The ALA Awards—Who’s missing?

January 18, 2010

The ALA (American Library Association) Awards came out today. In case you’re new, these are basically the Academy Awards of the Young Adult writing world. As usual this year, there were some obvious choices, and also—many favorites that seemed to be left out in the cold. Please, read the list, and then drop us a comment as to which YA novel you think was overlooked.

Newbury Award (for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature):

 When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

Newbury Honor Books:

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

When You Reach Me is a title bandied about frequently on YAlitchat discussions and via other YA avenues, so this win should come as no surprise to those in the know.

William C. Morris Award (honors book written by a first-time author for YA):

Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan

Tons of amazing press out there in the YA world for Flash Burnout, so again, this choice should come as no big surprise.

Coretta Scott King Award (recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and YA)

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux

Nelson Printz Award (excellence in literature written for YA):

So far, so good, right? But next is where the ALA dove into more controversial waters. According to scuttlebutt around the web, some highly regarded books didn’t make it to the list of Printz honories as expected. Now, this isn’t knocking the winners in any way–we congratulate each and every one of them for excellence in the genre.  Honestly, it’s more a matter of which titles are missing.

Printz Winner: Going Bovine by Libba Bray.

Printz Honor Books: Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

 The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

Tale of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance, 1973 by John Barnes

So, we want to hear your opinion. Which fabulous YA book(s) do you think were overlooked? Drop us a comment and let us know!



  1. No love for Sarah Rees Brennan’s brilliant The Demon’s Lexicon? 😦

    • Alas, no. And there are some others deserving love, too. Sigh. Maybe they just need more awards? 🙂

  2. The absence of MARCELO IN THE REAL WORLD on the Printz list surprised me. I liked John Green’s comment (via Twitter) that MARCELO now ranks high on the list of great books that did not receive a Printz award or honor.

  3. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson.

  4. I am so all over When You Reach Me winning the Newbery. It is SO good.

    But randomly, I haven’t heard of any of the Printz Honor books! Hmm. Should remedy that.

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