American Library Association to unveil nation's best books for children, young adults in Seattle

Contact: Larra Clark, Macey Morales

ALA Media Relations

For Immediate Release

January 2, 2007

American Library Association to unveil nation’s best books for children, young adults in Seattle

January 22 announcement to impact library collections, book sales

CHICAGO - A standing-room-only crowd of enthusiastic librarians and publishers will gather January 22 at the Washington State Convention and Trade Center in Seattle for the announcement of the American Library Association’s (ALA) Youth Media Awards, know as the "Academy Awards" of youth literature. More than 1,000 will attend the announcement in room 6B/6C at 7:45 a.m. PST to cheer for their favorite books and to be the first in the nation to know which books are destined to be lasting classics.

The ALA Youth Media Awards honor children and young adult authors and illustrators. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the awards serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and those interested in providing youth with the very best reading and viewing materials.

Annually, in a cloak of secrecy, judging committees composed of librarians and other children’s literature experts from around the country select reading and viewing materials that appeal to youngsters. Winners are announced at ALA’s Youth Media Award presentation, which takes place during the association’s Midwinter Meeting, January 19 - 24.

"It’s amazing how the awards impact young readers, library collections and book sales," said ALA President Leslie Burger. "It would seem that every library in the country wants each winning book on their shelves, and publishers are thrilled to try to keep up with the demand."

The 2006 Newbery winner, "Criss Cross" by Lynne Rae Perkins, has gone back to press more than 10 times, and the award has exposed Perkins’ writing to a much wider readership.

Penguin Publishing decided to keep 2006 Printz award winner "Looking for Alaska," by John Green, in hardcover for an extra year and its author sold book movie rights to Paramount Pictures.

This year’s Youth Media Award announcements will include:

  • John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature

  • Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children

  • Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults.

  • Coretta Scott King Award recognizing African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults that demonstrate sensitivity to "the true worth and value of all beings"

  • Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the outstanding book for beginning readers

  • Alex Awards for the best adult books that appeal to teen audiences

  • Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video

  • Sibert Award for most distinguished informational book for children

  • Margaret Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults

  • Batchelder Award for a outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States

  • Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

  • Wilder Medal, honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

  • May Hill Arbuthnot Award. Each year, an individual of distinction in the field of children’s literature is chosen to deliver the May Hill Arbuthnot Lecture. The lecturer prepares and presents an original paper that makes a significant contribution to children’s literature.

For more information on the ALA’s Youth Media Awards, or the ALA Midwinter meeting please visit . For advance press registration or to schedule interviews, please contact Larra Clark, ALA Media Relations Manager, at 312-280-5043 or Macey Morales, ALA PR Coordinator at 312-280-4393.

Press releases announcing the 2007 Youth Media Award winners and other award announcements will be available on the ALA Web site at at 10 a.m. PST January 22, 2007.