Posts Tagged Awards

Diverse Award Winning Books for Kids

By Jennifer Bergen, Youth Services Manager

If you would like a list of good reads with a huge range of styles, topics and diverse characters, the children’s book award winners list is where it’s at!  Every year, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association, gives out the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott awards, as well as a long list of other medal winners, honor books, lifetime achievement awards, and even best audio books and videos.

After the recent controversy of the “all-white Oscars,” it’s great to see recognition for literature that is inclusive of different races, cultures and economic statuses, showing both challenges and opportunities. Let’s start with the top dog of children’s book awards, the Newbery Medal, given to the most distinguished American children’s book of the year. Started in 1922, the Newbery was “the first children’s book award in the world,” according to ALSC. This year, the Newbery committee deviated from the common path of recognizing a longer work for older children.  Matt de la Pena’s picture book, Last Stop on Market Street, won with a mere 32 pages of sparse (but memorable) text.

In the story, young CJ boards a city bus with his Nana, and along the way he has many questions for her. “Nana, how come we don’t got a car?” and, seeing some teens listening to music on devices, “Sure wish I had one of those.”  But Nana’s responses help CJ see the world and the people around him, appreciating where he is right at that moment.  De la Pena said in an interview with BookPage, “My favorite reaction is when I go to underprivileged schools and diverse students take ownership of the story. The book feels validating to them.”  Colorful illustrations by Christian Robinson also won the book a Caldecott Honor for artistic merit, as well as a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor.

Another Caldecott Honor book caught my eye when it came out this year. Trombone Shorty, written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews himself, with pictures by Bryan Coillier, is a fantastic picture book autobiography. Troy teaches himself to play the instrument he happened to find, a trombone, and then is discovered when Bo Diddley brings him onstage during the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Collier’s vibrant art emulates the sound of trombones, bands, music and joy, in the tradition of Treme, making the book an inspiration for any budding musicians. Collier also received the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for the most outstanding African American illustrator of a book for children.

Mango, Abuela and Me by Meg Medina and illustrated by Angela Dominguez won awards in two categories of the Pure Belpre Awards for best works portraying, affirming and celebrating the Latino cultural experience.  This is a sweet story about a girl learning to communicate with her grandmother who had been living far away, where parrots lived in the palm trees. The two find it is slow going at first, with each trying to teach the other a few words in Spanish or English.  Mia can see that Abuela misses her old home, so she asks her mother to buy a parrot from the pet store to cheer her up.  The parrot, named Mango, learns both English and Spanish along with them and helps Abuela practice during the day while Mia is at school.

Laurie Ann Thompson and Sean Qualls won a Schneider Family Book Award for artistic expression of the disability experience with their picture book biography of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah.  In Emmanuel’s Dream, young readers see Emmanuel’s struggle growing up in West Africa with only one leg. Most children with disabilities did not attend school or find jobs.  But “Emmanuel hopped to school and back, two miles each way, on one leg, by himself.”  He taught himself to ride a bicycle and even found a job in a big city.  After receiving a bike from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Emmanuel trained and then he began riding all over Ghana, promoting the idea that disabled people can succeed.  His story is one of amazing perseverance, and his activism helped change the way disabled people are treated in Ghana.

Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings by Margarita Engle, winner of the Pura Belpre Author Award and a Sibert Honor for nonfiction, is a poetic memoir of the author’s childhood in L.A. before and during the Cold War.  Margarita’s mother was born in Cuba, a magical land Margarita visited and fell in love with as a young child. But later, there is only hate spewed about Cuba, from the government, teachers and her peers, as they practice hiding under desks during air-raid drills. Margarita’s poems cover so much territory — emotions and thoughts carried on the wing of her words as she traverses childhood and adolescence, as well as physically traveling the world and discovering the beauty of so many places.

Triple recognition for Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hammer is well deserved. Written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes, this nonfiction Civil Rights Movement book is unique.  The text is written in Fannie Lou Hammer first person and set into poetry.  The power of the words comes from the real experiences of her life, like realizing that the students she had inspired had been murdered by the KKK.  “I cried like I lost my own sons.” The artwork accompanying each poem is a striking combination of paint and collage, winning a Caldecott Honor and the John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award.  It also won a Sibert Honor for best nonfiction.

Many other outstanding books for children and young adults were recognized with awards this year.  Take a look at the long list at www.ilovelibraries.org and check out some fantastic reads to start off the new year.

