And the Winner Is . . .

What a treat to be in the audience yesterday for the live announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards! You can see the full list of winners over here. It was so fun to share in the excitement with so many “book people.”

While I was proud that our company had a Morris Award finalist, The Story of Owen by E.K. Johnston, I came away from the ceremony thinking that we are all winners this year.

Looking over the list, I can’t help noticing the diversity—in so many respects. The most obvious is, of course, the wonderful racial diversity of this year’s winners, and not only for the CSK and Belpré awards. But look at the diversity of format: poetry! nonfiction (not just for the nonfiction awards)! graphic novels! And while the large publishers are, as always, well represented, so are a good number of small and independent houses.

I sat in on some of the Notables discussions over the course of the weekend, and I have so much appreciation for the work of that committee and all of the awards committees. That there are such fantastic, passionate advocates for books who put that much time and energy into evaluating literature for young people is a great thing not just for libraries and for publishers, but also—but especially—for the children who will be reading these books. Because when it comes down to it, the reason all of us do this work is so that we can get great books into the hands of children everywhere.

And now I’m back at my desk and it’s time to come back down to earth and tackle my out-of-control inbox. But I’m coming back reenergized and inspired to keep working harder and to collaborate with my colleagues to make the very best books that we can.