The Youth Media Awards event at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting has always been a favorite of mine and of many people who are fortunate enough to be there. In my early days in YALSA, I remember rushing to the phone or the Internet Cafe to notify my colleagues at home of the winners. Now, of course, anyone who is interested can watch the event streaming live on ALA’s website or follow the barrage of tweets or live blog entries. It is always fun to see which winners are crowd favorites and which are surprises. In the days immediately following Midwinter, YALSA’s selected lists are announced and the blogosphere and Twitterverse proceed to discuss the choices. Needless to say, not everyone agrees with every choice (“Really? They chose that book? I couldn’t get past page 50!”). I can assure you, however, that committee members labor mightily and that every book, movie, or audio that makes a list has been discussed thoroughly in terms of the particular committee’s rules and procedures. My term on the Printz Committee (2004: The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson) was a great lesson for me in consensus building. It was a shining example of the way a diverse group of people can take a complex task, break it down into manageable pieces, and come to an end result that everyone can agree with, all without sacrificing civility. The unexpected bonus was that strong friendships were forged at the same time. All of us owe a great debt of gratitude to the hard-working committee members who devoted hours and hours of their free time to reading, watching, listening, making notes, discussing, contemplating, and finally coming up with these lists.
This issue of YALS is all about those awards and selected lists. We hope you enjoy and make use of the reproducible copies of the 2011 selected lists. In this issue you will also find articles about the still-new Morris Award (by Angela Frederick) and the Quick Picks list (by Heather Gruenthal). And we look at some non-YALSA awards that are of interest to our members, including the Eisner (Francisca Goldsmith and Eva Volin), the Stonewall Award (Lisa Johnston), and the Schneider Family Book Award (Barbara Klipper). Pam Spencer Holley takes at look at some of this year’s lists and gives us her top choices for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders. Neesha Meminger has some really practical advice about getting diverse books into the hands of teen readers. Finally, you’ll find professional reviews and the YALSA Update.
I hope you enjoy this issue of YALS. If you are coming to ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans, be sure to sign up for the Margaret Edwards Award luncheon, where you will be able to hear this year’s honoree, Sir Terry Pratchett, and theMichael L. Printz Award Program and Reception, with winner Paolo Bacigalupi and the honor book winners. It’s a great opportunity to personally thank those hard-working committee members, too!