SEATTLE – Susan Patron, author of “The Higher Power of Lucky,” and David Wiesner, illustrator of “Flotsam,” are the 2007 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals, respectively.
Considered the “Academy Awards” of children’s book publishing, the Newbery and Caldecott medals honor outstanding writing and illustration of works published in the United States during the previous year. The awards were announced January 22 at the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Seattle.
In Patron’s “The Higher Power of Lucky,” the author takes us to the California desert community of Hard Pan (population 43). Ten-year-old Lucky Trimble eavesdrops on 12-step program meetings from her hiding place behind Hard Pan’s Found Object Wind Chime Museum & Visitor Center. Eccentric characters and quirky details spice up Lucky’s life just as her guardian Brigitte’s fresh parsley embellishes her French cuisine.
“‘Lucky’ is a perfectly nuanced blend of adventure, survival (emotional and physical) and hilarious character study... as well as a blueprint for a self-examined life,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Jeri Kladder. “Through Lucky’s experiences, we are reminded that children support one another just as needy adults do.”
Patron, a native Californian, is the Juvenile Materials Collection Development Manager at the Los Angeles Public Library. The book is illustrated by Matt Phelan and published by Simon & Schuster/Richard Jackson.
Wiesner’s “Flotsam,” published by Clarion, is a cinematic unfolding of discovery. A vintage camera washed up on the beach provides a young boy with a surprising view of fantastical images from the bottom of the sea. From fish-eye to lens-eye, readers see a frame-by-frame narrative of lush marinescapes ebbing and flowing from the real to the surreal.
“Telling tales through imagery is what storytellers have done through the ages. Wiesner’s wordless tale resonates with visual images that tell his story with clever wit and lively humor,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Janice Del Negro.
Three Newbery Honor Books were named: “Penny from Heaven,” written by Jennifer L. Holm and published by Random House; “Hattie Big Sky,” by Kirby Larson, published by Delacorte Press; and “Rules,” by Cynthia Lord, published by Scholastic.
In Holm’s book, 11-year-old Penny looks forward to spending the summer rooting for the Brooklyn Dodgers and scheming with her cousin Frankie. Instead she navigates the space between her two families and uncovers the reason for their estrangement in this funny and touching tale of intergenerational love set in 1953.
In “Hattie Big Sky,” 16-year-old orphan Hattie Brooks is looking for a place to belong – a home. In 1918 she leaves Iowa for the Montana prairie. In this engaging first-person narrative, Hattie strives to forge a new life. Vivid imagery and careful attention to historical detail distinguish this memorable novel that portrays her struggle to “prove her claim.”
“A boy can take off his shirt to swim, but not his shorts.” Twelve-year-old Catherine creates rules for her younger, autistic brother David in an attempt to normalize his life and her own; but what is normal? In the debut novel, “Rules,” Lord’s heroine learns to use words to forge connections with her brother, her workaholic father and a paraplegic friend. With humor and insight, Lord demonstrates the transforming power of language.
Two Caldecott Honor Books were named: “Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet,” written and illustrated by David McLimans, and published by Walker, and “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Hyperion/Jump at the Sun.
“Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet” is a black-and-white iconic alphabet that is sophisticated enough to intrigue and captivate readers of any age. A contemporary interpretation of an illuminated alphabet melds animals and letters into 26 unique and elegant graphic images.
In “Moses,” Nelson’s dramatic renderings evoke the spiritual and physical journey of Harriet Tubman. Emotionally powerful images combined with poetically evocative text portray a strong woman who followed her star to an extraordinary destiny.
The Newbery and Caldecott medals are awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA.
Members of the 2007 Newbery Medal Committee are: Chair Jeri Kladder, Columbus, Ohio; Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library; Timothy Capehart, Dayton (Ohio) Metro Library; Edith Ching, St. Albans School for Boys, Washington, D.C.; Marian Creamer, Children’s Literature Alive!, Portland, Ore.; Kirsten Gail Cutler, Sonoma County Library, Rohnert Park, Calif.; Jean Hatfield, Wichita (Kan.) Public Library; Marilyn Hollinshead, West Tisbury, Mass.; Sandra Imdieke, Northern Michigan University, Marquette; Claudette S. McLinn, Los Angeles Unified School District; Elizabeth Orsburn, The Free Library of Philadelphia; Carolyn Phelan, Northbrook (Ill.) Public Library; Jennifer Ralston, Harford County Public Library, Belcamp, Md.; Gwen Taylor, Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho; and Margaret Tice, New York Public Library.
Members of the 2007 Caldecott Medal Committee are: Chair Janice M. Del Negro, Dominican University, River Forest, Ill.; Carolyn S. Brodie, Kent State University, Ohio; Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, Wis.; Julie Cummins, Canandaigua, N.Y.; Linda L. Ernst, King County Library System, Bellevue, Wash.; Dorothy Evans, Chicago Public Library; Mary Fellows, Upper Hudson Library System, Albany, N.Y.; Saroj Ghoting, Riner, Va.; Patricia A. Gonzales, Los Angeles Public Library; Richard M. Kerper, Millersville University, Pa.; Sharron L. McElmeel, McBookWords, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Caroline S. Parr, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Fredericksburg, Va.; Elizabeth Poe, Morgantown, W. Va.; Ann K. Symons, The Anglo-American School of Moscow, Russia; and Mary Jane Wiseman, Madison, Wis.
For more information on the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, as well as other ALA literary awards, please visit www.ala.org/mw07winners.
|SEATTLE – Susan Patron, author of “The Higher Power of Lucky,” and David Wiesner, illustrator of “Flotsam,” are the 2007 winners of the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals, respectively.|