I’m not really one to watch award shows. All of the pomp and circumstance and tuxedos and dresses and acceptance speeches just aren’t my thing. Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy television shows and movies and music. And the actors and artists who pour their heart and soul into their work deserve the accolades for those efforts. But to sit on the couch for hours on end actually watching the ceremonies seems like time that could be better spent doing something else. Maybe something like, oh, I don’t know… reading?
Each year, the American Library Association announces their picks for top books, digital media, videos, and audiobooks for children and young adults. The list includes winners for the Coretta Scott King Award, the Caldecott Award, the Newbery Award, and the Printz Award, just to name a few. I haven’t had a chance to read all of them (yet!), but here are a few of the titles that are definitely going on my list. And this should come as no surprise, you can find all of them at your Beloit Public Library.
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson. (Coretta Scott King Book Award winner) For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that—but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. (Book Description)
Everything Sad is Untrue (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri. (Printz Award winner) A sprawling, evocative, and groundbreaking autobiographical novel told in the unforgettable and hilarious voice of a young Iranian refugee. It is a powerfully layered novel that poses the questions: Who owns the truth? Who speaks it? Who believes it? (Book Description)
Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist by Julie Leung. (Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Picture Book winner) Before he became an artist named Tyrus Wong, he was a boy named Wong Geng Yeo. He traveled across a vast ocean from China to America with only a suitcase and a few papers. Not papers for drawing—which he loved to do—but immigration papers to start a new life. (Book Description)
We Are Water Protectors written by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade. (Caldecott winner). When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource. (Book Description)
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller. (Newberry winner) When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her Halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal… Lily is tempted to agree. (Book Description)