I may say this every year, but it always seems true: It has been a good year for children’s books. As usual, I am more excited about the Youth Media Awards announcement on Monday than I am about the Academy Awards or the Grammy’s or any other honor. Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, etc. These are the awards that matter in my world.
There are so many great picture books this year, but there are two, in particular, that I really want to be honored in some way on Monday. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson, which I blogged about here, is a personal favorite. It’s a quiet story, but full of warmth. Dream Drum Girl by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López is a book for dreamers of any age. I am rooting for both of these to pick up a Caldecott Medal or Honor. But I realize that the competition is tough.
The Newbery is a harder to predict for me as I haven’t been able to read as many of the eligible titles this year. Of what I have read, three stand out: Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan, The Thing about Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin, and The War that Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley. I think all three of these might make you cry a little, if you’re like me anyway, but they all offer a bit of hope too. No matter how the awards shake out on Monday, I hope you’ll read them and share them.
I’ll decline to mention any Printz hopefuls due to potential overlap with the Walter Award (my service on the Walter Award committee means that my opinions on these books are confidential), but I am looking forward to returning to my usual endless chatter about teen fiction in 2016. Stay tuned! ;)