2017 Award Books

photo Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (2017 Caldecott Medal)
illustrated and written by Javaka Steptoe

Like Jean-Michel Basquiat’s work, Steptoe’s illustrations radiate energy and immediacy. A patch-worked canvas of scavenged wood, painted and collaged with photos, and images of human anatomy, evokes the improvisatory nature of Basquiat’s art. “Radiant Child” resonates with emotion that connects Steptoe with Basquiat and Basquiat with young readers.

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photo The Girl Who Drank the Moon (2017 Newbery Medal)
written by Kelly Barnhill

“Moonlight is magic. Ask anyone you like.”
Barnhill’s story is also pure magic, distinguished by careful development of a complex plot and indelible evocation of unique characters. Love, heartbreak, hope, sorrow, and wonder all shine in exquisite, lyrical prose.

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photo Leave Me Alone! (2017 Caldecott Honor)
illustrated and written by Vera Brosgol

At the end of her rope, Granny is desperate for time alone to finish knitting sweaters for a house filled with dozens of rambunctious children. Brosgol’s expressive watercolor and cartoon art presents a genre-breaking journey taking Granny from the traditional forest setting to the mountains to the moon and beyond.

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photo Freedom in Congo Square (2017 Caldecott Honor)
illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Carole Boston Weatherford

As they work throughout the week, slaves look forward to their afternoon of music, hope, and community in Congo Square, New Orleans. Christie’s folk-art inspired paint and collage images powerfully capture the emotions of this little-known historical event. Vibrant color and brilliant use of line heighten the impact of the rhyming couplets.

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photo Du Iz Tak? (2017 Caldecott Honor)
illustrated and written by Carson Ellis

A diverse community of anthropomorphic bugs is intrigued by an unfurling sprout. Carson Ellis deftly depicts the mysteries of life in an imaginary, natural world. Through intricate details and the witty humor of a made-up language, “Du Iz Tak?” is a treasure trove of visual and linguistic literacy.

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photo They All Saw a Cat (2017 Caldecott Honor)
illustrated and written by Brendan Wenzel

A cat’s walk through the world becomes a surprise-filled exploration of perspective and empathy. As the feline encounters a variety of creatures, the thoughtful composition paired with spare language and repetition focuses on each individual’s perception of it. Wenzel’s use of a range of art materials reinforces the idea that the essence of a cat might be in the eye of the beholder.

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photo Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life (2017 Newbery Honor)
written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan

Inspired by an 1828 estate appraisement, Ashley Bryan honors the lives of eleven slaves in poetry and collage. Conveying the terror of the patterroller and the hope of voices raised in song, Bryan imagines for each person a life of oppression and a dream for freedom.

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photo The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog (2017 Newbery Honor)
written by Adam Gidwitz

Informed by six years of research, and reminiscent of “The Canterbury Tales,” Adam Gidwitz has written a brand-new illuminated manuscript, a sometimes harrowing, sometimes hilarious epic about three magical friends on the run in 1242 France and their encounters with a dragon, a holy dog, and cheese.

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photo Wolf Hollow (2017 Newbery Honor)
written by Lauren Wolk

Set in rural Pennsylvania during World War II, this compelling story of consequences addresses complex issues of bullying, PTSD, and discrimination. At the center of this atmospheric novel, articulating themes of self-reliance, hope, and justice, is our heroine Annabelle who struggles to confront her tormentor and her own conscience.

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source: www.ala.org