Kwame Alexander on His 2015 Newbery Win: 'Overwhelmed with Joy'

"I'm floating," Kwame Alexander said, speaking to PW from his home in Reston, Va. He admitted, however, that the night before the Newbery announcement, he couldn't sleep. "I decided I would watch some TV, and read The Crossover again, and around 6 a.m. I went upstairs and got into bed, and at 7:16 a.m. the phone started ringing. My wife started screaming in my ear: 'Oh my gosh! Oh my gosh!' " When the Newbery committee began to speak to him, "It was like I was on Mars, I didn't understand the language they were speaking. They said 'medal,' and I asked, 'Are you sure it's not the Honor?' It was overwhelming. I was overwhelmed with joy." MORE

2015 Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat: ‘I Never Really Thought That I Had a Chance’

Given the sense of humor that's present in so much of Dan Santat’s work, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that his first tweet after being named the winner of the 2015 Caldecott Medal reads as follows: "I’m so bummed the Patriots won the #SuperBowl last night. My whole day is ruined." Speaking to PW from his home in Los Angeles, the author-artist behind the winning book, The Adventures of Beekle: An Unimaginary Friend, confessed that he was "running on sheer excitement and the rush of the announcement." MORE

Jandy Nelson on Winning the 2015 Printz Medal: 'Thrilled to the Bone'

Jandy Nelson had to keep a very big secret – for two whole days. Last Saturday she found out she'd won the Michael L. Printz Award for her second novel, I'll Give You the Sun, but the announcements were not being made until Monday. "I was so taken by surprise when they called," Nelson said, reached by phone at her home in San Francisco. "They must have thought they were giving the award to a raving lunatic. I remember hearing it was the Printz Committee, and then I started screaming. I remember they were all clapping, and that made me burst into tears. They said a lot of nice things about my book, and I screamed some more. It was one of the happiest, most exciting moments of my life." MORE