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The Day After: Random Thoughts on the 2018 Youth Media Awards


A whole lot of great and interesting things happened during the 2018 Youth Media Awards. Here are my random thoughts on Geisel, Caldecott, and Newbery . . .



  • All first time winners!
  • I managed to correctly call (polishes nails on shirt) three of the five books.
  • The shocker for me was that After the Fall was not among the winners. Will we ever know why? No (unless this movement gains some traction). All I know is, it’s still a fantastic book.
  • It’s always fun to see creators who have been doing great stuff for a while now get recognized for Caldecott. Matthew Cordell, Elisha Cooper, and Jason Chin all fall into that category for me.
  • Chin’s nonfiction Grand Canyon stands out as the lone nonfiction book this year. While the number of nonfiction books winning Caldecott medals and honors in the last few years (Trombone Shorty, Locomotive, Voice of Freedom, etc.) it still feels like a bit of a surprise to see nonfiction win Caldecott (and here’s hoping the nonfiction trend continues).


  • All first time winners!
  • Crown: Ode to the Fresh Cut wins a Caldecott Honor and Newbery Honor. The last picture book to be recognized by both committees was Last Stop on Market Street. Before that was A Visit to William Blake’s Inn. Add the CSK illustrator and author honors and Crown ends up with an impressive haul of four shiny stickers on the day.
  • I was holding out hope that a graphic novel would show up on this list – maybe a Real Friends or an All’s Faire in Middle School. Will GNs continue to show up here, or did the back to back El Deafo and Rollergirl honor years just get our hopes up?

How about you? Any random thoughts?

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 scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.