Joyce Sidman.

Minnesota writer Joyce Sidman won a top award today from the American Library Association's Youth Media Awards. Sidman's book "The Girl Who Drew Butterflies" won the Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children. Sidman, who is from Wayzata, has previously won a Newbery Honor Award, two Caldecott Honors, several Minnesota Book Awards and other awards. Her well-researched, poetically written books are often grounded in nature and the wild world.

The ALA announced a series of awards this morning, culminating in announcement of the Randolph Caldecott Medal and the John Newbery Medal, two of children's literature's most notable awards. The Caldecott, which is for illustration, went to "Hello Lighthouse!" by Sophie Blackall, and the Newbery went to "Marci Suarez Changes Gears," by Meg Medina.

Other Minnesota writers and publishers to be honored included Jacqueline West of Red Wing, who won the Schneider Family Book Award for her middle-grade novel, "The Collectors," and     Catherine Thimmesh of Eden Prairie, who won a Sibert Honor Award for "Camp Panda."

Two books published by the Lerner Group--Minneapolis-based publishers that include Carolrhoda Lab and other imprints--were honored. "I, Claudia," by Mary McCoy, won the Michael L. Printz Honor and "My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder," by Nie Jun, won a Mildred L. Batchelder Honor.

“The Stuff of Stars,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Minnesota writer Marion Dane Bauer, won the Coretta Scott King Illustration Award.

And the next May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture is certain to be be super well-attended -- the ALA chose writer Neil Gaiman to deliver the lecture. Brilliant choice.

A full list of recipients and awards is online at

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