One of the great perks of being a librarian is that you are surrounded by people who are as passionate about books as you are. I have found that books are a great way to connect with other people and that the shared experience of having read the same author or similar titles can help create lifelong friends. While taking a tour of the Croatian islands during my honeymoon, a fellow passenger and I bonded over our mutual love of Octavia Butler. The other passengers stared curiously at us as we talked a hundred miles a minute and gesticulated wildly because we could not contain our love for Butler and her award-winning books. Thinking back on that conversation, I considered some of the other great authors I look forward to reading throughout the year and especially during February to celebrate African American History Month.
The ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children) media awards are announced every January during the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. Read about the winners and honorable mentions below. The Youth Media Awards, announced in January include several awards for teen literature as well.
2017 Newbery Medal Winner
The Newbery Medal is awarded for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature the previous year.
The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the forest, Xan, is kind and gentle. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster named Glerk, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon, Fyrian. Xan rescues the abandoned children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey. One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. The acclaimed author of The Witch's Boy has created another epic coming-of-age fairy tale destined to become a modern classic.
Jim Murphy is one of those amazing authors who can introduce the past to new generations with his fiction and non-fiction works. Whether it’s an unsuspecting 18th-century port town about to get hit by yellow fever, the Big Apple shut down by a blizzard, or a fire that burned down a lot of Chicago, Mr. Murphy brings readers into the thick of events with a storytelling style that holds their attention.
Want to time travel with Jim Murphy? Click here to see which of his books we have in store for you at the library. Read on for some facts on his life, articles featuring him, and a sample from his book, An American Plague.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman, is a touching blend of family drama and otherworldliness. He wrote it for his wife, who does not care so much for extreme fantasy, and so he decided to include many realistic details from his own childhood. But he enriched that beginning with dark and horrific drama, as well as beauty and wisdom, and ultimately gave it an elemental, magical grounding.
Rosemary Wells is one of our best-loved writers and illustrators for very young people. Her “Max and Ruby” books capture the relationship between a bossy big sister and her inquisitive (and stubborn!) little brother. That they happen to look rather a lot like rabbits makes no difference to the stories. Rosemary Wells’ wry humor turns these brief books into rather perfect treasures for the preschool set.
This just in!!! The Teens’ Top Ten (TTT) winners are HERE! This annual event created by YALSA (the Young Adult Library Services Association) looks to find the best books of the year for teens. Throughout the summer, teens across the country read from the list of nominations and then voted to select their favorites. In celebration of Teen Read Week (Oct. 14-20), the results have just been announced.