Industry News from Sarah Maury Swan

Read the books that win the major book awards if you want to know what is catching editors’ attention.  I have listed below the 2010 recipients, starting with the Newbery winner and honorees:

The winner is Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me, Wendy Lamb Books/Random House, 2009, about a twelve-year-old girl who’s receiving anonymous notes telling her of things about to happen to her mother.  I read the first page on the Amazon site and wanted to read more.

Newbery Honorees are: 1.) Phillip Hoose’s Claudette Colvin: Twice toward Justice, which is also on the honors list for the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award. Published by Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar, Straus, Giroux in 2009, the story is of an African-American girl growing up in the south during the 1940s and 1950s.

2.) Jacqueline Kelly’s The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Henry Holt and Company, 2009, is about an eleven-year-old girl growing up on a Texas cotton and pecan farm on the cusp of the 20th century.

3.) Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group, 2009, is a charming version of a Chinese legend with enchanting illustrations.

4.) Rodman Philbrick’s The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg, Blue Sky Press/Scholastic Inc., 2009, is about an orphan boy from Maine who has many adventures with his brother Harold.

The Caldecott winner is Jerry Pinkney’s beautifully illustrated The Lion and the Mouse, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette Book Group, 2009, telling the story in pictures. The look on the lion’s face is priceless.

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is this year’s winner of the Coretta Scott King Author Award for her book, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, Carolrhoda Books/Lerner Publishing Group, 2009, which R. Gregory Christie illustrated.   The story is about one of the Western Frontier’s most respected and feared law enforcement officers, which is especially remarkable since he was an ex-slave.

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for 2010 goes to Charles R. Smith for his striking and sometimes poignant photographic illustrations of Langston Hughes’ poem, My People, Simon & Schuster, 2009.

Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Walter Dean Myers and well it should.  If you haven’t read any of his many stories, do so as soon as possible.  Most are set in Harlem, NY, or have a connection to Harlem.  Monster, Amistad/HarperCollins Publisher, 1999, about a kid in trouble, starts out as a play; Street Love, Amistad/HarperTeen/HarperCollins Publisher, 2006, is written in poem form; and Sunrise of Fallujah, Scholastic Press/Scholastic Inc., 2008, is about a teenage boy who volunteers to fight in Iraq against his father’s wishes.  The list of his stories could take up this whole blog entry.

Jim Murphy, a prolific writer of history for children, won the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award.  His works include, among many others, Truce, Scholastic Press/Scholastic Inc., 2009, about World War I; A Savage Thunder: Antietam and the Bloody Road to Freedom, Margaret McElderry/Simon & Schuster, 2009, about one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War; A Young Patriot: The American Revolution as Experienced by One Boy, Clarion Books/ Houghton Mifflin Co., 1996, which chronicles the war experience of Joseph Plumb Martin.


Libba Bray won the Michael L. Printz Award for her latest book, Going Bovine, Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s Books/Random House, 2009, which has a dynamic first page introducing Cameron Smith, sixteen-year-old twin brother to Jenna.

Printz Honor Awards went to:

1.)   Deborah Heiligman for Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith, Henry Holt Books for Young Readers/MacmillanUSA, 2009, the story of the Darwins’ marriage and intertwining of his scientific pursuits and her religious faith;

2.)   Rick Yancey’s The Monstrumologist, Simon & Schuster SciFi imprint/Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division/Simon & Schuster, 2009, written in a style similar to Bram Stoker’s Dracula;

3.)   Adam Rapp’s Punkzilla, Candlewick Press, 2009, is written, at least in part, in letter form by one brother to his sibling, P.

4.)   John Barnes’ Tales of the Madman Underground, An Historical Romance 1973, Viking/Penguin Group, 2009, is about a teenage boy who just wants to be normal, or at least perceived as normal by other kids.

The Pura Belpré Author Award went to Julia Alvarez for Return to Sender, Knopf Books for Children, 2009, is for children ages 10 +, telling the story of Mexican migrant workers and the Vermont dairy farmers who hire them.

The Pura Belpré Illustrator Award went to Rafael López for his illustrations of Pat Mora’s Book Fiesta: Celebrate Children’s Day, HarperCollins Children’s Books/HarperCollins Publishing, 2009, which is written in Spanish and English.

Diego: Bigger than Life, Marshall Cavendish, 2009, won a Pura Belpré Author & Illustrator Honor Award for both its author, Carmen T. Bernier-Grand, and illustrator, David Diaz.

The other Pura Belpré Author Honor Award recipient is Georgina Lázaro for Federico Garcia Lorca, Lectorum Publishing, 2009, which is part of a bilingual series about famous grown-ups when they were children.

The other Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Award recipients are:

2.) Yuyi Morales’ illustrations of Tony Johnston’s My Abuelita, Penguin Group, 2009—sorry, I couldn’t find details on this book;

3.)  John Parra’s illustrations of Pat Mora’s Gracias Thanks—sorry couldn’t find details on this book either.

The Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction went to Matt Phelan for his Storm in the Barn, Candlewick Press, 2009, about a boy during the Depression and Dust Bowl drama in 1937.

Tanya Lee Stone won the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award-Nonfiction for Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, Candlewick Press, 2009 about thirteen women who trained to be astronauts.

Honor Books for this award are:

1.)   Chris Barton for The Day-Glo Brothers: The True Story of Bob and Joe Switzer’s Bright Ideas and Brand-New Colors, Charlesbridge, 2009, which was illustrated by Tony Persiani;

2.)   Brian Floca’s Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11, Richard Jackson Books/Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 2009, which tells the story with many of the author’s pictures; and finally,

3.)   Phillip Hoose’s story of Claudette Colvin (see Newbery awards.)


About ediehemingway

I am an author of children's middle grade novels and the Regional Advisor for the MD/DE/WV SCBWI chapter.
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3 Responses to Industry News from Sarah Maury Swan

  1. bububooks says:

    Thanks for this excellent overview! I’ve copied, pasted and shortened details from for My Abuelita and Thanks:

    My Abuelita From School Library Journal
    PreSchool-Grade 1—A boy describes the morning routine he shares with his grandmother as she prepares for work. Flights of fancy enliven the tasks of bathing, eating breakfast, and dressing. When the pair arrive at her workplace, readers discover that Abuelita is a storyteller—a calling that her grandson shares. Spanish words are sprinkled throughout, often followed by brief definitions. Morales’s bold, innovative illustrations brilliantly reinforce the text. The illustrations represent a fresh new direction for Morales. While the story is firmly placed in a Mexican context, children of all ethnic and racial backgrounds will be drawn to the eye-catching illustrations and the universal story of a loving intergenerational relationship.—Mary Landrum, Lexington Public Library, KY

    Gracias/Thanks From School Library Journal
    Kindergarten-Grade 2-A boy recounts the many things he is thankful for, like his time at the beach and the bees that don’t sting him when he is outside playing. The poetic writing flows in both Spanish and English and carries a sense of happiness brought by the simple things in life. The cheery and brightly colored acrylic illustrations are full of fun details and add depth to the text. The author’s endnote challenges readers to list the things for which they are thankful. –Shannon Dye Gemberling, Peoria Public Library, AZ

    It’s great to have a go-to place for all the award winners. Thanks again!


  2. Evan Jensen says:

    Hey, I notice noone ever leaves a comment, recently… so I’m chiming in with my opinion that these are eminently helpful posts, and I’m glad you’re doing it. Even if I just joined the SCBWI, I have been reading the backposts on here. Great stuff!

  3. ediehemingway says:

    Thank you, Evan! I’m glad you find them helpful. Keep checking on a weekly basis.

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