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ALA awards include graphic novel nods


The American Library Association Youth Media Awards were handed out this morning, including the Newbery (won by Rebecca Stead for When You Reach Me) and the Caldecott (won by Jerry Pinkney for The Lion & the Mouse.) In addition, many awards for books for younger readers were presented — you can see the entire list here — and several graphic novels were honored.

For the second year in a row, books from Toon Books, the comics line for early readers spearheaded by Francoise Mouly, were honored by the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning reader books. Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! by Geoffrey Hayes won the top award, and Little Mouse Gets Ready by Jeff Smith won honorable mention.

In addition, David Small’s Stitches won an Alex Award, a prize which recognizes “written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.”

The kinds of library awards are extremely significant in the continuing legitimization and success of graphic novels in libraries — librarians typically look to these kinds of awards for hints on what to order for their collections, and should give all the books mentioned added shelf life.

  1. I LOVE Benny and Penny in the Big No-No! I reviewed it for Booklist (ALA’s review journal) when it was first published, praising it for its timeless art and realistic take on sibling relationships. It’s a gorgeous book, fun to read, and it’s the first of a new series. Yay! Hayes’ characters can stand right up there with other iconic children’s book characters such as Frances (Bread and Jam for Frances, etc.) and Frog and Toad. Jeff Smith also showed he’s no slouch at appealing to the littler kids with Little Mouse Gets Ready. These are both such delightful books!

  2. The Storm in the Barn won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction (first graphic novel to ever win that award).

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