the Caldecott here. The first point being:

Identifying a “distinguished American picture book for children,” defined as illustration, committee members need to consider:
  1. Excellence of execution in the artistic technique employed;
  2. Excellence of pictorial interpretation of story, theme, or concept;
  3. Appropriateness of style of illustration to the story, theme or concept;
  4. Delineation of plot, theme, characters, setting, mood or information through the pictures;
  5. Excellence of presentation in recognition of a child audience.
I would love to see a few of the following titles honored this year:



THEY ALL SAW A CAT by Brendan Wenzel
GIANT SQUID by Candy Fleming, illustrated by Eric Rohmann
SNOW WHITE by Matt Phelan
RADIANT CHILD by Javaka Steptoe
MARCH: BOOK THREE by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
SOME WRITER by Melissa Sweet
SCHOOL'S FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson
THUNDER BOY JR. by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales 
BE A FRIEND by Salina Yoon
ARE WE THERE YET? by Dan Santat

I can't wait to celebrate alongside all of my fellow book lovers when the announcements are made on Monday (watch here). And know this, I only aspire to be on one of these prestigious committees. The predictions I've made above are really just books that I adore and they happen to fit the criteria of said committees. 

But it's fun to dream, isn't it?

Much love,
Alison


Popular posts from this blog

School Visit Recap: Assemblies to Workshops, and the CONVERSATIONS in between

Dear Kim (and friends),

This morning I put away my rainbow superhero mask, gold top hat, and banana-on-a-stick. Few things are sadder than closing your banana-on-a-stick into a dark closet. But, I guess it will rise again next month for my next school visit.

Oh, you thought my collection was somehow Halloween related? No, no. Just part of the workshop portion of my school visits. For the past two weeks I had the privilege of speaking to, and then with, students from one of our nearby districts.



Dwight Smith, the founder of My Special Word, joined me for the assembly portion of the event. We were able to share with the children Dwight's vision for the program, as well as my process for writing the books for him.

There was music. Lots of it.
Some singing. (Would you expect any less?)
And shouting! (Mostly the kids, but I got a few words in too.)



We met with over 800 kids during the assemblies and got a sense for how the school district planned to use My Special Word. I'll say,
w…

YA Scavenger Hunt: Kim Briggs hosting May Freighter

Welcome to YA Scavenger Hunt! This bi-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus material from their favorite authors...and a chance to win some awesome prizes! At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one book from each author on the hunt in my team!But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!

Go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page to find out all about the hunt. There are eight contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I'm on the PINK TEAM--but there is also a red team, an orange team, a gold team, a green team, a teal team, a blue team, and a purple team for a chance to win a whole different set of books!
If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the auth…

INTERVIEW with Juliana Spink Mills, Author of The Blade Hunt Chronicles

Dear Alison and friends,
Today, I am excited. I mean REALLY excited, because well, I got to hangout with my writer buddy Juliana Spink Mills via the modern way: email/twitter/IG/FB. Juliana and I met at the NYSCBWI conference a few years back and have been friends every since. Juliana has been a much better friend to me than I've been to her this past year, but my resolution for 2018 is to rid myself of some of the extra responsibilities (stay tuned for details) and focus on what's really important supporting my community and that includes my writing community and the most important components of my writing community other than my readers are my writer friends.


So Juliana, when did you start writing?
Although I’ve always liked messing around with words, I didn’t start writing ‘for real’ until I turned 40 and told myself to stop procrastinating.
Sounds like 40 was the kick in the ass you needed. I just gave myself a strict deadline to finish my current WIP by January 1st. Deadline…