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The American Library Association has announced on Monday that the American publisher Arthur A. Levine won the 2009 Mildred L. Batchelder Award with Nahoko Uehashi's Moribito - Guardian of the Spirit. The award honors "the most outstanding [children's book] originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States." Uehashi's fantasy adventure centers on Balsa, a spearwoman who protects a prince from his own father and other enemies. "This sophisticated and complex Japanese epic is filled with political intrigue, mystery and danger," said Batchelder Committee Chair Sandra Imdieke.
Arthur A. Levine is a Scholastic imprint, and Cathy Hirano translated the novel into English. Kamui Fujiwara (Dragon Quest manga, Hellhounds: Panzer Cops) had adapted the novel into a manga in Japan. Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Eden of the East), and Production I.G adapted the novel into a television anime series, of which Cartoon Network's Adult Swim programming block ran the first ten episodes between last August and this month. Media Blasters is releasing the DVD version. The anime, in turn, spawned the side story manga Jin: Anime Seirei no Moribito Gaiden, which was written by Miki Nakae and drawn by the anime's character designer, Gatou Asou.
Viz Media won last year's Batchelder Award for Miyuki Miyabe's Brave Story novel, which inspired Tokyopop's manga by Yoichiro Ono and a theatrical anime film by Gonzo. Comic book writer, novelist, and Princess Mononoke adapter Neil Gaiman won this year's John Newbery Medal "for the most distinguished contribution to children's literature" with The Graveyard Book.
Source: The Beat