It’s that time of year: the American Library Association has announced its 2016 youth media award winners! Over 20 awards were given out, including the Caldecott, Newbery, Coretta Scott King and Printz winners, with nearly all of the winning titles available for check-out through the Marathon County Public Library. Take a look at a few of the major winning titles below!
"Last Stop on Market Street" by Matt de la Peña – The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature was awarded to Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson. This is the first time in ALA history that a picture has won this award, which is typically given to juvenile chapter books. In the book, a young boy, CJ, rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.
"The War that Saved My Life" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley – In this Newbery Honor Book, a young disabled girl and her brother are evacuated from London to the English countryside during World War II, where they find life to be much sweeter away from their abusive mother.
"Echo " by Pam Muñoz Ryan – A Newbery Honor Book. Lost in the Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and finds himself entwined in a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica--and decades later three children, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California find themselves caught up in the same thread of destiny in the darkest days of the twentieth century, struggling to keep their families intact, and tied together by the music of the same harmonica.
"Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear" by Illustrated by Sophie Blackall and written by Lindsay Mattick – This book won the The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children. A woman tells her young son the true story of how his great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn, rescued and learned to love a bear cub in 1914 as he was on his way to take care of soldiers' horses during World War I, and the bear became the inspiration for A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh.
"Trombone Shorty" by Illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Troy Andrews – One of four Caldecott Honor Books. Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
"Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement" by Illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Carole Boston Weatherford – This book is one of four Caldecott Honor Books. It presents a collage-illustrated treasury of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.
"Last Stop on Market Street" by Illustrated by Christian Robinson and written by Matt de le Peña – One of four Caldecott Honor Books. In the book, a young boy, CJ, rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.
"Gone Crazy in Alabama" by Rita Williams-Garcia – This title won the Coretta Scott King Book Award, which recognizes an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. In the book, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.
"Trombone Shorty" by Illustrated by Bryan Collier and written by Troy Andrews – This title won the won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award. Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.
"Bone Gap" by Laura Ruby – The Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults was awarded to this title. Eighteen-year-old Finn, an outsider in his quiet Midwestern town, is the only witness to the abduction of town favorite Roza, but his inability to distinguish between faces makes it difficult for him to help with the investigation, and subjects him to even more ridicule and bullying.
"Out of Darkness" by Ashley Hope Pérez – This title was one of two Printz Honor Books. Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.
"The Ghosts of Heaven" by Marcus Sedgwick – This title was one of two Printz Honor Books. Four linked stories of discovery and survival begin with a Paleolithic-era girl who makes the first written signs, continue with Anna, who people call a witch, then a mad twentieth-century poet who watches the ocean knowing the horrors it hides, and concluding with an astronaut on the first spaceship from Earth sent to colonize another world.
"The Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music" by Illustrated by Rafael López and written by Margarita Engle – The Pura Belpré Awards honor a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. The illustrator award was awarded to this title. This book follows a young Cuban girl in the 1930s as she strives to become a drummer, despite being continually reminded that only boys play the drums, and that there's never been a female drummer in Cuba. Includes note about Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, who inspired the story, and Anacaona, the all-girl dance band she formed with her sisters.
"Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir" by Margarita Engle – The Pura Belpré Awards honor a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience. The author award was awarded to this title. Offers an account of the first fourteen years of the author's life in poems, telling of her time spent between her mother's native Cuba and her home in Los Angeles, until the revolution in Cuba dramatically alters relations between the two countries she loves.
"Don’t Throw It to Mo!" by Written by David A. Adler and illustrated by Sam Ricks – This book won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book. In this book, Mo is the youngest kid on the Robins football team. The kids on the rival team tease him for being a 'butterfingers' who's too tiny to catch the ball. But Mo's coach has a plan up his sleeve to turn Mo's little size into a big win for the Robins.
"A Pig, a Fox, and a Box" by Written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske – This title is one of three Geisel Honor books. After finding a box just the right size to hide in, a little fox tries to play some tricks on his big friend, Pig, but things do not work out exactly as he planned.
"Supertruck" by Written and illustrated by Stephen Savage – This title is one of three Geisel Honor books. When the city is hit by a colossal snowstorm, only one superhero can save the day. But who is this mysterious hero, and why does he disappear once his job is done?
22 awards were given out in total. For a full list of winners, visit the
image credit: Fair use.