The American Library Association (ALA) is an organization committed to improving libraries and librarianship. To achieve this task, they focus on a number of key action areas, including diversity, literacy, and education and lifelong learning. Their motto is “The best reading, for the largest number, at the least cost,��? and to this end they sponsor a variety of book awards each year (ALA, 2011).
You can view a full list of this year’s ALA youth media award winners at their website , but you may already be familiar with a few of them from your own childhood, or from the books you read to your children or grandchildren. Those familiar gold and silver badges on the covers of children’s books are the marks of the Newbery and Caldecott award winners and honorable mentions.
The Newbery, named after an eighteenth-century British bookseller and instituted in 1922, is awarded by the ALA to books they believe to represent the most distinguished writing in children’s literature for that year (ALA, 2011). This year’s winner is Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, and the honor books are Turtle in Paradise, Heart of a Samurai, Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night, and One Crazy Summer.
The Caldecott Medal, awarded since 1938 to children’s books with the most distinguished illustrations, is named after an English illustrator (ALA, 2011). This year’s winner is A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead. The honor books are Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave and Interrupting Chicken.
Whether you are building a library collection within a school, public, or other children’s library – including the library in your home – keep an eye out for the gold and silver badges of ALA honor.
American Library Association (2011). ALA. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org
Blog post created by Lauren Stern