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

The Querying Writer: Part II

Dear Kim,


Remember that letter I sent you way back in October? (You remember October-- back when all things seemed possible.) 





The letter, COMP TITLES and THE QUERYING WRITER, shared details from our Novel Nuts & Bolts class with Empire Literary Agent Carrie Howland. (I may have referred to her as "agent-extraordinaire" in another post.)

Though today's post will be my third about Carrie, it is titled "Part II" because my querying journey seems sequel worthy.







I started looking for an agent soon after you and I met at the NYC SCBWI conference in 2012. I had nice feedback from an agent at a conference and sent him my work. His response was kind (which I've found most responses from agents to be.) But my writing wasn’t ready. The novel he saw was the first I’d ever finished. I wasn't ready.

I swallowed that little voice that said, SEND! SEND! SEND! for two more years until I entered #PitchWars-- Brenda Drake’s crash course in pitching. In the years between t…

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…

BOOK REVIEW: Starr Fall & BOOK RELEASE: Once & Forever

Dear Alison,

Goodbye January, Hello February! Last week, I let everyone peak in my drawers.  Today, I'm opening my inbox. Well, not literally. You DO NOT want to see my inbox--though I do try to keep all the accounts very tidy--sometimes the emails get a bit, what's the word I'm looking for? Expansive. My favorite emails are from fans. I LOVE them. They make me all warm and fuzzy. Seriously, touch my arm...

See? Warm and Fuzzy. Oh, wait those are my doggies;)

While, I ADORE the fan mail (I DO, I REALLY DO) I would LOVE them even more if they were added as a review to AMAZON and GOODREADS. For instance, look at some of these reviews:


Must Read!!!, January 31, 2017 By  Kelly

This review is from: Starr Fall: Book One of the Starr Fall Series (Kindle Edition) Purchased this book for my 14 year old daughter who is NOT a fan of reading for pleasure or at all for that matter. Well, the book immediately grabbed her attention. In her words..."I can't put this book down. I ne…