Jun 28, 2014

ALA Acceptance Speeches: HORN BOOK

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? 
Except when what happens there is the annual American Library Association Conference for 2014. It's happening RIGHT NOW, June 26-July 4, 2014,  as I sit at home typing this.

Life has its compensations, though. Because I subscribe to The Horn Book Magazine, I can actually read some of the award winners' acceptance speeches before they are given, thanks to the early arrival of my July/August issue. Of course, I'd rather have a seat at the ticketed presentation events, but I'll get there one of these days. For now, though, I can't even  provide a link so you can read them. Until the big event occurs, that content will be blocked. 

For now, I'll post links to the titles and winners for a few major awards. I encourage you to check them out. After the big day, when links to text (and, I hope, videos) become available, I'll update this post and add them. 

I just had to say for now that the magazine, the conference, the books themselves are celebrations of the best of the best in literature for young readers. I say that deserves to be announced this very minute!

Atheneum/Richard Jackson Books, 2013
I'll start with Caldecott Medal winner, Brian Floca, for the illustration of LOCOMOTIVE.
I urge you to check out this astonishing book, and its creator. Reading his acceptance speech was as informative as it was engaging and provided insight to the time, talent, and collaboration that resulted in this remarkable book. That few nonfiction picture books have ever won the Caldecott Award could have been seen as an impediment, but it outshines any preset expectations. 

LINK will be here: 

Candlewick, 2013
Newbery Medal Winner, Kate DiCamillo, for the distinguished text of FLORA AND ULYSSES. This was quite the year for her, since she has also been the 2014 National Ambassador for Young people's Literature. DiCamillo's acceptance speech is rich with her personal history as  reader from a family of readers. Hers is as much an acceptance and thank you speech as it is an homage to the immeasurable value of books in her life and in the lives of us all. 

It will be worth returning to read it when the link is added here:

Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 2013
The Coretta Scott King Medal for Illustration was awarded to Bryan Collier for KNOCK KNOCK. I adored this book from the first time I read it and each time after that. Reading Collier's acceptance speech revealed nuance and layers that eluded me despite careful exploration. I beg you to read and carefully examine this book for yourself (as well as his other titles), then check back to read his speech for yourself after it is linked, here:

The Horn Book Magazine - Bryan Collier Aceptance

Amistad Press, 2013 
The Coretta Scott King Medal for text  was awarded to Rita Williams-Garcia for P. S. BE ELEVEN. This remarkable book depicts urban life in the 1960's. My favorite quote from her speech is, "Life back then screamed for change like an angry baby in a funky diaper. Change. Me. Now!" 
Her voice and language in this book is just as compelling at being able to plant the reader firmly in the time, place, emotions and circumstances of her story regardless of the reader's age or actual circumstances. 
Read the book, please, and also check out Williams-Garcia's speech when it is linked here: 

As I type, review, and post this, the ALA conference continues. These notables and many others will be signing books, giving interviews, and generally basking in well-earned acclaim. Allow yourself a peek at why they are so deserving by reading their books and exploring their websites and other titles.

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