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2015 Children's Book Awards Announced
The most prestigious awards in children's books were announced at the American Library Association's midwinter meeting in Chicago. They included the 2015 John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals, the Coretta Scott King Book awards for African American author and illustrator, and the Michael L. Prinz award. You'll want to keep this list in mind on your next trip to the library or bookstore.
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2015 Newbery Award Winner: "The Crossover" by Kwame Alexander
The John Newbery medal is given to the author of "the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children." Its bronze medal is affixed to all winning books. Kwame Alexander hits a slam dunk with this story written in verse. Basketball is the glue that connects twins Josh and JB in this coming of age book centered around a close knit, African-American family.
2015 Newbury Honor book: "El Deafo" by Cece Bell
In "El Deafo," author Cece Bell describes growing up with a giant hearing aid strapped to her chest. Childhood rites of passage like sleepovers, best friends and that first crush offer universal appeal. Bell reminds us that our differences are sometimes our very best gifts. As a Newbery Honor book, it will receive a silver medal.
2015 Newbury Honor and Coretta Scott King Author awards: "Brown Girl Dreaming" by Jacqueline Woodson
The Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizes an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. Woodson's memoir chronicles the incidents and emotions she experienced as an African-American girl growing up in the 1960s and 1970s. Her poems weave a story about her journey from a struggling reader to a confident young woman and writer.
2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal: "The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend," written and illustrated by Dan Santat
The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children each year. Dan Santat's illustrations win in this heartfelt and charming story of an imaginary friend who goes looking for his human. This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked repeatedly, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match.
2015 Caldecott Honor: "Nana in the City" illustrated and written by Lauren Castillo
"Nana in the City," illustrated and written by Lauren Castillo is a magical picture book that tells the story of a young boy spending the night with his Nana. He is frightened to find that the city where she lives is filled with noise, crowds and scary things. Nana makes him a special cape to help him be brave, and soon the everyday sights, sounds and smells of the city aren't so scary after all. Castillo's text is paired with watercolor illustrations that capture all the vitality, energy and beauty of the city and warmth of a grandmother's love.
2015 Caldecott Honor: "The Noisy Paint Box," written by Barb Rosenstock and illustrated by Mary GrandPre
llustrator Mary GrandPre has been awarded the Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in "The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art." When an aunt gave Kandinsky a paint box, no one knew what to make of the wild shapes he created. He didn't just see the colors; he heard them: "blaring crimson... burbling green, clanging orange, and tinkling violet." Even after he gave up his career teaching law years later and decided to study art, his teachers steered him toward traditional subjects. He resisted, and his works become the art world's first abstract paintings.
2015 Caldecott Honor winner: "Sam and Dave Dig A Hole," written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen
"Sam and Dave Dig a Hole" is a story of two best friends who go on a hole digging mission to find something spectacular. They dig and dig and dig, only to find nothing. Readers will delight in the visual humor and lifelong lesson that even the ordinary can be extraordinary.
2015 Caldecott Honor winner: "Viva Frida," written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
In the bilingual picture book "Viva Frida," Morales presents a simplified version of the Frida Kahlo mythology for younger children. The various and vivid mediums Morales uses, including 3-D photographed scenes, provide beauty and wonder for a young reader.
2015 Caldecott Honor winner: "The Right Word," written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Books were Peter Mark Roget's favorite thing. His love of reading eventually led him to write. Though it wasn't stories he wrote, but lists. Roget made lists of the very best words he could find to express exactly what he was feeling. His lists eventually grew and became one of the most important reference books of all time.
2015 Caldecott Honor winner: "This One Summer," written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
Jillian Tamaki wins a Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in this teen graphic novel. Tamaki teamed with her cousin Mariko Tamaki to deliver this growing-up story about a summer of secrets, sorrow and friendship.
2015 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award: "Firebird," written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers
This collaboration between Christopher Myers and American Ballet Theater star Misty Copeland tells the story of a young black girl who wants to dance professionally but struggles with self doubt. The torn paper and paint collages provide a backdrop as the girl receives encouragement from Copeland herself, who takes center stage to offer advice and to explain the challenges she faced as a young ballerina.
2015 Michael L. Prinz Award: "I'll Give You the Sun" by Jandy Nelson
The Michael L. Prinz Award is given for excellence in literature written for young adults. "I'll Give You the Sun," written by Jandy Nelson, is an YA novel told from the alternating perspectives of teenage fraternal twins, a boy and girl named Noah and Jude, each recounting an accident that forever changed them. Emotion packed, this book explores issues of sexuality, love and grief.