The One And Only Ivan: 2013 Newbery Medal Winner!

January 29th, 2013 by

Okay, I admit it — sometimes I go on YouTube and play music videos while I’m on the computer at work. My favorite: Carly Rae Jepson performing “Call Me Maybe” with Jimmy Fallon and the Roots (AMAZING). But yesterday morning, I had a different video on in the background while I “worked”: the webcast announcing the winners of the 2013 American Library Association Youth Media Awards (ALAymas)!

Not familiar with the ALAymas? Well, I bet you’ve heard of the Newbery Medal, which is one of the awards. Every January, it’s given to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” in the previous year. Past winners include The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamilloManiac Magee by Jerry Spinelli and most recently, Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos and Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool.

And yesterday, a new winner was announced into my earphones as I was “slaving away” at the office:

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

As you may recall from my round-up of the most talked-about books of 2012The One and Only Ivan was absolutely on the list. Unfortunately, Nancy and I haven’t been talking about it much because, well, we haven’t read it! [insert ashamed downcast eyes here] But make no mistake, we will be making Ivan’s acquaintance very soon; I just ordered it from the library!

If you haven’t met Ivan either, here’s part of the official description:

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all. … Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home — and his own art — through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

AND check out this review from Connor, age 11 (from New York)!

Or if you’re more visual, feast your eyes on this book trailer. I got choked up just watching it! Okay, yes, I cry very easily. But you look at these animals and tell me if your heart doesn’t melt a little! (But if it literally melts, um, maybe see a doctor?)

And this year, there were also three Newbery Honor Books:

  • Splendors and Glooms by Laura Amy Schlitz
  • Bomb: The Race to Build — and Steal — the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin
  • Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage

Have you have already read any of these big winners, leave a comment and let us know! 

And stay tuned — we’ll be giving away a prize pack with all four of this year’s Newbery books! Details to come in a few days!

— Karen

Karen’s favorite way to see animals up close is by scuba diving. (You may have guessed by that picture, right over there. < )

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