Making the Leap to Adult Fiction

When you’re used to reading books from the Teen Fiction area, it can be challenging to know how to get started with Adult Fiction. Of course, many adults prefer Teen Fiction for the fast pace, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you’re interested in switching things up and exploring a broader range of literature, you might want to start with books that have been named for the Alex Awards. The Alex Awards are given each year to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults ages 12 through 18, and can be a great way to try something new. Here are the 2022 Alex Award books, just announced on 1/24/22.

The Witch's Heart by Genevieve Gornichec    The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

The Witch’s Heart is perfect for everyone who loves stories based on mythology. It’s a retelling from the feminine perspective of a three-times burned witch in Norse mythology. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a beautiful inter-generational story about an unlikely friendship that develops through an art class intended for patients under end-of-life care. If you liked The Fault in Our Stars, you’ll love this one!

  

Here’s another mythology-based book, this time in graphic novel format. Lore Olympus, Volume I depicts the love story of Hades, the god of the Underworld, and Persephone, the daughter of Demeter and goddess of spring. Described as both joyful and heart-rending, Light from Uncommon Stars brings together the lives of a young transgender runaway, a violin teacher who’s sold her soul to the devil, and a refugee alien star-ship commander.

 

The Library of the Dead is a dystopian novel set in Scotland. Ghost talker Roya uses her Zimbabwean magic to investigate the mysterious disappearances of missing children. Book two of this series is scheduled for publication in April of 2022. How Lucky is the story of Daniel who has a good friend, a routine that involves football game day in the South, and a debilitating disease that has robbed him of body control and speech. When he is the only witness to a kidnapping, it causes several issues that might risk his life.

   The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

If you enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, you’ll also like  Malice, a retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Kate Quinn is a great author for anyone who likes historical fiction with strong female leads. The Rose Code is set during World War II and revolves around the work done by the women at Bletchley Park. Read this, and then look for Quinn’s new book, The Diamond Eye, coming out in March 2022

  

Winter’s Orbit is science-fiction but combines the intrigue of a thriller and the passion of a romance. An arranged marriage between a prince and a diplomat is meant to strengthen alliances, but suspicions of conspiracy and murder force the new husbands to lay aside their own secrets and work together. The only non-fiction book on this year’s list, Crossing the Line tells about brothers from a disadvantaged neighborhood who find their passion in the sport of polo.

Although I’ve only read 2 of these books, so far, they all sound great for both teens and adults! You can find the titles from previous Alex Awards at https://www.ala.org/yalsa/alex-awards.

We don’t have all of these books yet, but we’ll do our best to get the book you want, if you just let us know!

The Newbery Medal Turns 100

The most prestigious American award in the world of children’s literature is the John Newbery Medal. 2022 will mark the 100th time this award has been given to the author of the year’s most distinguished children’s book. It was the first children’s book award in the world, and today the selection process is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ASLC). The 2022 Newbery Medal will be announced on Monday, January 24th as part of the Youth Media Awards.

Through the years, the committees selecting the Newbery winners have truly highlighted some exceptional books for kids. There has also been a fair amount of controversy, and there have been years when librarians have groused that the wrong book was selected. Since selection as the Newbery Medal winner often means that the chosen book will stay in print for many years, another topic that is often raised today is the question of how to deal with books that have racial stereotypes or other matter that is unacceptable today. I guess you can state with certainty that librarians just like to discuss books! You can find a complete list of Newbery Medal winners and also the Newbery Honor books here.

Here are a few of my favorite Newbery medal books:

I read the 2021 winner When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller and loved it!

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

From 2013: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

In 2004, Kate DiCamillo took home the gold with The Tale of Despereaux.

She also won the Newbery Medal in 2014 for Flora & Ulysses.

The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Lois Lowry also has two Newbery Medals, winning in 1994 for The Giver (You should read the book, even if you disliked the movie!) and in 1990 for Number the Stars.

