This is actually going to be interesting to cover, because this isn't a topic I'm as focused on or familiar with as others I've talked about, but I thought it merited some sort of response. I mean, someday, I might win one (hahahaha).
So I shall be doing some research today!
The one opinion I remember having in the past, way long ago in elementary school and such, was that Newbery Book Award winners stunk. The Newbery Award focuses on children's books, and it grants one Medal, and a few Honors, to a set of books each year, focusing on "original creative works from American literature." When I was still reading (and writing) only specifically children's books, not YA, this was the one award I was super-aware of, probably mostly because my mom made a point out of buying the Newbery Medal winners all the time.
She asked me once if I thought I'd win a Newbery someday. My answer was an unquestionable NO. Why? Because they would never consider my books worthy of their award, especially since they seem intent on picking books I absolutely hated.
Researching now, I see that wasn't entirely true... The majority of Newbery Medal winners through the past have been books that bored me as a kid, like Kira-Kira. Yeah, it had my name; that's why I read it. Then Bridge to Terebithia. Depressing. Actually, the majority of these books were either boring, scary, or too depressing for me as a youthful reader. (I don't know what I'd think now, though.)
A couple of them were pretty legit. The one I was always aware of, the one time Newbery got it right, I used to say, was The Giver by Lois Lowry. I've talked about this book before a good few times. The Giver is one of my favorite books ever. There are also a couple others there that I liked: A Wrinkle in Time, The Tale of Desperaux.
Moving on. What other awards are there, which might relate to the things I write?
Well. Apparently there's something called the "National Book Awards", done by the National Book Foundation, which gives out awards to books and authors both. And there's a section of the National Book Awards focusing on Young People's Literature. From what I'm seeing of the author awards, the ones I recognize I would agree with. So that's good.
The books in the Young People's award also look pretty nice. I haven't actually read most of them, which surprises me, but the ones I recognize, again, are pretty darn good. Some of them I would wholeheartedly agree with. Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is one of the few books that has ever made me cry, for example. And I made my mom read it. Twice.
Yeah. I could go for those awards. Nice job, National Book Foundation.
What else have we got? I vaguely recognize this name, the Michael L. Printz Award. It's done by YALSA, which is a good sign. I like YA fiction. I really do. Why aren't there more awards for that? Why aren't there even more awards for children's books?
Ahh, I see. This MIchael L. Printz Award isn't bad, but, because everyone seems to think YA books should be obscene or depressing or dark in some way, it appears to have a lot of books on it that I stopped reading due to content, or the like. Maybe that's something for a future rant.
I guess that's all I've got on this topic, so I'll swing back to you next time with a tour of my bookshelf. Thanks for reading!
I'm an unpublished novelist, primarily of YA fantasy, and a freelance editor. I love psychology, cats, social justice, and love! I'm also a huge fangirl. More than anything, stories are my life.
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