Saturday, February 02, 2013

Awards Make Memorable Reading

The American Library Association (ALA) announces awards for the best children's and young adult books and media (films and audio books) at this time of year with great fanfare. At least to librarians it feels like great fanfare! Anyone can watch a live broadcast of the announcement and listen to gasps, applause, laughter, and shouts of excitement from the crowd at the presentation. I've been lucky to have been present at a few of these announcements and it truly is a memorable experience.

Let's start with the top prize of the oldest award, the Newbery Award.  This year the gold seal has been placed on The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.   Ivan’s transformative emergence from the “Ape at Exit 8” to “The One and Only Ivan, Mighty Silverback,” comes to life through the gorilla’s own distinct narrative voice, which is filled with wry humor, deep emotion and thought-provoking insights into the nature of friendship, hope and humanity.  This book is about compassion and empathy for all.  I hope everyone has a chance to read this beautiful book, and the Newbery Award may help make it a classic.

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