I always look forward to the Monday in January where the ALA Youth awards are announced. For a few years this seemed to always fall during a blizzard and I was able to watch them online from my home. This year I was at school (although we did have a snow day the next day), and had to listen to them while trying to help kids with chromebook problems, checking out books to them, and answering my phone. I always appreciate the fact that I can print out the list of award winners later because I didn't have enough time to write a list of all the titles I want to investigate.
I love the happy surprise of getting to add books to my TBR, but I also enjoy the feeling of achievement when I already own or know about the award winners. It's really a win-win situation.
As I spend more time in the middle school, I find my knowledge of picture books slipping away. That makes me a little sad, but my sweet spot has always been the middle grade novel. And there are plenty of great ones that made the list this year to choose from.
The Newbery winner, When You Trap A Tiger by Tae Keller is one I had seen previously, but I don't own it. However, the five Newbery honor books I already have in my library. I've read Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and think it is amazing. I've got All Thirteen by Christina Soontornvat on my TBR at home. I love non-fiction and I continue to hear great things about this one.
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson is a Coretta Scott King award winner, and also amazing. Not only is it a novel in verse, but it tackles the tough (and current) topic of a father who is suffering from CTE because of his career playing football.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Frankin, The Queen of Soul is another Coretta Scott King award winner (illustrations) that I was excited to see on the list. The illustrations are beautiful. And even my middle schoolers are happy to sit down and read this one.
The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming is the winner of the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. I've been enjoying Fleming's writing for a long time, and am always happy to pass along a fantastic biography to my readers. And this one I happily took home, hoping to get to it soon.
There are so many fantastic books that deserve these awards, but the committee does a great job of picking out the cream of the crop.