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Award Winners for Young Readers

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The best books of 2010 were announced at the recent meeting of the American Library Association.

Newbery Medal

The 2011 Newbery Medal, named for 18th century British bookseller John Newbery, for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children, was awarded to Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. The town of Manifest is based on Frontenac, Kansas, the home of debut author Vanderpool’s maternal grandparents. Vanderpool was inspired to write about what the idea of "home" might look like to a girl who had grown up riding the rails.

Four books were named 2011 Newbery Honor winners. In Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm, sassy eleven-year-old Turtle finds her life turned on end when she is sent to live with her aunt in Depression-era Key West and learns the meaning of family, home, and lost treasures found. Margi Preus has created a swashbuckling adventure with shipwrecks, a search for home, and exploration of other cultures in Heart of a Samurai.  This historical novel is based on the true story of Manjiro (later John Mung), the young fisherman believed to be the first Japanese person to visit America, who against all odds, becomes a samurai. Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night is a collection of twelve poems and companion prose pieces welcoming readers into the "wild, enchanted park" of the night. Three sisters are sent to Oakland, California to meet their estranged mother for One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. In this funny tale, poet Cecile is more interested in printing flyers for the Black Panthers than in taking time for her daughters.

Caldecott Medal

The 2011 Caldecott Medal winner, named for 19th century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, for the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children, is A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, written by Philip C. Stead.  In this tender tale of friendship, zookeeper Amos McGee gets the sniffles and receives a surprise visit from his caring animal friends. Erin Stead’s delicate woodblock prints and fine pencil work complement Philip Stead’s understated, humorous story to create a gentle and satisfying book, perfect for sharing with friends.

Two books were awarded Caldecott honors. Dave the Potter: artist, poet, slave, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill, reveals Dave the potter’s artistic process while also conveying the dignified triumph of his humanity in the face of oppression. Lush, earth-toned collages are illuminated in soft, ethereal light that focuses the eye on the subject of each spread. Interrupting Chicken, written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein, is a hilarious story presenting Little Chicken and her long-suffering Papa, who just wants to get through a bedtime story without his daughter’s imaginative disruptions. Exuberant artwork takes readers into three fairy tales, culminating in Little Chicken’s "Bedtime for Papa," but truly delivering a story for all.

Coretta Scott King Awards

The 2011 Coretta Scott King Awards went to author Rita Williams-Garcia for One Crazy Summer and illustrator Bryan Collier for Dave the Potter.

Sibert Medal

The 2011 Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book was awarded to Kakapo Rescue: saving the world’s strangest parrot by Sy Montgomery, photographed by Nic Bishop. Ballet for Martha: making Appalachian Spring by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, and Lafayette and the American Revolution by Russell Freedman received Sibert Honors.

Wilder Award

Author/Illustrator Tomie dePaola is the winner of the 2011 Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honoring an author or illustrator, published in the United States, whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. His numerous works include Strega Nona, beloved by generations of children, Charlie Needs a Cloak, The Legend of the Poinsettia, and Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs.

For these and more winning books for young readers, visit or call 988-2541.

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Online collection of animated, talking picture books to encourage reading in children.


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