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'Moon Over Manifest,' 'Amos McGee' win book awards

Carolyn Kellogg
Los Angeles Times (MCT)

LOS ANGELES — "Moon Over Manifest," Clare Vanderpool's story of a girl in Depression-era Kansas who investigates a hidden past, was awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal on Monday as the American Library Association presented its top honors to books for children and young adults at a ceremony in San Diego. The book, for 9-to-12-year-olds, is the debut from Kansas-based author Vanderpool.

The top award for illustration, the Caldecott Medal, went to "A Sick Day for Amos McGee," illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by her husband Philip C. Stead. In one long spread, the woodblock prints — accessible to the book's readers, age 2 to 6 — tell the story of a zookeeper who stays home sick and is visited by the animals he cares for.

The ALA award medallions, which can be found on the covers of later editions of the winning books, not only signify excellence, they also can mean a longer commercial life for the books, as well as assure that they find a place in libraries. Finalists also receive the medallions.

The hourlong ceremony included the announcement of dozens of finalists and winners in 23 categories before an audience attending the ALA's midwinter conference. The roster of winners was too long to invite the authors, illustrators or publishers to the podium to accept their awards.

The Printz Award, presented to a young adult novel, went to Paolo Bacigalupi for "Ship Breaker." Bacigalupi is an author to watch; "Ship Breaker," his first young adult novel, was a National Book Award finalist. His adult fiction has won major science-fiction awards — the Nebula and Hugo — and his 2009 debut novel was named one of the year's best by Time magazine.

Other notable awards included the Coretta Scott King Award to author Rita Williams-Garcia for her book "One Crazy Summer," also a National Book Award finalist; the YALSA Excellence in nonfiction award to Ann Angel for "Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing"; the Pura Belpre Award to "The Dreamer," written by Pam Munoz Ryan and illustrated by Peter Sis; and the Theodor Seuss Geisel award to "Bink and Gollie," by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile.

Finalists for the Caldecott Medal were "Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet Slave," illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Laban Carrick Hill; and "Interrupting Chicken," written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein.

Other finalists for the Newbery Award were "Dark Emperor and Other Poems of the Night," written by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Rick Allen; "Heart of a Samurai," by Margi Preus; "One Crazy Summer" by Rita Williams-Garcia, and "Turtle in Paradise" by Jennifer L. Holm.

A complete list of the awards, winners and those finalists receiving honors is available on the American Library Association website.

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