Blogger AASL/ALSC/YALSA Interdivisional Committee

Youth Book Awards with an International Flair

Spring is in the air and with it, perhaps one is looking for other award winners to purchase and promote in your libraries. Information in this blog post focuses on international books to help advance efforts to engage students; perhaps especially those who are recent immigrants to the United States

Blogger Jonda C. McNair

What a BIG Day! The 2024 ALA Youth Media Awards

There is something special about attending the ALA Youth Media Awards Ceremony in person. January 22 in Baltimore, Maryland, was indeed a BIG day for those of us who love children’s literature! I have been attending the ceremony for approximately 15 years, and it never gets old for me. There are always the surprises (“Who knew that one would win?!”) and the affirmations (“I knew it! This one had gotten so much buzz!”). I love both but especially the surprises, which make me go back and give the award-winning books a second chance (or a first chance) and reread carefully to see what I missed.

Blogger Suzi Wackerbarth

Diverse picture books don’t disappoint, focus on the individual and the universal

Three picture books and a yellow legal pad. The first book is "There was a Party for Langston" which features a blue background and a crown holding Langston Hughes, carried by dancing people. The second book is "Words between us" and features a Grandmother looking lovingly at her Grandchild. The third book is "Skating Wild on an Inland Sea" and the title words seem to be made by a skating child at the bottom of the title image.

One of my favorite things about being a children’s librarian is seeing new picture books. 2023 was an amazing year for picture books, and in today’s post I wanted to focus on three diverse picture books, two of which are overtly diverse. Who knows, maybe one of these will be on a Caldecott or Newbery Awards list!  I’ll start with an October title, There was a Party for Langston, by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Jerome Pumphrey and Jarrett Pumphrey. The front endpapers are a veritable who’s who of Black writers from the Harlem Renaissance to modern day, including Ashley Bryan and Toni Morrison. Each person is depicted as a book on two shelves, listed alphabetically. What kind of book will this be? We see people entering a building on the title page, all dressed up in finery. It looks…promising. And then the fun begins. The artists and the authors are…

Blogger Erika Hogan

Middle Grade Horror Fiction

As the weather turns toward fall and the days shorten, some young readers might be turning to spooky books. Do you get chills when you handle questions about middle grade horror fiction? Fear not! There are plenty of resources available to help you navigate the genre that goes bump in the night… even if it’s not part of your TBR stack. A popular genre for all ages, sometimes horror is not always considered when doing reader’s advisory with children. But like other genres, middle grade horror fiction includes a variety of diverse voices and topics to explore, and studies have shown that reading scary stories can help build resilience, confidence, and more. The relatively recent addition of a Middle Grade award category to the Horror Writers Association’s Bram Stoker Awards also suggests that these genre titles will continue to be on the rise. From supernatural elements, genre mash-ups, and other…


Maybe your next Mock Award Program should be a Mock Batchelder

It’s that time of year, when the smell of Pumpkin Spice is everywhere and squirrels are trying to get into the attic that thoughts turn to the question, ‘What are the best books of the year?’ This is the time of top ten lists and best books, and everyone is guessing what titles will win the top honors. Questions like, ‘Are you going to attend the Youth Media Awards at LibLearnX?’ are starting to appear. The slight panic of not having read enough to guess the winners while staring at a your TBR pile creeps in. Instead of trying to predict all the awards, maybe focus on the Sibert, Pura Belpré, or a personal favorite, the Mildred L. Batchelder. Consider delving into the world of translations for children this award season and offering a Mock Batchelder program!

Blogger Tess Prendergast

Bring on the Night: Perfect Picture Books for Bedtime and Anytime

The arrival of shorter days and longer nights up here in the Northern hemisphere is a bit of conundrum for me. I love the autumn weather and watching the trees change color but seriously do not love getting up for work while it’s still dark outside. However, all year round I love picture books featuring night-time themes. It might have something to do with how easy it is to recommend them as bedtime stories. It makes sense that reading books that take place at night will suit the situation of getting kids ready for bed as the sun goes down. Or, perhaps I am just into the visual aesthetic of night-time scenes and enjoy the many creative ways that illustrators portray them with shadows and glowing images. Whatever the reasons, I thought this was the perfect time of year to share some of my favorite night-themed picture-books with you all.  Noisy Night by…

Children's Literature (all forms)

2024 Pura Belpré Input Wanted

The 2024 Pura Belpré Awards Committee is asking ALSC, REFORMA, and YALSA members to submit titles for consideration. Three Pura Belpré awards are presented annually: one to a Latino author of an outstanding book for youth ages 0 to 14, one to a Latino author of an outstanding book for young adults ages 12 to 18, and one to a Latino illustrator for creating an outstanding illustrated book for youth ages 0 to 18. Each of these must be an original work that portrays, affirms, and celebrates Latino cultural experiences.

Awards & Scholarships

Seeking Nominations for the Children’s Literature Award

The ALSC Children’s Literature Lecture is an annual event that started in 1970. Each year, a chosen lecturer prepares a paper and talk considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children’s literature. Most recently, Bryan Collier presented the 2023 lecture, and Rita Williams Garcia is slated to present in 2024. The complete list of past lecturers is on the ALSC website.