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1. Four French women cartoonists turn down knighthoods to protest poor treatment

20160131-monty.jpgby Xavier Lancel [Editor’s note: our French correspondent Xavier Lancel turned in a more knowledgeable view of the ongoing controversy surrounding Angouleme, but the minute he turned it in, a NEW phase of the controversy arose: four female cartoonists turning down their selection as Knights of Letters. Male winner Riad Sattouf has accepted his but […]

1 Comments on Four French women cartoonists turn down knighthoods to protest poor treatment, last added: 2/3/2016
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2. 2016 PEN Literary Awards Shortlist Revealed

PEN America has revealed the shortlists for the 2016 PEN Literary Awards.

Writers Mia Alvar, Angela Flournoy, Julie Iromuanya, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Jennifer Tseng are among those shortlisted for the $25,000 prize. The winner will be revealed on April 11 at a ceremony in New York. Follow this link to see the complete list.

“This year’s shortlist demonstrates a vast trove of literary talent, including venerable greats who continue to reach new creative heights as well as brand new voices,” stated Suzanne Nossel, executive director of PEN America. “As the nation’s most comprehensive awards program, the prizes PEN confers play a unique role in highlighting undiscovered authors and works, probing important genres, and reflecting great cultural breadth.”

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3. Angoulême controversy just won’t stop, as the jury issues an apology and Franck Bondoux continues to be un douchebag gigantesque

The controversy over the “faux Fauves” at Saturday’s awards ceremony at the Angoulême comics festival just won’t die down, and festival director Frank Bondous has been revealed as even more of a Sepp Blatter-like asshole enormé – AS IF THAT WERE EVEN POSSIBLE. And yet it is. As you may recall. on Saturday night, the […]

7 Comments on Angoulême controversy just won’t stop, as the jury issues an apology and Franck Bondoux continues to be un douchebag gigantesque, last added: 2/2/2016
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4. British Student Animation Dominates Sundance and Slamdance, Daniels Win Directing Prize for ‘Swiss Army Man’

The top animation prizes at both Sundance and Slamdance were won by student animated shorts from the U.K.

The post British Student Animation Dominates Sundance and Slamdance, Daniels Win Directing Prize for ‘Swiss Army Man’ appeared first on Cartoon Brew.

0 Comments on British Student Animation Dominates Sundance and Slamdance, Daniels Win Directing Prize for ‘Swiss Army Man’ as of 1/1/1900
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5. Angoulême Festival manages to get even worse by humiliating cartoonists with “Faux Fauves”

Angoulême has really jumped the shark this year. Not content with showing a medieval level knowledge of art and comics history by claiming that there were no significant women in the history of comics, the Festival has outraged everyone with what, from Google translate and the flood of legit outrage on my social media, was […]

10 Comments on Angoulême Festival manages to get even worse by humiliating cartoonists with “Faux Fauves”, last added: 2/1/2016
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6. In Memory: Larry Romans

By John L. Amundsen
Program Officer,
Outreach and Communications ALA Office
for Diversity, Literacy, and Outreach Services
for Cynthia Leitich Smith's Cynsations

The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT) family, along with all of ALA, are saddened to learn of the death of Larry Romans, director at large of the GLBTRT on Thursday.

His service to the Library community was vast; Larry served on the GLBTRT Executive Board for six years and had been a member of GLBTRT since 1984, when it was then known as the SRRT Task Force on Gay Liberation. He served on the ALA Executive Board from 2007-2010 and served with distinction on ALA Council for over 24 years. He was the the chapter councilor for Tennessee for eight years and was finishing his 16th year as an at large councilor at the time of his passing.

While on ALA Council, Larry was a forceful advocate for equality, within and beyond the Association. He worked with ALA staff to make its conferences more welcoming and inclusive environments for all, through ensuring that conference cities implement sensitivity training for employees in serving transgender attendees and sponsored a resolution opposing marriage inequality.

He often chaired ALA’s Resolutions Committee and was an informed participant whose opinions were valued. He helped many newly elected ALA Councilors find their way and their voice to speak their passion. Larry was a master of parliamentary procedure to follow in meetings. He could always be depended on to know who to talk to on specific issues.

