ALA winners!

This morning the ALA awards came out. There has been much excitement at our house about them, and I have been placing books on hold all morning. I wanted to highlight a few of the winners that I read in the past year that I recommend as well.

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: This year’s Newbery winner is, as I said, a worthy middle-grade heir to A Wrinkle in Time and is a special book that both Mike and I were happy to have read. We may or may not have high-fived when we saw that it won.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray: This year’s Printz winner! I had some trouble getting into this one, but I am so glad I stuck with it. For fans of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Don Quixote. This is a smart book for smart teens, and I am glad they chose to honor it.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman: This book is an Alex Award winner, which is a book for adults that has appeal to teen audiences. I never actually wrote it up, but this is a darker fantasy – Harry Potter for grownups with a bit of a “secret society” feel added in for good measure.

Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork: I thought Going Bovine might win the Printz, but I am disappointed that this one didn’t at least win a Printz Honor. However, I am happy that it won a Schneider Family Book Award, which is an award “for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.” Marcelo has a form of Asperger’s, and it’s true that he has difficulties in “the real world,” but Marcelo’s world is so wonderful that you might find yourself being a bit jealous of him.

Return to Sender by Julia Alvarez: This book won the Pura Belpre award, which is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience. This is an issue that is close to home for me, as I am from a town that has a lot of Latino immigrants, and I was very impressed with the way this book dealt with those issues in a way that teens and preteens can understand.

Here are a few books I’ve placed on hold this morning: The Bride’s Farewell by Meg Rosoff (another Alex Award winner), Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan (William C. Morris Award), and My Abandonment by Peter Rock (another Alex winner).

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