Each year at the midwinter ALA conference, a variety of children’s books and media awards are announced at the ALA Youth Media Awards. This press conference is attended by 1500 or so interested children’s librarians, book publicists, editors, and other children’s literature enthusiasts. It is the culmination of a year’s worth of reading by dedicated committees committed to selecting the best of the best.
Called by some the “Oscars of children’s literature,” these awards create much speculation by book lovers around the country. Much of the fun of these awards is all the reading and talking in the months leading up to the announcements about the excellent new books being published. The speculation about what might win these major awards — especially the Caldecott and the Newbery — has spawned a wide range of blogs and conjecture focusing on these topics. At my library, we use a Mock Caldecott blog and a Mock Newbery blog to help our customers begin to think about titles which may be contenders. The speculation about what might win has spawned a wide range of blogs around the country which focus on these topics. Here is a sampling:
- Calling Caldecott (The Horn Book)
- Heavy Medal — A Mock Newbery Blog (School Library Journal)
- Maricopa CountyMock Caldecott, Newbery and Printz Discussions for 2012 (Glendale, Arizona)
- The Eva Perry Mock Newbery Book Club Blog (Wake County, North Carolina)
- The SJCPL Mock Newbery (South Bend, Indiana)
- You Choose the Next Newbery at KCLS (Issaquah, Washington)
And, of course, there are the well-known and equally well-loved bloggers who post their own predictions like Elizabeth Bird over at Fuse # 8 Productions or Laura, a 6th grader who blogs about books at Laura’s Life.
It’s time for the discussions and speculation to begin in earnest. Are there blogs you follow to stay on top of great new books to read? What books have you read that you think are really strong this year?