Recently I’ve started a new series called Sunday Shout Out where I can provide links to news stories, blog posts, and other things that I think are interesting and noteworthy. If you’re interested in participating or being featured in my next Sunday Shout Out, just drop me an e-mail. Do you have some news or links to share? Feel free to link to your own Sunday Shout Outs in the comments.

The finalists for Michigan’s Thumbs Up! Award were posted on Friday. This award, according to the website, is “given annually to the author of an original work that appeals to teens (12-18), published in the previous year. The award promotes quality teen literature and heightens awareness of the importance of teens as important library patrons.” Votes to determine the winner are being accepted through the end of April. I’ve read about half of the ones listed, and I’m looking forward to crossing the rest of them off my list so I can talk to teens about them.

The School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books has now commenced (well, it will shortly). According to their website, “School Library Journal’s Battle of the Kids’ Books is a competition between 16 of the very best books for young people of the year, judged by some of the biggest names in children’s books.”

They’re taking votes through March 6th to determine their “back from the grave” option, who will take on the two finalists in a three-way match-up. The list of judges will be released in just two days, on February 22nd. Pay a visit to the website to see the complete list of contenders, judges, and comments once the Battle begins. I’ve actually read three of them: The Cardturner, Will Grayson, will grayson, and Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword. Personally, I don’t think any of these are the BEST, so we’ll have to see how the judging pans out.

Also announced earlier this week were the winners of the Cybils Award, which “are given each year by bloggers for the year’s best children’s and young adult titles.” Again, I’ve read very few of these, only blogging the winner for poetry, Mirror, Mirror. In my defense, The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (winner of the Middle Grade Fiction) has been making the rounds amongst the rest of the staff, and will get to me eventually. I’ve also had Split (winner of Young Adult Fiction) on my to-be-read list ever since The Story Siren blogged about it and featured a guest post by author Swati Avasthi. Finally, I think I might have met Jacqueline Jules, author of Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Takes Off (winner of short chapter Book) while at ALA, because her name and the book’s title both sound vaguely familiar.

One final link this week, for your pure viewing pleasure: James Kennedy (teen author) and Betsy Bird (blogger extraordinaire) have paired up to offer the 90 Second Newbery Video Contest. You have until September 15th to tape a summary of a Newbery Honor or Award Winner in honor of the 90th anniversary of the Newbery Award. Want the full details (including the fact that it must be primarily put together by children and teens)? Click here! I’m thinking about putting this together as a summer reading program at my library… anyone else thinking of doing the same? I’m willing to collaborate and work together!

Yeah, I know, lots of book suggestions to add to an already never-ending list. Here’s to good books and happy reading!