Tag Archives: best lists

Awards and Best Books and Stars, Oh My!

On Monday, January 23 various sections of the American Library Association gave out some of the biggest awards for children’s and young adult books from the previous year at the Youth Media Awards. I look forward to the Youth Media Awards every year – not much can get me out of bed that early in the morning, but the excitement just can’t be beat!

Part of why I started tracking starred reviews and best books was to try to read likely contenders, so let’s see how this year’s winners and honors stack up!

Newbery Award:

girlwhodrankthemoon

Winner: The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Bulletin, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 5: Booklist, Bulletin, Kirkus, PW, SLJ

Honors:
freedom_over_meinquisitorstalewolfhollow
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 3: Horn Book, Kirkus, SLJ

The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz, illustrated by Hatem Aly
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 5: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ

Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 3: Booklist, Kirkus, SLJ

Printz Award

march_book_three
Winner: March, Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; Illustrated by Nate Powell
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 5: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ

Honors:
asking_for_itpassionofdolssascythesun_is_also_a_star

Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
Starred reviews – 1: SLJ
Best lists – 1: SLJ

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Bulletin, Horn Book, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 4: Booklist, Horn Book, PW, SLJ

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Bulletin, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 3: Kirkus, PW, SLJ

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Bulletin, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW
Best lists – 5: Booklist, Bulletin, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW

Caldecott Award

radiant_child
Winner: Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat by Javaka Steptoe
Starred reviews – 4: Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 4: Horn Book, Kirkus, PW, SLJ

Honors:
leave_me_alonefreedomincongosquaredu_iz_takthey_all_saw_a_cat
Leave Me Alone! by Vera Brosgol
Starred reviews – 2: PW, SLJ
Best lists – 2: Horn Book, PW

Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Starred reviews – 4: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, SLJ
Best lists – 4: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, SLJ

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis
Starred reviews – 5: Booklist, Bulletin, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW
Best lists – 4: Booklist, Horn Book, Kirkus, PW

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Starred reviews – 3: Booklist, PW, SLJ
Best lists – 2: Booklist, SLJ

Some notes of interest:

  • Many of the titles with 5 starred reviews were honored this year, but none of the titles with 6 starred reviews were!
  • As usual, when there were 5 starred reviews, the Bulletin was the journal most likely to have abstained. In the case of March, Book Three I’m pretty sure they never even reviewed it although I would have to double check to be sure. This was a little more spread around than sometimes though – Kirkus didn’t star The Passion of Dolssa; SLJ didn’t star The Sun Is Also a Star or Du Iz Tak?; and Horn Book didn’t star Scythe or The Girl Who Drank the Moon.
  • Typically the starred reviews are the widest net of excellence, narrowed down into best books and then the awards only honor a handful of titles. However, Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol did not receive a starred review from Horn Book, but did make their Fanfare (best of the year) List.
  • Asking for It (1 star and list) and Leave Me Alone (2 stars and lists) are our annual reminder that starred reviews and best lists are far from perfect predictors and that the committee members read far more widely than most of us are able to do!

I read fewer books in 2016 than I have in quite awhile, but still managed to have read several of these before the awards. Trying to read up for the Mock Printz I participated in meant I read The Passion of Dolssa, Scythe and The Sun Is Also a Star; we picked The Passion of Dolssa as an honor book, but I thought all three were excellent. I listened to Wolf Hollow crying my eyes out at times and just finished the lovely The Girl Who Drank the Moon which I was halfway through at the time of the announcements. I haven’t really looked at any of the Caldecotts yet which is maybe not surprising since 11/12 of 2016 I was focused on teens!

Had you read any of these ahead of time? Which ones did you love? What books will you now be championing to readers yourself since they didn’t get awards?

I also encourage you to check out the many other awards that were announced at the Youth Media Awards – there are many other wonderful awards that focus on diverse titles or other formats that are well worth your while. You can see a list of some of them in my Award Winners spreadsheet.

Stay tuned for a post in the next week of 2017 titles that are already accumulating stars – maybe next year’s winners and honors will be among those! Happy reading!