                          The Giver by Lois Lowry Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I love the characters E. L. Konigsburg created in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler,

the story of two children who run away to New York City and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Konigsburg won Newbery gold 29 years later for The View from Saturday in 1997.From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Do you have a favorite Newbery Medal book? Or do you have a favorite book that you think should have won the medal? Let us know below, and be sure to check back after January 24th to see the 2022 winner!

Update from 1/25/22: The Newbery Award for 2022 goes to The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. I didn’t expect that! It sort of slipped in under the radar, but sounds great. Copies have been ordered. This title also won the Pura Belpre Award for best book representing Hispanic culture.

Waiting for the Caldecott

Around this time each year, I start looking forward to the announcement of children’s book awards for 2022. On January 24th, announcements will be made for the Caldecott, the Newbery, and the Printz medals, as well as many other book awards. Many blogs focus on possible contenders for the biggest awards, but the voting is actually done just one day prior to the announcement and is a carefully guarded secret.

The Caldecott Medal will be awarded to the best illustrated book for children from 2021, and actually goes to the illustrator, not the author. As I read through blogs, there does not seem to be any consensus developing yet, but here are some of the books that are being mentioned as contenders.

Dear Treefrog by Joyce Sidman  Wonder Walkers by Micha Archer

 Hurricane by John Rocco  Watercress by Andrea Wang

  The Rock from the Sky by Jon Klassen  Someone Builds the Dream by Lisa Wheeler

  Nicky & Vera by Peter SisMilo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena

  I'll Meet You in Your Dreams by Jessica Young  Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones

  Unspeakable by Carole Boston Weatherford  Amos McGee Misses the Bus by Philip Stead

Out of these 12 illustrators, six already have at least one Caldecott Medal or Caldecott Honor to their credit. All are exceptionally talented and have created illustrations that make these books a joy to read. Keep in mind, though, that there is not an official list of nominations. These have just been mentioned by readers and critics as potential winners. Sometimes the Caldecott committee will go off in an unexpected direction. As for me, I’m crossing my fingers for Loren Long (he’s from Cincinnati) or Floyd Cooper (he died in 2021 and has never won). All will be revealed on January 24th. Meanwhile, treat yourself to one of these books.

Update from 1/25/22: The 2022 Caldecott Medal winner is Watercress by Andrea Wang and illustrated by Jason Chin! The book also received a Newbery Honor and was named as the best picture book promoting Asian/Pacific American heritage and culture. Gathering watercress by the side of the road sparks a conversation among a family about their family history, heritage, and memories. Award-winning author Andrea Wang draws upon her childhood, growing up in a small, mostly white, rural town in Ohio as a child of Chinese immigrants in this autobiographical account illustrated by celebrated author and artist Jason Chin, who incorporates painting styles and techniques from both western and Chinese cultures.

Children’s Book Awards 2021

Every winter, the library and publishing worlds eagerly anticipate the announcement of the Youth Media Awards. For publishers, it’s a chance to celebrate the critical success of their books. For authors and illustrators, the awards represent the the highest honors in children’s literature and virtually guarantee the books will be in publication for many, many years. For librarians, it’s just one more reason to share the “best of the best” with library patrons. Here are the 2021 winners of the Randolph Caldecott Medal, the John Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Author Award.

We are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom

 

 

The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded to the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The 2021 medal winner, We Are Water Protectors, was illustrated by Michaela Goade and written by Carole Lindstrom. The book was inspired by indigenous-led movements which have sounded an alarm about the need to protect our nation’s waters.

 

 

 

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

 

 

In contrast to the Caldecott, the John Newbery Medal is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished American book for children. It typically, though not aways, goes to the author of a chapter book. If you love books based on folklore, you need to read When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller! Here’s teaser from the publisher’s description, “Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother.

