The American Library Association announced their 2015 youth media award winners at its Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.
Covering a diverse range of titles and readers, graphic novels were among the honorees! First… The big news…
El Deafo, Cece Bell’s memoir of her hearing loss and fitting in at grade school was selected as a Newbery Honor Book, as an outstanding contribution to children’s literature!
While already a bestseller, with long autograph lines this weekend at the conference, this honor will encourage more libraries, especially school libraries, to shelve and promote this title, a great book which just happens to be a graphic memoir!
Then there’s the Caldecott Medal, for most distinguished American picture book. This is another “instant bestseller”, generating instant sales among libraries and bookstores. This year’s winner was Dan Santat, for “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend”, which is a regular picture book. But… Santat has also written a graphic novel, titled “Sidekicks”, and his picture books are geeky and fun, so I’m claiming him!
Also… there were SIX honor books announced. One of which was… “This One Summer“, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki. Yes… it’s awarded to the illustrator, but many times, the story is essential for a title rising among the many amazing books being published today.
Don’t feel sory for Mariko… she received a Printz Honor for excellence in literature written for young adults! This is the Newberry for YA literature, with a similar explosion in sales expected! (Graphicologists will recall that Gene Luen Yang won the award for American Born Chinese in 2007.)
What… you want more? Okay… How about an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language?
The Mildred L. Batchelder Award honored “Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust“, published by First Second. Written in French by Loic Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano, color by Greg Salsedo, and translated by Alexis Siegel, it chronicles a young Jewish girl in 1942 Paris. I confess… I overlooked this title last Spring. (Hey… they have an amazing list, and there’s lots of great stuff from other publishers too!) Here’s a friendly reminder, and an enjoyable one at that!
Me, I’m off to discover more great titles, and to help librarians use graphic novels to encourage literacy and a life-long-love of reading!