The 2014 Children’s and Young Adult book awards were announced Monday January 27 by the American Library Association. And the winners are…
The Caldecott Award is for the most distinguished American picture book. This year’s Caldecott Medal went to Locomotive written and illustrated by Brian Floca. It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean.
The Newbery Award is for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. This year’s Newbery Medal went to Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo, (who also won in 2004 for The Tale of Despereaux). The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is for the most distinguished book for beginning readers. This year’s award went to The Watermelon Seed, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli. An endearing little crocodile accidentally swallows a watermelon seed and envisions worst-case scenarios, from vines sprouting from his ears to his crocodile skin turning pink.
The Michael L. Printz Award is for excellence in literature written for young adults. This year’s award went to Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. An archaeologist who unearths a mysterious artifact, an airman who finds himself far from home, a painter, a ghost, a vampire, and a Viking: the seven stories in this compelling novel all take place on the remote Scandinavian island of Blessed where a curiously powerful plant that resembles a dragon grows. What binds these stories together? What secrets lurk beneath the surface of this idyllic countryside? And what might be powerful enough to break the cycle of midwinterblood?
For more information and to see the full list of this year’s winners, visit the ALA website.