Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Look at the 2012 ALA Awards

CONGRATULATIONS to INKsters Roz Schanzer, Steve Sheinkin, and Sue Macy whose birthdays came early this year!

Every January brings a second birthday to a chosen few children's authors – with perhaps the best presents ever. That's when ALA announces the Oscars of our profession. Monday was that day.

The Newbery and Caldicott awards top the list - literally and status-ly. Finding a nonfiction

book in these lists is rare indeed, but this year we snagged a…

• Caldicott honor for Patrick O’Donnell’s Me…Jane, a picture book biography of Jane Goodall.

See my review here.


We scored big time in the Coretta Scott King awards.

• Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans won the gold medal for text and a silver for illustration.

If you include poetry in our camp, we won two silvers:

• Eloise Greenfield and Jan Spivey Gilchirst for The Great Migration: Journey to the North

Patricia McKissack and Leo and Diane Dillon for Never Forgotten. This is an original folktale told in verse and I’m going to claim it for nonfiction, just because I want to!


In our own category – the Robert F. Sibert International Book Awards – we find

wondrous variety. The gold medal went to a picture book,

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade by author/illustrator Melissa Sweet.

The silver honor awards went to…..

Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene ‘Bull’ Connor, by Larry Dane Brimner, a middle grade photo-illustrated book;

Drawing from Memory by Allen Say, a middle grade illustrated autobiography;

• The Elephant Scientist, a Scientist in the Field series book, with text and photos by Caitlin O’Connell, along with co-author Donna M. Jackson and co-photographer Timothy Rodwell;

Witches! The Absolutely True Tale of Disaster in Salem, a middle grade illustrated book by our own inimitable Rosalyn Schanzer.

YALSA Awards…

…. for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults - and the Gretchen Woelfle awards for the most engaging subtitles:

The 2012 Excellence winner is Steve Sheinkin, erstwhile INK blogger, for The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, and Treachery.

Finalists were

• INK’s Sue Macy with Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Ties Along the Way.)

Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos for Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science

• Karen Blumenthal and Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition.

• Susan Goldman Rubin and Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein.

Total tally:

14 books, 15 medals - 3 gold; 12 silver (2 for Nelson’s book)

2 illustrated picture books

5 middle grade illustrated books

6 books with photos

1 unillustrated book

And –

1 autobiography

1 folk tale

5 biographies (including one biography/science book)

7 history books

Award-winners covered American history (both white and African American,) world history, women’s history, and music. Judges leaned toward biography this year, with science getting rather short shrift. I wonder why. Nevertheless we’ve got some fabulous books to teach from and enjoy.

Congratulations to all the winners – and to their editors, book designers, and illustrators!


Sue Macy said...

Great wrap-up, Gretchen. As I listened to the announcements, I was trying to keep track of the nonfiction. You saved me the trouble of going back to count. It's a rich list, but I wish Amelia Lost was somewhere in there as well.

Karen Beil said...

Many terrific books, but you're right, Sue, Amelia Lost was missing. It should have been there. Hopefully readers will cast their votes in book sales.

Sandy Brehl said...

Congratulations to all, and to non-fiction in particular. I agree Amelia Lost was overlooked, but I hope enough people comment on that to generate renewed interest.
I was so excited to see Kadir Nelson recognized for both text and illustration, both so well-deserved.
Thanks for a great round up.

Jennifer said...

i really truly definitely absolutely without a doubt have to get the schanzer book for my classroom. my kids are on this serious "scary stuff" kick and i feel like the salem witch trials would fit right in.

Loreen Leedy said...

Congrats to all, woohoo!