Children's Award Winner
YA Award Winner
Through the generosity of Larry, and his husband Mike Morgan, the Stonewall Book Award Endowment fund grew significantly, with Larry and Mike donating over $75,000, including a $15,000 challenge match in 2014.

Endowing the Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, which was named for Larry and Mike in 2012, was a highlight of his career.

“Larry Romans’ thoughtful and invaluable contributions to elevating GLBT literature; to the advancement of The American Library Association; and to librarianship will not be forgotten,” said ALA President Sari Feldman. “Larry will be missed and always in the hearts of his friends, colleagues, and those that look to the Stonewall Book Awards - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award - for quality titles regarding the GLBT experience.”

Larry was a dear friend to many and will be remembered for his kind soul, gentle manner and deep wisdom. The GLBTRT membership and Executive Board will miss his counsel, his warmth and his friendship.

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7. Young Adult Librarians Select Great Graphic Novels for Teens!

Since 2007, YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, part of the American Library Association, has been releasing lists of Great Graphic Novels for Teens. The long list (112 titles this year!), and Top Ten titles, are released in January, after the Midwinter Conference. Although not as prestigious as the Newbery or Caldecott honors, the […]

0 Comments on Young Adult Librarians Select Great Graphic Novels for Teens! as of 1/28/2016 11:42:00 PM
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8. GLAAD Nominees honor Wicked & Divine, Harley Quinn and more

Awards season is underway! And GLAAD has announced its annual media award nominees to “recognize and honor media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives. Although many have questioned why GLAAD only focuses on big publishers comics (often only Marvel […]

0 Comments on GLAAD Nominees honor Wicked & Divine, Harley Quinn and more as of 1/27/2016 5:04:00 PM
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9. J.K. Rowling to Receive PEN/Allen Foundation Award

Author J.K. Rowling will receive the 2016 PEN/Allen Foundation Literary Service Award.

The award is given annually to authors whose work fights repression and censorship around the globe.

“Since her rise from single mother to literary superstar, J.K. Rowling has used her talents and stature as a writer to fight inequality on both a local and global level,” explains the PEN press release. “Her charitable trust, Volant, supports causes in the United Kingdom and abroad that alleviate social exclusion, with particular emphasis on women and children.”

The Harry Potter author will be presented with the award at PEN America’s annual Literary Gala on May 16 at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

PEN will also honor Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch at the ceremony for his support against censorship. In 2015, Pietsch encouraged American publishers to resist censorship in China.

In the coming weeks, the organization will reveal its selections for the PEN Freedom to Write Award and the PEN/James and Toni C. Goodale Freedom of Expression Courage Award.

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10. Sydney Taylor Awards and more

 As the motion picture industry has multiple awards including the Academy, Screen Actors Guild, and Golden Globe, so too, does the publishing industry. In books for young people, the best known are the Caldecott and Newbery Medals, which were awarded this month, and I wrote about earlier. ( See the complete list of winners here: [http://www.ala.org/news/press-releases/2016/01/american-library-association-announces-2016-youth-media-award-winners])


There are however, numerous other awards including (but not limited to) the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, the Cybils Awards (chosen by bloggers and for which I have twice been a judge), The Schneider Family Book Award (which recognizes excellence in portraying the disability experience), the Coretta Scott King Awards (recognizing books by African Americans that reflect the African American experience), and the Pura Belpré Awards (honoring books that celebrate the Latino cultural experience). 

Also recently awarded were the Sydney Taylor Book Awards for children and teens.  These awards are given to books that "authentically portray the Jewish experience."  You can read the official press release here: [http://jewishlibraries.org/blog.php?id=315]   

Many schoolchildren are introduced to the Jewish experience only through Holocaust education.  The Sydney Taylor Awards recognize all aspects of Jewish culture.


The Association of Jewish Libraries asked for my assistance in promoting this year's winners, and I am happy to do so.  A complete list of winners and honor books is below. 

 If you haven't read any of the winners of these or other awards celebrating the many facets of our diverse world, consider adding several to your TBR pile.


