Thursday, January 19, 2012

ALA Youth Media Awards Predictions

It's that time of year again! Bright and early Monday morning, librarians will gather in a Dallas ballroom and hear the announcements about this year's book awards. Last year was my first year I was able to attend the announcements live and it was so much fun! Being in a room as the winners are unveiled and sharing in the gasps of shock and cheers of happiness adds to the fun. Of course, it's always fun to predict what books will win, so here's the titles I think we'll be hearing called out on Monday morning.
Printz-Who I Think Will Win:
Chime has been my front runner since I read it back in March (I still need to review it, I know!) Fantastic world building and rich characters and an original story that's a bit historical, a bit magical, and all around amazing. I think it's the book to beat.

Printz Dark Horse:

I have three dark horse books that I suspect we may hear announced on Monday:


Both Scorpio Races and Daughter of Smoke and Bone have lush, descriptive writing that I think will carry them far during the award discussions. This could be a great year for fantasy when it comes to award!

My other dark horse?

A.S. King is a YA superstar! There is so much gold in Everybody Sees the Ants-Lucky learning how to deal with bullies, discovering who people really are, dealing with the absence of his grandfather and emotionally his father, and that age old coming of age storyline that we love so much. I'm eager to see if Ms. King gets back to back honors!!

Newbery-Who I Think Will Win
This is another book that's been the front runner since I read it earlier this year. I haven't come across another book that I think stands out and Okay for Now is such a librarian favorite, there may be some revolting if this one doesn't win!

Newbery Dark Horse:

Wonderstruck is a dark horse mainly because there's been lots of discussion as to where exactly it fits into the award criteria. Will the committee deem it worthy or will they dismiss the art/text format?

With a Name Like Love is my big dark horse pick. It's a wonderful debut and feels similar to other classic Newbery winners (it reminded me a lot of Jennifer Holm or Kate DiCamillo) It's a family story as well as a mystery and the characters and storyline is all nicely developed without being campy. I'd love to see some award love for this one!

Caldecott-Who I Think Will Win

Brother Sun, Sister Moon has some impressive artwork. Each page features watercolor paper-cuts that have so much detail it's easy to pour over each page and get lost in the illustrations. It hasn't gotten much buzz, but I think it's one of the most impressive and stunning books of the year and I'm hoping the committee gives it a nod.

Caldecott Dark Horse:

OK, so maybe it's unfair to call Blackout a dark horse, because it has been getting lots of Mock Caldecott love. I loved this book though, and I think the illustrations are fantastic, especially how John Rocco makes use of the shadows during the blackout to really show how dark it is outside. There are tiny bits of light that shine through on the pages, just like the flashlights and stars and it's a book I want to look at over and over again.


  1. For the Newbery, I really like With a Name Like Love and think it'll stand the test of time which is one of my unofficial criteria for this award.

    Let's see what the Committees think - bring on Monday!

    (found you through MotherReader & Lee Wind's Comment Challenge)

    **Katy Manck
    Recommending YA books beyond the bestsellers at
    Follow me on Twitter @BooksYALove

  2. Blackout is probably my favorite picture book of the year. I absolutely loved it and was struck by it the moment I opened it. It's one of the few stand outs for me. I know there has been a lot of Mock Caldecott praise for Grandpa Green also and I could see that book taking at least an honor.

  3. Still need to do Chime and Scorpio Races. *Tear* makes awards season a little less fun when you haven't read the favorites! lol. Still looking forward to seeing what wins, it'll definitely impact my TBR.

  4. Chime is one of those books that appeals to award judges, but I thought the "pretty" prose got in the way of the book. It was essentially stream of consciousness, which is interesting stylistically, but made it much harder to be attached to the story and characters. I think Scorpio Races is a much richer story. So of Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but as far as pure skill, I'd go with Scorpio Races.

  5. While I think Chime was really well written, I didn't enjoy it as much as others. I'm really hoping for "Daughter of Smoke and Bone" to win so that would be my dark horse. I've yet to read Scorpio Races but I hope to read it soon!

  6. Daughter of Smoke and Bone is on my to-read list, so I am happy to see it here. Now to just wait for the winners...

  7. I just got Chime for my library and shoved it into one of my avid readers hands so I could hear what she thought! And I haven't heard of With a Name Like Love but I added it to my next order!

  8. I really, really liked Okay for Now, but I'm pulling for Amelia Lost.

    Chime was my favorite, but I'd be happy with either Daughter or Scorpio for the win.

    And Blackout is still on order at my library!! Stink.

  9. I am so hoping that Okay for Now will take the Newbery. It's been my pick since it came out, and nothing else has swayed me. Haven't read With a Name Like Love, but it looks great and I'm adding it to my list on your recommendation.

  10. Can't wait to see if you're right! I just didn't get what was up with all of the fuss over Chime (almost DNF'd, but finished it just to make sure!). I'd love to see Maggie Stiefvater with a Printz :) And I'm still dying to read Wonderstruck!! Must pick it up the next time I'm at the library...

  11. I really liked With a Name Like Love, too, but I haven't heard much buzz about it.

    I wasn't on the Middle Grade Fiction panel for Cybils this year, and so I haven't read enough of 2011's crop of books to really feel informed enough to predict. Your choices look good.

  12. Inside Out and Back Again is my pick for the Newbery. Just loved it! Written in verse ~ lovely!


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