Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Some Post-2014 YMAs Thoughts From Sam

The very best perk of going to ALA Midwinter is probably being able to attend the Youth Media Awards in person. This is a picture of Rachael and I doing just that, albeit perhaps not with the most flattering of expressions on our faces.

I had been planning to live-tweet the awards, but I couldn't get a good enough connection on my phone to make that feasible. So instead, here are a few post-conference scattered thoughts as we finish up the awards year.

  • We have another two-time Newbery winner! Kate DiCamillo, who won in 2004 for The Tale of Despereaux, takes home the medal for Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures.
  • I'd like to go back and look at Flora & Ulysses now. Both Rachael and I had wondered if the illustrations contributed too heavily to the plot for the book to really work without them. Obviously, the committee either didn't have those same concerns or overcame them, and I'd like to read it again through that lens.
  • Speaking of things I need to read, how about Paperboy? This one flew way, way under our radar, and neither of us read or reviewed it. It also didn't get a single vote in the final round of the Heavy Medal Mock Newbery. But that's why we have the actual committee, right? I'm really interested to read it now!
  • It was not a great year to be one of my favorites. The Real Boy, The Center of Everything, The Hidden Summer, From Norvelt to Nowhere, and On a Beam of Light all came away with nothing. (Though I did really enjoy Doll Bones, and that one Honored, so there's something!)
  •  But then again, it wasn't a good year to be a favorite in general. Also nothing for The Thing About Luck, The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, or Far Far Away.
  • It was really nice to see The Henk take both a Newbery Honor (for The Year of Billy Miller) and a Geisel Honor (for Penny and Her Marble).
  • This is the first time that Amy Timberlake has shown up in the ALA-sponsored awards, with her Newbery Honor for One Came Home.
  • We're having Rita Williams-Garcia for our major author visit in April, and now we can add "2014 Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner for P.S. Be Eleven" to her intro.
It was a wonderful experience to be at the YMAs, and kudos are due to every one of the committees for their hard work and fine selections!

Now, on to the 2015 awards!


  1. I agree with your thoughts on Kevin Henkes - that was one of many things that made my morning (along with a Printz Honor!!!! for Clare Vanderpool and CSK for RWG, not to mention Locomotive taking the Caldecott)

    1. I was so happy about Tim Federle's two honors! Well-deserved.

    2. And I still haven't read Better Nate... - I'm slowly becoming an audiobook-lover, so maybe I'll listen to it! And then (hopefully) 5, 6, 7, Nate as well.