The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers:
The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Older Readers: 
  •  Adam & Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld, translated by Jeffrey M. Green with illustrations by Philippe Dumas (Seven Stories Press)
 The Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Teen Readers:
Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Younger Readers:
  • Everybody Says Shalom by Leslie Kimmelman with illustrations by Talitha Shipman (Random House) Shanghai Sukkah by Heidi Smith Hyde with illustrations by Jing Jing Tsong (Kar-Ben Publishing)
 Sydney Taylor Honor Book for Older Readers:
 Sydney Taylor Honor Books for Teen Readers:
  • Serendipity’s Footsteps by Suzanne Nelson (Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House) Stones on a Grave by Kathy Kacer (Orca Book Publishers) 

Note:
Keep watch for the 2015 Cybils Awards winners.  They will be announced on Valentine's Day, February 14th. 


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11. Free Samples of ‘The Walter’ Winning and Honor Books

We Need Diverse BooksThe We Need Diverse Books organization has revealed the winning and honor books for the inaugural Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature. This prize, named after the late Walter Dean Myers, has also become known as “The Walter.”

All American Boys, a young adult novel written by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, was named the winner. Enchanted Air, a poetic memoir written by Margarita Engle, and X, a novel written by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon, were both named honor titles. We’ve linked to free samples of all the recognized books below.

Here’s more from the We Need Diverse Books blog post: “The Judges Panel reviewed titles published during the 2015 calendar year by diverse authors whose work featured a diverse main character or addressed diversity in a meaningful way. In the case of author pairs (or author-illustrator pairs), at least one member of the pair must be from an underrepresented community. The books covered many genres and included both fiction and nonfiction works. The award’s mission is to honor the memory of Walter Dean Myers and his literary heritage, as well as celebrate diversity in teen literature.”

Free Samples of The Walter Winner and Honor Books

Winner: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

Honor: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle

Honor: X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz & Kekla Magoon

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12. So now Claire Wendling doesn’t want the Angoulëme Grand Prix either

So after a few solid weeks of controversy and outcry, the finalists for this year’s FIBD Grand Prix were announced: Alan Moore, Hermann Huppen and Claire Wendling. If case you missed all the fun, here’s a rough timeline: • The Grand Prix is awarded each year at the close of the Festival international de la […]

8 Comments on So now Claire Wendling doesn’t want the Angoulëme Grand Prix either, last added: 1/24/2016
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13. National Book Foundation Seeks Innovators in Reading

The National Book Foundation has opened its submissions process for its annual Innovations in Reading Prize.

The $10,000 award will be given to the person who group who creates the most innovative and sustainable program that creates a lifelong love of reading. Applicants can apply now until February 29, 2016 at midnight PST.

“Our previous Innovations in Reading Prize winners have shown that reading has extraordinary benefits for just about any community, including the families of soldiers deployed overseas, incarcerated youth, homeless populations, and small town neighborhoods,” stated Harold Augenbraum, Executive Director of the National Book Foundation. “Through the Innovations in Reading Prize, we aim to recognize, fund, and applaud the efforts of literary activists around the country.”

Last year’s winner and honorable mentions will appear at the Why Reading Matters: Engaging With Literary Activism Across the Globe conference and luncheon on Thursday, February 11, 2016 in New York.  

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14. Grand Prix nominees: Alan Moore, Hermann and Claire Wendling

The final nominees for this year's Angouleme Grand Prix have been announced and they are Hermann, Alan Moore & Claire Wendling

1 Comments on Grand Prix nominees: Alan Moore, Hermann and Claire Wendling, last added: 1/21/2016
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15. 2016 Edgar Award Nominations Revealed

theedgarsThe Mystery Writers of America have revealed the nominees for the 2016 Edgar Awards. The annual prize, named after horror writer Edgar Allan Poe, awarded to the best authors in the mystery genre since 1945.

According to the press release, the winners will be announced at the 70th gala which will be held in New York City on Apr. 28. We’ve posted the full list of nominated titles below.

