Pura Belpre Awards

Also announced at the ALA MidWinter Meeting in Boston on Monday were the winners of the Pura Belpre Awards, which “honor Latino authors and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in children’s books.”

The 2010 winners were Rafael López, illustrator of Book Fiesta!: Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day, and Julia Alvarez, author of Return to Sender. Check out the ALA link to find out more about the books and their creators.

Coretta Scott King Awards

The Coretta Scott King Awards were presented this week for outstanding books for children and young adults created by African-American authors and illustrators.

This year’s King Author Book winner is BAD NEWS FOR OUTLAWS: THE REMARKABLE LIFE OF BASS REEVES, DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson.

The King Author Book honor selection is MARE’S WAR by Tanita S. Davis.

The King Illustrator award was given to MY PEOPLE, illustrated by Charles R. Smith, Jr. and written by Langston Hughes.
The honor book for the illustrator award is THE NEGRO SPEAKS OF RIVERS, illustrated by E. B. Lewis and also written by Langston Hughes.

Congratulations to all the winners!

New ALA Book Awards

The winners have just been announced and they are….TA DA!

2010 Newbery Award–WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead
2010 Caldecott Award--THE LION AND THE MOUSE by Jerry Pinkney
Honor Books (this one was a favorite of mine)–ALL THE WORLD illustrated by Marla Frazee and written by Liz Garton Scanlon
RED SINGS FROM TREETOPS: A YEAR IN COLORS illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski and written by Joyce Sidman.
More award-winning books tomorrow…

Newbery Honor Author — Ingrid Law

The American Library Association has a short video interview with Newbery Honor author, Ingrid Law, talking about her wonderful book, SAVVY. To find out more about SAVVY, read my review of it along with another super fantasy story, THE GIRL WHO COULD FLY

So many great stories to read. 
On your mark. Get set. Go!
Grab a book and start reading.

Some of the Best Children’s Books

When there are so many good children’s books out there, it’s always great to get some help in narrowing your reading list. Of course, I wish I had time to read all of them, but I know that’s impossible.

Here’s the latest from the Association for Library Services to Children: 2009 Notable Children’s Book Awards
These books are chosen for their quality and creativity for children ages birth to 14 years. One on the list that I just finished reading is STINKY by Eleanor Davis. This graphic novel for young readers pairs a monster boy and a human boy, and as it turns out, they have much in common. Fun illustrations and easy reading combine to make this selection a winner.
Be sure to check out more of the notable books on this list. And I’m always excited to hear about special books that you’ve discovered. 
Some sunshine + A good book = Heaven.

This Year’s Newbery Award Goes to the Graveyard

Neil Gaimon‘s THE GRAVEYARD BOOK took the top honor at this year’s Newbery Award ceremony at the American Library Association‘s national convention in Chicago. Click on Neil’s name above and you can read his reaction to hearing the good news.

The Graveyard Book is the tale of an orphaned boy (Nobody Owens) who is adopted by the ghosts of a British graveyard. He is haunted by the villain (Jack) who murdered his family and wants to do him in as well. 
I’ve not had the chance to read the new winning book, but I have read runner-up, SAVVY by Ingrid Law. I loved this one. You can read my review of it here. And to find out about all the rest of the ALA award-winning books, click on the Newbery link above.


On September 15, Martha Smith of Vinland, Kansas, celebrated her 103rd birthday! Congratulations to Ms. Smith, who according to the American Library Association, is the oldest librarian. 

Ms. Smith has been working almost non-stop at the Vinland Public Library since 1926. The Library first opened in 1859 and is now filled with historic finds–like Ms. Smith herself. She has never ventured farther away than Nebraska.
According to a story about her in the Kansas City Star online newspaper, Ms. Smith follows John Wesley’s motto, “Do all the good that you can to all the people that you can and by all means that you can as long as you can.”
Best wishes, Ms. Smith, and thanks for all the good that you’ve been doing for so long!

LIBRARIES Lead the Way to Fun and Education

Libraries Are the Popular Place To Be

More than 1.3 billion library visits were recorded in the last year, according to the American Library Association’s newsletter of August 28. The leading cause for this increased use is the declining economy. While the poor economic state is not good news, it is good news to see Americans making use of the great services and products which public libraries provide.
If you haven’t visited your library for a while, now is the time. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see what a wide variety of materials and services they have available. With the new school year just under way, you’ll be happy to hear that more than 83% of the libraries offer online homework resources as well as live tutors. Now that’s something to smile about. 
A couple other fun and educational places for students are AskKids.com and Merriam-Webster’s WordCentral.com.

An Interview with Jason Wells

Jason Wells, the Director of Marketing & Publicity at Harry N. Abrams Inc., was interviewed recently at Just One More Book on May 5 and 12, 2008.
Some highlights from the interviews were Jason’s thoughts on what constitutes a good website. He suggested it be a “one-stop-shop for everyone.” According to Jason, the site should be relevant for all—librarians, teachers, readers. A good website should promote the book for readers by providing additional character information, games, links, etc. Plus, it should encourage new readers as well—excite them about reading the book for themselves and sharing the experience.
Jason noted that the more an author has out there (on the Internet), the more likely it is for someone to find out about the book. However, he also stated that a review in a major newspaper or magazine still sells more books than a blog review.
To find out more publicity inside information, visit Just One More Book and listen to Jason’s interviews.
The site also has tons of book reviews and author interviews. The American Library Association’s Library Services to Children has given Just One More Book their “Great Web Site” seal of approval. It’s a wonderful site. Allow yourself some extra time when you visit because as the name suggests, you’ll want to listen/read about just one more book or author.


Nancy Pearl, world renown librarian immortalized with her very own action-figure, is pictured to the left to announce that today, April 13, is the start of NATIONAL LIBRARY WEEK.

The American Library Association’s website provides a brief history and explanation of this special week promoting libraries:

What is National Library Week?
First sponsored in 1958, National Library Week is a national observance sponsored by the American Library Association (ALA) and libraries across the country each April. It is a time to celebrate the contributions of our nation’s libraries and librarians and to promote library use and support. All types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – participate.

The entire month of April is School Library Media Month. I know I’ll be celebrating with school students in the St. Alban’s School Library on Wednesday when I spend time with two first grade classes and their extremely well-organized and energetic librarian, Christy Bobbit.
How do you plan to celebrate libraries this week? Here are some suggestions:
  • Check out a library book–or two or three or more
  • Say an enthusiastic “THANK YOU!” to your librarian
  • Send your favorite library (librarians) a “Just Because You’re Special Card”
  • Donate time or money to your favorite library
  • Attend a library story time with your children
  • Soak up the zen when you stop by your favorite library for some quiet reading time