 

 

 

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

 

The winner of the 2021 Coretta Scott King Author Award is Jacqueline Woodson for her book Before the Ever After. This novel-in-verse explores how a family moves forward when the father’s glory days as a professional football player have passed and he experiences the long-term physical effects of his career. Woodson has won numerous book awards including the 2020 Hans Christian Andersen Award and the 2014 National Book Award for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. She was the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

The Coretta Scott King Book Committee also awards an annual illustrator award and an award for “New Talent.”

 

 

You can view the full list of Youth Media Awards here, including the Michael L. Printz Award for Young Adult Literature, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning readers, and the Schneider Family Book Award which honors authors and illustrators who present an artistic expression of a disability experience.

Indiana Author Awards

The Eugene and Marilyn  Glick  Indiana Authors Awards celebrate the best books by Indiana authors written in eight different categories and published during the previous two years.You can check out these books in print at either the Aurora Public Library or the Dillsboro Public Library. If you prefer to read or listen digitally, just download the titles from the Indiana

Attucks by Phillip HooseChildren’s Award

Attucks! tells the true story of the all-Black Crispus Attucks High School basketball team that broke the color barrier in segregated 1950s Indiana. By winning the 1955 state championship, 10 teens—including eventual college and NBA star Oscar Robertson—shattered the myth of Black inferiority. Hoose is a widely acclaimed author of books, essays, stories, songs and articles, including the National Book Award-winning Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice.

 

 

 

Fiction AwardThe Life List of Adrian Mandrick by Chris White

A pill-popping anesthesiologist and avid birder embarks on a quest to find the extremely rare Ivory-billed Woodpecker only to become stranded in the thick swamplands of Florida’s panhandle. There he confronts past and present failures, the cost of his obsessions and what’s truly important in life. Although White is a widely performed and award-winning playwright and screenwriter (as well as an actor and vocalist), The Life List of Adrian Mandrick is her first novel.

 

 

 

Pimp My Airship by Maurice BroaddusGenre Award

Indianapolis is recast as a steampunk, sci-fi landscape in Broaddus’ work where themes of power, racism and mass incarceration of people of color are explored. The fast-paced adventure through an alternative Indy follows an unlikely trio of Black compatriots into a battle for control of the nation and the soul of their people. Born in London, England, Broaddus has lived most of his life in Indianapolis.

 

 

 

 

Non-Fiction Award The Book of Delights by Ross Gay

A collection of essays written over the course of a tumultuous year, The Book of Delights reminds readers of the purpose and pleasure of praising, extolling and celebrating ordinary wonders. A New York Times best-seller and product of a commitment to write daily essays about life’s simple delights, the essays in The Book of Delights are funny, philosophical and moving.

 

 

 

 

Sightseer in This Killing City by Eugene GloriaPoetry Award

Set in the aftermath of presidential elections in the U.S. and Philippines, Sightseer in This Killing City is an argument for grace and perseverance in an era of bombast and bullies. The John Rabb Emison Professor of Creative and Performing Arts and English Professor at DePauw University, Gloria is the author of three other books of poems.

 

 

 

 

 

Young Adult Award All the Things We Do in the Dark by Saundra Mitchell

Told through the eyes of a teenage girl, All the Things We Do in the Dark, finalist for a Lambda Literary Award, addresses challenging issues affecting young people—including rape, PTSD, mental health and victim blaming—and the many ways people work through trauma. Mitchell, a Greenwood, Ind.-based author of young-adult novels, anthologies and nonfiction series, has seen more than 400 of her screenplays produced as films in conjunction with Dreaming Tree Films.

 

 

Emerging Author Award

For fans of Wild, a searing memoir about one woman’s road to hope following the death of her troubled brother, told through the series of cars that accompanied her.

Growing up in a blue-collar family in the Midwest, Melissa Stephenson longed for escape. Her wanderlust was an innate reaction to the powerful personalities around her, and came too from her desire to find a place in the world where her artistic ambitions wouldn’t be thwarted. She found in automobiles the promise of a future beyond Indiana state lines.

