216 N Marshall Ave

Litchfield MN 55355


All Pioneerland

While all Pioneerland Library System buildings remain closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Curbside Pick-up of library items is available. You may place items on hold using the online catalog. Library staff will call you to schedule a pickup time once your hold is ready. Pickup days/times vary by location. Please contact your library if you have questions or need assistance in using this service.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Jan's Hits and Misses 2018

By Jan Pease

Welcome to the annual “Jan’s hits and misses,” where I report on our purchase of  the books that received  major awards  at the Midwinter Conference  of the American Library Association. In 2014 a grassroots campaign for diverse books erupted, and I think it affected the 2018 awards. If you’re interested in reading about this movement, search “We Need Diverse Books" online.
Disclaimer alert: I purchase children’s and young adult books for Litchfield, Dassel, Grove City and Cosmos.  There are 32 member libraries in Pioneerland Library Association.  If I order for 4 out of the 32, shouldn’t that make it more likely that Meeker County libraries would have most of these important books?

So, here we go!  The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding
contribution to children’s literature was given to “Hello, Universe,” by Erin Entrada Kelly.  This is a book with quirky, diverse characters and an exciting plot.  It is one of a handful of books that received 95% 5-star reviews at   Dassel and Grove City have this book, along with seven other Pioneerland Library System libraries.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children was given to “Wolf in the Snow,” illustrated and written by Matthew Cordell.  Litchfield, Dassel, Cosmos and three other PLS libraries own this title. This book is nearly wordless, and it has won many awards.


I should mention one of the honor books, “A Different Pond,” written by Bao Phi and illustrated by Thi Bui which, is owned by Litchfield, Dassel, Grove City, Cosmos, and four other PLS libraries.  This book is notable for having been published by Capstone, a Minnesota company.


I’m always interested in the Robert F Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children.  This year the award went to “Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961,” by Larry Dane Brimner.  None of the PLS libraries purchased this title.

I never know which beginning reader titles will be awarded the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.  I don’t know how the judges pick one title over another.  The medal was given to “Charlie and Mouse,” by Laurel Snyder.  Grove City and six other PLS libraries purchased this book.  Two books which received the Geisel award, “I See a Cat,” by Paul Meisel, and “King & Kayla and the Case of the Missing Dog Treats,” by Dori Hillestad Butler were not ordered by any PLS libraries. 

One award that might not be as well known outside of library circles is the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award.  It recognizes an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature.  The recipient gives a lecture the following year. The 2019 May Hill Arbuthnot lecture will be delivered by Debbie Reese.  

“Dr. Reese is a longtime advocate for native representation and is a former teacher and university professor.  She earned her PhD in Education from the University of Illinois, where she also helped establish the Native American House and American Indian Studies program. Dr. Reese also holds an M.Ed. degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University.  She is tribally enrolled at Nambe Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico. “ (Information from the American Library Association website.)

This award is well deserved.  I read Ms. Reese’s blog at least weekly and appreciate her perspective.

This book buyer has a lot of catching up to do.  We like to have the medal winners available to our  patrons.  I usually go down the list of honor books and include most of them.  Come in and read an award-winning book!