ALA Annual 2018

Wolves, alternative universes and legacies, Banquet #alacc18

From howling like wolves, to laughing at Erin E. Kellys illustrious illustration career, to bonding over the state of the world- the 2018 Newbery-Caldecott Legacy Banquet was a historic night to remember.

ALA President Jim Neal told some jokes and even added five additional commandments about books and reading! ALSC President Nina Lindsay shared the groundbreaking news of changing the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Lifetime Achievement Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award.

The food was delicious, the vibe was electric and it truly was a library prom. Many generous sponsors supported the banquet and many individuals were recognized on the big screen for their contributions to ALSC. The committees that selected the 2018 Caldecott, Newbery and Legacy Award Winners were also recognized.

Without question, the highlight of the banquet was the phenomenal speeches by the award winners. The order of the speeches is Caldecott chair, Caldecott winner, Wilder chair, Wilder winner, Newbery chair, Newbery winner.

Caldecott medalist Matthew Cordell, started the speeches of with a bang. He recalled his “lost years” of avoiding picture books and told his “embarrassing story” about creating a fake Caldecott medal on his book Hello Hello. The meat of his speech however was his heartfelt relationship with his wife and the story about how Wolf in the Snow merged from a drawing on Facebook to a story that accurately depicts wolves, friendship and misunderstanding.

I felt bad for Erin Entrada Kelly because she had to follow up Cordell, but she blew the crowd away. She told of how her characters represent herself and how writing saved her. She even highlighted her first novel The Two Orpans!

Jacqueline Woodson ended the night, she said she changed her speech many times, because life happens. She captured the audience’s heart with her heartfelt telling of how one cannot stop writing.

The recordings of the speeches will be available online and are definitely worth a listen. The passion, emotion and realism of these authors helps anyone remember why we do what we do.

Congratulations to all of the winners, gratitude to the donors, thanks to ALSC for allowing me to attend the banquet and thanks to all the ALSC staff and committee members for all their hard work.


  1. Stephanie McGregor

    ALSC thank you for the name change of the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. It means a lot to a lot of people. Congratulations to all who were chosen!

  2. Carol Hougland

    Please inform me where I can find the reasoning behind the name change for this award. I want to understand why this change was needed. Thank you,

    1. Mary Voors

      Thanks for asking, Carol! General information, as well as links to background documents and the 2018 Award Program Review Task Force recommendation report can be found on the website at

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