A bunch of book award news lately:
| The most storied award in children’s literature, the Newbery Medal, was awarded on Monday to “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate, a story for children ages 8 and up about a gorilla whose contented existence in a cage is upended when he’s joined by a baby elephant. According to the review in School Library Journal, the story is “a poignant, quietly powerful tale that sheds light on animal cruelty.”
| Also Monday, the Caldecott Medal for the top American picture book went to “This Is Not My Hat,” which was illustrated (and written) by Jon Klassen (who seems to be making a career of writing about animals and hats). School Library Journal said that “the brilliantly spare digital artwork conveys a parallel narrative with tiny telling details revealing that crime does not pay.”
Both the Newbery and Caldecott are awarded by the American Library Association. A list of runners-up for both awards, as well as honorees for several others, can be found here.
| Hilary Mantel’s “Bring Up The Bodies” has garnered more than its share of awards already. It won the Man Booker Prize, and it ended up on year-end best books lists from The New York Times, The Washington Post and many others. Mantel added to her haul on Tuesday, when “Bring Up The Bodies” won the Costa prize (and the 30,000 British pounds that come with it) on Tuesday.
The book is the second part of a trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, the clergyman and minister who helped bring about the English Reformation before (spoiler alert!) losing his head at the Tower of London in 1540. The first installment of Mantel’s trilogy, “Wolf Hall,” also won the Man Booker Prize.
“Bring Up The Bodies” was unanimously awarded the Costa (which was called the Whitbread Prize until 2005), becoming the first book to ever win both that prize and the Man Booker Prize.
| The annual list of nominees for the Edgar Awards, from the Mystery Writers of America, should be required reading for mystery fans. Besides the overall mystery category, there’s biography, first novel, young adult, etc. — including TV teleplay, where you’ll find the pilot episode of “Longmire,” the A&E television series based on the novels of 2012 West Virginia Book Festival presenter Craig Johnson.
| There’s also some news about book awards that doesn’t have anything to do with actual books. The National Book Foundation, which presents the National Book Awards, is changing the process by which the winners are chosen. The judging panel will be expanded, and both a longlist and shortlist of finalists will be announced.
If that sounds familiar, maybe it’s because the Man Booker Prize is awarded in a similar fashion. National Book Foundation people say they want to integrate the award more into popular culture, and they want to goose sales not just of the eventual winner, but of the books that make the shortlist as well.