Every January, our children's librarians look forward to the most exciting announcements of the whole year: the winners of the Newbery and Caldecott awards. These two awards honor the best in children's literature and illustration, respectively.
Last Monday, the American Library Association announced their selections, with Sophie Blackall's illustrations for FINDING WINNIE taking the Caldecott Award, and Matt de la Peña's LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET winning the Newbery.
FINDING WINNIE is a terrific, beautiful book about a very famous bear, and it comes highly recommended by this librarian. But more than just being a great book, LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET is a groundbreaking choice by the Newbery committee. This story about a boy and his grandma taking a ride on their city bus has redefined what and who can stand as the very best in children's literature.
Here are three ways that LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET has shaken up the Newbery tradition, and has people very, very excited:
1. Matt de la Peña is the first Hispanic author to win the Newbery Medal in the 94 years it has been awarded. Another Hispanic author, Pam Muñoz Ryan, was given a Newbery Honor this year for ECHO.
2. The Provo City Library keeps all its Newbery winners in a special section, and in every year past, we have moved the winner from its home in our fiction section to the special shelf. But this year, we'll be moving LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET from a different home -- the picture books section! This book is the very first true picture book to win the medal (an illustrated collection of poetry won in 1982).
3. Not only is LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET a picture book, but its illustrations are highly acclaimed in their own right. On the same day as the book was awarded the Newbery Medal, it was also awarded a Caldecott Honor. There's hardly room for all the medals on the cover!
The Provo City Library has received many new copies of LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET to celebrate its big victory, so be sure to place a hold and get your chance to experience this very special book.