Celebrate This Week - A Day Late - 2/2/14

Maybe at some point, I will actually be able to get a Saturday Celebrate Post up on a Saturday.  However, this one is going up a day late.   Celebrate This Week is hosted by Ruth Ayres and is a great community of writers.  Why don't you join in and link up with #celebratelu

This past week I had a lot to celebrate.  I kicked off my week with the 2014 ALA Youth Media Awards held in Philadelphia, PA on Monday, January 27, 2014.

After early morning pictures, committees enter the room where the announcements will be made.  I discovered that the Schneider Family Book Award Jury's seats were right between the Newbery Committee and the Caldecott Committee. 

Here is John Schumacher with fellow committee member Amy Koester

After the initial welcome and the Alex Awards, the Schneider Family Book Awards were announced.  Yes, I was definitely celebrating this. After months of reading and deliberations, we had made our decisions.

And these were the books that my fellow jury members and I were celebrating....

Though I don't have a lot of great pictures from the exhibit hall, here I am with Schneider Book Award Jury members Caroline Ward and Peg Glisson holding A Splash of Red with all it's beautiful bling.

Over at the Simon and Schuster booth, several other award winning books also looked very shiny with new medals.

When I arrived home from Philadelphia, I was thrilled to find my signed copy of Locomotive, winner of the 2014 Caldecott Medal and a Sibert Honor recipient. 

Mr. Schu made this great image of all of the 2014 Newbery Winners.  I loved these choices.  It was the first time that I had read every one of them prior to the announcements.

I, also, celebrated finding my signed copy of Flora & Ulysses, which won the 2014 Newbery Award.

When I got back to Pasadena, it seemed that my book adventures were not over.  Thank you to Nicole White, Penguin Publishers, I was invited to a dinner with Sally Green, author of Half Bad, which comes out in March.  It was a lovely evening with great food and even better conversations with several booksellers and Ms. Green.

This weekend, I am trying to hold onto the wonder of the past week while returning to my regular routine.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - Congratulations to the 2014 Sibert Winners

On Monday morning,  the American Library Association announced their 2014 Youth Media Award Winners. Below is the Press Release issued by ALA, and can be found here.  It was wonderful to listen to the awards be announced.  To know individuals who served on the 2014 Sibert Award Committee and to discover that the Schneider Family Book Award Jury honored one of the same books.  If you want to read Horn Books' reviews by Roger Sutton of each of these magnificent books, click here.

For those of you who participate in Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday, how many of the books below were your picks to win? 
Philadelphia – Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore and illustrator Susan L. Roth of “Parrots over Puerto Rico,” were named the winners of the 2014 Robert F. Sibert Medal for the most distinguished informational book for children published in 2013. The award was announced today by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting held Jan. 24 – 28 in Philadelphia.

Parrots over Puerto Rico,” published by LEE & LOW BOOKS Inc., is the story of the rescue and return of the Puerto Rican parrot, a species once so abundant it blotted out the sun.  Through the efforts of a valiant, dedicated and committed team of scientists and island residents the fate of this native bird is now inching out of extinction.        

“The Sibert committee was swept into the lush collages and unique layout of the exciting efforts to rescue the iridescent Puerto Rican Parrot,” said Sibert Medal Committee Chair Cecilia P. McGowan.

Susan L. Roth resides in New York and has written and illustrated numerous children’s books. Cindy Trumbore lives in New Jersey and is a former children’s book editor and has written several children’s books. Roth and Trumbore co-wrote “The Mangrove Tree,” featuring collage illustrations by Roth, which was a 2012 ALA Notable Book and Orbis Pictus Honor Book.

The Sibert Medal Committee selected four Honor Book(s).

A Splash of Red: the Life and Art of Horace Pippin,” written by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.

Readers will be inspired by the passion and perseverance of artist Horace Pippin in this engaging picture book biography. The tightly woven narrative coupled with mixed media collage, watercolor and gouache illustrations capture the essence of Pippin's life and work.

Jen Bryant lives in Pennsylvania. She has written dozens of fiction, nonfiction and poetry books for children. Melissa Sweet lives in Maine. She is the winner of the 2012 Sibert Medal for “Balloons Over Broadway.” Bryant and Sweet collaborated on "A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams,” for which Sweet won a 2009 Caldecott Honor.

Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard,” written and illustrated by Annette LeBlanc Cate and published by Candlewick Press.

This spirited, accessible introduction to the art and science of birding features immersive, fact-filled cartoon art punctuated with tongue-in-beak bird commentary via word bubbles and humorous asides. Cate's can-do tone empowers children and reminds them that they too can be citizen scientists if they only, "Look Up!"

Annette LeBlanc Cate, a graduate of the Art Institute of Boston, is the author/illustrator of "The Magic Rabbit."  She resides in Massachusetts.

Locomotive,” written and illustrated by Brian Floca and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

CHUG-CHUG!  HUFF-HUFF! Brian Floca invites us back in time to experience the excitement and danger of a family’s 1869 transcontinental rail journey. Flowing, detailed blank verse text and warm, thoroughly researched illustrations fuel the adventure. ALL ABOARD! for this stunning aural and visual celebration of early rail travel. WHOO-WHOO!

This is author and illustrator Brian Floca’s fourth Sibert Honor Book. Floca lives and works in Brooklyn, N.Y.

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius,” written by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

Greenberg and Jordan provide a fascinating account of the life and work of the eccentric and inventive ceramic artist, George E. Ohr. The text is enhanced by photographs and information about where to see his art today. He was, in his own words, “The Greatest Art Potter on Earth. You prove the contrary.”

Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan have been award winning collaborators since the 1990s. Greenberg lives in St. Louis and Jordan lives in New York.

The award was established by ALSC and named to commemorate Mr. Robert F. Sibert, founder of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., of Jacksonville, Ill. Sibert is known for his early work in establishing standards of bookbinding.

Members of the 2014 Sibert Medal Committee are:  Chair Cecilia P. McGowan, King County Library System, Issaquah, Wash.; Barbara A. Genco, BAGenco Consulting, Brooklyn, N.Y.;
Christine A. Jenkins, University of Illinois, Champaign; Dr. Allison G. Kaplan  University of Wisconsin SLIS, Madison; Sally L. Miculek, Austin (Texas) Public Library;
Catharine Potter, Falmouth (Maine) Elementary School; Victor Lynn Schill, Fairbanks Branch,  Houston; Letitia A. Wilson, Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library; and Terrence E. Young, Jr., Metaire, La.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their website at www.ala.org/alsc.
For information on the Robert F. Sibert Medal and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.


Macey Morales
ALA Media Relations
Public Information Office (PIO)

Don't forget to link up your nonfiction reviews below and to check out and comment on some of the reviews:

Congratulations to the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award Winners

This morning, in a packed room of 800 people with more watching from an overflow room or at home, the American Library Association announced their 2014 Youth Media Award Winners. Below is the Press Release issued by ALA, and can be found here.  It was an honor to serve as this year's chair of the committee.  Thank you everyone for your support and enthusiasm for this award.

PHILADELPHIA – The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014 Schneider Family Book Awards, which honor an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The award was announced today during the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, Jan.24 - 28.

Recipients are selected in three categories: birth through grade school (age 0–8), middle school (age 9–13) and teens (age 14–18). Winners will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque, which will be presented in Las Vegas during the ALA Annual Conference in June.

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin,” written by Jen Bryant illustrated by Melissa Sweet and published by Alfred A.Knopf, an Imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc.won the award for young children.

“This picture book biography of self-taught African American folk artist Horace Pippin demonstrates the dogged determination of a wounded soldier to paint again. After a WWI injury threatened to end his potential artistic career, he trained himself to paint by supporting his injured arm with the other hand.”

“Bryant and Sweet’s stunning picture book biography effectively depicts that perseverance and courage are essential ingredients of living with a disability and realizing your dreams.” said Award Chair Alyson Beecher.

Handbook for Dragon Slayers” written by Merrie Haskell and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers won the award for best middle school title.

“Reluctant Princess Tilda, sheltered due to her deformed foot, longs to escape her destiny. A thwarted kidnapping sends Tilda, Lord Parzifal and her handmaiden Judith on a dragon-hunting quest. Supported by friends and dragons, Tilda realizes her physical limitations do not define her.”

“Ms. Haskell presents a high-spirited fantasy in which an endearing heroine’s perception of what her life can be is altered by her adventure.” said Beecher.

