ALA Awards Spark Reprint Orders

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The American Library Association announced the winners of its prestigious children's book awards on January 27, igniting a flood of orders for the selected titles, many of which were Book Sense 76 picks over the past year. Both the influential Newbery Medal for literature, awarded to Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi (Hyperion Books for Children) and the Caldecott Medal for Illustration, awarded to My Friend Rabbit by Eric Rohmann (Roaring Brook Press/Millbrook Press), were selected by booksellers for the Children's Book Sense 76 lists in 2002.

Following the awards announcements, publishers noted that booksellers can look forward to ample supplies of both books in the very near future.

Of the five Newbery Honor Books for various age groups, four were Book Sense selections in 2002. The complete list includes The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (Richard Jackson/Atheneum), Winter 2002-2003 Children's Book Sense 76; Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff (Wendy Lamb Books/Random House), Fall 2002 Children's Book Sense 76; Hoot by Carl Hiaasen (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House), Fall 2002 Children's Book Sense 76; A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin (Scholastic Press), Winter 2002-2003 Children's Book Sense 76; and Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie M. Tolan (HarperCollins).

Avi has won two previous Newbery honor awards for The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (Avon), in 1991, and Nothing But the Truth: A Documentary Novel (Flare), in 1992. Illustrator Eric Rohmann's debut book, Time Flies (Crown), was named a Caldecott Honor book in 1994.

The three 2003 Caldecott Honor books are The Spider and the Fly by Mary Howitt, illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi (Simon & Schuster), Winter 2002-2003 Children's Book Sense 76; Hondo & Fabian, written and illustrated by Peter McCarty (Henry Holt); and Noah's Ark, written and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (SeaStar/North-South Books).

For Dick McCullough, senior vice president for sales and marketing at the Millbrook Press, Rohmann's award brings good news and more good news. The curriculum-oriented children's book publisher launched the Roaring Book Press imprint last spring with a list of 37 books, including My Friend Rabbit. "All of a sudden," McCullough told BTW, "we look very smart," adding that "we've had great bookseller support with our list, the independents particularly have been fabulous." Fortuitously, McCullough continued, My Friend Rabbit is produced in this country. "That means, we can have 93,000 additional copies [trade and library editions] in the warehouse on February 18. We'll deliver the next day."

New orders since the announcement of the Caldecott Award total 60,000. Then, McCullough confronted the only bit of bad news: "We have 3,500 copies in stock. I'm going to be as fair as I can be when distributing them, so, everyone is going to hate me."

According to Jeanne Mosure, vice president of global retail books and U.S. publisher, Disney Publishing Worldwide, 10,000 copies of Avi's Crispin are currently in stock and will be released upon receipt of the Newbery Medal stickers next week. In addition, a reprint of 60,000 trade and 15,000 library editions of Crispin are due in on February 28th.

Nikki Grimes won the Coretta Scott King Author Award for her book, Bronx Masquerade (Dial), and the book, Talkin' About Bessie: The Story of Aviator Elizabeth Coleman (Orchard), also written by Grimes, was a Coretta Scott King Author Honor book. Talking' About Bessie was awarded the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for illustrator E.B. Lewis.

The other King Author Honor book was The Red Rose Box by Brenda Woods (Putnam). The King Illustrator Honor books were Rap a Tap Tap by Leo and Diane Dillon (Scholastic/Blue Sky) and Visiting Langston by Willie Perdomo, illustrated by Bryan Collier (Holt). The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award was given to Chill Wind by Janet McDonald (FSG/Foster) and The Moon Ring by Randy DuBurke (Chronicle).

Postcards From No Man's Land by Aidan Chambers (Dutton) was awarded the Michael L. Printz Award. Printz Honor books were Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos (FSG), Spring/Summer 2002 Children's Book Sense 76; The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer (Atheneum/Jackson), Winter 2002-2003 Children's Book Sense 76; and My Heartbeat by Garret Freymann-Weyr (Houghton Mifflin).

The Robert F. Sibert Award was won by The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler by James Cross Giblin (Clarion). Sibert Honor books included Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929 by Karen Blumenthal (Atheneum); Hole in My Life by Jack Gantos (FSG); Action Jackson by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker (Roaring Brook/Porter); and When Marian Sang by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press), Winter 2002-2003 Children's Book Sense 76.

The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children's Video was awarded to Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly of Weston Woods Studios for So You Want to Be President?, narrated by Stockard Channing and based on the book by Judith St. George, illustrated by David Small.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke (Scholastic/Chicken House), Fall 2002 Children's Book Sense 76, won the Mildred L. Batchelder Award, and Nancy Garden won the Margaret A. Edwards Award. Ursula K. LeGuin won the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award and Eric Carle won the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award. -- Nomi Schwartz

Newbery Honor Books


2003 Caldecott Honor Books