ALA Award Winners Announced!

This morning the winners of the American Library Association Awards were announced. Congrats to all the winners, and congrats to all the non-winners (because there were some amazing, innovative books published this year and, of course, not everybody gets a shiny sticker).

Printz Medal
Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
Set initially in a future shanty town in America's Gulf Coast region, where grounded oil tankers are being dissembled for parts by a rag tag group of workers, we meet Nailer, a teenage boy working the light crew, searching for copper wiring to make quota and live another day. The harsh realities of this life, from his abusive father, to his hand to mouth existence, echo the worst poverty in the present day third world. When an accident leads Nailer to discover an exquisite clipper ship beached during a recent hurricane, and the lone survivor, a beautiful and wealthy girl, Nailer finds himself at a crossroads. Should he strip the ship and live a life of relative wealth, or rescue the girl, Nita, at great risk to himself and hope she'll lead him to a better life. This is a novel that illuminates a world where oil has been replaced by necessity, and where the gap between the haves and have-nots is now an abyss. Yet amidst the shadows of degradation, hope lies ahead.

Printz Award HonorsStolen by Lucy Christopher, Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King, Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick, and Nothing by Janne Teller.

Newbery Medal
Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.
Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”
Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Newbery Award HonorsTurtle in Paradise by Jennifer Holm, Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman, and One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams Garcia

Caldecott Medal

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead 
The best sick day ever and the animals in the zoo feature in this striking picture book debut. Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.

Caldecott Award HonorsDave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill and Interrupting Chicken written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

William C. Morris Award for YA Debut

The Freak Observer by Blythe Woolston
The Freak Observer is rich in family drama, theoretical physics, and an unusual, tough young woman Loa Lindgren. When her younger sister dies, 16-year-old Loa's clockwork galaxy collapses. As she spins off on her own, Loa's mind ambushes her with vivid nightmares and sadistic flashbacks a textbook case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. But there are no textbook fixes for Loa's short-circuiting brain. If she keeps her eyes open and her neurons busy, there's less chance for her imagination to brew up nightmares and panic attacks. Maybe then she'll be able to pry her world from the clutches of death. The Freak Observer is a startling debut about death, life, astrophysics, and finding beauty in chaos.

William C. Morris Award HonorsHush by Eishes Chayil, Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride, and Crossing the Tracks by Barbara Stuber