And now I present the Award Winner section of my post.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
2013 Newbery Award Winner
I'm not naturally drawn to talking animal books, but this one is really special. Coincidently, I'm located not too far from where this story's real life inspiration resided. This would make a terrific read aloud and I am pleased that the Newbery went to such an accessible and younger audience novel. As Patti said, she's come a long way from the Animorphs!
And I officially read all the Newbery award books! I'm rather amazed that this was the only one I had not read before the announcement. Unlike the Printz, where I only read Code Name Verity out of the five. Until..
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
AKA 2013 Stonewall Book Award, 2013 Printz Honor, 2013 Pura Belpre Author Award
A fast read and deserving of its accolades. I loved Ari, his voice, and his family. I also checked out the winning Printz title, In Darkness, but I just never got around to reading it.
In addition to the YMA there were our two state awards this spring.
Florida Book Awards:
The children's winner this year was the excellent, wordless GN/picture book Unspoken: a Story from the Underground Railroad by Henry Cole. This got quite a bit of Newbery buzz so I'm glad to see it acknowledged here in Florida.
Sim Taback's Postcards from Camp as the winner. It's hard to compete with a picture book about fun camp adventures that includes interactive letters in envelopes that kids can take out and read. Not much fun for libraries, but a terrific father/son story. Good choice! Runners up were Zita the Spacegirl (9 year old loves this series) and Being Audrey (which was nice, but rather surprising that it came in 3rd.)