Posted in: Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, Mercury Column

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It’s Academy Awards time!

by Judi, Adult Services Librarian

There are lots of awards shows for actors and films at this time of year, but the most sought-after award continues to be the Academy Awards, which will be televised this year on February 22. Many of us try to see as many of the Oscar-nominated films as possible. Manhattan Public Library can make it easier for you to choose your favorite film of the year as we have some of the Best Film nominees already in our collection! Most are very popular titles and are frequently checked out, but you can get on the hold list for the films with your library card. Some of the films, such as American Sniper, Selma, The Imitation Game, Whiplash and Birdman are still in the movie theaters and are not yet available on DVD or Blu-Ray.

The films now in our collection that have been nominated for this year’s Best Picture are:

  • boyhoodBoyhood: A story of growing up as seen through the eyes of a boy named Mason, who ages from six to eighteen years old on screen. The film was shot intermittently over a twelve-year period from May 2002 to October 2013, showing the growth of Mason and his older sister, Samantha, to adulthood.

 

  • The Grand Budapest Hotel: The adventures of Gustave H., a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune.

 

  • The Theory of Everything: (released on DVD 2/17/15) Starring Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones this is the extraordinary story of one of the world’s greatest living minds, the renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who falls deeply in love with fellow Cambridge student Jane Wilde. Once a healthy, active young man, Hawking received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With Jane fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of–time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed.

 

12Of course, Manhattan Public Library’s DVD and Blu-Ray collection has Academy Award-winning pictures from previous years, including The Sting (1973), West Side Story(1961), Out of Africa(1985), The King’s Speech (2010), 12 Years a Slave (2014) and many others.

The library also has many of the films in which outstanding Best Actor and Best Actress performances were given, including Dustin Hoffman for Rain Man, Tom Hanks for Forrest Gump, Cate Blanchett for Blue Jasmine, Meryl Streep for Iron Lady, Daniel Day-Lewis for Lincoln and Sandra Bullock for The Blind Side. Stop in for a list of the Best Picture winners or to check out some of the outstanding Oscar-winning performances from past years!

 

 

 

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The Hillerman Prize: The Best of Western Mysteries

by Marcia Allen, Collection Development

Tony_HillermanI still miss having a fresh, new Tony Hillerman mystery to read.  I never tired of reading the latest adventures of law officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee, as they patiently sorted out the facts of murders and thefts that took place in the Southwest.  To me, and to so many other long-time fans, the characters and situations that Hillerman so skillfully described in each tale were among the best in American mystery writing.

The range of awards that the author earned was astonishing.  The Anthony, the Edgar, the Macavity, and the Nero were among his accolades, some of them received multiple times.  And one special honor was earned in 2002 when Hillerman received the Agatha Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement for having written novels in the spirit of Agatha Christie.

While Hillerman died in 2008, the spirit of his creativity lives on.   The Tony Hillerman Writers Conference is held each year in Santa Fe, New Mexico during the fall.  Workshops led by award-winning writers and promotional activities supporting the writing of any genre are conducted.  One of the highlights of the event is the announcement of the year’s Hillerman Prize.  The lucky winner has the opportunity to meet the editor of St. Martin’s Press with whom he or she will collaborate on that first novel.  The author also wins a cash prize of $10,000.

Among other prbad countryize guidelines, the author must have never before written a published mystery or be under contract with a publisher, and the debut mystery must take place in the Southwest.  The crime itself must be murder or other serious crimes, with a focus on solution rather than the actual details of the crime.

Which brings me to C.B. McKenzie, the 2013 Hillerman winner.  I had never heard of the author, but the bold “Winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize” logo on the cover caught my attention.  Bad Country seemed promising, so I began to read of the adventures of Rodeo Grace Garnet, private investigator/warrant server in a desolate corner of Arizona called El Hoyo (The Hole).  The action begins when Rodeo discovers the battered body of a Native American near his home.  Further investigation reveals a whole string of violent murders, all committed against various tribal members.  Told by law enforcement to avoid involvement, Rodeo begins piecing together the similarities of the crimes.  Full involvement begins when a grandmother of one of the victims asks for Rodeo’s help, yet she displays no sympathy or compassion toward her deceased grandson.

What makes this mystery one-of-a-kind is a flawed but caring main character.  Rodeo has made a lot of mistakes, like his relationship with the treacherous Serena Ray Molina, but he also cares deeply about justice and the victimization of helpless characters like Samuel Rocha.  The mystery itself is a complex tale of deception and violence, with a hit-and-run accident that has far-reaching implications.  And the ending of the book is explosive.  Understated tones and short passages pack a wallop of a finale.

