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January 28, 2019

The 2019 ALA Youth Media Awards

Posted by Rebecca M
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Today is one of the biggest days of the year for young adult and children's literature: the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. Each year the American Library Association honors the books, videos and other outstanding works that have released that year for kids and teens and are recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent. We've compiled all of the children's awards announcements here, so read on to see which of your favorites made the cut and click here to see the young adult awards announcements!


The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. On June 22, 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed the award to the American Library Association meeting of the Children's Librarians' Section and suggested that it be named for the eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by the children's librarians and Melcher's official proposal was approved by the ALA Executive Board in 1922.

  • MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS, written by Meg Medina, is the 2019 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press.

  • Two Newbery Honor Books also were named: THE NIGHT DIARY, written by Veera Hiranandani and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Young Readers Group, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; and THE BOOK OF BOY written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. During 2013, children's picturebook lovers everywhere celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott Award.

  • HELLO LIGHTHOUSE, illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall is the 2019 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

  • Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named: ALMA AND HOW SHE GOT HER NAME, illustrated and written by Juana Martinez-Neal and published by Candlewick Press; A BIG MOONCAKE BY LITTLE STAR, illustrated and written by Grace Lin and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; THE ROUGH PATCH, illustrated and written by Brian Lies and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; and THANK YOU, OMU! illustrated and written by Oge Mora and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. The award is sponsored by ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). The Coretta Scott King Book Award was founded in 1969 by Mabel McKissick and Glyndon Greer at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The first award was given to Lillie Patterson in 1970 for her biography, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: Man of Peace (Garrard). In 1982, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards became an officially recognized ALA award. Three awards are given annually: Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award.

  • A FEW RED DROPS: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, written by Claire Hartfield, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

  • Three King Author Honor Books were selected: FINDING LANGSTON, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and published by Holiday House; THE PARKER INHERITANCE, written by Varian Johnson and published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; and THE SEASON OF STYX MALONE, written by Kekla Magoon and published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

  • THE STUFF OF STARS, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Marion Dane Bauer and published by Candlewick Press.

  • Three King Illustrator Honor Book were selected: HIDDEN FIGURES, illustrated by Laura Freeman, written by Margot Lee Shetterly and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; LET THE CHILDREN MARCH, illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Monica Clark-Robinson and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; and MEMPHIS, MARTIN, AND THE MOUNTAINTOP, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, written by Alice Faye Duncan and published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights.

  • MONDAY'S NOT COMING, written by Tiffany D. Jackson, is the Steptoe Author Award winner. The book is published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • THANK YOU, OMU! illustrated and written by Oge Mora and published by Little, Brown Young Readers.

The Coretta Scott King--Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is named in memory of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The annual award is presented in even years to an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults and who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution. In odd years, the award is presented to a practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award-winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs. The award is sponsored by ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). A medal and check for $1,500 is presented to the winner during the Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast at the ALA Annual Conference. Virginia Hamilton was an award-winning author of children's books. She wrote more than 35 books throughout her career, including M.C. HIGGINS, THE GREAT for which she won the 1975 Newbery Medal. During her lifetime, Ms. Hamilton received numerous awards including the Coretta Scott King Book Award, the Edgar Allan Poe Award, the Boston Globe-Horn Book.

  • Dr. Pauletta Brown Bracy is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. Dr. Bracy is Professor of Library Science and Director of the Office of University Accreditation at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). She has successfully merged scholarship and service with publications such as “Libraries, Literacy and African American Youth” (co-edited with Sandra Hughes Hassell and Casey H. Rawson) as well as her work with the Coretta Scott King Book Awards and with workshops and conferences dedicated to promoting African American books for children and teens. She recently served as co-organizer for Celebrating Our Voices: Black Children’s Literature Symposium and Book Festival held at NCCU.

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The award is donated by Dr. Katherine Schneider. Three annual awards are presented for the best Teen, Middle School and Children’s Book. The American Library Association administers the Awards, and each recipient receives $5000 and a framed plaque. Winners are announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

  • RESCUE & JESSICA: A Life-Changing Friendship, written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon and published by Candlewick Press, wins the award for young children (ages 0 to 10).

  • One honor book for young children was selected: THE REMEMBER BALLOONS, written by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Children.

  • THE TRUTH AS TOLD BY MASON BUTTLE, written by Leslie Connor and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is the winner for middle grades (ages 11-13).

  • One honor book for middle grades was selected: THE COLLECTORS, written by Jacqueline West and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Children’s Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

  • The 2019 winner is Walter Dean Myers, whose award-winning works include SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, a 1993 Newbery Honor Book, and MONSTER, recipient of a 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book. In addition, Myers received the first Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010.

The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture recognizes an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site. The lecturer, announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children's literature. Once the name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in college or university or a children's library system may be considered. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April, and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children. ALSC established the lecture series in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company. May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master's degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers --- better known as the Dick and Jane series --- for children published by Scott, Foresman and Company (now Pearson Scott Foresman).

