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U.S. award honours Christopher Paul Curtis

The Washington Post is reporting that Windsor, Ontario, resident Christopher Paul Curtis has scooped up his third Coretta Scott King Award for Elijah of Buxton, his YA novel about a free-born child in an Ontario farming community of escaped slaves (for Q&Q‘s review see here). The book also received a Newbery Honor at the American Library Association’s annual meeting in Philadelphia.

Laura Amy Schlitz took home this year’s Newbery Medal for Good Masters! Sweet Ladies!, a collection of dramatic monologues about a medieval village. The Caldecott Medal, which usually goes to a conventional picture book, was awarded to Brian Selznick for his genre-bending tome The Invention of Hugo Cabret, aimed at eight- to 12-year-olds.

Reportedly, Selznick was caught off guard by the win.

Selznick won the Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret, a 500-plus-page category-buster that the author has called “not exactly a novel, not quite a picture book, not really a graphic novel, or a flip book or a movie, but a combination of all these things.” The judges decided that Selznick’s tale of an orphan who lives in a Paris train station was driven primarily by its elegant black-and-white drawings, which qualified it for the picture-book award.

Selznick said yesterday that the questions about his book’s genre were “part of what makes this [award] such a surprise.” His young protagonist ends up getting involved with one of the pioneers of the cinema, and Selznick said he chose a picture-heavy form “because I saw that it connected with how a director tells a story through a camera.”