Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Stars of Children's Literature

"It's so beautiful," said Isabelle. "It looks like the whole city is made out of stars."

The best children’s books of 2007 were announced last week. The John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals always provoke a flurry of excitement in the library world; the former given for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature and the latter awarded to the most distinguished picture book. This year The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, being a heavy competitor for both medals, took home the 2008 Caldecott. Read it and you’ll see why as a glimpse of 1930s Paris unfolds through detailed and fantastic drawings inside a charming plot.

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village by Laura Amy Schlitz won the 2008 Newbery Medal. This is the second consecutive year that the Newbery was bestowed upon a librarian. Last year Susan Patron earned it with The Higher Power of Lucky.

In addition, three Newbery Honor Books and four Caldecott Honor Books were named. The Newbery Honors are Elijah of Buxton, The Wednesday Wars, and Feathers. The Caldecott Honors are Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad, First the Egg, The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, and Knuffle Bunny Too: A Case of Mistaken Identity.

The awards are sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA), and all books are judged by librarians and other children’s literature experts. For a list of all ALA Youth Media Awards for 2008 (and some great catch-up reading) click here.

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