Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Book Award Time!

There was an important announcement this week from Seattle, where hordes of librarians are gathered for the American Library Association mid-winter convention. After devouring hundreds of books, audiobooks and videos, these hordes regurgitated their favorites in the form of awards. Have I stretched the zombie analogy to its max? I think so. Let's move on.

Numerous awards and honors were selected from this year's amazing field of noteworthy media, but the one I was anticipating the most was the Michael L. Printz award for excellence in literature written for Young Adults. And the winner is In Darkness by Nick Lake. This one slipped under my radar, but it sounds extraordinary. It's the story of a 15-year-old Haitian boy who sorts through memories of his life while trapped under rubble caused by the 2010 devastating Haitian earthquake. I've put it on hold; how 'bout you?

I was pleased that among the Printz Honor books was one of my favorites of the year and the winner of our annual Oregon Mock Printz Award workshop, Code Name Verity. This taut and intricately plotted mystery follows Queenie, an English girl captured by Germans in occupied France during World War II, and Maddie, Queenie's best friend who is a pilot for a secret military group. It's hard to say more about the book without giving away important bits. Just read it. You're welcome.

I was also delighted that my beloved Seraphina was selected for the Morris award for the best debut book written by a first-time author writing for teens. This book is incredibly satisfying, with detailed world building of a fantastical city where dragons in human form live side-by-side with humans, which is a tricky political situation.

Finally, three cheers (or seven) are due to Tamora Pierce, who is being honored, along with her Song of the Lioness, series for her incredible contributions to Young Adult literature. Tamora is the bomb. I recommend her books all the time, thus creating enthusiastic readers eager for more. Thankfully, she has been nothing if not prolific.

These are just a few among an extensive list of awards. Start reading and let me know what you think. Do you agree with the committees' selections? How many hankies did you saturate while reading Code name Verity? Are there other books that you would chose? Inquiring librarians ALWAYS want to know.

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