It’s award season, not only for the actors and the movies, but also for the books and the authors!
The Association For Library Service To Children announced this week the winners of the best books for kids and young audiences of 2016. The big winner of this year is a beautiful book written by Matt de la Peña, the first ever latino author to win this award.
The book Last Stop on Market Street, written by de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson, was awarded with the John Newbery Medal (which is a kind of Oscars award but for children’s books)
Last Stop on the Market Street (recommended for kids 3 years old and up) tells the story of CJ, a little boy who rides the bus with her grandmother every Sunday after church. One day CJ starts questioning why his family doesn’t have their own a car and why he doesn’t have an iPod like other kids on the bus. This is when his ‘nana’ helps him see the beauty and fun in their routine and the world around them.
“We never had quite enough, but we made it work. And I think my goal with everything I write, you know, picture books, novels, is to kind of show the grace and dignity on the ‘wrong side of the tracks,’” said de la Peña, in an interview with NPR.
He grew up in California, in a town called National City and received his MFA in creative writing from San Diego State University and his BA from the University of the Pacific (where he attended school on a full basketball scholarship). Matt de la Peña currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, and teaches creative writing. He also visits high schools and colleges throughout the country as a speaker.
Matt de la Peña (who wasn’t into literature until college) is also the New York Times Bestselling author of six critically-acclaimed young adult novels: Ball Don’t Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You, The Living and The Hunted. He’s also the author of the award-winning picture books A Nation’s Hope: The Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis and Last Stop on Market Street, winner of the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.
These are some of the other winners for children’s books of 2016:
John Newbery Medal
Last Stop on Market Street written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC.
Newbery Honor Books
The War that Saved My Life, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC
Roller Girl, written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC
Echo, written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.
Randolph Caldecott Medal
Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Caldecott Honor Books
Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy Andrews and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS
Waiting, illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Candlewick Press
Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de la Peña and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC