L.A. Librarian Susan Patron wins 2007 Newberry

Susan Patron, a senior children's librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library, was recently awarded the 2007 Newberry Medal for her book, The Higher Power of Lucky. Mayor Villaraigosa congratulated her for winning the "Oscar" of American children's literature.

Susan Patron (pronounced pa-TRONE) has been working close to 35 years for the LAPL. She is 58, is married and likes tomatoes on her pizza. Her first children’s book "Burgoo Stew" was published in 1990. It was followed by several picture books and then the novel “Maybe Yes, Maybe No, Maybe Maybe,” w/c won the 1993 Parent’s Choice Award.

The Higher Power of Lucky
- the best children's book of 2006
- reading level: ages 9-12, grades 4-6
- 144 pages

Ten-year-old Lucky Trimble lives in Hard Pan (population: 43) in the middle of the California desert; her guardian is her father's French ex-wife. There's an "s" word in the novel's second paragraph that a few adults have objected to.
Sammy told of the day when he had drunk half a gallon of rum listening to Johnny Cash all morning in his parked '62 Cadillac, then fallen out of the car when he saw a rattlesnake on the passenger seat biting his dog, Roy, on the scrotum.

- - -

The Newbery Medal is given by the American Library Association for outstanding contribution to American children's literature. It is named in honor of John Newbery, an 18th century publisher of juvenile books.

2007 Newbery Medal
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron, illustrated by Matt Phelan

Newbery Honor Books
Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson
Rules by Cynthia Lord

- - -

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the American Library Association to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book. It is named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott.

2007 Caldecott Medal
Flotsam by David Wiesner

Caldecott Honor Books
Gone Wild: An Endangered Animal Alphabet by David McLimans
Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Carole Boston Weatherford

- - -

Pete Seeger's book The Deaf Musicians won a Schneider Family Book Award, an award created in 2004 for books featuring disabled children. He co-wrote it with Paul DuBois Jacobs. It's about a young boy who forms a jazz group with other deaf performers, becoming a sensation at their nightly subway concerts.

Lois Lowry won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement. She is the author of Newbery Medal winners Number the Stars and The Giver.

- - -

Other winners:

Schneider Family Book Award: Rules, about a disabled boy and his interaction with his family, by Cynthia Lord

Schneider Family Book Award: Small Steps, a follow-up to the popular Holes, by Louis Sachar

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults: American Born Chinese, a graphic novel about a Chinese boy adapting to life in a new town, by Gene Luen Yang

Coretta Scott King Book Award for best book by an African American author: Copper Sun, about a young African girl sold into slavery, by Sharon Draper