TV has the Emmy, Hollywood has the Oscar, and Broadway has the Tony. Did you know that every midwinter, the American Library Association presents awards for the best books of the year?
At the beginning of each new year, I look forward to creating a list of movies and books to keep myself engaged during the winter. My pursuit includes familiarizing myself with the “latest and greatest” in children’s literature so I can promote the best books for my students. I am surprised, with all the reading I do, that I am sometimes unaware of children’s books that were recently published and highly acclaimed.
Most teachers know of the Caldecott Medal, given to an illustrator of the best American picture book of the year, and the Newbery, for the author of the most distinguished contribution to American children’s literature.
Less familiar awards include the Geisel Award, awarded to an author or illustrator of a book for beginning readers published in the English language. For middle school readers, the Coretta Scott King Award recognizes the best book written by an African American author and depicting the African American experience. The Pura Belpré Award is given to a Latino/Latina author for books celebrating the Latino cultural experience.
There is an award for literature originally published in a language other than English: the Mildred L. Batchelder Award honors an American publisher for the best book translated from another language to English and published in the United States.
The American Library Association’s website is an amazing resource for creating reading lists. At the end of last month, book award winners were announced. Download the complete list to find some great titles.