The best books for kids, teens: The 2011 Newbery and Caldecott Medal winners

The American Library Association announced on Monday the 2011 John Newbery Medal and the Randolph Caldecott Medal. The Newbery Medal honors the most outstanding contribution in children’s literature and the Caldecott Medal honors for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

The ALA also announced more than 20 awards total for top books, video and audiobook for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

Moms print this puppy out or send the link to your smart phone so you will have it the next time you need to buy a child or teen a gift! Teachers add these books to your wish lists so parents can fill your shelves with the best books for young people!

From the American Library Association press release:

“A list of all the 2011 award winners follows:

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

“Moon over Manifest,” written by Clare Vanderpool, is the 2011 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Four Newbery Honor Books also were named:

“Turtle in Paradise,” by Jennifer L. Holm and published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.;

“Heart of a Samurai,” written by Margi Preus and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS;

“Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night,” written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and

“One Crazy Summer,” by Rita Williams-Garcia and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children

“A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” illustrated by Erin E. Stead, is the 2011 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Philip C. Stead, and is a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.

Two Caldecott Honor Books also were named:

“Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and

“Interrupting Chicken,” written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein and published by Candlewick Press.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults

“Ship Breaker,” written by Paolo Bacigalupi, is the 2011 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

Four Printz Honor Books also were named:

“Stolen,” by Lucy Christopher and published by Chicken House, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.;

“Please Ignore Vera Dietz,” by A.S. King and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.;

“Revolver,” by Marcus Sedgwick and published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; and

“Nothing,” by Janne Teller and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults

“One Crazy Summer,” written by Rita Williams-Garcia is the 2011 King Author Book winner. The book is published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Three King Author Honor Books were selected:

“Lockdown,” by Walter Dean Myers and published by Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;

“Ninth Ward,” by Jewell Parker Rhodes and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and

“Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty,” written by G. Neri, illustrated by Randy DuBurke and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults

“Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave,” illustrated by Bryan Collier, is the 2011 King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Laban Carrick Hill and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

One King Illustrator Honor Book was selected: “Jimi Sounds Like a Rainbow: A Story of the Young Jimi Hendrix,” illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, written by Gary Golio and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Author) Award

“Zora and Me,” written by Victoria Bond and T. R. Simon, is the 2011 Steptoe author winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent (Illustrator) Award

“Seeds of Change,” illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler, is the 2011 Steptoe illustrator winner. The book is written by Jen Cullerton Johnson and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime Achievement

Dr. Henrietta Mays Smith is the winner of the 2011 Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Practitioner Award for Lifetime achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton’s contributions through her literature and advocacy for children and youth.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

“The Pirate of Kindergarten,” written by George Ella Lyon, illustrated by Lynne Avril and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.

“After Ever After,” written by Jordan Sonnenblick and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13).

The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “Five Flavors of Dumb,” written by Antony John and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences

“The Reapers Are the Angels: A Novel,” by Alden Bell, published by Holt Paperbacks, a division of Henry Holt and Company, LLC

“The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel,” by Aimee Bender, published by Doubleday, a division of Random House, Inc.

“The House of Tomorrow,” by Peter Bognanni, published by Amy Einhorn Books, an imprint of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, a division of the Penguin Group

“Room: A Novel,” by Emma Donoghue, published by Little, Brown and Company a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

“The Vanishing of Katharina Linden: A Novel,” by Helen Grant, published by Delacorte, an imprint of The Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.

“The Radleys,” by Matt Haig, published by Free Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

“The Lock Artist,” by Steve Hamilton, published by Thomas Dunne Books for Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press

“Girl in Translation,” by Jean Kwok, published by Riverhead Books, an imprint of the Penguin Group

“Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard,” by Liz Murray, published by Hyperion

“The Boy Who Couldn’t Sleep and Never Had To,” by DC Pierson, published by Vintage Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video

Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods, producers of “The Curious Garden,” are the Carnegie Medal winners. The video is based on the book of the same name, written and illustrated by Peter Brown, and is narrated by Katherine Kellgren, with music by David Mansfield.

