The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards.
2019 John Newbery Medal: Meg Medina has won for her novel Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Two Newbery Honor Books were named: The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani and The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch.
2019 Randolph Caldecott Medal: Sophie Blackall has won for Hello Lighthouse. There were four Caldecott Honor Books: Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal, A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin, The Rough Patch by Brian Lies, and Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora.
2019 Michael L. Printz Award: Elizabeth Acevedo has won for The Poet X. Three Printz Honor Books were named: Damsel by Elana K. Arnold, A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti, and I, Claudia by Mary McCoy.
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The William C. Morris Award, for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens was given to Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram. The four Morris Award finalists were: Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough, Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu, Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper.
The Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best work of translation went to The Fox on the Swing, written by Evelina Daciūtė, illustrated by Aušra Kiudulaitė, and translated from the Lithuanian by the Translation Bureau. Four Batchelder Honor Books were selected: Run for Your Life by Silvana Gandolfi, translated from the Italian by Lynne Sharon Schwartz; My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun, originally published in Mandarin and translated from the French by Edward Gauvin, Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure by Torben Kuhlmann, translated from the German by David Henry Wilson, and Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto, illustrated by Olivier Tallec, and translated from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson.
The Robert F. Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book for children went to The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman. There were five Sibert Honors: Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild by Catherine Thimmesh, Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow, The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown, We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac, and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin, illustrated by Jose Ramirez.
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for most distinguished beginning reader book went to Fox the Tiger by Corey R. Tabor. There were four Geisel Honor Books: The Adventures of Otto: See Pip Flap by David Milgrim, Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier, King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers, and Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri.
The 2019 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime contribution in writing for young adults was given to M.T. Anderson, and Neil Gaiman was chosen to deliver the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.
This year’s Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement was given to Dr. Paulette Brown Bracy, professor of library science and director of the office of university accreditation at North Carolina Central University.
The Coretta Scott King Author Award was given to A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield.
Three King Author Honor Books were selected: Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome, The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, and The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon.
The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award went to The Stuff of Stars, illustrated by Ekua Holmes and written by Marion Dane Bauer.
Three King Illustrator Honor Books were chosen: Hidden Figures, illustrated by Laura Freeman, written by Margot Lee Shetterly, Let the Children March, illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Monica Clark-Robinson, and Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Alice Faye Duncan.
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award went to Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson. Thank You, Omu!, illustrated and written by Oge Mora, won the Steptoe Illustrator Award.
The Pura Belpré Awards, honoring a Latinx writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience, went to Dreamers by Yuyi Morales, for the Illustrator Award; and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo for the Author Award. Two Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were named: Islandborn, illustrated by Leo Espinosa, written by Junot Díaz and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana, illustrated by Jose Ramirez, written by Michael Mahin. One Belpré Author Honor Book was named: They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles.
The Schneider Family Book Awards, for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience, went to Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon for best young children’s book; The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor for best middle grade book; and Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro for best teen book.
There was one honor book in each category for the Schneider Awards: The Remember Balloons, written by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte, for young children; The Collectors by Jacqueline West, for middle grade; and (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health, edited by Kelly Jensen, for teens.
The Stonewall Book Award, given to children’s and YA books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience, went to two books: Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, and Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender. There were two Stonewall Honor Books: Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake and Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert.
The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association. This year’s winner in the Picture Book category is Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santa. Front Desk by Kelly Yang won in the Children’s Literature category; and Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram won in the Young Adult Literature category.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award for outstanding books for young readers that authentically portray the Jewish experience are presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries. This year’s winners are All-of-a-Kind-Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky in the Younger Readers category; Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier in the Older Readers category; and What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper for Teen Readers.
The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction went to The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown. Four books were finalists for the award: The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor Sonia Sotomayor, Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge, The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix, and Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
The Odyssey Award for excellence in audiobook production went to Sadie by Courtney Summers, narrated by Rebecca Soler, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, et al. Four Odyssey Honor Audiobooks were selected: Du Iz Tak by Carson Ellis, narrated by Eli and Sebastian D’Amico, Burton, Galen, and Laura Fott, Sarah Hart, Bella Higginbotham, Evelyn Hipp, and Brian Hull, Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood, narrated by Brian Amador, The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson, narrated by Cherise Booth, and The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.