The Superhero Squirrel Wins!

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Kate DiCamillo may need to add shelf space to the place she keeps her growing number of awards. Yesterday she won her second Newbery Award for Flora and Ulysses, a fantasy about a magical squirrel and a cynical girl.   DiCamillo won the Newbery ten years ago for her novel The Tales of Despereaux – and she was recently named the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

I wanted to check the winners all day, but one thing led to another and I didn’t have time to look until I got home from school yesterday. My fingers were crossed for DiCamillo’s beautiful and wise story…this book even made it into our family’s annual holiday letter which I closed by encouraging our friends to end 2013 on a happy note by reading Flora and Ulysses!

Here’s a link to today’s New York Times article about the Newbery Award…


The Caldecott Medal went to Brian Floca for Locomotivea picture book (and historical novel of sorts) about a train trip between Omaha and Sacramento in 1869. Before the holidays, I talked about this book to anyone who would listen…this is another book that may require its own award shelf: the 2014 Caldecott Medal, New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2013, Parent’s Choice Award – the list goes on….and it’s so incredibly worthy!  A book for young kids who love trains, older kids who enjoy details, a book teachers can use to talk about westward expansion…and train lovers will love it for Floca’s rich evocation of traveling by rail.


There was a long list of awards given at the American Library Association meeting yesterday, but another one that made especially happy was the winner of the Coretta Scott King Award – P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia. The sequel to One Crazy Summer, P.S. Be Eleven is the story of three young girls growing up in Brooklyn in 1968.

Newbery Award: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Honor Books:  

Doll Bones by Holly Black

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

One Came Home by Amy Timberlake

Paperboy by Vince Vawter

Caldecott Award: Locomotive by Brian Floca

Honor Books:

Journey by Aaron Becker

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner


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