By 8:30 Eastern time Monday morning, Erin Entrada Kelly figured she was facing an ordinary day. But once she was in her car and driving to work, she received a text from her editor, Virginia Duncan, saying that a call would be coming soon and she should pick it up. That’s what Kelly did, and the Newbery committee was on the other end of the line, sharing the news that her novel, Hello, Universe, had won the Newbery Medal. Kelly recalled, “I think my exact words were, ‘What? Wait, what?' "
Matthew Cordell did not sleep well on Sunday night. He’d been in this position once before—as creator of a book (hello! hello!) that was getting some Caldecott buzz—and he dreaded the prospect of another winter Monday waiting for a phone call that never came. Then, at 7:30 in the morning, the phone rang. The voice on the other end belonged to the chair of this year's Caldecott Committee, who announced that Wolf in the Snow had won the Caldecott Medal. Cordell's response: "Do you mean the gold one?”
Though We Are Okay author Nina LaCour received word of her medal from the Printz committee on Saturday morning, in some ways she has not yet touched down from the elation. Describing the moments before getting the news, she said, “I was just changing the sheets on the bed, and doing some chores at home. I didn’t expect a call at all. It was incredible. I answered and was told it was the Printz committee." The overall feeling, she said, was one of disbelief. “I spent the whole phone call wondering if it was really happening.”