BEST NOVEL

The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter
The Lady From Zagreb by Philip Kerr
Life or Death by Michael Robotham
Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy
Canary by Duane Swierczynski
Night Life by David C. Taylor

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR

Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney
The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
Woman with a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty
The Daughter by Jane Shemilt

BEST FACT CRIME

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the American Genocide by Eric Bogosian
Where The Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him by T.J. English
Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid
American Pain: How a Young Felon and his Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s  Deadliest Drug Epidemic by John Temple

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards
The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue by Frederick Forsyth
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald by Suzanne Marrs and Tom Nolan
Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica by Matthew Parker
The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward

BEST SHORT STORY

“The Little Men” – Mysterious Bookshop by Megan Abbott
“On Borrowed Time” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Mat Coward
“The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday” – Providence Noir by Peter Farrelly
“Family Treasures” – Let Me Tell You  by Shirley Jackson
“Obits” – Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King
“Every Seven Years” – Mysterious Bookshop by Denise Mina

BEST JUVENILE

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi
If You Find This by Matthew Baker
Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C.Chester
Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught

BEST YOUNG ADULT

Endangered by Lamar Giles
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY

“Episode 7,” – Broadchurch, Teleplay by Chris Chibnall
“Gently with the Women” – George Gently, Teleplay by Peter Flannery
“Elise – The Final Mystery” – Foyle’s War, Teleplay by Anthony Horowitz
“Terra Incognita” – Person of Interest, Teleplay by Erik Mountain and Melissa Scrivner Love
“The Beating of her Wings” – Ripper Street, Teleplay by Richard Warlow

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD

Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Russell W. Johnson (Dell Magazines)

GRAND MASTER

Walter Mosley

RAVEN AWARDS

Margaret Kinsman
Sisters in Crime

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD

Janet Rudolph, Founder of Mystery Readers International

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD

A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody
Masque of a Murderer by Suzanne Calkins
Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron
The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson
Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day

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16. Announcing our 2015 New Voices Award Winner

New York, NY—January 15, 2015—LEE  & LOW BOOKS is proud to New Voices Award sealannounce that Lisa Brathwaite of Stone Mountain, Georgia, is the winner of the company’s sixteenth annual New Voices Award. Her manuscript, Show and Tell: The Story of Eunice Johnson and the Ebony Fashion Fair, is a picture book biography of Eunice Johnson, African American publishing executive and founder of the Ebony Fashion Fair. Since childhood, Eunice had a passion for fashion. She enjoyed sewing her own clothes and took pride in her original style and immaculate technique. As an adult, she and her husband founded Ebony, a magazine that celebrates African American life and culture. And in 1958, Eunice created the Ebony Fashion Fair, a fund-raising event that quickly evolved into a nationwide tour that showcased high fashion for the African American audience and challenged accepted standards to embrace beauty in all forms.

Lisa Brathwaite is a cultural engagement advisor with Welcoming America and a volunteer with Dress for Success Atlanta. As a young girl, Lisa was interested in fashion and found Ebony a source of encouragement and confidence. She became enamored with Eunice Johnson’s journey and was inspired to write about this great businesswoman and fashion icon. Lisa will receive a prize of $1,000 and a publication contract.

LEE & LOW BOOKS is also proud to announce that Li Yun Alvarado of Long Beach, California, has been chosen as the New Voices Honor winner for her manuscript A Star Named Rosita: The Rita Moreno Story, a picture book biography of film and theater star Rita Moreno. A native of Puerto Rico, Rita immigrated in 1936 to the United States, where she discovered her talent for performing. She rose to Hollywood stardom and became a pioneer for Latina women, overcoming barriers and stereotypes to win an Academy Award for her role in the musical West Side Story (1961). As a young Puerto Rican performing arts student in New York City, Li Yun Alvarado was deeply affected by Rita Moreno’s story and was motivated to write about Rita’s inspirational work for a new generation of readers and performers. Li Yun will receive a prize of $500.

Congratulations to Lisa Brathwaite and Li Yun Alvarado!

ABOUT THE AWARD: Established in 2000, the New Voices Award is an annual award given by LEE & LOW BOOKS to an unpublished author of color for a picture book manuscript. Past winners include It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw by Don Tate,  winner of the Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award Honor, Bird by Zetta Elliott, an ALA Notable Book, and, most recently, Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, a Spring 2015 Junior Library Guild selection.

