Monday, February 2, 2015

The YMAs: A Reaction

There is nothing quite like the experience of being in the room when they announce the Youth Media Awards at ALA Midwinter. Last year was my first year, and I was determined to experience it again. I can't tell you how amazing it was to be there this year. For all that it was exciting last year, this year beat it times infinity. The energy in that room could not be contained. It was a palpable thing as committee after committee thought outside the box, honored amazing diverse talent, and just generally wowed us with their choices.

The surprises!

Today set precedents and broke new ground.

First, can we all just wrap our minds around the fact there is now a book that has both a Printz Honor and Caldecott Honor. Whoever would have imagined????

Every one of the three major awards honored a graphic novel, including the Newbery. A lot of informal discussion and debate over the weekend revolved around what to do about graphic novels. This is a conversation that has been happening for several years now, but the ever growing number of distinguished graphic novels makes in a little more urgent each year. Well, all three committees showed we don't need to do anything. The Newbery committee were all wearing T-shirts that said "Trust the Process" on the back. They proved that we can, indeed, trust that process and now there is a well deserving graphic novel that can proudly display a shiny silver Newbery sticker:

My biggest surprise (only slightly bigger than there only being two Newbery Honors vs six Caldecott) came when Brown Girl Dreaming was announced as the second Honor book. I was so sure it would win even if it wasn't my favorite going in. The announcement of the winner was the best surprise of the day for me. I LOVE The Crossover. I screamed so loud my throat hurt, and, yes, I jumped out of my chair (along with a lot of other people).

Congratulations to all of the winners! Here is a fun video of the phone calls this morning. I love both Kwame Alexander and Dan Santat's reactions.

1 comment:

  1. So sweet, thanks for sharing the video. The reactions are priceless.