ALA Awards, Authors, Best Books 2012, BookNook, Books, Coretta Scott King book awards, Diversity, Pura Belpre Awards, Youth Media Awards

American Library Awards 2012

It’s been a long time since my kids were tots or tweens but we still have favorite books like “I’ll Love You Forever,” whose cover captures a little boy playing with the toilet paper. (My sons thought it was about playing with TP so of course they wanted me to buy it). The last page still makes me cry. My boys are now young men but they still remember that book. 

If the Pulitzer Prize is the Oscar of the book world, the American Library Awards for books is up there with the Nickelodeon Awards, sans the green slime. The ALA announced their Youth Media Awards of 2012 on January 25, 2012. These books represent the best of the best. As a parent and ‘nano’ bookstore owner (BookNook) this makes my book choices easier. And I’m all for easier, saving time and money. 

The ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for children and youth. What I like about these awards is their quest for diverse protagonists and characters, settings, and cultures. They also recognize book illustrators. 

One of these books won two awards and is quite different in that it is a novel that reads like poetry-a verse novel.

The Pura Belpré Award presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Author Book Winner  
“Under the Mesquite,” written by Guadalupe Garcia McCall. This author was also a finalist for the William C. Morris Award for first time author writing for teenagers. The story is about the healing power of words.
Best Illustration award given to “Diego Rivera: His World and Ours,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh.

The Association for Library Service for Children awards the Newbery Medal annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.Winner“Dead End in Norvelt,” written by Jack Gantos. Fictionalized biography of history, mystery and humor.

The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
Winner “A Ball for Daisy,” illustrated and written by Chris Raschka. The joy and sadness of special toys.

Given to African American authors for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream. The award is designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

Author Book Winner Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans.” This covers the colonial days until the civil rights movement.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:“Where Things Come Back,” written by a teacher, John Corey Whaley. It’s a story about brothers, love, loss, and faith.

Another winner was announced today, (not ALA). The Amelia Bloomer Prize for “…recommended feminist literature from birth to age 18..” is Meg Medina‘s “Tia Isa Wants a Car.” 

If your library or school doesn’t carry these books, ask them to do so. Or you can accompany your kids to the library and seek out the books together. If you have any book recommendations, let’s hear them.

For a complete list of ALA awards and winners or to view the Honor Mentions please visithe ALA website. Keep on reading and instilling a love for reading in your children. 
AlvaradoFrazier, BookNook, Character building, Day of the Dead, Dia de Los Muertos, fiction, NaNoWriMo, Writing

Building Fictional Characters

Feliz Day of All Souls or Dia De Los Muertos (DDLM). The last two days have been a whirlwind that rivals the 75 degree Southern California Santa Ana winds that we have today. I began NaNoWriMo on November 1st, while getting my micro mini bookstore, The BookNook, ready for opening this afternoon. The last week has been dedicated to unpacking books, retail labels, printing bookmarkers, and all that kind of stuff.

I had the nerve to take off to Los Angeles yesterday evening to catch “Come Fly Away With Me,” at the Pantages, in a quest to relax before opening day.  Ten minutes before the curtain rose I received a text that my cake pop treats would not be ready for me today after all, ‘so sorry.’ There was a problem at their bakery. I moaned and groaned (not in the text), said a prayer and began searching for other bakery numbers. Everyone was closed for the evening. Curtain rose, the musical was non-stop dancing to Frank Sinatra songs and I was taken away for 80 brief minutes. Turned my phone back on and a sweet mini-miracle, the bakery texted, everything fixed, your order will be ready.

I call the BookNook micro-mini because it is within a consignment shop, very nice, where I rent a small space for new and ‘gently read’ books. At the shop today is a DDLM commemoration and local artists will build an altar within the store for the community. People are free to bring candles, sugar skulls, marigolds, papel picado and Pan de Huevo.

Before I take my crates of books to the car, double check on my cake pops, and gather up my equipment I thought I’d post some references from my favorite sites on “Character” building for those who are interested in using this information for their NNWM challenge. (I’m already behind with only 1,643 words, but there are 28 days left).

Writer’s Digest did a good job on How to avoid Parenting your Characters. If you haven’t visited Holly Lisle  blog now is a good time to follow her and pick up some valuable pointers. IMHO she has one of the most helpful blogs for writers. Over at Kirsten Lamb, who is also a wealth of information and who collaborates with many authors to provide great info, is her article for creating legendary characters.

After my bookstore opening I hope to come back and do some more NNWM words. But in between what I hope are many customers, I will be over at the DDLM altar saying some prayers for the departed and enjoying some Pan De Huevo.