Check It Out: Children's, young adult books awarded

Last week, the American Library Assn. announced the 2012 book award winners for children and young adult books, including the John Newbery Medal, for outstanding contribution to children's literature; the Randolph Caldecott Medal, recognizing the most distinguished picture book; and the Michael L. Printz Award, for excellence in literature targeted for young adults.

"Dead End in Norvelt" by Jack Gantos won the 2012 John Newbery Medal. Intended for children ages 10 and older, this title is sure to please readers of all ages with the story of a young boy who finds himself spending his entire summer vacation typewriting obituaries.

Through this assigned task of preserving the town of Norvelt's history, young Jackie Gantos becomes entangled in a wild exploration of facts and a desire to solve the mystery behind a possible curse in Norvelt. In this dark comedy, Gantos, whose main character is a reflection of himself as a child, meshes reality with the unbelievable, making this award-winner one that is hard to put down.

Two additional titles were awarded the Newbery Medal: "Inside Out & Back Again" by Thanhha Lai and "Breaking Stalin's Nose" by Eugene Yelchin.

The 2012 Randolph Caldecott Medal was awarded to "A Ball for Daisy," written and illustrated by Chris Raschka. In this brightly illustrated story, Rashka explores the importance of a beloved toy ball for a small dog, Daisy. When the ball unfortunately pops, Daisy is heartbroken. The emotion of loss comes across loud and clear in Rashka's illustrations, and this feeling will resonate in every child who has ever experienced something similar.

This award-winner has a beautiful touching story, and will be a timeless favorite for many years to come.

Caldecott also honored three additional titles: "Blackout" by John Rocco, "Grandpa Green" by Lane Smith, and "Me…Jane" by Patrick McDonnell.

In the genre of young adult literature, the Printz prize is awarded for excellence in titles targeted for the teen population. This year's winning title, "Where Things Come Back," by John Corey Whaley explores 17-year-old Cullen Witter's strangely, intense and dramatic summer vacation before he heads back to his last year of high school. Accurately capturing the emotional experiences of a teen learning from loss, love and hope, Whaley's book is sure to please a wide audience of readers.

Four other titles were also awarded a Printz honor: "Why We Broke Up," by Daniel Handler, "The Returning" by Christine Hinwood, "Jasper Jones" by Craig Silvey, and "The Scorpio Races" by Maggie Stiefvater.

For information about all of these titles or previous winners of these prestigious awards, visit and check out our children's services page.

Direct links to award-winning books in the library's catalog will allow you to place holds on these titles and start a new reading adventure today.

CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.

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