The American Library Association has announced the 2011 recipients of its top awards in children’s literature. Clare Vanderpool’s debut novel Moon Over Manifest, a quirky coming-of-age tale set in a Depression-era Kansas railroad town, was awarded the John Newbery Medal for “most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”
The ALA’s award for distinguished illustration, the Randolph Caldecott Medal, went to A Sick Day for Amos McGee, illustrated by Erin E. Stead, with a story penned by the artist’s husband Philip C. Stead. In Erin Stead’s playful illustrations, an ailing zookeeper is cheered up by visits from his concerned animal charges.
Science fiction author Paolo Bacigalupi — who has won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for The Windup Girl — took home the Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature for Ship Breaker, a story set among Gulf Coast wreckage scavengers inan America devasted by an environmental collapse.
The Coretta Scott King awards, which go to African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children, were awarded to Rita Williams-Garcia, for her novel One Crazy Summer (which was also tagged as a Newbery Honor Book) and to Bryan Collier for Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave, the life story of a 19th-century artisan told through Collier’s paintings in combination with text by author Laban Carrick Hill.
You can find an extended list of ALA award-winning children’s books here. The ALA’s detailed breakdown of the awards can be found at the American Library Association website.