On Monday, January 28th, the American Library Association announced the winners for the best books for children and young adults. So, if you're looking for great picture books, chapter books, audiobooks, and young adult novels, we've got the best of the year at the Orion Township Public Library!
The Newbery Award is given for "the most outstanding contribution to children's literature." This year's winner is "The One and Only Ivan" by Katherine Applegate. Ivan is a silverback gorilla who once roamed freely in the wild and now lives in a cage as an attraction at Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. He has grown accustomed to his confinement and his sad life, until Ruby, a baby elephant arrives. Ivan realizes he wants more for Ruby, and for himself, than to be stared at through bars, and he finds a way to change both their lives for the better.
The Caldecott Award is given for the most distinguished American picture book for children. This year's winner is "This Is Not My Hat" written and illustrated by Jon Klassen. A little fish is narrating the story as he swims. “This hat is not mine,” he admits. He stole it from a big fish, and we see the big fish sleeping. “…(H)e probably won’t wake up for a long time,” says the little fish, and we see the same illustration of that big fish, but now his eyes are wide open. So all the words are from the little fish’s point of view, but we see in the illustrations what the little fish doesn’t realize – the big fish does realize his hat was stolen, does know who took it, and is out to get his hat back.
The Odyssey Award is for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. This year's winner is “The Fault in Our Stars,” written by John Green and narrated by Kate Rudd. Hazel and Augustus meet in a support group for kids with cancer. I never would've thought that a story about two terminally-ill teens could make me laugh out loud, but this touching, funny, insightful story did just that.
The Printz Award is for excellence in literature written for young adults. Ths year's winner is “In Darkness,” written by Nick Lake. Set in Haiti after a devastating earthquake, this is the story of Shorty, a young man trapped in the rubble of a hospital. Stuck in the darkness, Shorty's narrative switches back and forth between the current violence in his country and the uprising of his nation led by a former slave, Touissant l’Ouverture.
For more award-winning titles, please check out ala.org, or come to the Orion Township Public Library!