Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Warning: This is going to be a long one!

Due to a number of circumstances beyond my control, last year’s Reading Resolutions didn’t exactly get completed.  I think I did a decent job of it, though.  Here’s a quick review:

In summary, these were my Reading Resolutions for 2012:

  • Read twelve Newbery books this year – Finished 7.
  • Read twelve Printz books this year – Finished 5. Six if you include one title that was a 2013 honor book.
  • Join or start a new youth literature discussion group – Completed.
  • Keep track of picture books read - Completed…until I stopped keeping track of all books read.
  • Up my social media usage (in regards to books) – Somewhat. I have posted more on Twitter…until I stopped posting as much on Twitter.
  • Participate in at least one official 48-hourReading Challenge in 2012 – Nope. Not in 2012.  Maybe I need to do one on my own?
  • Take the time to read the blogs, journals, and other news sources to keep up with libraryland – Ha. Hahahahahaha.  Nope.

So, now that we are more than a month into 2013, it is past the time I should have posted about my new Reading Resolutions.

This is going to be the year of Other Awards.  Since I challenged myself a few years ago to read more Newbery books, I have gained a more thorough knowledge of the award’s winners and honors.  I have only read 72 of the 393 books that have been recognized by Newbery committees, but I now recognize more titles on that lengthy list. As for the Printz award, I have read 24 of the 67 titles (and abandoned two others).  I will continue to read more of both, but that will not be my focus this year.

There are so many awards given for youth literature.  In the American Library Association realm, the major book awards are announced in late January at the Midwinter Meeting.  In addition to the Newbery and Printz awards, the following book awards are announced:

Wow.  That’s a lot of reading!  

Sometimes a title will be recognized over several categories.  For example, the 2012 Morris Award winner, Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley, also won the Printz Award.   Regardless, I can’t focus on each and every award category out there – at least not in one year! 

Let’s take a closer look at the awards. 

Randolph Caldecott Medal 

Given to the illustrator of a children’s book, this could be an easy award to focus on this year.  However, it has been around for quite some time, having first been awarded in 1928, so there are a lot of titles (316).  It is the 75th anniversary of the award, though, so there has been a lot of talk about it. 

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book and Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Awards

These awards recognize African American authors and illustrators.  The titles honored must be written for youth and highlight the African-American experience.

Schneider Family Book Awards

This award is given to “an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”  There are three award categories: Teen, Middle School and Younger Children.

Alex Awards

Each year since 1998, ten titles have been honored with this award, given to books published for adults that have appeal to teens. 

Mildred L. Batchelder Award

This award is a bit different.  It is actually given to the publisher, not the author, illustrator, or translator of a work.  First awarded in 1968, the award recognizes a translated work written for children. It wasn’t until 1994, however, that honors were named. 

Odyssey Award

Reading with one’s ears is just as important as reading with one’s eyes.  Audiobooks have been recognized with the Odyssey award since 2008.  There have been 30 titles of various age levels that have been acknowledged by the Odyssey committees. 

Pura Belpre (Illustrator) and Pura Belpre (Author) Awards

These medals, first given in 1996, are given to “a Latino or Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays the Latino cultural experience in a work of literature for children or youth.”

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book

Given to a non-fiction title written for children, the Sibert medal was first awarded in 2001. There have been 48 titles recognized.

Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award

While the Stonewall book awards have been around for many years, the medal given for Children’s and Young Adult Literarure was first given in 2010.  The award is given to books of exceptional merit relating to the GLBTQ experience and that are written for youth.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

A newer award – around since 2006 – this is given to the author and illustrator of a beginning reader. So far 35 titles have been honored.

William C. Morris Award

I was on the 2012 award committee, so have of course read all of the finalists for that year.  This is another new award, having been first awarded in 2009.  When I was appointed to the committee, I made a point of reading several of the previous honors and winners.  Due to that, I have read 16 of 25 titles.  A shortlist of up to five titles is announced in December.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

First award in 2010 (yes, yet another new medal), the YALSA Nonfiction award sometimes overlaps the Sibert.  A shortlist of up to five titles is announced in December.

Which awards will I focus on in 2013? 

  • Randolph Caldecott Medal 
  • Odyssey Award
  • Schneider Family Book Awards
  • Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's & Young Adult Literature Award
  • Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
  • YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
  • Robert F. Sibert Informational Book

That seems like a lot!  I won’t read all of the titles, but I do want to become more familiar with them. Many are short books – such as the Caldecott and Geisel award winners and honors, so that will be easier to do. 

My 2013 Reading Resolutions:

  • Participate in at least one 48-hour Reading Challenge – even if I’m the only one taking part!
  • Read more books from the above lists.
  • Set aside time each week to read the libraryland blogs, journals and other news sources.
  • Keep up with tracking books read! 

 Here’s hoping I can complete my goals this year!

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