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Newbery, Caldecott winners announced

- Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2012

NEW YORK (AP) — Jack Gantos' "Dead End in Norvelt" has won the John Newbery Medal for the best children's book of 2011. Chris Raschka's "A Ball for Daisy" won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for best illustrated story.

The Newbery and Caldecott prizes, the most prestigious in children's literature, were announced Monday by the American Library Association during its midwinter meeting in Dallas. No cash prizes are given, but the awards are watched closely by booksellers and librarians and often lead to increased sales and a lasting place on a school or store bookshelf. Previous winners include such favorites as Louis Sachar's "Holes" and Brian Selznick's "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," the basis for Martin Scorsese's film "Hugo."

Mr. Gantos' novel follows the improbable adventures of a boy named Jack Gantos, grounded from a family vacation but restored by the stories he learns about his hometown. Mr. Raschka's picture book recounts the saga of a dog whose favorite toy is destroyed.

Both winners are well established in children's publishing. Mr. Gantos, 60, has been a finalist for the Newbery and National Book Award. Mr. Raschka, 52, won the Caldecott in 2006 for "The Hello, Goodbye Window."

Numerous other winners were announced Monday, including John Corey Whaley's "Where Things Come Back," which received the Michael L. Printz Award for best young-adult literature, and Kadir Nelson's "Heart and Soul," winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Award for best African-American story. The King prize for best illustrated book was given to Shane W. Evans' "Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom."

Jesmyn Ward's "Salvage the Bones," winner last fall of the National Book Award for fiction, was among 10 recipients of the Alex Award for adult books that appeal to teens. Others cited included Erin Morgenstern's acclaimed debut, "The Night Circus," and David Levithan's "The Lover's Dictionary." Bill Wright's "Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy" received the Stonewall Book Award for "exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience."

The Pura Belpre Award for best Latino author went to Guadalupe Garcia McCall for "Under the Mesquite," while the Belpre illustration prize was given to Duncan Tonatiuh for "Diego Rivera: His World and Ours." Translator Laura Wilkerson's work on Bibi Dumon Tak's "Soldier Bear," originally published in Dutch in 2008, won her the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best book translated from a foreign language.

Susan Cooper, known for her fantasy series "The Dark Is Rising," won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in young adult literature.

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