This morning, I watched the Youth Media Awards live via Webcast. For those who are not children's book junkies, these awards are akin to the Academy Awards for film, and people in the industry get very excited about it.
If you want to skip my commentary and go right to the awards, click here.
I'm delighted with the winner of the Newbery Medal: Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos because it's FUNNY! The first scene was so outrageously hilarious, I had to read it to Hubby then reread it myself a few times.
It's fun to check the Amazon ranking of the winning book when the award is first announced (27,051) and the ranking as I write this (45). Yeah, a little thing like winning the Newbery has a tendency to do that to a book's ranking.
I love Jack Gantos' books from Rotten Ralph to the Joey Pigza books to A Hole in My Life. And I'm delighted that his novel Dead End in Norvelt won the 2012 Newbery. (I'll bet his speech this summer will be wildly entertaining.)
Here he is at the 2011 National Book Festival (being wildly entertaining) . . .
The two Newbery honor books were Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin (an absolutely terrific book that's highly illustrated) and Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai (which also WON the National Book Award).
John Corey Whaley won the William C. Morris Award for a first-time author writing a debut book for teens for his novel, Where Things Come Back. This novel also won the Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults. Can't wait to get my hands on this one . . .
This from Kirkus Reviews: "This extraordinary tale from a rare literary voice finds wonder in the ordinary and illuminates the hope of second chances."
I was so happy to see Wendelin Van Draanen's The Running Dream win a Schneider Family Book Award -- books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience. Wendelin's novel kept me up late one night because I had to keep reading to find out what happened next. A beautiful book.
And fellow Florida writer, Greg Neri, snagged an Odyssey Award for best audio book for his terrific, highly illustrated book -- Ghetto Cowboy. (Illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson.) Neri's dramatic story illuminates a part of Philadelphia's history I knew nothing about, despite being a native. Neri's books fill a need. They should get in the hands of as many young readers as possible.
There were many other awards announced and many exciting books to explore further. You'll find the whole list here.
Now, I can get back to writing my own books . . . as visions of the awards dance in my head.