VJ Books Blog

(Publisher’s Weekly, Jan. 26, Diane Roback)

Neil Gaiman has won the 2009 Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book (HarperCollins). Beth Krommes has won the 2009 Randolph Caldecott Medal for The House in the Night (Houghton Mifflin), written by Susan Marie Swanson. The awards were announced this morning at the American Library Association’s midwinter conference in Denver.

Four Newbery Honor Books were named: The Underneath by Kathi Appelt (S&S/Atheneum); The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle (Henry Holt); Savvy by Ingrid Law (Dial/Walden Media); and After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson (Putnam).

There were three Caldecott Honor Books: A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever by Marla Frazee (Harcourt); How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz (FSG); and A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant (Eerdmans).

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (HarperTeen) won the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults. Four Printz Honors were given: The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves by M.T. Anderson (Candlewick); The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart (Hyperion); Nation by Terry Pratchett (HarperCollins); and Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan (Knopf).

The Robert F. Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book went to Kadir Nelson’s We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (Hyperion/Jump at the Sun). There were two Sibert Honors: What to Do About Alice? by Barbara Kerley, illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham (Scholastic Press) and Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past by James M. Deem (Houghton Mifflin).

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning reader books went to Are You Ready to Play Outside? by Mo Willems (Hyperion). There were four Geisel Honor books: Chicken Said, “Cluck!” by Judyann Ackerman Grant, illustrated by Sue Truesdell (HarperCollins); One Boy by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Roaring Brook/Porter); Stinky by Eleanor Davis (Raw Junior/Little Lit); and Wolfsnail: A Backyard Predator by Sarah C. Campbell, photographs by Sarah C. Campbell and Richard P. Campbell (Boyds Mills Press).

Kadir Nelson won the Coretta Scott King Author award for We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (Hyperion/Jump at the Sun), and Floyd Cooper won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for The Blacker the Berry, written by Joyce Carol Thomas (HarperCollins/Amistad). The John Steptoe Award for New Talent went to Shadra Strickland, illustrator of Bird, written by Zetta Elliott (Lee & Low).

There were three King Author Honors: The Blacker the Berry by Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by Floyd Cooper (HarperCollins/Amistad); Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith, illustrated by E.B. Lewis (Henry Holt); and Becoming Billie Holiday by Carol Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Boyds Mills/Wordsong). 

Three King Illustrator Honors were also selected: Kadir Nelson for We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball (Hyperion/Jump at the Sun); Before John Was a Jazz Giant, illustrated by Sean Qualls, written by Carol Boston Weatherford (Henry Holt); and The Moon Over Star, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, written by Dianna Hutts Aston (Dial).

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best work of translation went to Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit by Nahoko Uehashida, translated by Cathy Hirano (Scholastic/Levine). There were two Batchelder Honors: Garmann’s Summer by Stian Hole, translated by Don Bartlett (Eerdmans); and Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis, translated by Anthea Bell (Abrams/Amulet).

The William C. Morris Award for YA Debut, honoring a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens, went to A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Scholastic/Levine).

The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production went to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, written and narrated by Sherman Alexie (Recorded Books).

There were five Odyssey Honor titles: Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady by L.A. Meyer, narrated by Katherine Kellgren (Listen & Live); Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis, narrated by Mirron Willis (Listening Library); I’m Dirty! by Kate and Jim McMullan, narrated by Steve Buscemi (Weston Woods); Martina the Beautiful Cockroach, written and narrated by Carmen Agra Deedy, illustrated by Michael Austin (Peachtree); and Nation by Terry Pratchett, narrated by Stephen Briggs (HarperChildren’s Audio). 

The Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime contribution in writing for young adults was given to Laurie Halse Anderson, and Kathleen T. Horning, director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center at University of Wisconsin-Madison, was chosen to deliver the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.

Three Schneider Family Book Awards were announced: Piano Starts Here: The Young Art Tatum by Robert Andrew Parker (Random/Schwartz & Wade) won for best children’s book; Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor (HarperCollins) won for best middle school book; and Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen (Penguin/Speak) won for best teen book.

Yuyi Morales, author/illustrator of Just in Case (Roaring Brook/Porter), won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award. Margarita Engle, author of The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom (Holt) won the Pura Belpré Author Award.

There were three Pura Belpré Honor Books for illustration: Papá and Me, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Arthur Davis (HarperCollins); The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos, illustrated by Lulu Delacre, written by Lucia Gonzalez (Children’s Book Press); and What Can You Do with a Rebozo?, illustrated by Amy Cordova, written by Carmen Tafolla (Tricycle).

Three Pura Belpré Author Honor books were named: Reaching Out by Francisco Jimenez (Houghton Mifflin); Just in Case by Yuyi Morales (Roaring Brook/Porter); and The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos by Lucia Gonzalez, illustrated by Lulu Delacre (Children’s Book Press).