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100 Scope Notes
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The Day After: A Few Random Thoughts on the 2017 Youth Media Awards


  • March had its much deserved moment, winning a record four different Youth Media Awards (Printz, Sibert, YALSA Nonfiction, Coretta Scott King Author). Since I don’t talk about YA on this blog, I haven’t blabbed much about March, but here’s the deal: the whole series is tremendous and should be required reading for all Americans.
  • Freedom Over Me for Newbery honor! Good to see that one.

Random Happiness Rankings:

4. Lowriders to the Center of the Earth winning Belpre. This book (and its predecessor) are just wonderfully out there.

3. Cry, Heart, But Never Break winning Batchelder. It’s one of the most beautiful books on loss you’re going to find.

2. Leave Me Alone! winning Caldecott Honor. Humor doesn’t get a whole lot of Caldecott love.

1. We Are Growing! winning Geisel. Feeling a lot of Michigander pride in Laurie Keller.

We Are Growing

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Colby Sharp says:

    2/7 isn’t exactly great. :)

  2. “Is Du Iz Tak? the first book to win a Youth Media Award that isn’t in English?” Excellent, excellent question.

  3. I was so dissapointed that Some Writer received no recognition . A huge miss !!! A fabulous book!

  4. The New York Times called it the year of race and politics. It was, to the exclusion of great books like Some Writer! for even a Sibert award. Look at the Charlotte Zolotow list too: not a single book there about people (save for one about a girl and her pet) that was not about POC or with a mixed race cast. Last year, there was a discussion at Reading Roger about whether diversity trumped quality. I don’t think that’s the case here, since all the books chosen were so good, but certainly the message from last year and this year to authors is clear about what subjects are okay these days to choose to be most likely awards-worthy,

    • God, I am so tired of reading comments like this from “anonymous” people.

      The books this year were excellent choices and they address a wide range of topics.And maybe they were about race and politics, but I’m not sorry that those topics offend your sensibilities. That the winners were not regressive in terms of treatment of topic seems to be the problem that many naysayers have.

      If the current political climate/culture weren’t skewing toward racism, xenophobia, transphobia, homophobia, and misogyny, then maybe you’d have a leg to stand on. But most of us are tired of that crap, and librarians, as a whole, tend to be fairly progressive. Maybe the world will end before 2018 so people like you won’t have to deal with the “other” winning so many awards.

  5. What about Mr. Wuffles by David Weisner?