January is one of my favorite months--it is a new year ripe with possibility and most importantly it is when the Youth Media Awards are given to the best of the best in children's and teen literature. The awards are given annually at the American Library Association's midwinter conference. The 2016 awards were announced this morning at 8:00 am in Boston. Before I unveil the winners and honor books, I want to tell you a little bit more about the awards and some of my favorite reads this year that may have been contenders for the awards.

The Youth Media Awards consist of a variety of awards such as the Caldecott (awarded to the most distinguished American picture book for children), Newbery (awarded to the author of the most distinguished American literature for children), and the Printz (awarded to a young adult book that represents literary excellence). These three awards are probably the most well-known but there are also awards given in other categories. There are awards for the best book written by a Latino/Latina author and illustrator, video production, beginning reader, audiobook, informational book, and the best book for children and young adults written by an African American author and illustrator.

I woke up at 5:00 am this morning and got to be a part of the live webcast awards ceremony. I had a great time listening to the announcement of the winners as I drank a very strong cup of coffee. One of the things I like most about the awards season is reading about everyone's predictions. Two of my favorite blogs that have great discussions about the Newbery and Caldecott are Heavy Medal and Fuse 8. I wouldn't say that I had predictions for this season, but I definitely had some favorite books that I would love to see receive an award.

My favorites were:

Picture Books:

Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle and illustrations by Rafael Lopez

Float by Daniel Miyares

Waiting by Kevin Henkes

Juvenile Literature:

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

George by Alex Gino

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

Young Adult Literature:

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Most Dangerous by Steve Sheinkin

And the winners are:

Caldecott:

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick, illustrated by Sophie Blackall



Caldecott Honor Books:

Newbery:

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Newbery Honor Books:

Printz:

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Printz Honor Books:

There were many more awards announced this morning as I mentioned earlier. To see all of the winners go here. If you are looking for great books to share with your children or for them to read, I highly recommend checking out the award winners and honor books. They are available through the Kitsap Regional Library. Happy New Year and happy reading!

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