The American Library Association announced the winners of the Youth Media Awards, a pantheon of honors celebrating books for a variety of readers and constituencies.

The Newbery and Caldecott Medals are the best known of these awards, but there are many others. Announced early Monday morning at the Midwinter conference, recognition can generate sales and interest among librarians, educators, and readers.

This year, while only one graphic novel was a winner, many others received honorable mentions. AND…a well-known comics creator was chosen to deliver a memorial lecture! Who is it? Read on and find out!

The Alex Awards are a list of ten books, marketed to adults, which have special appeal to readers age 12-18. Among the titles announced this year is David Small’s Home Before Dark, a novel by the acclaimed author of Stitches.

Among the finalists for the William C. Morris YA Debut Award was Check, Please!, Book 1: #Hockey, written and illustrated by Ngozi Ukazu, published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Also selected as finalists for Excellence in Non-Fiction were two additional graphic novels:
The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler, by John Hendrix, published by Harry A. Abrams
and
Hey Kiddo, by Jarrett Krosoczka, published by Scholastic Graphix.

The Batchelder Award honors books published in a foreign language outside the United States, and then subsequently translated and published domestically. My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, by Nie Jun and published by Lerner Book’s Graphic Universe imprint, was selected as an Honor Book.

First Second, not noted for their beginning reader graphic novels, received a Geisel Award Honor Book commendation for Tiger vs. Nightmare, written and illustrated by Emily Tetri.

AND… the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award is:

an annual event featuring an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature.

Neil Gaiman will deliver the 2020 Arbuthnot Lecture.
When and where?

Once the lecturer is announced, at the ALA Midwinter Meeting,  institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in college or university, or a children’s library system may be considered. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April or May, and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children.

Neil Gaiman ALA


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