The topic this week is a freebie! And since today is the day all the big ALA/YALSA awards were announced, I drew my list from the winners.
(The link to a document I made that covers all MG and YA titles as well as the Caldecott winners, is here.)
I've read a handful already, and I know I would probably like almost all of them, but given that life is short and my to-read list is looooooong, these are the ten I'm prioritizing for myself. Your list might look completely different, depending on what you've read and what your interests are.
- Newbery Medal winner The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. I had this checked out of the library for literally months, and finally had to give it back unread. I did, however, just get it in my latest Scholastic books order, so I have it handy in my classroom library, and no further excuse to not read it
- March Book 3, which means I have to read March Book 2 as well. Not only does reading Senator John Lewis's final autobiographical graphic novel about the Civil Rights movement give me a chance to say "eff you" to a certain orange individual who was incredibly disrespectful to this Civil Rights icon, but it also won the Coretta Scott King author award, The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults, and the Printz Award. Those are all WINS, btw, not runners up.
- Jason Reynold's As Brave As You won the Schneider Family middle grade book award (for a book portraying a disability experience) and was the Coretta Scott King honor book. He is pretty much an award winner factory, and I've only read When I Was the Greatest so far.
- Nicola Yoon's second novel, The Sun is Also a Star, won the Coretta Scott King new talent award, and is a Printz Honor book. I'm not sure why a second book wins the new talent award. I actually own this, and it's on my Mt. TBR list, so I really need to read it! I wasn't a huge fan of Everything, Everything, but I've heard some people (not everyone) like this one more.
- When We Collided by Emery Lord has been on my TBR since before it came out, and now it's won the Schneider Family YA award.
- Nikki Grimes won the Laura Ingalls Wilder award for substantial achievement over time, reminding me that I really want to read Garvey's Choice.
- If I Was Your Girl by Meridith Russo won the Stonewall Award for books of "exceptional merit" related to the GLBQT experience. I've been wanting to read it for months, and just snagged a library copy yesterday. Yay! But the English teacher in me keeps thinking, "Shouldn't it be "If I WERE Your Girl"? Although I haven't read it, so maybe it's actually in past tense instead of subjunctive.
- When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore sounds like a wonderful magical realism with gender-fluid representation. It's a Stonewell Honor book. Plus, that cover--wow.
- The William C. Morris Award is for YA books by debut authors. The Serpent King won it, to which I say Three Cheers and also Well Deserved and Hurray! I haven't read some of the runners up for this, namely The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock, and
- Girl Mans Up, both of which I've heard really good things about.
I love that there are so many big awards, and I'm really excited for all of these authors and their teams. What a thrill it must be to get those phone calls--and to make them! I think that's my dream, to me on one of these committees. If you can't be an author, you can at least be an Official Appreciator, right?