Tag Archives: award winners

100 years of Grand Canyon National Park

February 26 will mark 100 years since Grand Canyon National Park was established. Want to read more about it?

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Grand Canyon by Jason Chin
Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the Grand Canyon, a cavernous wonder that₂s home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals. This book was awarded a Caldecott Honor for the illustrations and a Sibert Honor as a distinguished informational book.

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National Parks of the U.S.A. written by Kate Siber; illustrated by Chris Turnham
Take a tour of America’s great outdoors and discover the beauty and diversity of its most iconic and majestic national parks. Packed with maps and fascinating facts about the flora and fauna unique to each park, this fully-illustrated coast-to-coast journey documents the nation’s most magnificent and sacred places–and shows why they should be preserved for future generations.

Books for Autism Awareness Month

When Wendy asked if I was writing an article for Autism Awareness Month, I turned to a resource that I recently learned about from other children’s librarians. Disability in Kidlit is a website “dedicated to discussing the portrayal of disability in middle grade and young adult literature” written by people who have disabilities. Their Honor Roll includes two children’s chapter books featuring boys with autism, one a fantasy and one a realistic fiction story:

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The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

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A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

You can find reviews of several more chapter books there, including some mixed ones by reviewers who feel that the authors did some things well but also got other things wrong. Another interesting feature is interviews with authors.

Another resource I have used in the past is the Schneider Family Book Award. This award is for “an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” The page for the award also includes a bibliography of some recommended children’s books that feature characters who have disabilities. The list of award-winners and the bibliography both include some picture books for younger readers, which is outside the scope of Disability in KidLit. The jury that decides the award is supposed to be made up of people with “knowledge of disability experiences,” but they might not all have disabilities themselves. Looking through those lists, I only identified one picture book that featured a character with Autism:

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Silent Days, Silent Dreams by Allen Say

ALA Youth Media Awards

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Take a look at the award-winning books for kids and teens announced this morning! In addition to individual books that were honored, Eloise Greenfield and Jacqueline Woodson received awards for their many books for children (and Angela Johnson was honored for her writing for teens). Debbie Reese, who will deliver the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, has also shared the winners of the 2018 American Indian Library Association’s Youth Literature Award on her blog.

ALA Youth Media Awards – News and Press Center

Nights at the Museum

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler was one of my favorite books as a kid, and I’m not alone. This month marks 50 years since the book was published, and many people are writing tributes— including some new children’s books.

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Ban This Book: A Novel by Alan Gratz
“A fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don’t mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books that will make you laugh and pump your fists as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship.”

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One Mixed-Up Night by Catherine Newman
“Frankie and Walter aren’t really running away. Just like the kids in their favorite book, they are running to somewhere. Specifically, a massive furniture store. They’ve been obsessed with the Ikea catalog for years. So they make a plan, pack their backpacks, give their parents the sleepover switcheroo . . . and they’re in.”

As you can see by the big gold sticker on the cover, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler won the Newbery Medal. Mrs. Konigsburg also won a Newbery Honor for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and me, Elizabeth the same year. I’m not sure anyone else has managed to do that with two books in one year, and it’s even more impressive when you find out that these were the two books she wrote and illustrated! The book has also been turned into a movie under the title The Hideaways, which you can check out on DVD.

Yes, it’s OK to read audiobooks!

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Did you know you can count listening to audiobooks for the Summer Adventure? If you find yourself hesitating, the article Audiobooks Are Not Cheating (FREE poster offer) | Books on Tape has some great arguments in favor of recorded books. My favorite reason is that you can listen to a book in the car without getting a headache (the way you would reading with your eyes).

If you want to check out audiobooks from the library, you have a couple of options. We have books on CD (pretty self-explanatory), Playaways (those things in the orange boxes), and downloadable audiobooks.

Playaways are a little like having an iPod with something already downloaded on it. These are getting popular because not everyone owns something to play CDs on anymore. All you need to do is stick in your headphones and press play. Alternatively, you can use a cable to connect a Playaway to a car stereo so that everyone can listen to it together. The Findaway World company has details here: playaway-cars

Another option that you might not notice if you’re just looking at our shelves is downloadable audiobooks. The Digital Collection page of our website lists the different options for downloading audiobooks. At the bottom of the page, you can find help pages for the different apps and some guides to device compatibility.

Need a recommendation for a good audiobook? There are awards especially for audiobooks, like the Odyssey Award (for titles for children and young adults) and the Audies (for books for adults, children, and teens). The Association for Library Service to Children also puts out of yearly list of Notable Children’s Recordings, which includes both audiobooks and music (lists from past years are also available).

Alex made something amazing!

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Alex made a model of the Titanic that won 2nd place at the science fair at Woodview Elementary School! He brought it in to display at the library. Come take a look! While you’re here, you can check out some of our books about the Titanic to learn more.

Illinois Award Winners

The winners of the Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards have been announced!

Monarch Award (Kindergarten-3rd Grade):

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Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio, illustrated by Christian Robinson
A proper bulldog raised in a poodle family and a tough poodle raised in a bulldog family meet one day in the park.

Bluestem Award (Grades 3-5):

El Deafo
El Deafo by Cece Bell
The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her “superpower.”

Rebecca Caudill Award (Grades 4-8):

The Crossover
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health. A novel written in poetry.