2016 ALA Youth Media Awards

Every year, ALA-in conjunction with ALSC and YALSA-announces the major awards for children’s literature-the ALA Youth Media Awards. The two most popular are the Newbery Medal and the Caldecott Medal, however these are only two of many prestigious awards.

Alex Awards
Given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
All Involved by Ryan Gattis
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Bones and All by Camille DeAngelis
Futuristic Violence and Fancy Suits by David Wong
Girl at War by Sara Novic
Half the World by Joe Abercrombie
Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton
Sacred Heart by Liz Suburbia
Undocumented: A Dominican Boy’s Odyssey from a Homeless Shelter to the Ivy League by Dan-el Padilla Peralta
The Unraveling of Mercy Louis by Keija Parssinen

Andrew Carnegie Medal
Honors the most outstanding video productions for children.
“That is NOT a Good Idea” produced by Weston Woods Studios, Inc.

Coretta Scott King Awards
Awarded to an African American author, illustrator, or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults, and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.
Author Winner:
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
Author Honors:
All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiley
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds
X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz
Illustrator Winner:
Trombone Shorty illustrated by Bryan Collier
Illustrator Honors:
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore illustrated by R. Gregory Christie.
Last Stop on market Street illustrated by Christian Robinson
Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:
Jerry Pinkney

John Newbery Medal
Awarded to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
Honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.
Jerry Pinkney

Margaret A. Edwards Award
Honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature.
David Levithan

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture
Announces the lecturer who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.
Jacqueline Woodson

Michael L. Printz Award
Award that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.
Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
Out of Darkness  by Ashley Hope Perez
The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick

Mildred L. Batchelder Award
Citation awarded to an American publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country.
The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy  by Beatrice Alemagna
Adam and Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld
Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village by Fang Suzhen
Written and Drawn by Henrietta by Liniers

Odyssey Award
Given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults.
The War that Saved My Life produced by Listening Library
Echo produced by Scholastic Audio/Paul R. Gagne

Pura Belpre Awards
Presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.
Author Winner:
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
Author Honors:
The Smoking Mirror by David Bowles
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
Illustrator Winner:
Drum Dream Girl illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Illustrator Honors:
My Tata’s Remedies illustrated by Antonio Castro L.
Mango, Abuela, and Me illustrated by Angela Dominguez
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

Randolph Caldecott Medal
Awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall
Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews and illustrated by Bryan Collier
Waiting by Kevin Henkes
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena and illustrated by Christian Robinson

Schneider Family Book Award
Honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
Winner (Ages 0-10): Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Ofosu Yeboah by Laurie Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls
Winner (Ages 11-13): Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Winner (Ages 13-18): The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
Awarded to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English.
Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh
Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans by Don Brown
The Boy Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip Hoose
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award
Given to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.
George by Alex Gino
Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak
Sex is a Funny Word: A Book about Bodies, Feelings, and YOU by Cory Silverberg & Fiona Smyth

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
Given to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States.
Don’t Throw it to Mo! by David A. Adler
A Pig, a Fox, and a Box by Jonathan Fenske
Supertruck by Stephen Savage
Waiting by Kevin Henkes

William C. Morris Award
Honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.
Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
Because You’ll Never Meet Me Leah Thomas
Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
Honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18).
Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War by Steve Sheinkin
Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
First Flight Around the World by Tim Grove
Symphony for the City of the Dead by M.T. Anderson
This Strange Wilderness: The Life and Art of John James Audubon by Nancy Plain


Attend QuasiCon 2016!

Who: All current and prospective LIS students, alumni and current library practitioners.  This event is hosted by the University of Michigan ALA Student Chapter.

What: “QuasiCon is an free annual, one-day conference devoted to discussing libraries that is hosted by the student chapter of the American Library Association at the University of Michigan School of Information. Librarians, information professionals with an interest in libraries, and graduate students gather from around southeast Michigan to exchange ideas about what libraries are, how they have changed, and how they will continue to evolve. QuasiCon combines traditional conference elements, such as panel discussions, presentations, and keynote speakers, with un-conference elements such as breakout sessions and brainstorms. QuasiCon welcomes a range of presentation formats, from traditional 20-minute presentations and panel discussions to brief “lightning talks” to technological demonstrations.”

When: Saturday, February 6, 2016 between 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Where: The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (specifically the North Quad Building)

Why: Network while learning about this year’s theme – “What Libraries Can Do For You”


If you are interested in this FREE event, please register using this link:


New Year’s Resolution: Become an Everyday Advocate

I was recently browsing the website for the Association for Library Service to Children when I came across a campaign called “Everyday Advocacy.” In an effort to increase advocacy, ALSC challenges youth librarians to complete weekly tasks in order to develop their advocacy skills through “Take Action Tuesday.” For example, the activity on November 17 was to write a thank-you note to one of your library advocates, because change does not occur without the support of your colleagues. The Take Action Tuesday activities are simple and don’t take a lot of time, so library professionals can easily participate. This series of challenges is a great way to build your advocacy skill-set, because advocacy is a foundational part of librarianship.

I believe that a vital part of being a youth librarian is committing yourself to meeting needs for all members of your community, which sometimes means taking action. The website has a page dedicated to sharing individual librarians’ advocacy stories, which range from developing a library collection for a school to hosting an event that promoted library services. Advocacy in youth services is particularly important, because a library’s youth department targets the entire family. The youth room is not just a place for children; many libraries offer parenting resources in addition to materials for kids.

The Everyday Advocacy website provides tons of resources for library professionals who want to increase their advocacy skills. It gives tips for starting conversations and spreading your message across different platforms. It also has a page with questions you can ask yourself while trying to become a more effective library advocate.

