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ALA Youth Media Awards-My Predictions

Well, ALA is almost here and I'm getting read to go! And on Monday we'll get the big book announcement of who will take home the top prizes for Caldecott, Newbery and Printz and the other ALA Youth Media Awards. It's always fun to make predictions so here's are my predictions. It's a bit of a mix of what I want to win, what I think will win (luckily this year that fits most my choices) as well as my dark horse candidates that might surprise us all.

Caldecott Award
My favorite picture book of the year, The Quiet Book, can't win because the illustrator is from Canada. Which leaves me without any other picks that I really really love for the top spot.

So I'm going to go ahead and put David Wiesner's Art & Max in the top spot. I don't think it's his best picture book, but it's still fantastic and he' a librarian golden boy-seriously, we librarians gush over his books.

Caldecott Honors:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. Steed, illustrated by Erin E. Steed

-Oh how I love and adore this book! It's an instant classic-I promise you. I've mentioned it before, but I read this and had to hug it after because I was so in love with it. It's a debut illustrator and while the illustrations are lovely, there are some minor things in the illustrations (like why do some walls in Amos' house have lined wallpaper and others on the next page do not, but it's still the same room? Or maybe I'm on the only one to notice those details) but I think those small details will keep it from top prize.

Caldecott Dark Horse:

I have two dark horse picks for the Caldecott.

Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Dan Santat

-This one's been on my Caldecott radar since I read it. It's a fun book that's quite hilarious and the illustrations give it a Japanese horror film/manga style to it and really make the story. But will the committee think it's too odd?

Here Comes the Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Red Nose Studio

-I have to admit I'm not the biggest fan of the illustrations-they seem a little creepy to me. But Caldecott often goes for the unique and this one is defiantly unique! But it's another one that might be a little too odd to actually get noticed.


One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

-Seriously, I will cry if this one isn't called Monday morning! Oh, how I love this book! There is so much going on in the story, it's wonderfully layered, it's a powerful book of family, coming of age, and understanding and it's a book that sticks with you long after you read it. This better get top honor or I'm going to be one mad librarian!!

Newbery Honors:

Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper

-I just finished this one not too long ago and I fell in love with it. It's a powerful story with a main character you can't forget and I think it's got a great shot at getting an honor this year.

The Night Fairy by Laura Amy Schlitz

-Some might say this is more a dark horse candidate, but I'm going to go out a limb and say that this year a younger chapter book will win an honor and it will be a fairy book. If any book can pull it off, it's The Night Fairy!

Newbery Dark Horse:

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

-Yoda surprise, will, hmm? OK, so it's a long shot, but Origami Yoda just might surprise us all. I mean it is Yoda and all!

Printz Award:

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

-I'll admit, I debated between Revolution and The Cardturner for the top spot, but after a lot of thought, I'm going to put my prediction on Revolution. I think the story has a lot of depth, the parallels between the characters and the growth of Andie throughout will help this one gain top prize.

The Cardturner by Louis Sachar

-Oh, The Cardturner, how I love this book! In some ways, this one is similar to Revolution in that both books have a sense of magic in them. The Cardturner is a quite surprise of a book and I'm really hoping it gets the award I think it's due.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

-This debut book is a beautiful story about grief and healing. It's grown on me since I read it and I'd love to see a shiny sticker on this debut novel.

Printz Dark Horse:

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

-This is a brilliant darkly comic book with alternating points of view and flashbacks. It needs some recognition and it just might be the type of quirky book that appeals to this year's committee.


  1. LOVE your dark horses in the Caldecott and Newbery categories! (haven't read enough YA to talk Printz). Should be interesting!

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Did you see One Crazy Summer won the Scott O'Dell Award? I really liked Keeper but I don't think it will win. My other favorite was A Tale Dark and Grimm (another dark horse).

    Looking forward to meeting you Friday night at the bloggers get-together!

  3. I really want Out of my Mind to win an award. I am reading this book right now to my 9th grade classes. I read one chapter a day and the classes always want me to read more.

  4. I'd love to see a book like Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World) win an award. Fascinating illustrations and original story. My kids really liked the book Chalk this year, so that's my pick. Art & Max, while brilliantly illustrated, seemed a little confusing the first time we read it together, but once we became familiar with the characters, it flowed better the second time around.

  5. Here Comes The Garbage Barge is a big favorite at our house. And I have to admit I find the illustrations a bit creepy too.

  6. I think One Crazy Summer will win, but it wasn't my favorite of the year! Then again, I didn't love When You Reach Me like everyone else did.

  7. Great predictions, Sarah. I think "Revolution" is a strong contender too, but then again I had a strong feeling that "If I Stay" would be an honor book too. I guess we'll find out on Monday. Can't wait!

  8. Stacy-Thanks! I hope they have a chance!

    Margo-Yes, that's awesome news-I hope it keeps winning!

    Sarah-Out of My Mind was so amazingly good-it neeeds to be honored this year. I'm glad to hear your class is enjoying it!

    Brimful-I found a bit confusing at first too-I think that's why I don't think it's his best. I like Chalk too, but I wonder how will it will stack up agaist Art & Max.

    Jennifer-YES! They are a little creepy! I think it's the people's faces.

    Jana-I didn't really love When You Reach Me either!

  9. Rummanah-I thought If I Stay would be on the list too! Along with Wintergirls and Lips Touch-I knew nothing last year!

  10. I like the dark horse for the Printz. It would be a pity if they really did ignore Vera Dietz.

  11. OOh, all your picks look great! I need to get my butt in gear and read them!

  12. Glad you mentioned the Card Turner! I just finished Revolution too, so I can't wait to see how it all shakes down!

  13. Oh how I love seeing your predictions, especially because a good portion of them are very close if not nailed on the head! And even better, the ones that aren't picked have a high stamp of approval from you. :)


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