Invention of Hugo CabretNot too much to report from ALA Midwinter, except the announcement of the awards for youth media. Isn’t “youth media” a clumsy phrase? It used to be the more appealing “children’s books,” but now the press conference includes videos for children and books and media for young adults, so now we have to call it “youth media,” which I have to work to get excited about. But oh, well.

If you’re interested in this stuff, of course, you know by now who won what. I was in the crowd when the awards were announced at a surprisingly brisk clip (which was a good idea since there are so many of them these days), and the things that seemed to surprise people the most, as you might suspect, were the Newbery and Caldecott winners. The Newbery winner, Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village, by Laura Amy Schlitz, was surprising because many people simply hadn’t heard of it. I hadn’t heard of it either, but I’ve been told since that it’s a good read, so I’ve added it to my list of Things to Read Soon.

The Caldecott winner, of course, surprised everyone because the description of the award says the medal is presented to the illustrator of the best American picture book of the past year. Is The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick a picture book? Or is it a graphic novel or, as I heard one person call it, “a novel with graphic segments”? Whatever it is, the Caldecott Committee pushed the envelope with this one.

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