Friday, January 30, 2009

2009 ALA Awards Announced

The American Library Association announced the 2009 award-winning books on Monday. Thanks to modern technology, I watched the live webcast from the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. It was so much fun to hear the book titles announced and hear the response from the crowd of librarians. For a list of winners, click here.

The most famous awards are the Caldecott (illustrator’s award for most outstanding picture book), the Newbery (most outstanding contribution to children’s literature), and the Coretta Scott King Awards (outstanding books by African-American authors and illustrators). By listening to the presentation, I learned more about the other awards presented. A new award this year was the William C. Morris Young Adult Debut Award. The winner was A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce, a retelling of the fairy tale, Rumpelstiltskin.

Long and loud applause seemed to erupt after the following awards were announced:

We Are The Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson (Coretta Scott King Author Award)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian written and narrated by Sherman Alexie (Odyssey Award for best audio book for children or YA)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (John Newbery Medal)

After the recent discussions on whether books awarded the Newbery are actually for kids or just to please teachers and librarians, a book about a boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard is this year’s winner. Do you think the committee was thinking of teachers and librarians with this one or the audience of readers?


Shauna Roberts said...

I didn't realize the Graveyard Book was for kids. I was thinking of getting that for myself because it sounded so weird. I guess one of my nephews will get it instead. . . . . Or maybe I'll still get it for me and pass it on as a hand-me-down.

Rae Ann Parker said...

SHAUNA, you should get it for yourself and pass it on to your nephew. Don't let an age-graded label stop you from enjoying children's literature!