Meet Author/Illustrator Peter Sis

A new book by a favorite author or illustrator is always cause for rejoicing. This time I am celebrating the publication of a new book by Peter Sis. Robinson, shown above, blends the story of Robinson Crusoe with a true adventure from Sis’s childhood and was described in Horn Book Magazine as a “visually stunning and empowering tale.” The large size of this picture book gives Sis plenty of space to showcase his distinctive artwork.

If you are not familiar with Peter Sis, it might be because his works are in several different areas in the Library. We have three of his books in the Easy collection and several books in our non-fiction collections. He has also provided illustrations for chapter books as well as books of poetry by Jack Prelutsky.

Madlenka by Peter Sis  Play, Mozart, Play by Peter Sis

Sis was born behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and requested asylum in the U.S. during a film-making trip. He wrote movingly about his early years in his illustrated autobiography The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain.

The Wall by Peter Sis

His work as an illustrator of chapter books includes the Wind on Fire trilogy by William Nicholson and several books by Sid Fleischman.

The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman   The Wind Singer by Wiliam Nicholson

In 2010, he illustrated The Dreamer, a fictionalized account of the life of poet Pablo Neruda, written by Pam Munoz Ryan. His illustrations are an integral part of this inspirational book and provide a magical touch to the story of a boy struggling to find the freedom to express his creativity.

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan & Peter Sis

Peter Sis has written and illustrated several picture book biographies including books about Columbus, Galileo and Darwin. Before Robinson, his most recent book was The Pilot and the Little Prince, based on the life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery,  French pilot and writer of the children’s classic The Little Prince.

Starry Messenger by Peter Sis   The Tree of Life by Peter Sis

The Pilot and the Little Prince by Antoin de Saint-Exupery

In 2012, Peter Sis was awarded the Hans Christian Anderson Book Award for his lasting contributions to children’s literature. He has one adult book to his credit, The Conference of the Birds. This 2011 book is an illustrated retelling of a classic poem by Persian poet Farid Ud-Din Attar. The picture shown below is from the interior of the book rather than the cover. You can read more here about this incredible book.

The Conference of Birds by Peter Sis

HarperCollins Publishing Celebrates 200 Years

HarperCollins is the second largest publishing company in the world. They’ve published in over 18 countries. With two hundred years of history, HarperCollins publishes about 10,000 new books every year in 17 languages and has a print and digital catalog of more than 200,000 titles. With dozens of different genres, HarperCollins authors include winners of the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer, the National Book Award and more.

With Mark Twain, the Bronte sisters, Dickens, Martin Luther King Jr., Shel Silverstein, and Margaret Wise Brown having been published by HarperCollins, reinforces their long and rich history that reaches back to the early nineteenth century.

Just to think, it all began with a modest print shop created by James and John Harper in 1817. They were first known as J. and J. Harper and then later Harper & Brothers. In 1987, as Harper and Rowe the small company was acquired by News Corporation. The worldwide book group was formed following the News Corporation’s 1990 acquisiton of the British publisher William Collins & Sons. William & Sons was founded in 1819, and published a large variety of Bibles, atlases, dictionaries, and reissued classics that expanded over years to include legendary authors such as H.G. Wells, Agatha Christie, J.R.R. Tolkien, and even C.S. Lewis.

In today’s world, the legendary authors published by HarperCollins are Alec Baldwin, Meg Cabot, Joseph Campbell, Cynthia Eden, Dan Edwards, Neil Gaiman, George Irving, Robert Irvine, Joyce Carol Oates, Mathew Quick, Julia Quinn, Bob Saget, John Updike, J.D. Vance, just to name a few.

For a company to be around for 200 years a unique feat within itself. For a publishing company, to have such a large list of authors, is just that bigger of a feat.

Congratulations to HarperCollins for making it to 200!

Source: HarperCollins

The Rosies are Here!

