Newbery and Caldecott Awards Go to Debut Authors

Growing up, my mom always had the house scattered with books featuring a golden crest.  At a young age, I did not know what the symbol stood for, but there was something alluring about it — as if the golden badge signaled the book was designated as special.  Better than the other books around the house.

It was only later that I learned what the golden crest represented — the winners of the Newbery Award.

This year’s Newbery Award, given to excellence in children’s fiction, and the Caldecott Award, given to the most distinguished picture book for children, were awarded to debut authors.

Moon Over Manifest,” a debut novel by Clare Vanderpool, is set in the Great Depression and tells the story of Abilene Tucker, a 12-year-old whose father sends her for the summer to Manifest, a Kansas town populated by bootleggers and coal-mining immigrants. There she solves a longtime mystery with the help of local characters. […]

The winner of the Caldecott medal, “A Sick Day for Amos McGee,” was also a debut by its authors, a husband-and-wife team in Ann Arbor, Mich. It is the story of a zookeeper and his tender friendship with the animals, and was published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of the Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

Both sound like something I would want to share with my kids.  If I had kids, that is.

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