The American Library Association, meeting in its home town of Chicago, will announce today the winner of the 1980 Newbery and Caldecott awards.
"A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal 1830-1832," by Joan W. Blos, professor of children's literature at the University of Michigan, receives the Newbery Medal for outstanding achievement in juvenile fiction.
First presented in 1921, the Newbery takes its name from John Newbery, an 18th-century British bookseller and publisher of children's books.
This year's Newbery "Honor Book," or runner-up is "The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl," by David Kherdian. It has the distinction of being a non-fiction work singled out for a prize usually reserved for fiction.
The winner of the Caldecott Medal -- given since 1938 to a picture book deemed the year's best -- is "Ox-Cart Man," with a text by Donald Hall, the distinguished American poet, and illustrated by Barbara Cooney, Cooney now joins the ranks of two-time Caldecott awardees, having won in 1959 for "Chanticleer and the Fox."
The 1980 Caldecott Honor Books are "Ben's Trumpet," by Rachel Isadora, "The Garden of Abdul Gasazi," by Chris Van Allsburg and "The Treasure," by Uri Shulevitz.
"A Gathering of Days" is told in the first person by a 14-year-old girl living in a small 19th-century New Hampshire community. "The Road from Home" tells of the author's mother's journey into exile from Turkey to Syria. In "Ox-Cart Man" a 19th-century farmer drives to Portsmouth, N.H., to sell his possessions, and his journey is illustrated in bold flat colors.
In "Ben's Trumpet," a story of an urban black boy's love for jazz, black-and-white illustration is used to give an Art Deco effect. In "The Garden of Abdul Gasazi," the artist uses blacks, whites and an extraordinary range of grays to create a mysterious atmosphere in which a boy and his dog meet a sinister magician. "The Treasure," a fable about finding contentment on one's own doorstep, is illustrated in striking hues.