I normally don’t do New Year’s resolutions because they tend to fizzle out. But this year, I think I found something that’ll stick. In 2016, I will work on becoming an effective advocate not just for my library, but for all libraries.

New Internship @ the Novi Public Library

Emily Brush, Outreach Coordinator

At the end of August 2015, I left the Support Services department at the Novi Public Library to accept a Graduate Student Assistantship at Wayne State University. This was both an exciting opportunity and hard because I loved being a part of the Novi Library. I decided to volunteer in the Youth Services Department a couple of hours a week to stay connected and involved in the library. I enjoyed this time each week, helping the librarians to prepare program materials, assist with programs, and create displays. In November, an internship position was posted and I jumped at the opportunity! I was hired and began working in December. I am very excited to have this opportunity and look forward to providing reference service, planning and assisting with programming, collection development and management of the youth biographies, and presenting a new collection or program to the library.

My first program was a Ring in the New Year craft program. We prepared stations for creating funky construction paper hats decorated in pom-poms, sequins, and feathers, crafting cereal filled paper plate shakers, and fashioning firework rings. We also had two activity stations for the children to play at, Shape Hopscotch and Balloon Ping Pong.


I found the idea for the Shape Hopscotch on Pinterest from Housing a Forest. For this station, I created a sign which described the purpose and some suggestions for participation:

Shape Hopscotch

Practice gross motor skills, as well as color and shape recognition.

Here are some suggestions to help children make it through the shape maze or make up your own!

  • Hop from one side to the other only touching _______ (ex. Circles….Red)
  • One child calls out colors or shapes that the other child races to find.
  • Jump across the shapes following directions like…“jump 2 shapes to the right” or “jump 3 shapes forward and 2 shapes backward.”


I also found the Balloon Ping Pong idea on Pinterest. Several blogs have posted the same idea, some allowing children to decorate their paddles before playing the game. Since the children were already making three crafts at the program, I decided to make the paddles ahead of time. Keeping with the theme of colors from the Shape Hopscotch, I decided to create Balloon Ping Pong: The Color Edition. I made six different colored paddle sets with matching balloons. Some children observed the colors, but most just grabbed any paddle and balloon (which was just fine with me too!)


I am busy planning my first Family Storytime for the end of February (the theme will be owls.) Also, I am beginning a blog about my intern experiences at http://emilyvb25.wix.com/gigglebooks.  I am loving the internship so far!

AYSL December Book Club: Possible Caldecott Contenders

Aspiring Youth and School Librarians had our last meeting of the semester on the 14th of December. We had a lot of fun discussing some possible Caldecott Contenders, including The Marvels by Brian Selznick, The Night World by Mordicai Gerstein, Red by Michael Hall, and Winnie by Sally M. Walker and illustrated by Jonathan D. Voss.

We spent a lot of time comparing Brian Selznick’s books: The Marvels and The Invention of Hugo Cabret. We also discussed a common theme in The Marvels: finding a true home.

Our group of AYSL members in attendance seemed to think that The Night World might be aimed more at an adult audience than a young audience, while Red by Michael Hall would have been better if its illustrations weren’t quite so child-like. It was unanimous that Red had a great storyline, though.

We discussed both Winnie by Sally M. Walker and Finding Winnie by Lindsay Mattick. It was interesting that these books-which have such a similar plot base and story line-were published in 2015.

If you are interested in reading more possible Caldecott contenders, check out these sites:

And here are some more books by the authors we chose to discuss:
Brian Selznick
The Houdini Box
The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Mordicai Gerstein
You Can’t Have Too Many Friends
The First Drawing
How to Bicycle to the Moon to Plant Sunflowers
Dear Hot Dog: Poems about Everyday Stuff
Minifred Goes to School

Michael Hall
It’s an Orange Aardvark
Cat Tale
Perfect Square
My Heart is like a Zoo

Sally M. Walker
Marveling at Minerals

Caldecott and Newbery 2016 Predictions

One might guess that Youth Services Departments in public libraries across the United States are stirring with predictions for the prestigious Caldecott and the Newbery Medals.  Both awards came to be in the first decades of the twentieth-century (1922 and 1937, respectively) and are to encourage the production of creative and timely literature intended for young people.  The next set of winners will be announced on Monday, January 16, 2016 at the Midwinter Conference in Boston.  My two predictions (and favorite books of the year!) and notes on them are as follows.  Please feel free to share your predictions as comments!


Lenny & Lucy written by Philip K. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

What an utterly charming picture book!  It shares the tale of Peter, a child that moves into a new house that seemingly teeters on the darkest of all wildernesses.  In order to keep the depths of the woods at bay, he creates Lenny and Lucy.  Lenny is crafted from soft pillows and, his companion, Lucy, from giant puffs of leaves.  Along with his dog and the delightful neighbor girl, Peter helps Lenny and Lucy make their homes safe.  This multidimensional read is perfect for a preschool storytime.  It deals with the difficult concept of taking charge of one’s well-being and how an individual can rely on their pals in times of need and/or worry.


The War that Saved My Life written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

This novel has a new perspective on the Second World War (1939-1945), that of little nine-year-old Ada.  This young lady was kept completely isolated for her entire life.  Ada faces the trial of having a clubfoot and for this, her mother faces an incredible amount of shame and embarrassment.  But she wants to get out!–especially to attend school.    Rather sneakily, Ada follows her older brother, Jamie, out of London and into the arms of the warm Susan Smith.  Many English children had been evacuated from urban areas in order to survive the wartime atrocities.  Smith takes both of them in, and she provides Ada with a whole host of new experiences.  The reader is posed with challenging questions regarding whether Ada should return to her mother and what her future holds, in general.


Many librarians find the majority of the fun in making Caldecott and Newbery predictions rests in actually reading the different contenders, as well as debating their merits.  This is true for me, at least!