Monday, August 1, 2016

A Huge Slice of My Life-Reading!

       I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today. It's always a pleasure to read what everyone writes about their lives.

          A huge part (slice) of my life, all my life, is reading. I know that I read early, and in my earliest life I lived with my mother and her parents for a few years. There, being the only young one in the family, everyone read to me, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and my mother. I've written about that, and about my love for the bookmobile and the librarian who brought special books to me. And I collected books to read to my students, then my children, then students again. I am a reader! 
         In the past week especially many of the bloggers I read are writing about returning to work, or writing about their children going back to school, or both. They are gathering ideas for-first of-the-year books, to read aloud, to share, to hook students immediately. Perhaps another time I'll share a list of the read alouds I've used in the past. But today, I've been asked to share a press release, the announcement of the 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists. This release explains the award and shares the books. I've read the first three and you can find my reviews of them on Goodreads; each is wonderful! The other two will certainly go on my TBR list. If you are someone who needs great YA books to read or to recommend to students, take a look at these finalists!


2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Announced

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the finalists for the 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction.  Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.  

The 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:


All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers / Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)

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All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
(Penguin Random House / Knopf Books for Young Readers)

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Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
(HarperCollins / HarperTeen)

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Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez
(Lerner / Carolrhoda Lab)

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Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

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All Walden Award titles will be identified by an award sticker—gold for the winner and silver for the four finalists.  The winner will be announced on Monday, August 8th.  The winning title and finalists will be honored at the 2016 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 21st at 4:30pm in Atlanta, GA, and the authors will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.
The 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and the many publishers who submitted titles for consideration.

The 2016 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered over 350 young adult titles throughout the process.  The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities.  They are:

       Mark Letcher, Committee Chair
Assistant Professor of English Education
Lewis University, Romeoville, IL

Lois Stover, Past Committee Chair
Dean – School of Education and Human Services
Marymount University, Arlington, VA

    Cathy Blackler
 ELA Teacher
Santana Alternative High School, La Puente, CA
       Nancy Johnson
Professor of Children’s/YA Literature and English/Language Arts Education
Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

Sara Kajder
Assistant Professor of English Education
University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Joellen Maples
Associate Professor, Graduate Literacy Program
St.  John Fisher College, Rochester, NY

       Lisa Morris-Wilkey
Librarian
Casa Grande Union High School, Casa Grande, AZ

Beth Scanlon
ELA Teacher, Literacy Coach
Cypress Creek High School, Orlando, FL

Lisa Scherff
ELA Teacher
Estero High School, Fort Myers, FL
Jessica Lorentz Smith
Teacher-Librarian
Bend Senior High School, Bend, OR

Wendy Stephens
Library Media Specialist
Cullman High School, Cullman, AL


For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents http://www.alan-ya.org/awards/walden-award/

There have been numerous middle grade and books for younger readers published this year, many wonderful, many I would love to use in the classroom. I hope you are finding them, too.


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30 comments:

  1. A congratulations to these finalists. What an honor. Thank you to the committee for their work as well. I'll be adding these books to my ever growing list of books to read. Thank you for this announcement this morning.

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    1. This committee works hard, reads so many books in order to finalize a short list-wow! Enjoy what you can, Kendra!

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  2. That's exciting Linda! Looks like a great list!

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    1. I'm looking forward to reading those final two. The first three are wonderful stories. Thanks, Michelle.

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  3. Such a celebratory slice. I think books could also come with a sign: "Linda recommends." Your recommendations are always honest and trustworthy.

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    1. Thanks Terje, however, I can't take all the credit, read others' recommendations too, and award winners like these!

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  4. Read two, now need to read the other three. Great committee work!

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    1. I am in awe how hard the committee works to find what they believe are the best.

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  5. I read All American Boys and so glad I did. While these books don't cater the age group I teach, I love them. And how cool i it to be able to recommend books to kiddos who come back to visit me! The only problem is time! Thanks for the list Linda.

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    1. I know, time to read all that I wish I could is not easy, and I'm retired. Each one of these is special I'm sure, will touch some young person in a good way.

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  6. What a great list of book titles, Linda. I am looking for something to read on the plane so I might just pick up one of these.

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    1. I cannot speak for the final two, but the first ones are great, tackle serious topics in memorable stories. Hope you do enjoy one of them!

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  7. What an outstanding bunch of selections! It's a lot of work to read and vote for these awards - thank you and the committee.

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    1. I know you've read the first one, and hope you'll enjoy the others, too, Tara.

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  8. A great list! There are a few new ones for me. I better get reading! Thanks for your work and the committee's work. I am always amazed by book committee people.

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    1. You are right to praise the committee, but all that I've done is to share, Joanne. Enjoy the books whenever you can find them.

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  9. I read so little YA as I'm always trying to keep up with picture books and books for my middle grade readers. Looking forward to looking into these titles. How great that you are a part of this award process. Must be gratifying work.

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    1. I really am not a part of this, Lisa, just on a list that was asked to share. The books I've read are wonderful, & I'm sure the others are, too. I understand about the age thing-hard to keep up with so many good ones at all the ages published.

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  10. Thank you for this resource, Linda! I can't wait to check out some of these books.

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  11. These are great book choices! I have read some wonderful MG books this summer. Can't wait to see if any of them make it to an awards list. I always enjoy hearing about your books, Linda.

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    1. I know what you mean, so many wonderful MG books have been published too, and more coming! Award season is on its way! Thanks, Jennifer.

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  12. I rarely read YA, since I feel that MG is a better fit for my book club. However, this year my first group of students will be 8th graders. Let me know if you think any of these are good titles for me to recommend to them or if any of them are must reads for me.

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    1. I'll e-mail you, Ramona. I had some 7th & 8th graders who loved All The Bright Places, but it is a serious and sad book. The others weren't out yet. My former colleague read All American Boys to his class this past year, FYI.

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  13. You are just a wealth of information Linda! If I were returning to school . . . I know the person I would be reaching out to. :-)

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    1. Although these are considered YA, adults will like them too, Lynn. Thanks for the compliment.

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  14. Looks like a great line up. I read All american Boys and enjoyed it.

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  15. Wow! What a list! Thank you for sharing!

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  16. Thanks Jone & Loralee. Hope you'll find a book here you'll like!

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  17. Linda, thanks for the information. I met Jason Reynolds last year and have been in a Twitter chat with him. He is a wonderful young man and so I am off to read his book.

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Having a conversation is a good thing!