If you like this territorymystery, you’ll probably want to check out other Hillerman award winners.  MPL also has Andrew Hunt’s City of Saints (the 2011 winner).  This mystery takes place in Salt Lake City in the 1930s when and unusual pair of crime-solvers must discover the killer of a socialite.  Or, you might try the 2010 winner, The Territory by Tricia Fields.  This tale explores the nasty interactions between the inhabitants of a West Texas town and violent drug cartel members.  The 2008 winner, The Ragged Edge of Nowhere by Roy Chaney, concerns ex-CIA Agent Bodo Hagen, who turns to crime-solving when his brother, who somehow possesses an ancient relic, is murdered in the desert.

So, there you have it.  A variety of different styles and storylines that share only a focus on Southwest crime, but each special in its own way.  These are, after all, the prestigious winners of the Tony Hillerman Prize.

Posted in: Adult Services, For Adults, Mercury Column, News

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Martin Luther King, Jr. 2015 Art and Writing Contest

by Keri Mills, Young Adult Librarian

MLK

Manhattan Public Library (MPL) hosted and sponsored the 2015 Martin Luther King, Jr. Art and Writing Contest, which has been an important part of MLK Day events for over 15 years. The theme for this year’s contest was “Only Love Can Drive Out Hate,” which was taken from one of Dr. King’s most famous quotes: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” This year’s entries acknowledged the importance that each individual can play, no matter how young or old he or she may be, in promoting Dr. King’s message of nonviolence. They also understand the importance of Dr. King’s place in the world that still resonates throughout our society today. There was participation from kids of all ages, as well as adults in this year’s contest. We had entries from almost all of the area elementary schools, Eisenhower and Anthony middle schools, Manhattan High School, Manhattan Catholic Schools, Flint Hills Christian School, Riley County schools, Kansas State University, and homeschool students.

Submissions for the contest were accepted beginning in December through January 11th, with the judging taking place on January 12th. All entries were judged based on five criteria: originality, creativity, artistic quality or writing style, content, and relevance to the theme. Winners were chosen by a panel of volunteer judges from the community. A thanks goes out to this year’s judges for volunteering their time and effort! Writing Judges included: Beth Bailey from the Union Program Council at Kansas State University; Carol Russell, English Professor at Kansas State University; and Deborah Murray, English professor at Kansas State University. Art judges included: Marrin Robinson, art instructor at Kansas State University; and Karen Schmidt, retired USD 383 middle school art teacher.

Besides Manhattan Public Library, this year’s sponsors included the Gallery for Peace and Justice, Manhattan Library Association, and Manhattan Town Center. Best of show winners received $50 gift certificates from Varney’s or Claflin Books and Copies and $20 gift cards from Manhattan Town Center. First place winners from each of the five age categories received a $25 gift certificate from Varney’s or Claflin Books and Copies. All winners received a certificate of recognition from the MLK Art & Writing Contest Committee.

Award winners were recognized at the annual awards ceremony which took place during the community MLK celebration at Manhattan Town Center on Monday, January 19. Manhattan Mayor Wynn Butler presented the winners with their awards at the recognition ceremony. Here are the 2015 contest winners:

ART

Best of Show: Usha Reddi’s first grade class from Ogden Elementary

 First Place

K-2nd Grade: Ritodeep Roy, Lee Elementary

3rd-5th Grade: Micah Craine, Bluemont Elementary

6th-8th Grade: Kaden Vandorn, Flint Hills Christian School

Adult:  Paulicia Williams

 Honorable Mention

K-2nd Grade: Justin Orvis, Manhattan Catholic Schools

3rd-5th Grade: Sahana Datta and Ananya Pagadala, Marlatt and Amanda Arnold Elementary Schools

6th-8th Grade: Ann Hess, Flint Hills Christian School

9th-12th Grade: Ames Burton, Riley County Schools

 WRITING

Best of Show: Chase Rauch, Manhattan Catholic Schools

First Place

3rd-5th Grade: Halle Gaul, Frank V. Bergman Elementary

6th-8th Grade: Blaise Hayden, Manhattan Catholic Schools

9th-12th Grade: Elijah Irving,  Flint Hills Christian School

Adult: Randy Jellison

 Honorable Mention

3rd-5th Grade: Hannah Loub, Frank V. Bergman Elementary

6th-8th Grade: Abby Cronander, Manhattan Catholic Schools

9th-12th Grade: Amanda Dillon, Flint Hills Christian School

9th-12th Grade: Caleb Linville, Flint Hills Christian School

 

Congratulations to all of our winners, and thank you to all of the individuals and groups who participated in the contest. The winning entries will be on display at MPL in the atrium through the end of February. Be sure to stop by and take a look!