What are the Eliot Rosewater Books? Each year approximately 20 Young Adult books are nominated for the Eliot Rosewater Award. The nominations are made by school librarians across the state of Indiana and must represent a variety of genres. These titles are promoted across the state in high schools and public libraries. Students vote for their favorite in April and the winner receives the Eliot Rosewater Book Award. If you’re familiar with the Young Hoosier Awards, this program is similar, but just for high school students. The Eliot Rosewater program is sponsored by the Association for Indiana School Library Educators and the Indiana Library Federation.

This year’s selections look fantastic and we have most of them ready to be checked out. We also have most of the titles available through the Indiana Digital Download Center!

You may have one more question before you start to browse the titles. Who was Eliot Rosewater? Eliot Rosewater is a recurring fictional character in Kurt Vonnegut’s novels, including God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater. Vonnegut is a famous Hoosier author who grew up in Indianapolis. This award was named to honor him and all Indiana writers. The award is often referred to as the “Rosie Award”.

Don’t make the mistake that these are just for Teens! Give one a try and you might find a new favorite author.

all-the-bright-places avalon belzhar dear-killer

dont-look-back fake-id faking-normal family-romanov

gabi half-bad in-real-life kiss-of-deception

next nil nogin one-man-guy

positive shadow-and-bone since-youve-been-gone slated

some-assembly-required the-beginning-of-everything the-naturals time-to-dance

trough-the-woods

 

Happy Birthday, Ducklings!

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the publication of Robert McCloskey’s Make Way for Ducklings.

ducklings

This endearing tale of Mr. and Mrs. Mallard finding a safe home in the Boston Public Garden earned McCloskey his first Caldecott Medal in 1942. His second Caldecott Medal came in 1958 for Time of Wonder.

Millions of copies of the book have been sold and it has been in print continuously since 1941. Make Way for Ducklings is the official book of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Mallard family’s procession is commemorated in bronze in the Boston Public Garden. The bronze ducks, stretching out for 35 feet, are one of Boston’s most popular tourist attractions.

statues

To help children celebrate the ducklings’ 75th birthday, Viking Children’s Books has created some activity sheets which can be downloaded here.

The Aurora Public Library District also has these picture books, written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey.

time of wonder    maine

burt     blueberries

Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday

Fairy tales have been a favorite type of book for children (and adults) for hundreds of years. Hans Christian Andersen is remembered as one of the greatest of the fairy tale writers. Born in Denmark on April 2, 1805, Andersen’s tales explore timeless themes such as as virtue and perseverance. They have been translated into many languages and have been adapted in both straight-forward and humorous ways by many writers. Most of the picture books in the Library collection that are based on his stories will state on the book cover or the title page that they are adaptations, rather than Andersen’s original story.

The work of Hans Christian Andersen is often compared to the Fairy Tales of the Grimm Brothers. Although these men were living around the same time period, there is a notable difference in their works. Andersen wrote original fairy tales, but the Grimm Brothers traveled around Germany collecting stories which were already in existence. Andersen’s best-known stories include The Little Mermaid, The Ugly Duckling and Thumbelina.

mermaid

duckling     thumbelina

Here are a few more of the Andersen Fairy Tales that are fairly true to the original version.

match girl     nightingale

snow princess

Now take a look at some of the silly versions! I bet you can guess which original tale these are based on.

very smart     uglified

dinosuar

You can learn more about Hans Christian Andersen by sharing this picture book biography by Karen Hesse. The Dillsboro Public Library has a book containing all the original fairy tales by Andersen.

younghca

The highest international book award given to authors and illustrators of children’s books is the Hans Christian Andersen Award. It is awarded every two years and countries are allowed to nominate one author or illustrator for the award. The 2016 Award will be announced on April 4, 2016. The United States nominee is Lois Lowry, author of 2 Newbery Award books: Number the Stars and The Giver. The US has not had a Hans Christian Andersen Award winner since 1998 when Katherine Paterson won the award.