Monday, January 28, 2013

YMA 2013: The Recap

It was pretty much the most awesome thing in quite some time to be able to actually be there for the YMAs. I tweeted as much of it as I could, but I thought I'd try to collate my thoughts in a bit more permanent of a place.

  • Can't argue with The One and Only Ivan as the Newbery winner. It's a beautiful, powerful book that I think will look as good in a decade or five as it does now. Much as I was cheering for Twelve Kinds of Ice, and much as I adored Breathing Room and Wooden Bones, this was an excellent choice.
  • Loved Bomb as an honor book! Glad to see one of the best of this year's excellent nonfiction titles honored.
  • Even though it's not really my cup of tea, Splendors and Glooms was really well-done. With another Honor on her shelf, it also cements Laura Amy Schlitz's position as one of the leading children's authors working today.
  • Sheila Turnage isn't exactly a first-time author (in addition to the picture book, Trout the Magnificent, she's also the author of Compass American Guide: North Carolina, Fifth Edition, and Haunted Inns of the Southeast), but this is her first foray into middle-grade fiction. I know she was already working on a sequel to Three Times Lucky, but now that she's got a Newbery Honor, I'm betting we'll continue to see more middle-grade work from her.
  • Wonder was this year's Okay For Now, wasn't it? Tons of buzz, a huge fan-base, and then a complete shutout. (Actually, an even more complete shutout, given that the audiobook of Okay For Now did take an Odyssey Honor.) I thought it was a lock for the Schneider, but that's one reason I don't gamble.
  • The Geisel awards are another reason. So surprised to see Kevin Henkes not take anything.
  • The Sibert awards made me so happy. I'll have to find a copy of Electric Ben, but the well-deserved win for Bomb and the honors for Moonbird and Titanic brought joy to my heart.
  • Need to read Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. I figured it was a YA title and didn't pick it up, but since the Stonewall, Belpré, and Printz committees thought so highly of it, I'd like to have a look.
  • Speaking of the Printz, the surprise in the room when In Darkness won was palpable. I don't think I talked to a single person who wasn't predicting one of the trio of Seraphina, Code Name: Verity, or The Fault in Our Stars. But, given the award's history, trying to predict it may be the single biggest exercise in futility in any of the ALA medals.
  • Jon Klassen! Winner and an Honor in the Caldecott! First time that's happened since 1947, when Leonard Weisgard pulled it off for The Little Island and Rain Drop Splash.
  • Glad to see that Each Kindness did get some recognition. A well-earned Coretta Scott King Honor!
  • And, as a side note, so nice to meet the awesome Travis Jonker of 100 Scope Notes, and the legendary Mr. Schu!


  1. Sorry we didn't cross paths, Sam; but glad you had a seemingly good time in Seattle! Coming to Chicago?

    1. I'm sorry too! Travis actually pointed you out to me, but it was right before the doors opened for the YMAs. I'll be in Chicago, and we should plan to get together.