ALA Youth Media Awards Have Been Announced!

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Earlier today the American Library Association announced the 2013 Youth Media Awards Winners. Click here to read the press release.

Highlights include:

John Newbery Medal Winner (for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature):

The One and Only Ivan written by Katherine Applegate (HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2012)

Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner (for the most distinguished American picture book for children):

This Is Not My Hat, illustrated and written by Jon Klassen (Candlewick Press, 2012).

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award Winner (recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults):

Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America, written by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Disney/Jump at the Sun Books, 2012).

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award Winner (recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults):

I, Too, Am America, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Langston Hughes (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Pura Belpré (Author) Award Winner (honoring a Latino writer whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience):

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, written by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2012)

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award Winner (honoring a Latino illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience):

Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert, illustrated by David Diaz, written by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion Books, 2012)

Poetry Friday: Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate (Square Fish, 2007)Katherine Applegate‘s beautifully crafted and immensely readable novel in verse, Home of the Brave, has as its narrator Kek, who begins his story at the moment his plane from Sudan touches down in America. As he adapts to his new home with his Aunt and older cousin Ganwar, we learn about his roots and the life he has had to leave behind him as a result of conflict; and we follow him through trials and tribulations, as he makes friends and gets a job looking after a cow, who eventually has a transforming effect on his life – and becomes the centerpiece of a glorious climax.

Readers will feel drawn to Kek, and will want everything to work out for him. They will empathise with the happy, fun-loving boy who is always there, even if he is sometimes difficult to find under the strains and stress of his situation. This extract makes you laugh along with Kek and then brings you up short with the stark reality of the effect of conflict on his life:

“My brother Lual was Ganwar’s age,
and just as tall.
Maybe that’s why he tried
always to tell me what to do.
[...]

I would laugh,
and once I even slipped
two snakes onto his sleeping mat
while he lay snoring.
The whole village awoke to his screams.
I know it was wrong to do,
but they were harmless snakes,
and when I saw Lual’s face
I laughed until
my eyes rained.

Every day Lual scolded,
and every day I thought,
Lual, please just be my brother.
I don’t need two fathers!

I didn’t know that too soon
I would not have any.”

Our current issue of PaperTigers focuses on Refugee Children. Do take a look at our new features and reviews.

This week’s Poetry Friday is hosted by The Stenhouse Blog – head on over!

Books at Bedtime: International Mother Language Day

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Thursday 21st February is International Mother Language Day:

Linguistic and cultural diversity represent universal values that strengthen the unity and cohesion of societies. The recognition of the importance of linguistic diversity led to UNESCO ’s decision to celebrate International Mother Language Day.

rickshawgirl.jpgThe day has particular significance in Bangladesh, which is the setting for Mitali PerkinsRickshaw Girl. Naima, the book’s main character, has won International Mother Language Day competitions for her beautiful alpana patterns (you can see pictures here of young artists at work from February last year, when Mitali and her mother, herself an award-winning alpana painter, passed on their expertise as part of PT’s outreach programme). Rickshaw Girl is aimed at the 7-12 age-range and would make a great readaloud, especially for a mother and daughter to share. As well as overturning gender stereotyping through Naima, it highlights the positive results of microfinancing in Bangladesh, particularly for women.

And, since one of the anxieties of displacement is often the striving to balance acquiring a new language with not losing your own, this is a good time to point you in the direction of Mitali’s own favorite readaloud for 2007, Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate:

“a lyrical novel told in the voice of brave, honest Kek, a refugee from a country in Africa starting a new life without his mother, father, and brother in wintry Minnesota.”

I haven’t read it yet, but it is on my to-read list…

iamrene.jpgFor reading to younger children, I recommend the bilingual I Am René, the Boy/ Soy René, el Niño by René Colato Laínez and illustrated by Fabiola Graullera Ramírez. In this delightful story, René researches his name and its cultural connotations in different languages – triggered by the arrival of a girl in his class called Renee: different spelling but horror of horrors, the same pronunciation!

If you are taking part in any activities for International Mother Language Day, do tell us about them – we’d love to hear from you.