The award was established to combat the low numbers of authors of color in children’s book publishing and to help new authors break into the field. LEE & LOW BOOKS is committed to nurturing new authors. The company has introduced more than one hundred new authors and illustrators to the children’s book world and 68% of authors and illustrators published by LEE & LOW BOOKS are people of color. For more information, visit our New Voices Award page.

Authors of color who write for older readers are encouraged to learn about our New Visions Award for middle grade and young adult manuscripts as well.

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17. National Book Critics Circle 2015 Finalists

The National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for their 2015 book awards. The winners will be announced on March 17, 2015 at the New School in New York.
Wendell Berry is the recipient of the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award. Kirstin Valdez Quade‘s story collection, Night at the Fiestas, has won the third annual John Leonard Prize. Carlos Lozada, associate editor and nonfiction book critic at The Washington Post, will receive the 2015 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing.

The fiction finalists are:

1. The Sellout by Paul Beatty
2. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
3. The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli
4. The Tsar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra
5. Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh

The non-fiction finalists are:
1. SPQR: A History of Rome by Mary Beard
2. Give Us the Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America by Ari Berman
3. Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy
4. Dreamland: The True Story of America’s Opiate Epidemic by Sam Quinones
5. What the Eye Hears: A History of Tap Dancing by Brian Seibert

Follow this link for the complete listings in autobiography, biography, criticism, and poetry.

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18. The 2016 McDuffie Awards get flooded with submissions

One of the most rewarding things I did all last year was participate as a judge for the first ever McDuffie Award for Diversity in Comics; not only was I exposed to a lot of great comics material I had never seen before, but I worked with a fine panel of judges and it was a genuine joy to get more attention for the eventual winner–Nilah McGruder's MFK. Happily, I'll be part of the final selection committee for this year's awards, with the winner to be announced at the Long Beach Comic Expo on Saturday February 20, in room S5 from 2:30pm - 3:30pm.

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19. 2016 APALA Literary Award Announced

We are thrilled to share that two LEE & LOW titles have been selected for the 2016 Literature Award given by the Asian Pacific Juna's Jar coverAmerican Library Association (APALA). Congratulations to Juna’s Jar, winner in the Picture Book category, and Ink and Ashes, honor in the Young Adult category!

Here’s the full list of winners from APALA’s press release:

Adult Fiction

*   Winner: Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press)

Viet Than Nguyen weaves a compelling story of a Vietnamese double agent in his debut novel The Sympathizer. The novel brings humor and a critical eye to the Vietnam War and narratives of Vietnamese refugees.

*   Honor: Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy  (Bloomsbury USA)

Sandip Roy blends family secrets, arranged marriages, and culture clash in his debut novel, Don’t Let Him Know.  From the new bride Romola who arrives in the United States to her only child Amit, who discovers a family secret, readers will be fascinated with the interconnected stories about family, friendship, and culture.

Adult Non-Fiction

*   Winner: The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee (Simon and Schuster)

Dr. Erica Lee, University of Minnesota History Faculty & Immigration History Research Center Director, compiled an astounding 17 chapter single volume of research which falls on the 50th anniversary of the commemoration of the  United States Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.  Lee’s significant centennial plus documentation includes and describes some of the most important annals of Asian American history in the areas of immigration, assimilation, civil rights as well as noteworthy contributions and strides made to the American landscape attributed to Americans of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino Vietnamese, Cambodian, Sikh, Hindu and other Asian ancestry and heritage.

*   Honor: Canton Restaurant to Panda Express by Haiming Liu (Rutgers University Press)

To the Chinese people, food is the aggregator of warm social interaction. Haiming Liu in this new title has documented the story of the social history of a transcultural people by weaving the history of the early Chinese settlers, their assimilation into their adopted American culture with the story of their continually adaptive cuisine which includes the present-day fusion and fast food industry.  This intriguing title examines the developmental history of the Chinese up from the mid 1800’s and their commitment to American society while retaining their own unique brand of what it means to have Chinese ancestry.

