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The Gordon School

Newbery, Caldecott Medals for recent Gordon guests

Jerry Craft, who spent three days at Gordon last month, made history today, becoming the first graphic novelist to win the Newbery Medal.

above: Jerry Craft, author and illustrator of Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Book Award winner New Kid, teaching Gordon eighth graders in December more on his visit

Gordon students, faculty and parents found many familiar names on the list today when the American Library Association announced the winners of this year's Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards. link

Jerry Craft, who visited Gordon in December, saw his book New Kid win the John Newbery Medal, the first graphic novel to receive the prize for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. 

Kwame Alexander, who visited Gordon the year before as Gordon's 2018 Karla Harry Visiting Author, wrote The Undefeated, which won this year's Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

New Kid and The Undefeated both earned their creators Coretta Scott King Book Awards, which recognize African-American authors and illustrators. 

The Newbery, the Caldecott and the Coretta Scott King awards are among the most prestigious honors that writers for young audiences can receive. 

Jerry Craft spent three days at Gordon in December, meeting with students, faculty and parents during the Book Fair, along with other visiting authors including Monica Brown, Gordon's 2019 Karla Harry Visiting Author. New Kid had been on the summer reading list for Middle School and for faculty, and Gordon's Parents of Students of Color group read and discussed the book this January. Craft delighted faculty and administrators by leaving notes and cartoons around the school before he left.


above: Kwame Alexander, author of Caldecott Medal winner The Undefeated, poses with then-seventh graders at Gordon in November 2018 more on his visit

Kwame Alexander was at Gordon in November 2018 as the twelfth annual Karla Harry Visiting Author. The Karla Harry Visiting Author program provides Gordon students the unique experience of delving into the writer’s craft by working with nationally recognized authors and illustrators.


above: Nikki Grimes, right, alongside staff and volunteers enjoying a presentation from Gordon Kindergarteners in 2017 more on her visit

This year's ALA awards also recognized Nikki Grimes, the eleventh annual Karla Harry Visiting Author, whose memoir Ordinary Hazards received the Michael L. Printz Award for Young Adults Honor Book Award and the Robert F. Sibert Honor Award for Informational Book.

As the American Library Association has been deliberating, Gordon's second grade has also been reviewing and critiquing picture books for their annual Gordon Multicultural Picture Book Award. A host of 2020 GSMPBA nominees are on other award lists, including:

Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi'idim by Brenda Child translated into Objibwe by Gordon Jourdain and illustrated by Jonathan Thunder
American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Picture Book winner

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal winner
American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Picture Book honoree

We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga written by Traci Sorrell  
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal honoree

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o illustrated by Vashti Harrison 
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor book

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreno Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle illustrated by Rafael López
Pura Belpré Honor winner

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise illustrated by Rafael Lopéz
Pura Belpre Honor book

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award

When Aidan Became a Brother will be one of the books discussed at the February 11th Creating a Gender-Safe Gordon workshop; more on that at

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