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Monday Book News: Caldecott and Newbery Awards, Elijah Wood in “Hobbit” Film, and More

Warning: many awards ahead!

  • Manifest Destiny: The American Library Association announced a plethora of awards over the weekend, namely two of the top prizes in children's literature.

    The Newbery Medal, "awarded each year to the most distinguished book for children," went to Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. The Caldecott Medal, which is given to the best work of illustration, was presented to A Sick Day for Amos McGee artist Erin E. Stead.

    More prizes include the Printz Award, for best young adult novel, to Paolo Bacigalupi for Ship Breaker; the Coretta Scott King Award, to Rita Williams-Garcia for One Crazy Summer; 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 Muñoz Ryan and illustrated by Peter Sis; and the Theodor Suess Geisel award, to Bink & Gollie by Kate diCamillo and Alison McGhee, illustrated by Tony Fucile.

    Click here for the full list of winners and finalists.

  • Middle Earth Mystery: Deadline Hollywood has revealed that Elijah Wood has signed on to reprise his role as Frodo in Peter Jackson's film version of The Hobbit, which will begin filming soon in New Zealand.

    Yay!! The filmmakers are going to be faithful to the book by bringing back Frodo... uh, wait a tick. Frodo wasn't in The Hobbit!

    What the hobbit-hell is going on here?! Perhaps it's one of Smaug's tricks.

    And, in case you're supposing Wood might play Bilbo — for that uncanny family resemblance — nope: The Office's Martin Freeman has already been cast. Which makes me hope and pray Ricky Gervais will be one of the dwarves.

  • Evergreens: The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association has announced its 2011 Book Awards.

    And the honors go to... The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall, Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes, Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr, and the memoir River House by Sarahlee Lawrence. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to NPR's librarian of choice, Nancy Pearl, for her Book Lust series.

    Sharp-eyed readers will note that two of those titles — Matterhorn and The Lonely Polygamist — were past Indiespensable picks. Click here to join the lucky subscribers who have those one-of-a-kind editions on their mantles.

  • Eyes On the Prize: The Story Prize has announced its list of finalists — Yiyun Li, for Gold Boy, Emerald Girl; Anthony Doerr (again), for Memory Wall; and Suzanne Rivecca, for Death Is Not an Option. The winner, who will be announced in March, receives $20,000; each of the finalists gets $5,000.
  • Read It and Weep: USA Today has another of those articles about the most literate cities in the U.S. I say, take it all with a grain of salt — especially since Portland comes in at number nine. Lies, I tell ya, LIES!!
  • True e-Colors: At last week's Consumer Electronics Show, PC Magazine got up close and personal with the World's First Color E-Ink eReader, from a Chinese manufacturer called Hanvon:

    For now, Hanvon doesn't have any color ebooks. Instead we looked at Chinese language magazines, comics and a handful of JPEG images. The images and text were sharp, but screen refreshes are at Amazon Kindle 1.0 rates (read "slow"); plus the color saturation on most images is okay, but not great. Granted, the lighting situation on the CES 2011 floor is somewhat sub-optimal, but we sometimes had to strain to see the colors. The e-reader support ePub books, PDFs, as well as JPEGs.

    Somehow, I suspect Jeff Bezos is not quaking in his boots over this.

÷ ÷ ÷

Chris Bolton co-created the all-ages webcomic Smash, which will soon be published by Candlewick Press, and created the comedy series Wage Slaves. His short story "The Red Room" was published in Portland Noir from Akashic Books.

Books mentioned in this post

  1. Portland Noir (Akashic Noir)
    Used Trade Paper $9.95
  2. Moon Over Manifest
    Used Hardcover $7.95
  3. Bink & Gollie (Junior Library Guild... Used Hardcover $10.50
  4. The Dreamer
    Used Hardcover $11.00
  5. Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing Sale Hardcover $8.98
  6. One Crazy Summer
    Used Hardcover $9.50
  7. Ship Breaker
    Sale Hardcover $7.98
  8. A Sick Day for Amos McGee
    Used Hardcover $11.95
  9. Death Is Not an Option: Stories New Hardcover $23.95
  10. Gold Boy, Emerald Girl
    Used Hardcover $10.50

  11. Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
    Used Hardcover $6.50
  12. The Lonely Polygamist
    Used Hardcover $6.50
  13. River House: A Memoir
    Used Trade Paper $7.95
  14. The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again
    Used Hardcover $12.50

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