The American Library Association (ALA)’s mid-winter meeting begins this weekend in Dallas, Texas. On Monday, January 23, the winners of the various big awards will be announced. Last year I watched the ceremony live on my computer with my school librarian and a couple people who wandered into the library. The year before I had the winners texted to my phone while I waited for a friend at an appointment.

This year I have a meeting that begins right about the same time as the awards. I may have to follow the awards on twitter and try to contain my enthusiasm for the winners. I would prefer watching with other book-loving friends and being able to cheer as winners are announced.

The two awards I’m the most interested in are the Newbery and the Printz.

Last year the Newbery went to:

   Moon over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

with honors to


Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm   

Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus

Dark Emporer and other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia


The Printz went to:

    Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi

with honors to



Stolen by Lucy Christopher

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

Revolver by Marcus Sedgwick

Nothing by Janne Teller

I haven’t read all the winners. I enjoyed Turtle in Paradise and One Crazy Summer a lot. Turtle is about a girl sent to live with relatives in the Florida Keys in the 1930’s, and One Crazy Summer is about three sisters who spend a summer across the country in California with their unknown mother during the 1960’s. Two books grounded in events of the times where characters learn about their families. I’m looking forward to the sequel to One Crazy Summer!

Ship Breaker takes place in a bleak future where people survive by collecting scrap metal and wire from ships and other places and selling/trading to try to stay alive. It has adventure and survival themes, plus bio-engineered “monsters”, rich girls who appear dead but aren’t, and hurricanes. The companion novel, The Drowned Cities, will be out in May. I was lucky enough to read an advanced copy. Although it doesn’t have many of the same characters, it is another great adventure in this world.

I also enjoyed Vera Dietz which has an interesting format—even some of the buildings have chapters telling what’s going on from their point of view. The Revolver is about a boy whose father has just frozen to death. While he waits for help to arrive, a man shows up saying the boy’s father cheated him during the Alaskan Gold Rush. Good tense mystery!

Next week when the awards are announced, I’ll have lots of books to add to my reading piles! I can’t wait!