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The 2011 winner is Tomie dePaola, author and illustrator of over 200 books, including: “26 Fairmont Avenue” (Putnam, 1999), “The Legend of the Poinsettia” (Putnam, 1994), “Oliver Button Is a Sissy” (Harcourt, 1979) and “Strega Nona” (Prentice-Hall, 1975).

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.

Sir Terry Pratchett is the 2011 Edwards Award winner. His books include: “The amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents,” “The Wee Free Men,” and “A Hat Full of Sky” published by HarperCollins Children’s Books; and “The Color of Magic,” “Guards! Guards!,” “Equal Rites,” “Going Postal,” “Small Gods,” and “Mort” all published by HarperCollins Publishers.

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site

Peter Sís will deliver the 2012 lecture. Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia, in 1949, Sís attended the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague and the Royal College of Art in London. He has lived in the United States since 1982. Sís was awarded the 2008 Robert F. Sibert Medal and has illustrated three Caldecott Honor books.  Sís’ work is admired throughout the world, and in 2003 he was named MacArthur Fellow, an honor bestowed by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a language other than English and subsequently published in the United States

“A Time of Miracles” is the 2011 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in French in 2009 as “Le Temps des Miracles,” the book was written by Anne-Laure Bondoux, translated by Y. Maudet, and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Two Batchelder Honor Books also were selected: “Departure Time,” published by Namelos, written by Truus Matti and translated by Nancy Forest-Flier; and

“Nothing,” published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, written by Janne Teller and translated by Martin Aitken.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States

“The True Meaning of Smekday,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of Random House Audio Publishing Group, is the 2011 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Adam Rex and narrated by Bahni Turpin.

Four Odyssey Honor Recordings also were selected:

“Alchemy and Meggy Swann,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Karen Cushman and narrated by Katherine Kellgren;

“The Knife of Never Letting Go,” produced by Candlewick on Brilliance Audio, an imprint of Brilliance Audio, written by Patrick Ness and narrated by Nick Podehl;

“Revolution,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Jennifer Donnelly and narrated by Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering; and

“will grayson, will grayson,” produced by Brilliance Audio, written by John Green and David Levithan, and narrated by MacLeod Andrews and Nick Podehl.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award honoring a Latino writer whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

“The Dreamer,” written by Pam Muñoz Ryan, is the 2011 Belpré Author Award winner. The book is illustrated by Peter Sís and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

Three Belpré Author Honor Books were named:

¡Olé! Flamenco,” written and illustrated by George Ancona and published by Lee & Low Books Inc.;

“The Firefly Letters: A Suffragette’s Journey to Cuba,” written by Margarita Engle and published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC;  and

“90 Miles to Havana,” written by Enrique Flores-Galbis and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

“Grandma’s Gift,” illustrated and written by Eric Velasquez, is the 2011 Belpré Illustrator Award winner.  The book is published by Walker Publishing Company, Inc., a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.

Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books for illustration were selected:

“Fiesta Babies,” illustrated by Amy Córdova, written by Carmen Tafolla and published by Tricycle Press, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc.;

“Me, Frida,” illustrated by David Diaz, written by Amy Novesky and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS;

“Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children

“Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot,” written by Sy Montgomery, is the 2011 Sibert Award winner. The book features photographs by Nic Bishop and is published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

Two Sibert Honor Book were named:

“Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring,” written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Brian Floca, a Neal Porter Book, published by Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing;

“Lafayette and the American Revolution,” written by Russell Freedman and published by Holiday House.

Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award

“Almost Perfect,” written by Brian Katcher, published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc. is the winner of the 2011 Stonewall Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award. The award is given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered experience.

