Rebecca Stead and Jerry Pinkney win Newbery, Caldecott Medals

Contacts: Macey Morales/Jennifer Petersen
ALA Media Relations
312 280-4393/5043

For Immediate Release
January 18, 2010

BOSTON – Rebecca Stead, author of “When You Reach Me” and Jerry Pinkney, illustrator of “The Lion & the Mouse,” are the 2010 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals, the most prestigious awards in children’s literature.

Rebecca Stead and Jerry Pinkney were among the award winners announced Jan. 18 by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), during the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Boston, Jan. 15 - 19. The Newbery and Caldecott Medals honor outstanding writing and illustration of works published in the United States during the previous year.

The 2010 Newbery Medal for the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature went to Rebecca Stead for “When You Reach Me,” published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books. Twelve-year-old Miranda encounters shifting friendships, a sudden punch, a strange homeless man and mysterious notes that hint at knowledge of the future. These and other seemingly random events converge in a brilliantly constructed plot.

“’When You Reach Me’ is an exceptionally conceived and finely crafted work of fiction that will engage and satisfy readers for years to come,” said Newbery Committee Chair Katie O'Dell.

Rebecca Stead is a former attorney and lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons. Stead discovered her love for writing when she re-read all her favorite childhood books to cheer herself up after the tragic demise of her laptop.

The 2010 Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book is awarded to Jerry Pinkney for “The Lion & the Mouse,” published by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers. The screech of an owl, the squeak of a mouse and the roar of a lion transport readers to the Serengeti plains for this virtually wordless retelling of Aesop’s classic fable. In glowing colors, Pinkney’s textured watercolor illustrations masterfully portray the relationship between two very unlikely friends.

“Pinkney’s stunning watercolors add new dimensions to an ancient tale in a book which is sure to become a beloved classic,” said Caldecott Committee Chair Rita Auerbach.

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., where he attended the Philadelphia Museum College of Art, Jerry Pinkney is one of the most honored illustrators of American picture books. He has won five Caldecott Honor Awards and five Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards. He has also received three Coretta Scott King Honor Awards. Pinkney and his wife, author Gloria Jean Pinkney, live in Croton-on-Hudson, N.Y.

Four Newbery Honor Books were named: “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice” by Phillip Hoose, published by Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group. Hoose reveals the true story of an unsung hero of the Montgomery bus boycott. Hoose’s work stands out for its creative approach to narrative biography. Colvin’s own recollections are merged seamlessly with the narrative voice, providing a uniquely personal view of Colvin and the Civil Rights Movement.

Phillip Hoose is a Yale-trained environmentalist, musician/songwriter and the author of many award-winning books.

“The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” by Jacqueline Kelly, published by Henry Holt and Company. On the eve of the 20th century, 11-year-old Calpurnia awakens to new possibilities, and through her evolving relationship with her naturalist grandfather, learns to think like a scientist. Kelly’s rich, evocative language captures Callie’s distinctive voice and lively observations of the natural world.

Trained attorney and physician Jacqueline Kelly was born in New Zealand, raised in western Canada and now lives in Fentress and Austin, Texas.

“Where the Mountain Meets the Moon” by Grace Lin, published by Little, Brown and Company Books for Young Readers. A rich tapestry of stories, both original and traditional, transports readers to a fantastic world where Dragon joins Minli on a fortune-changing quest.

Grace Lin found inspiration for this tale while traveling in Hong Kong, China and Taiwan. She resides in Somerville, Mass.

“The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg” by Rodman Philbrick, published by The Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc. This rollicking yarn, presented through the voice of 12-year-old Homer, uses humor and pluck to mitigate the horrors of the Civil War.

Genre-defying Rodman Philbrick splits his time between Maine and the Florida Keys, writing for both children and adults.

Two Caldecott Honor Books were named: “All the World,” illustrated by Marla Frazee, written by Liz Garton Scanlon and published by Beach Lane Books; and “Red Sings from Treetops: A Year in Colors,” illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Joyce Sidman and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

In “All the World,” Frazee’s small vignettes and sweeping double-page spreads invite readers to share a joyful day with a diverse, multigenerational community. Flowing lines and harmonious colors give vibrant life to Scanlon’s poetic text.

Born in Los Angeles, Frazee knew she wanted to be a children’s book creator from the moment she first saw Maurice Sendak's “Where the Wild Things Are.” She studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, Calif., and worked as a freelance illustrator before dedicating her talents to children's book illustration. Frazee received a 2009 Caldecott Honor Award for “A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever” (Harcourt, 2008).

In “Red Sings from Treetops,” Zagarenski’s playful illustrations enliven Sidman’s expressive poetry in this exploration of the seasons and their colors. Computer illustration and mixed-media paintings on wood combine rich textures, intriguing graphic elements, stunning colors and stylized figures to reward attentive readers with a visually exciting interplay of poetry and illustration.

A resident of Stonington, Conn., Zagarenski graduated Magna Cum Laude with a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Connecticut. Her mixed media artwork has been featured in solo shows and has won best in show at several museums and galleries throughout Connecticut.

Members of the 2010 Newbery Medal Selection Committee are: Chair Katie O'Dell, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; Joel Bangilan, San Antonio Public Library; Meaghan M. Battle, Berkley, Mich.; Nancy Baumann, Albany County School District, Laramie, Wyo.; Francesca Burgess, Brooklyn (N.Y.) Public Library; Steven Engelfried, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; Lori Faust, Warren-Trumbull County Public Library, Warren, Ohio; Diane Foote, Chicago; Elva Garza, Southeast Austin (Texas) Community Branch Library; Maria E. Gentle, Arlington (Va.) Public Library; Linnea Hendrickson, Bandelier Elementary School, Albuquerque, N.M.; Holly Jin, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; Alison O'Reilly, Austin (Texas) Public Library; Maria Salvadore, Washington, D.C.; and Deborah Stevenson, Center for Children's Books, Champaign, Ill.

Members of the 2010 Caldecott Medal Selection Committee are: Chair Rita Auerbach, New York; Zahra M. Baird, Cineaste/Librarian, White Plains, N.Y. ; Christy B. Estrovitz, San Francisco Public Library; Christi Showman Farrar, Woburn (Mass.) Public Library; Suzanne Harold, Multnomah County Library, Portland, Ore.; Merri Lindgren, Cooperative Children's Book Center, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Gene Nelson, Provo (Utah) City Library; Julie Ranelli, Queen Anne's County Free Library, Stevensville, Md.; Julie Roach, Cambridge Public Library, Cambridge, Mass.; Brandy Sanchez, Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia, Mo.; John P. Scott, Friends School of Baltimore; Henrietta M. Smith, SLIS-University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.; Joanna Ward, County of Los Angeles Public Library; Jan S. Watkins, Skokie (Ill.) Public Library; and Lucinda Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, Va.

ALSC is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,200 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers and educational faculty, ALSC is committed to creating a better future for children through libraries. To learn more about ALSC, visit their Web site at www.ala.org/alsc.

For information on the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott Medals and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.