Earlier this morning the John Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature was awarded to The Crossover by Kwame Alexander.
Two Honor books were named: El Deafo by Cece Bell and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.
There has been a big push for more diverse books in children’s literature for several years. All three of these books qualify in one category or another. Another interesting thing is that two of these books are written in verse and one is a graphic novel aimed at middle graders. Brown Girl Dreaming also received the Coretta Scott King Book Award which recognizes an African-American author of outstanding books for children and young adults. The Crossover was awarded an Honor in the same category.
2014 was a banner year for middle grade fiction. Later today I’ll post the Nerdy Book Awards for Middle Grade fiction to give you some idea of what the Newbery committee looked at in their deliberations.