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MLK Art and Writing Contest Winners Announced

ART

Honorable Mentions

Grade category           Name                                             Teacher/School (if applicable)

9-12                       Ames Burton                                 Riley County Schools

3-5                         Sahana Datta and                        Marlatt and Amanda Arnold Elementary Schools

Ananya Pagadala

K-2                        Justin Orvis                                    Manhattan Catholic Schools

6-8                         Ann Hess                                       Flint Hills Christian School

First Place Awards

K-2                        Ritodeep Roy                                 Lee Elementary

3-5                         Micah Craine                                 Bluemont

6-8                         Kaden Vandorn                             Flint Hills Christian School

Adult                     Paulicia Williams

Best of Show

K-2                        Usha Reddi’s first grade class        Ogden Elementary

WRITING

Honorable Mentions

3-5                         Hanna Loub                                   Bergman Elementary

6-8                         Abby Cronander                            Manhattan Catholic

9-12                       Amanda Dillon                              Flint Hills Christian School

9-12                       Caleb Linville                                Flint Hills Christian School

 

First Place Awards

3-5                         Halle Gaul                                     Bergman

6-8                         Blaise Hayden                               Manhattan Catholic Schools

9-12                       Elijah Irving                                   Flint Hills Christian School

Adult                     Randy Jellison

Best of Show

6-8                               Chase Rauch                                  Manhattan Catholic Schools

Posted in: Adult Services, Children's Dept, For Adults, For Kids, For Teens, News, Young Adult Dept

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2014 Shaara Prize for Civil War Fiction Goes to “Nostalgia”

by Mary, Adult Services Librarian

The Michael Shaara Prize for Civil War Fiction was awarded a few weeks ago on the anniversary of the Gettysburg Address at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.  Each year the prize is given to an author of a novel about the Civil War published for the first time in the current calendar year to “encourage fresh approaches to Civil War fiction”

nostalgiaThis year Dennis McFarland won the prize for his stunning Civil War novel, Nostalgia.  A young private is fighting to find his way to safety after being injured physically with deafness and disorientation.  His friends have deserted him and he is battling emotional trauma.  Unable to write his name Hayes struggles in a military hospital with what is then called “soldier’s heart.”  He encounters a captain who is convinced that Hayes is faking his illness, an amputee that shows compassion and an eccentric visitor to the ward, Walt Whitman, who becomes his advocate.  This timeless story, whose outcome hinges on friendships forged in crisis, reminds us that the injuries of war are manifold, and the healing goodness in the human soul runs deep and strong.

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Lambda Awards

The Lambda Awards, celebrating excellence in LGBT Literature, were awarded in June. Manhattan Public Library has several of the award-winning titles, including:

  • my educatiobMy Education by Susan Choi    Warned about the womanizing activities of Professor Nicholas Brodeur before her arrival at his prestigious university, graduate student Regina Gottlieb is nevertheless captured by his charisma and good looks before falling prey to his volatile wife.
    An intimately charged novel of desire and disaster. Regina Gottlieb had been warned about Professor Nicholas Brodeur long before arriving as a graduate student at his prestigious university high on a pastoral hill. But no one has warned Regina about his exceptional physical beauty– or his charismatic, volatile wife. Regina’s mistakes only begin in the bedroom, and end– if they do– fifteen years in the future and thousands of miles away. By turns erotic and completely catastrophic, Regina’s misadventures demonstrate what can happen when the chasm between desire and duty is too wide to bridge.Continue Reading Lambda Awards

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Spur Award-Winners Announced

spur-log-sm

The Spur Awards, given annually for distinguished writing about the American West, are among the oldest and most prestigious in American literature. The awards were established by WWA in 1953.

They are given for many types of writing including novels, short fiction and nonfiction, biography, history,  juvenile fiction and nonfiction, best TV or motion picture drama, best TV or motion picture documentary, and best first novel.

Winners of the Spur Awards in previous years include Larry McMurtry for Lonesome Dove, Michael Blake for Dances With Wolves, Glendon Swarthout for The Shootist, Lucia St. Clair Robson for Ride the Wind, and Tony Hillerman for Skinwalker.  The Western Writers of America are presenting the Spur Awards this week at their convention in Sacramento.

Anne Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter, which continues her late father’s mystery series won the award for Best First Novel.  Check out the complete list of winners at http://westernwriters.org/spur-awards/

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