The teen award winner is “Rose Under Fire” written by Elizabeth Wein and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

After a daring flight maneuver, young pilot Rose Justice is captured by Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious women’s concentration camp. Assigned to a high security unit, Rose survives under the wing of the “Rabbits,” Polish political prisoners, subjected to medical experimentation by Nazi doctors.

“Through Ms. Wein’s searing portrayal, readers experience the physical and emotional consequences of Nazi torture.” said Beecher.

Members of the 2014 Schneider Family Book Award committee are: Chair Alyson Beecher, Pasadena Unified School District, Pasadena, Calif.; Jill Garcia, National Library Service For The Blind & Physically Handicapped, Beltsville, Md.; Peg Glisson, Pittsford, N.Y.; Marilyn M. Irwin, Indiana University-Indianapolis, Bloomington, Ind.;Judy T. Nelson, Pierce County Library System, Tacoma, Wash.; Susan Person, Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library, Broomfield, Colo.; and Caroline Ward, The Ferguson Library, Stamford, Conn.

The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world with approximately 60,000 members. Its mission is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

For more information on the Schneider Family Book Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.

Macey Morales
ALA Media Relations
Public Information Office (PIO)

American Library Association 2014 Youth Media Award - January 27, 2014

One of the biggest days of the year in Children’s Literature is the day when the Youth Media Awards are announced.  Most people are familiar with two awards – The Newbery Medal (the most distinguished American children's books) and the Caldecott Medal (artist of the most distinguished American Picture Book for Children).  However, did you know that there are actually 18 awards?  Here is a list of all of the awards:

This year, the 2014 Youth Media Awards will be announced on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 8 a.m. (ET) in Philadelphia.  If you are an early riser, you can watch the livestream of the awards at 5 a.m. (PT).  http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2014/01/ala-offers-unlimited-virtual-seats-ala-youth-media-awards-webcast

The recorded video will be available on YouTube at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT if teachers would like to watch it with students.  http://www.youtube.com/ALAYouthMediaAwards

Additional ways of catching the announcements:
·       Follow @alayma or with the hashtag #alayma
·       Like ALA Youth Media Awards on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/alayma

For the past two years, I have had the privilege and honor to serve on the Schneider Family Book Award committee.  It is an incredible experience to read through more than a hundred books (some committees read several hundred books) looking for the ones that best meet the intentions of the award.  I may not always understand why a previous committee selected the books that they did, but I can say that I know each committee takes seriously the task of choosing these books. As a result, I am learning to appreciate and respect the decisions each committee makes in regards to their book choices.  

ALA's Youth Media Awards - Schneider Family Book Award Winners

Part of me is terribly exhausted but the other part is running on adrenalin.  It was an amazing morning being a part of ALA's Youth Media Awards.  It started with pictures at 6:00 a.m. for the committees.

The 2013 Schneider Family Book Award Jury

After hanging around for awhile, we were able to go into the room where the announcements would be made.  Each committee has reserved seats. Look what was on our chairs:

Believe it or not, we were in the front row in front of the big screen.  However, it is pretty dark in there so my pictures are limited.

Me in front of the big screen
Here is a picture of room as people were coming in:

The Youth Media Award Announcements are made quickly and efficiently.  The Schneider Family Book Awards were announced early on.

Each year, the Schneider Family Book Award Jury selects three awards.  The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Usually, they are given in the following categories - Young Child, Middle Grade, and Young Adult.  And the winners of this year's Schneider Family Book Awards go to:

Young Child Award -
Back to Front and Upside Down by Claire Alexander (Eerdmans Books for Young Children)

Middle Grade Award -
A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean (Katherine Tegen/Harper Collins)

Young Adult Award -
Somebody Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis (Simon & Schuster)

I am excited about the hard work of the jury and really feel that we selected some great books that fit what the award is all about. 

When the awards were over, I went down to the exhibit hall to see the books on display.  I was able to take some pictures with the books.  However, the highlight was when HarperCollins let me place the Schneider Family Book Award Sticker on A Dog Called Homeless.

I am with Sarah Shumway Liu (Editor for A Dog Called Homeless)
Ok, that's all for now.  I'll be posting more about this incredible experience, but now off for a nap.