ALA BOOK AWARDS

On January 28, 2019, The American Library Association announced its 2019 book award winners. Below are some of the winners.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded for the most distinguished American picture book for children. This year’s winner is “Hello Lighthouse,” illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall.hello

The John Newbery Medal is awarded for outstanding contribution to children’s literature. “Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” written by Meg Medina, has won this award.

newbery

The Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults has been awarded to “The Poet X,” written by Elizabeth Acevedo.

acevedo

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for the most distinguished informational book for children went to “The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science,” written by Joyce Sidman.

butterflies

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults went to “The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees,” written and illustrated by Don Brown.

refuge

The Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award is given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. This year’s winners are “Julián Is a Mermaid,” written by Jessica Love and “Hurricane Child,” written by Kheryn Callender.

mermaid

 

hurricane child

 

 

 

https://amzn.to/30oq1NL
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OPPORTUNITY- A FEW GREAT BOOKS

chronamut

Image by Chronamut

One of the things I’d really like to do in 2018 is to reach out and partner with other authors who are writing books for kids similar to my own. In general, I’m looking for writers who are creating in the newly emerging genre called visionary fiction.

Does your book involve any of these?

* spiritual/esoteric wisdom relevant to life today

* evolved consciousness

* ghost stories, NDEs, dreams/visions, psychic abilities, healing, etc (all pointing to a

bigger  understanding of our reality)

* reincarnation

* spiritual evolution, the rise of Kundalini

If so, I’d be interested in hearing about you and your book(s), and to perhaps do an interview on this blog. Please send me an email at: himalayaspencerellis AT yahoo.com and tell me about your work.

 

Excavating Pema Ozer by Yudron Yangmo

 

Pema

As you all probably know, I have a deep interest in Buddhism and recently came across this book. It is a wonderful story of a teenager coming into contact with Tibetan Buddhism for the first time.

Here’s the blurb:

Weslyn Redinger wants one thing: to be normal again. Racked by panic attacks that have ruined her life and driven off her friends in the months since she saw the body of a young boy she loved rolled out to a waiting ambulance, she is now drawn into a circle of seekers who surround a mysterious stranger living in her grandmother’s backyard shed. After reluctantly attending his teachings, a series of dreams is unleashed—as vivid as her waking life. At night she is an attendant to the female teacher Uza Khandro from the Tibetan countryside, during the day she is a flawed sixteen-year-old struggling to get control over her body and her life. Why does she care so much about this man’s story of a long-lost set of Tibetan books hoarded by a greedy collector?

Amazon link: http://goo.gl/TFX8sy

 

BORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown

 

Born

This is an engaging story of teen Anna Van Housen’s life as a stage magician during the 1920s. When Anna and her mother relocate to New York City, their lives become more stable with sold-out shows. Unfortunately, Anna’s relationship with her mother is strained and when she insists that they continue to do séances on the side, Anna becomes worried. Although the séances are totally fabricated, Anna has real psychic ability she has yet to come to terms with. Continuing with the séances also puts them under the scrutiny of the police and debunkers (not the least of which is Harry Houdini who happens to be in New York as well). As success with the magic show and the séances grow, Anna gets mixed up with paranormal researchers, a high society bachelor, and a kidnapping plot. It’s a fast moving book with lots of well-researched facts about New York and the 1920s. And Harry Houdini might just be Anna’s father.

Here’s a Story for You:

stars

I was the kind of kid who read stories about kids doing things. Going places, discovering things, solving mysteries. Of course, there had to be obstacles. Maybe a bad guy, difficult situations to overcome, parents to get rid of (not in the kill’em off sense) but more in the way of finding freedom and doing what you want. In some ways, it was a huge fantasy! I grew up with four brothers and two sisters and doing anything without someone knowing was close to impossible. BUT, some of them could be bought off. Silly fantasy, really. I was the biggest tattle tale there was! Always being “on the straight and narrow” prevented lots of escapes and adventures except for in books and in my mind.

maya

photo: Laslovarga, 2013

A headline from this week’s news (try finding one that’s not about the insane election, right about now), has challenged my sense of adventure. What if a 15 year old boy discovers a lost Mayan city no one else knew was there? He’s a smart kid, maybe even gifted, and he gets this ludicrous idea that by studying star maps he can decode the placement of an entire civilization? He sets out to prove this, but silly adult organizations like NASA and the Canadian Space Agency won’t loan him their satellite photos. Said kid takes to the road, abandoning his sane life, and becoming a young version of Indiana Jones- except his temples turn out to be real. Anyway, once the book’s out, Steven Spielberg will be making it into a movie.

For more about the real kid, named William Gadoury, click the link. The space agencies did support him and it looks like he’s made quite a find!

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/forgotten-mayan-city-discovered-in-central-america-by-15-year-old-a7021291.html

SHIFT by Jennifer Bradbury

shift

This is a fast paced mystery book that will keep you guessing. It is one of the few books I read quickly cover to cover.

The story opens with Chris in his first week of college. An FBI agent appears asking questions about his best friend, Win. The last time Chris saw his friend was when Win ditched him near Seattle on their cross-country bike trip. Win has been reported missing having failed to come home or arrive at Dartmouth. At first, Chris thinks Win is just up to his usual shenanigans, but as time passes and the FBI agent’s attention on him becomes uncomfortable, he’s forced to dive into Win’s disappearance.

The author has done a wonderful job constructing the novel using alternating chapters showing the investigation and flashbacks to the bike trek. The novel explores the depth of friendship and the mysteries of trying to fully know another.