*   Honor:  The Good Immigrant: How the yellow peril became the model minority by Madilyn Y. Hsu (Princeton University Press)

The Good Immigrant stands out as an impeccable study which fills a critical void in the literature of Asian America. Its focused research reveals discoveries about a unique group of immigrant whose history has been generally overlooked.  It explores into the past and more recent immigration from Asia, such as transnational immigrant student, the intellectual, the entrepreneurial businessman, and etc., which garnered notice of the growing influence of Asian Americans.  Until Hsu’s articulate and scholarly endeavor few have found cause to investigate.

Young Adult

*   Winner: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)

PS I Still Love You  was a contemporary and relatable story to many teens that we as a committee even wished we had a book like this to read and refer to during our teenage years.  Furthermore, Han is able to depict Lara Jean, the protagonist in a very positive and relatable light for not only for other Asians but people in general as well.  Lara Jean is able to be both Korean and “normal,” and avoids being typecasted into certain tropes.
Ink and Ashes
*   Honor: Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani (Tu Books, an imprint of Lee & Low Books)

Ink and Ashes was very interesting and different than what we had read.  It was contemporary, but yet the readers will learn a lot about the Japanese histories and superstitions through Claire and her research into her family history which contains links to the Yakuza – the Japanese Mafia.  With suspense, mystery, and a dash of romance, this book has teen appeal and would be suitable for a movie adaptation.

Children’s

*   Winner: Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton (Dial Books/Penguin Random House)

The committee was especially impressed with Full Cicada Moon, praising Hilton’s engaging examination of racial (and particularly, biracial), gender, and social issues, as well as the powerful verse in which it was elegantly told.  The portrayal of the remarkable Mimi—a strong protagonist whose memorable journey is both stirringly and gracefully developed.

*   Honor: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (Green Willow Books/Harper Collins)

Kelly’s entertaining and refreshing debut novel was enjoyed by the committee.  Of one particular note was the sensitive development of its believable protagonist, the smooth detailing of Apple’s ethnic heritage and her struggles to embrace it, and overall, the hopeful yet not overly didactic message it presents on exploring one’s identity and the adolescent experience.

Picture Book

*   Winner: Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk, illustrated by Felicia Hoshino (Lee & Low Books)

Juna’s Jar celebrates imagination, while also showcasing cross-racial best friends in modern day Los Angeles. It charmingly captures the adventures and heartache of a little girl—who just happens to be a Korean American.

*   Honor: Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers)

Millo Castro Zaldarriaga is a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who dreamed of drumming at a time when only boys were allowed to drum. Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music celebrates music, culture, gender, and the right to dream.

The winners will each receive an award plaque and an award seal on their book at the APALA Award Ceremony on Saturday, June 25, 2016 during the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. 

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20. Poet Sarah Howe Wins T.S. Eliot Prize

Poet Sarah Howe has won the T.S. Eliot Poetry Prize for her debut work Loop of Jade. This is the first time a first-time collection has won the award.

The book explores Howe’s experiences exploring her Anglo-Chinese heritage on trips to Hong Kong.

“In a year with an incredibly ambitious and diverse shortlist, it was difficult to choose the winner,” stated Pascale Petit, chair of the judges panel. “However Sarah Howe’s Loop of Jade shone with its startling exploration of gender and injustice through place and identity, its erudition, and powerful imagery as well as her daring experiment with form. She brings new possibilities to British poetry.”

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21. Winners Announced for the 2015 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature

APALA (GalleyCat)The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) has revealed the winners of the 2015 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature (APAAL).

According to the press release, the organization aims to “promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage” and recognize “titles published from October 2014 to September 2015 based on their literary and artistic merit” with these awards.

Below, we’ve collected free samples of many of the honored works for your reading pleasure.

Adult Fiction

Winner: Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Honor: Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy

Adult Non-Fiction

Winner: The Making of Asian America by Erika Lee

Honor: Canton Restaurant to Panda Express by Haiming Liu

Honor: The Good Immigrant: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority by Madilyn Y. Hsu

Young Adult

Winner: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Honor: Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

Children’s Books

Winner: Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton

Honor: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Picture Books

Winner: Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk

Honor: Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael Lopez

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22. Examining Role Models

This week was big in the children's book world. Enormous. The American Library Youth Media Awards were announced on Monday, January 11th, giving out nineteen awards which included the Newbery, Caldecott and Printz. 

