Moribito, House in the Night, Graveyard Book, Oh My… in the BEST POSSIBLE SENSE!!!!

(a very small portion of the people waiting in line to get into the ballroom)

This is the step-by-step report from Denver Convention Center, at the Midwinter Conference of the American Library Association. We got here around 7:15 in the morning. The door opened around 7:30. There were about 800 people or 1000 waiting to storm in. We were a civilized crowd though, so we “strolled” in and only slightly rushed to the seats.

The Press Conference started by showing a celebration video for 40 years of Coretta Scott King Awards. Short video, very touching.

I’m so glad that this is not dubbed “The Academy Awards” of youth media any more. Just the “premiere” awards event.

We watched the slideshow of ALEX Awards. 10 titles of adult books for teens.

Schneider Awards were announced then. I’m really pleased that Waiting for Normal and Piano Starts Here both received the awards. (Although I think the dyslexia does not quite feature prominently in Waiting for Normal.) Lily is reading it right now.

Coretta Scott King Award

Kadir Nelson’s illustration We Are the the Ship only received an Honor award for illustration. We were slightly surprised but I am very happy that Floyd Cooper’s illustrations for The Blacker the Berry won the Award for illustrations!!! It is SO great.

But Nelson’s writing for We Are the Ship, that is SOOO excellent, won him the CSK’s author award! This one is amazing. Read it. Really READ IT!

I’m so happy for Hope Anita Smith’s CSK honor of Keeping the Night Watch! And can’t wait to read her new poetry collection featuring her own artwork, Mother (I think that is the title.)

Of course, all the others are wonderful titles as well.

The CSK committee did a splendid job!!!


Odyssey — FIVE honor recepients! The winner is: Absolutey True Diary of an American Indian. Narrated by Sherman Alexie himself. It must be a superb recording. I can’t wait to listen to it.

Edwards Award for Life Time Achievement in YA Literature goes to Laurie Halse Anderson, author of Speak and many other excellent titles.

The William C. Morris Award — a new one for new voice in YA Lit.
This one has a short list of five, published widely a while ago.
The winner is A Curse Dark as Gold. I can’t wait to read this and the other three I have not read. (Already read Graceling)

Printz Award

4 Honor Books

The winner is Jellicoe Road — I have not even heard of this. An Australian import. Nina Lindsay totally endorsed this one. So, another to-read for me.


Pura Belpre Award

… was announced bilingually.
Three honor books for illustration.
The winner is desrvingly Yuyi Morales for Just in Case.

Three honor books for author
The winner is The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom” by Margarita Engle. Another one that I missed this year. I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS!!!

Arbuthnot Lecture Award is given to KT Horning!!!! My long time friend and mentor who taught me everything about serving on the ALSC Award Committees. I am so excited and thrilled and so inspired.


Honors go to Garmann’s Summer and Tiger Moon. I absolutely adore Garmann’s Summer. Need to read, Tiger Moon.

The Winner is MORIBITO!!!!! Yeah Arthur and Cheryl for their introducing this outstanding book and series to the American children!!

Sibert Award

Two Sibert Honors

Bodies from the Ice and What to Do About Alice. Two excellent books.

We Are the Ship by Nelson got this one, too!!! My friend Carol Philips chaired the committee.

Wilder goes to Ashley Bryan!!! And he’s coming to Dalton for a pre-planned celebration of his new book next Tuesday. WOW.

Carnegie Medal goes to the video “March On! the Day My Brother Martin Changed The World”.

Geisel Award

4 Honors: Chicken Said Cluck, One Boy, Stinky, Wolfsnail
Winner is: Are Your Ready to Play Outside by Mo Willems (An Elephant and Piggy book) OF COURSE!

Caldecott Award

Three honors: A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever, How I Learned Geography, A River of Words. I FEEL SO vindicated! I LOVE ALL THREE.

Winner goes to The House in the Night — I ABSOLUTELY ADORE THIS ONE, as well. So glad that they all will make the Notables List without my having to spend votes on them.

Newbery Award

4 Honors: The Underneath, The Surrender Tree, Savvy, After Tupac and D Foster

And the winner is Neil Gaiman for THE GRAVEYARD BOOK.

I am hyperventilating….. OMG!! This has been my hope for the this award all year long and I am SOOO grateful, yes, grateful, to the Newbery Committee for choosing this title. OMG OMG again.

This has been the most amazing year and Press Conference (after my own year on the Newbery, of course) with most wonderful selections.

1 Comment

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One response to “Moribito, House in the Night, Graveyard Book, Oh My… in the BEST POSSIBLE SENSE!!!!

  1. k

    I am beyond ecstatic over THE GRAVEYARD BOOK. After reading it this fall, it never occurred to me that it could be a Newbery winner (don't know why…) – but I loved it. I've been thinking almost daily about it – that's just how good it was, and how moved by it I am.

    I'm so glad this will get more people reading THE GRAVEYARD BOOK!

    and i'm looking forward to reading the honor books and other award winners!

    thanks for the on-the-spot coverage of the awards announcement!


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