Friday, January 8, 2016

My Hopes for the Youth Media Awards

Monday is the day. The Academy Awards of children's literature will occur in Boston at 8:00 AM. The past two years I've had the privilege of being in the room when they were announced. There is nothing quite like that experience, and if  you ever get the chance to attend, I highly recommend it. This year I will be watching the live stream at home with my kids. (They look forward to this and have missed it the past couple of years when I've been gone.) I will also be live tweeting it as always.

Here I will share my hopes for this year's winners. (NOT PREDICTIONS. Hopes.) This is an odd year for me. I find myself with no book I absolutely want to win the Newbery this year. Much to my dismay there are more books I have a fervent desire to see NOT win. I don't know if this is due to my massive reading slump this year (or if the books are the cause of the reading slump). It's possibly due to the some of the stuff I've seen go down in the wider community this year. Last year's awards were amazing. All of the committees thought outside the box and there was so much diversity. I'm almost scared Monday will see us take a huge step backwards. Hopefully not.

My Favorites:

My Dark Horse Contenders (I have less hope for these, but whoa would it be nice. But genre fiction.):

My Favorites: 

My Dark Horse Contenders (I don't know that anyone has mentioned either as a contender, but both deserve more acclaim than I've seen them get.): 
In the end all six of these may be too hopeful for the award I often refer to as the Printz Award for the Dark and Depressing.

My top pick would be for Jason Reynolds to win for author. He had two amazing books this year, one he was co-author of, but still. Even with just The Boy in the Black Suit, he deserves it.

Other strong contenders:

For Author I want Daniel José Older to win.

This is one of my favorite awards to hear announced every year because it is often a delightful surprise. I feel like most of the books I read this year that would be logical choices felt problematic in one way or another though. For teen winner you could make a case for Bone Gap. But my favorite would be:

There are a couple of MG books that may cause me to throw something hard if they win. (Hey, remember that year the committee didn't award a book because they said none were worthy? That was awesome.)

I can't comment on the Sibert because I didn't read any non-fiction this year. *hangs head in shame* It was a rough year for me reading-wise!!! I do have Most Dangerous on hold at the library and it's a Steve Sheinkin book so the chances of it winning something are high.

I also have no thoughts on the Caldecott or Geisel because I have not the expertise for those.

Does anyone else have any thoughts or hopes they want to share with me?


Sarah Prineas said...

Great choices! I would LOVE to see a Newbery honor for THE WRINKLED CROWN and/or A NEARER MOON.

Brenda said...

Nice selections, hope to see some of these too.

Brandy said...

They are both so strong in characters, setting, and themes. But traditionally fantasy novels just don't win. It makes me so mad.

Brandy said...

Thanks! It's always a roller coaster ride of a morning.

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

One of my very favorites is The Hero and the Crown. Fingers crossed!

Amy Johnson said...

I kept up with the candidates for the Caldecott and Giesl, but I think the only MG book I read that has the potential to win the Newbery was The Penderwicks in Spring (which I sincerely loved). I hope to stay more current this year. (I'm really curious about your fear that the awards will take a step backward this year. I admit that the 2015 awards were very forward thinking (although I had serious issues with El Deafo winning an Honor for a multitude of reasons), but I hadn't really thought there were problems with the books that won in past years. Have you written more about this in a past post that I may have missed? I'd love to hear more of your thoughts!)

Brandy said...

I haven't written more about it. Last year was such a groundbreaking year where instead of one or two committees doing something new, all the committees seemed to think outside the box and the winners were SO DIVERSE all the way across the board in a way we hadn't seen before. The discussions I've seen around a lot of the Newbery potentials this year feels like an establishment push back to the status quo to me. But I could be reading more into some of the discussions than I should be. I still have hopes for a good year.