Meet the 2017 Newbery, Caldecott and Printz award winners "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" won the 2017 John Newbery Medal. (American Library Association)
Meet the 2017 Newbery, Caldecott and Printz award winners
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Have you ever been where the wild things are? Taken a ride on the Polar Express, or a walk with Madeline and her classmates in two straight lines? Have you hung out with Mr. Popper's penguins, or Johnny Tremain, or a mouse named Despereaux?
 
If so, you've read a Newbery or Caldecott-winning book, and you know just how magical children's literature can be. Now, reports Thu Huong-Ha for Quartz, the list of award-winning books just got longer with the announcement of this year's most prestigious honors for the genre.
 
The American Library Association has revealed its 2017 awards for the top books for children and young adults. The announcement is like the Academy Awards for children's book authors and illustrators. It is an acknowledgment that American librarians stand behind the work of a new stable of imaginative and emotionally powerful books for young readers.
 
The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature was awarded to "The Girl Who Drank the Moon," by Kelly Barnhill. The book, which was a New York Times bestseller, tells the story of a young girl raised by a good witch, a pocket-sized dragon and a poetry-writing monster. The girl must contend with the magic within her to help protect those she holds most dear.
 
Given annually by the American Library Association since 1922, the Newbery Medal was named after an 18th-century English bookseller named John Newbery. He is considered to be the father of children's literature. Newbery is responsible for publishing one of the first collections of Mother Goose rhymes and other whimsical children's stories that turned children's publishing into a viable, and very profitable, industry.
 
Newbery Honors went to "Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life" by Ashley Bryan, "The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog" by Adam Gidwitz, and "Wolf Hollow" by Lauren Wolk.
 
The Randolph Caldecott Medal for most distinguished American picture book for children is named for a British artist and illustrator who helped make illustrated books for children popular during the Victorian era. This year's medal was awarded to "Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michael Basquiat." Written and illustrated by Javaka Steptoe, the book tells the story of the future street artist and neo-Expressionist's childhood in New York through artwork that echoes Basquiat's vibrant, collage-like creations. Caldecott Honors went to "Leave Me Alone!", illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol; "Freedom in Congo Square", illustrated by R. Gregory Christie and written by Carole Boston Weatherford; "Du Iz Tak?", illustrated and written by Carson Ellis, and "They All Saw a Cat", illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel.
 
Two other familiar names are among those emblazoned on awards given out. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are named after the American author and civil rights activist and wife of Martin Luther King. They honor African-American authors and illustrators of children's books. One of the awards in her name, the King Author Book award, was given to "March: Book Three". Third in the graphic novel trilogy about John Lewis' young life, the book was written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. As SmartNews reports, the trilogy has already won a number of prestigious awards and is being used in school curricula to teach students about the Civil Rights movement. "March: Book Three" also snagged the prestigious Michael L. Printz award for young adult literature.
 
Another award is named after Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose Little House books changed the genre forever in the 1930s. The award named after Wilder honors an author or illustrator who has, like Wilder, made a significant and lasting contribution to children's literature. This year's winner, Nikki Grimes, has written 45 books for children and young adults, many of which bring the African-American experience to life for kids.
 
From a city bus to the Civil Rights Movement to a magical witch's world, this year's winners just go to show that it's a wide world for young readers.

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COMMENTS (7)
  • kaileew-ste
    2/02/2017 - 08:15 p.m.

    The 2017 greatest book awards have been awarded. One Newberry Medal was given to "The Girl Who Drank the Moon". Awards were given to many different genres this year.

  • irisp-ste
    2/06/2017 - 09:00 a.m.

    The "father of children's literature" began writing tales for children long when kids' stories were still only told verbally. By sparking this change and writing books specifically for the youth, Caldecott received the recognition making children's literature so popular.

  • kimberlyk-pla
    2/06/2017 - 12:53 p.m.

    The American Library Association has recently announced it's 2017 award winning children and young adult books. There are awards given out for everything from best illustrations to awards specific to African American authors. I really enjoyed this article because I remember talking about these awards in elementary school. We were always encouraged to read books that had won awards because they were good children's literature. Many of these books can help young children become more civically engaged because they talk about important issues in a way that children can understand. These awards are important because they draw attention to these books so more children become exposed.

  • nicoler1-pla
    2/06/2017 - 02:15 p.m.

    In this article, Blakemore shares the recipients of various literature awards for 2017 chosen by the American Library Association. Background information is also shared related to each article. One award mentioned is the Newbery Medal, which has been given by the ALA since 1922 and is named after John Newbery, the father of children's literature. This year the John Newbery Medal was awarded to "The Girl Who Drank the Moon," by Kelly Barnhill. Another award mentioned was the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which is given to authors who have made a great impact on children's literature. The winner for 2017 is Nikki Grimes who wrote 45 books for children/young adults that detail African-American life. I liked this article because I thought it was interesting to learn more about all of these literature awards. I was surprised to find that I hadn't even heard of some of the awards! I think that this connects to civic engagement because books and literature are an important part of our culture and help us form opinions. It is important for children especially to be exposed to books from a wide range of topics.

  • brandond-pla
    2/06/2017 - 10:23 p.m.

    This article describes the authors and their books that have won awards this year for outstanding children/young adult literature. Among those awards are the Caldecott and Newbery Medals, along with the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. The latter awards honor African American authors and their contributions to children's literature.

    In order to acquire civic virtue, you must be dedicated to the welfare of your community and of your nation. The authors of these children's books have devoted their lives to producing works that educate our children and allow them to cultivate reading skill. A prime example of this is the trilogy of graphic novels entitled "March", written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. This trilogy is being successfully used to teach children about the Civil Rights movement.

    In addition, these prestigious authors are creating literature that allows our children to develop analytical thinking skills. These skills will most definitely be needed in the next generations of American citizens.

  • monicam-5-pla
    2/09/2017 - 11:09 a.m.

    The article on Teen Tribune tells how new people are being chosen to be awarded the Newberry or the Caldecott for writing children's books. The awards had been awarded to people who have wrote very popular and recognized books in the past like Laura Ingalls Wilder for her books, The House on the Prairie. I am connected to the books that are being awarded the Newberry and Caldecott because I have read many of the books that have been awarded in the past. When I was younger Little House on the Prairie used to be one of my favorite books. I also watch Polar Express every Christmas and the book that it was based on have won the awards. - Monica Miller

  • noahr-ste
    2/28/2017 - 01:07 p.m.

    The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature was awarded to "The Girl Who Drank the Moon. The book is very interesting it has witches and dragons in it which is why it had to be one of my favorites as a kid.

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