2016 ALA YMA’s: my reactions

Now that I’ve mostly stopped trembling –  adrenaline rush! – here’s my reactions to some of this morning’s ALA YMA announcements. I’ll focus on the awards / books I know best or should’ve known better. And there will be reaction selfies. Because why not!

Last Stop on Market Street picked up big hardware this morning, including the Newbery Medal AND a Caldecott Honor. What a thrill. Seriously: What. A. Thrill.  I am SO happy that this touching, important story won big and will have a long-lasting impact.  William Blake’s Inn aside (because it’s poetry), Last Stop on Market Street is the FIRST picture book to win the Newbery Medal. AND! It’s the second book to ever to have a Newbery/Caldecott combo (after William Blake’s Inn). Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson – a kidlit dream team!

My reaction? Stoked! I was shaking after this announcement! Also: is it too much to hope that de la Pena – best known for his YA work – will write more picture books?


My girl J was pumped to hear that Roller Girl now sports some serious hardware. So am I: year two that a GN was honored by the committee with a Newbery Honor. No reaction shot from her…she was asleep this year (West Coast time and all).  This is when from Easter, when not even candy kept her from reading it:

As for me?


…and that’s all for the reaction selfies. Really.

Quite happy that The War That Saved My Life AND Echo also picked up Newbery Honors. They are great titles for upper readers (and adult readers!) with solid circulation among my 5th graders (though I’ve got TWTSML in galley form…soon to be solved!) . Newbery, you outdid yourself this year: a picture book, a graphic novel, and 2 chapter books.  Well done.

The Caldecott to Finding Winnie – I haven’t read it yet: I’m #24 of 65 on hold, and it’s been over a month. No excuses anymore: it’s now ordered and on the way! Nonfiction for the win is always a good thing…especially since it was the one of the major genres (poetry being the other) not covered by the Newbery. And that it’s focused on such a kid-friendly topic – Winnie the Pooh – is icing on the Caldecott cake!


Trombone Shorty, as a LSU girl who holds New Orleans close, my heart sings with joy today! Your story was much appreciated by 5th graders in last week’s Lunch and Listen. And now you are a double-winner!

Kevin Henkes once again shows that his titles, regardless of genre or age range, garner close inspection by the committees.  His quietly beautiful (and patient) story was recognized with TWO awards: a Caldecott Honor AND a Geisel Honor to Waiting.

Speaking of the Geisel…I was so, so off. Supertruck and Waiting aside, I haden’t even heard of the other 2 winners: A Pig, a Fox, and a Box and Don’t Throw it to Mo! Shame on me! Not to fear: they’re (also) on order. Also: hearing the name Mo announced during the Geisel – not followed by the surname Willems – was totally surreal. That would’ve been a good selfie reaction shot, but alas: I was tweeting.

And speaking of Supertruck: my 6yo is very, very happy that a book he loved won an award. And that’s the point of the Geisel, yes?  🙂

Jerry Pinkney won the day. Two awards for lifetime achievement. It was time.

Jason Reynolds had a big day. Two CSK Honors for All-American Boys and The Boy in the Black Suit. I’m surprised that neither won the award, but it’ll happen in due time: he’s too big of a talent.  Also adding All-American Boys to my TBR pile right now. As much as I loved The Boy in the Black Suit (see Mock Printz), you think I’d have read his other YA from 2015…

Also big author honors to David Levithan and Jackie Woodson. The Edwards Award is the one I remember most from my MLIS program – we had to read a book from each of the winning authors. Levithan joins an esteemed group. And Woodson’s Arbuthnot Lecture should be fabulous, given her strength in storytelling.

IMG_4376 IMG_4397

Among other announcements:

VERY happy that Fish in a Tree and The War That Saved My Life picked up the middle grade Schneider Family Book Award! The committee couldn’t choose between the two, and I don’t blame them. These stories of children overcoming disabilities – physical and learning – are winners among children. Having a shiny new sticker is a well-deserved bonus.

The Porcupine of Truth won! Yippee! I feared it would be overlooked…but the won the YA Award from the Stonewall Committee.


The Printz once again proved that we never know what that committee is going to do. Bone Gap won the award (YAY Laura Ruby!), but I haven’t read either of the two honor titles: Out of Darkness and The Ghosts of Heaven. My TBR pile grows larger 🙂


Those – among others – stand out among this morning’s awards. Now 10amPST, it’s time to get going with my morning (um, shower). I’m thankful to work part-time and blog on Mondays…especially today. Reactions? Share freely, but Be Positive! Cheers, readers!

2 thoughts on “2016 ALA YMA’s: my reactions

  1. Joanne Furgason

    Thank you for sharing the winners, but really enjoy reading your thoughts/comments re. these titles. Can’t wait to read the Market St. book – double winner – IMPRESSIVE!!!!

  2. Pingback: The award goes to… | Elementary Library with Ms. Arika

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