  • Neil Gaiman will deliver the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Born in England, Gaiman is a United States resident. His work has been honored with many awards internationally, including the Newbery Medal. He is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. Gaiman is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama and a vocal defender of the freedom to read.

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award, established in Mildred L. Batchelder's honor in 1966, is a citation awarded to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a foreign language in a foreign country, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States. The award is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association.

  • THE FOX ON THE SWING is the 2019 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in Lithuanian as “Laime Yra Lape,” the book was written by Evelina Daciūtė, illustrated by Aušra Kiudulaitė, translated by The Translation Bureau and published by Thames & Hudson, Inc.

  • RUN FOR YOUR LIFE, published by Yonder, an imprint of Restless Books, Inc., written by Silvana Gandolfi and translated from the Italian by Lynne Sharon Schwartz; MY BEIJING: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, published by Graphic Universe, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc., written and illustrated by Nie Jun, originally published in Mandarin and translated from the French by Edward Gauvin; EDISON: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure, published by NorthSouth Books, Inc., written and illustrated by Torben Kuhlmann and translated from the German by David Henry Wilson; and JEROME BY HEART, published by Enchanted Lion Books, written by Thomas Scotto, illustrated by Olivier Tallec and translated from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson.

The Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The award is jointly given and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist. The story of the wanderings of Ulysses, as he returns to his kingdom of Ithaca after the Trojan War, are ascribed to the blind poet Homer who either wrote, or dictated, the epic poem called THE ODYSSEY. Whether this odyssey of Ulysses was based on one specific event, or many different ones, is argued by researchers today, though they all seem to agree that the poems comprising THE ODYSSEY were originally told and retold in the oral tradition, hence the name for this award. The Odyssey Award allows us to return to the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.

  • SADIE, produced by Macmillan Audio from Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, is the 2019 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Courtney Summers and narrated by Rebecca Soler, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, and more.
  • DU IZ TAK, produced by Weston Woods Studio, a division of Scholastic, written by Carson Ellis and 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, produced by Live Oak Media, written by Susan Wood and narrated by Brian Amador; THE PARKER INHERITANCE, produced by Scholastic Audiobooks, written by Varian Johnson and narrated by Cherise Booth; and THE POET X, produced by HarperAudio, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers and written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo.

The Pura Belpré Awards are named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

  • DREAMERS, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was published by Neal Porter Books, Holiday House Publishing, Inc.

  • ISLANDBORN, illustrated by Leo Espinosa, written by Junot Díaz and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Young Readers Group, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; and WHEN ANGELS SING: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana, illustrated by Jose Ramirez, written by Michael Mahin and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

  • THE POET X, written by Elizabeth Acevedo, is the Pura Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • One Belpré Author Honor Book was named: THEY CALL ME GÜERO: A Border Kid’s Poems, written by David Bowles and published by Cinco Puntos Press.

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, administers the award.

Stonewall Book Award --- Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award is given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. The award is sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table.

  • JULIÁN IS A MERMAID, written by Jessica Love and published by Candlewick Press, and HURRICANE CHILD, written by Kheryn Callender and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., are the 2019 recipients of the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award, respectively.
     
  • Two Honor Books were selected: IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD, written by Ashley Herring Blake and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT, written by Kelly Loy Gilbert and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year. The winner(s), recognized for their literary and artistic achievements that demonstrate creativity and imagination to engage children in reading, receives a bronze medal. Honor Book authors and illustrators receive certificates, which are presented at the ALA Annual Conference. The award was established in 2004 and first presented in 2006. The award is named for the world-renowned children’s author, Theodor Geisel. "A person’s a person no matter how small," Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, would say. "Children want the same things we want: to laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained and delighted." Brilliant, playful and always respectful of children, Dr. Seuss charmed his way into the consciousness of four generations of youngsters and parents. In the process, he helped them to read. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, administers the award.

  • The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book is FOX THE TIGER, written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor. The book is published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • Four Geisel Honor Books were named: THE ADVENTURES OF OTTO: See Pip Flap, written and illustrated by David Milgrim and published by Simon Spotlight, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; FOX + CHICK: The Party and Other Stories, written and illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier and published by Chronicle Books LLC; KING & KAYLA AND THE CASE OF THE LOST TOOTH, written by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers and published by Peachtree Publishers; and TIGER VS. NIGHTMARE, written and illustrated by Emily Tetri and published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 - Oct. 31 publishing year. The award winner will be announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December. The award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit. The award offers three youth categories including Picture Book, Children’s Literature and Young Adult Literature. The award is administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association.

  • This year’s Picture Book winner is DRAWN TOGETHER, written by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat and published by Disney Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.
     
  • This year's Children’s Literature Category winner is FRONT DESK, written by Kelly Yang and published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature.

  • This year’s Younger Readers winner is ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY HANUKKAH, by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul Zelinsky, published by Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
     
  • This year's Older Readers category winner is SWEEP: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster, by Jonathan Auxier, published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s experts, the awards encourage original and creative work. For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit www.ala.org/yma.