Monday, January 27, 2014

The Brainstorm Plus: ALA Youth Awards 2014

Bookish Stuff

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated AdventuresThere's a treasure trove of bookish related news out this week thanks to the ALA Youth Awards yesterday. Want to find out if your favorite book of 2013 won an award? Check out the full list of award winners.

I was pleased to see my favorite literary squirrel get a nice shiny sticker on his book. Congratulations to Kate DiCamillo on winning the 2014 Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses: the illuminated adventures! That will go well with her literary ambassador role this year.

Locomotive Flora and the Flamingo
 17165875 Journey
I was also pleased to see some of my favorite picture books of the year end up with Caldecott Honors. It has turned out a very good year to be a character named Flora. Hooray for Flora & the Flamingo by Molly Idle and Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner (he's one of my favorite illustrators, so extra pleased with this one)! I haven't gotten a chance to read the winner, Locomotive by Brain Floca yet or the other honor book Journey by Aaron Becker but I have heard wonderful things about both and they are already on order for our elementary library. I can't wait for both to arrive, and I'm pleased that a non-fiction book was honored with this prestigious award this year. Any way we can help motivate the middle grades to read non-fiction for pleasure is a bonus.

Navigating EarlyI was also a little surprised, but pleased that Navigating Early got a Printz Honor. I love Vanderpool's writing, but didn't expect this one to win an award since it was hard to target the intended audience. Still nice to see this historical fiction that highlights a tough friendship between two boys, one with autism (though that term was not around at the time), and the adventures they have in WWII era Maine.

Rose Under Fire

As I mentioned up above, Rose under Fire by Elizabeth Wein was also honored with an award yesterday. It was awarded the Schneider Family Book Award in the teen division. Though by no means an easy read, or one appropriate for all ages (due to the concentration camp horrors described and some language) it is powerful, accurately describing the plight of the Rabbits (women used as medical guinea pigs by the Nazis), how survivors of concentration camps struggled to return to normal, humanizing people on both sides of the conflict, and reminding readers to learn from the past so we don't repeat the same mistakes in the future.

And finally, a little fun for today. Huffington Post shared 16 Advantages of Being a Book Lover. Most of them are spot on.