Bookmarks: February 2nd

Happy February, Savvy Readers! Well, somehow we survived January, and have made it that much closer to the warmth and sunshine that spring and summer will bring! However, because we still have to tolerate wintery weather, it is undoubtedly the perfect time of year for curling up with a great book. Now, take a second and put down that great book, because here is what’s happening in this week’s Bookmarks!

1. The ALA announced its 2013 Youth Media Award winners this week for the top books, audiobooks and videos for children and young adults. The awards, selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s literature experts, encourage creative and original work. For more information on this year’s awards recipients, click here. Here are some of the highlights:

  • John Newbery Medal: This award is for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. It went to a very favourite of ours, The One and Only Ivan, written by Katherine Applegate. Regardless of your age, we highly recommend reading this book (but a warning – its story may make you cry!).
  • Schneider Family Book Award: This award goes to a book that embodies an artistic express of the disability experience. The winner for the middle school (ages 11-13) award is: A Dog Called Homeless, written by Sarah Lean and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
  • Alex Awards: This award is for the top 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences. Two of our favourites, Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan and The Round House, by Louise Erdrich, were in the top 10. If you haven’t read either of these books, we highly, highly encourage you to!
  • Honourable mentions include: Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, which was nominated for the Randolph Caldecott Medal, an award is for the most distinguished American picture book for children; and Dodger, by Terry Pratchett, which was nominaed for the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults. For the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award, an award is for the most distinguished beginning reader book, Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, by Eric Litwin and James Dean, received an honourable mention. For the William C. Morris Award, an award is for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens, The Miseducation of Cameron Post, written by Emily M. Danforth, received an honourable mention.

2. The finalists for the Man Booker International Prize for 2013 were announced this past week. This award is given every two years, and recognizes a living author who has published fiction either originally English, or translated into English. Authors from nine countries are represented in the top ten this year. The finalist for 2013 are:  U R Ananthamurthy (India), Aharon Appelfeld (Israel), Lydia Davis (USA), Intizar Husain (Pakistan), Yan Lianke (China), Marie NDiaye (France), Josip Novakovich (Canada), Marilynne Robinson (USA), Vladimir Sorokin (Russia) and Peter Stamm (Switzerland). The winner of this high profile prize will be announced in London, on May 22nd. For more information about the Man Booker International Prize award, click here.

3. The Ontario Library Association’s Super Conference took place in Toronto this week. The annual event is Canada’s largest library tradeshow. Hundreds of speakers visit and share their experience and expertise with thousands at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Vendors exhibit their products, services, and books (of course!) to librarians and educators from all over the province and country. For more information on the Ontario Library Association and their yearly Super Conference, click here.

4. A literary classic celebrated a huge milestone in January: Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice turned 200! First published in January 1813, Pride and Prejudice has truly stood the test of time in a world of constant change; many themes presented in the book still resonate with today’s readers. Perhaps some of our most favourite literary characters from the past are more like us than we realize (even though they wear caps and bonnets!).

5. Another big milestone was reached this week! One of our favourite characters, Amelia Bedelia, turned 50. Amelia Bedelia Day was officially January 29, 2013, but can be celebrated all year long with her new series of chapter books, starting with Amelia Bedelia Means Business! If you are interested in hosting your own Amelia Bedelia birthday party, a great party kit is available here! Here’s to another 50, Amelia!

Enjoy your weekend Savvy Readers! Here’s hoping our furry friends don’t see their shadows tomorrow… See you next week!


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Digital Marketing Coordinator at HarperCollins Canada. Film, fiction and fashion blog enthusiast. Follow me on twitter @SavvyReader & @ktvncnt.

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