Monday morning was euphoric. The children's book community came together to celebrate and support the winners. Huge dramatic things happened. Records were set. Everyone was abuzz. I was excited to see what the next day would bring.

Tuesday morning made me sad. Sadder than I want to admit. I picked up four major newspapers. Two omitted the announcement entirely. One buried it halfway through the lifestyle section and devoted three paragraphs, that were clearly all from the press release. And one put a few paragraphs in the back of the children's section, again mostly from the press release. 

Now compare that to the Oscars.

NPR devoted three minutes of original reporting to it, which was a lot more than most, and for which I was grateful. Most of the articles that I saw that were original and well written came from trade journals, which were great but probably unlikely to be seen by the general public.

Not one talk show, of the endless numbers of shows out there who interview people and celebrities- had even a few minutes to spare to talk to these wonderful, witty, and charming award winners. Or even to talk about them. If you're aware of one that did, please let me know. 

Yet, there was plenty of space for celebrity news and gossip. 

Last year I was really crushed. I was on the Caldecott committee. Not everyone in my life could really wrap their head around what that meant, but I assured them it was important enough that it would be in the newspaper the Tuesday after the announcement. I said this for months during all the time when I was too busy reading and working on the Caldecott to have time for anything else. It's important enough, it will be in the paper, I told everyone. 

Tuesday came. The Newbery Medal winner happened to be a local author (which was terrific, don't get me wrong) but resulted in my local paper, a major award-winning metropolitan newspaper, devoting their two paragraphs about the awards to him and ignoring the Caldecott completely. They didn't even have room for one sentence announcing the winner. The next day at work, all I heard was questions and doubt. It must not have been important enough. It wasn't there. 

A Caldecott Medal winner once told me they received about nine press calls on the day of the award announcement. At the time I thought that was a lot. Nine calls. 

But is it a lot? Think in broader terms. How many calls and interview requests does an actor who wins an Oscar receive? How about a quarterback who just won the SuperBowl? I'm willing to bet it's more than nine.

What's wrong with making our heroes and role models people who are talented writers, artists and book creators? Why are we telling our children that they have to read if we are not modeling and celebrating the importance of reading in our society? What kind of examples are we setting?

I'm hoping next year that Tuesday morning brings a ray of hope. 

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If you saw an article from a major newspaper that featured original reporting and did more than quote a few sentences from the press release, please put a link to it in the comments to cheer me up. In fairness, some papers wait until their Sunday editions to do more in-depth stories. 

In the meantime, I hope you read these great stories from Publisher's Weekly about the Caldecott, Newbery and Printz winners. 

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23. The Revenant Receives 12 Academy Award Nominations

The Revenant, a film adaptation directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, has earned twelve academy Academy Award nominations. John Krasinski, an actor, joined Cheryl Boone Isaacs, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, to make the announcement this morning.

The movie, based in part on Michael Punke’s 2015 novel, stars Leonardo DiCaprio in the lead role of Hugh Glass. We’ve embedded the official trailer above–what did you think of the film?

The pieces recognized in the Best Picture category included a number of adapted books. Below, we’ve linked to free samples of books adapted into this year’s Best Picture-nominated films.

Free Samples of Books Adapted into Best Picture Nominees

The Revenant by Michael Punke

The Big Short by Michael Lewis

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín

The Martian by Andy Weir

Room by Emma Donoghue

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24. 2 Novelists Receive Oscar Nominations

Oscars (GalleyCat)Yesterday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced the nominations for this year’s Oscar Awards. Two novelists, Nick Hornby and Emma Donoghue, were recognized in the Best Adapted Screenplay category.

Hornby wrote the script for Brooklyn based on Colm Tóibín’s 2009 novel. Donoghue wrote the script for Room (published in 2010) based on her own novel which shares the same title.

Click here to watch the trailer for the Brooklyn film adaptation. Follow this link to see the trailer for the Room film adaptation.

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25. YALSA reading list spotlights comics for reluctant readers

YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) has released one of their annual reading lists, 2016 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, which represents: The Quick Picks list, presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting suggests books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the […]

1 Comments on YALSA reading list spotlights comics for reluctant readers, last added: 1/15/2016
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