Four honor books were selected:

“will grayson, will grayson,” written by John Green and David Levithan and published by Dutton Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.;

“Love Drugged,” written by James Klise and published by Flux, an imprint of Llewellyn Worldwide Ltd.;

“Freaks and Revelations,” written by Davida Willis Hurwin and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and

“The Boy in the Dress,” written by David Walliams, illustrated by Quentin Blake and published by Penguin Young Readers Group.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book

“Bink and Gollie,” written by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee and illustrated by Tony Fucile is the 2011 Seuss Award winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

Two Geisel Honor Books were named:

“Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same!” written and illustrated by Grace Lin and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and

“We Are in a Book!” written and illustrated by Mo Willems and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens

“The Freak Observer,” written by Blythe Woolston is the 2011 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Carolrhoda Lab, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.

Four other books were finalists for the award:

“Hush,” by Eishes Chayil and published by Walker Publishing Company, a division of Bloomsbury Publishing, Inc.;

“Guardian of the Dead,” by Karen Healey and published by Little, Brown and Company/Hachette Book Group;

“Hold Me Closer, Necromancer,” by Lish McBride and published by Henry Holt; and

“Crossing the Tracks,” by Barbara Stuber and published by Margaret McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults during a November 1 – October 31 publishing year.

“Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing,” written by Ann Angel, is the 2011 Excellence winner. The book is published by Amulet/Abrams.

Four other books were finalists for the award:

“They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group,” by Susan Campbell Bartoletti and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt;

“Spies of Mississippi:  The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement,” by Rick Bowers and published by National Geographic Society;

“The Dark Game: True Spy Stories,” by Paul Janeczko and published by Candlewick Press; and

“Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates,” by Jill Rubalcaba and Peter Robertshaw and published by Charlesbridge.

For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit the ALA website at www.ala.org.”

Are you familiar with any of these books? Are there any that you like in particular? Do you value these types of lists of good literature?

15 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

January 11th, 2011
12:19 pm

LOVE LOVE LOVE BOOKS! I have read hundreds to children and own probably a thousand.
There are a few on this list I would like to check out!

KUDOS TO ANYONE WHO CAN GET A BOOK PUBLISHED AND AN AWARD TO BOOT!

I have found, that some books with lofty awards are not that fun to read. I thought it was just me but then I have mentioned to other early educators and media specialists too. Folks can be awesome writers or even superb illustrators but have never sat down and shared any book with a child.
Do those who judge the books try them out with kids first?

One thing I always tell my clients…already today I mentioned this to a potential client in Texas…
the songs and fingerplays I write…I USE ( in the classroom) and I know the teachers and children will love them. As many here know, I am all about experiencing your level of expertise.

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K-5 Media Specialist

January 12th, 2011
11:15 am

I agree with the previous comment about judges not reading these books to children. The stories and illustrations may bwe wonderful, but for K-5 students they’re too long. Who reads these to a younger audience before votes are cast?

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April

January 12th, 2011
3:11 pm

I am a sixth grade teacher, and I make sure to read the Newbery winners every year. I usually love them, but find that they are often not favorites of my students. They are often not “fun reads”. The plots are often more complicated and require a bit more introspection and thought than the average twelve year old wants to put into a book. They also deal with some pretty heavy subjects.
It frustrates me because they are wonderful books, but I think that the judges confuse having a adolescent protagonist with appealing to adolescent readers. The books are often meaningful to me because I can relate them to my own childhood or to the events happening to my students now. The students are not yet mature enough to recognize these stories as relating to their own lives.

HB

January 12th, 2011
4:20 pm

Should the winners really be those books most appealing or fun to the greatest number of children, though? If you grabbed 25 average adults (say, the older equivalent of an elementary public school class), I’m betting most would find People magazine or romance novels more appealing than say, a Faulkner novel, but does that mean they are more deserving of Pulitzers than an amazingly written novel that requires more of an effort to read than most of the public is willing to make? The Newbery Medal’s purpose is “To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children’s reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field.” Personally, I think encouraging and rewarding the creation of what some might call “high-minded” literature for children is a good thing even if it’s not the first thing kids will choose to grab off the shelf.

I love books!

January 15th, 2011
3:24 pm

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