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ALA announces 2021 Youth Media Awards


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In my January 26th newsletter, I highlight some of the Black writers and illustrators who have been recognized by the awards below.

 

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For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/25/2021

Contact:

Macey Morales

Deputy Director

Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association

(312) 280-4393

mmorales@ala.org

 

CHICAGO - The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, digital media, video and audio books for children and young adults – including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards – at its Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits taking place virtually from Chicago.

 

A list of all the 2021 award winners follows:

 

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature: 

 

“When You Trap a Tiger,” written by Tae Keller, is the 2021 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House.

 

Five Newbery Honor Books also were named: 

 

“All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team,” written by Christina Soontornvat and published by Candlewick Press; “BOX: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom,” written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Michele Wood and published by Candlewick Press;  “Fighting Words,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House;  “We Dream of Space,” written by Erin Entrada Kelly, illustrated by Erin Entrada Kelly and Celia Krampien and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers;  and “A Wish in the Dark,” written by Christina Soontornvat and published by Candlewick Press.

 

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

 

“We Are Water Protectors,” illustrated by Michaela Goade is the 2021 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Carole Lindstrom and published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings. 

 

Four Caldecott Honor Books also were named: 

 

“A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart,” illustrated by Noa Denmon, written by Zetta Elliott and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group; “The Cat Man of Aleppo,” illustrated by Yuko Shimizu, written by Irene Latham & Karim Shamsi-Basha and published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, an imprint of Penguin Random House; “Me & Mama,” illustrated and written by Cozbi A. Cabrera and published by Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; and “Outside In,” illustrated by Cindy Derby, written by Deborah Underwood and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 

 

Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: 

 

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award:

“Before the Ever After,” written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.  

 

Three King Author Honor Books were selected: 

“All the Days Past, All the Days to Come,” written by Mildred D. Taylor, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; “King and the Dragonflies,” written by Kacen Callender, published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; and “Lifting as We Climb: Black Women’s Battle for the Ballot Box,” written by Evette Dionne, published by Viking, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

 

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:

 

“R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” illustrated by Frank Morrison, is the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Carole Boston Weatherford and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

 

Three King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: 

“Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration,” illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, written by Samara Cole Doyon and published by Tilbury House Publishers; “Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks,” illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera, written by Suzanne Slade and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS; and “Me & Mama,” illustrated and written by Cozbi A. Cabrera and published by Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.

 

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

 

“Legendborn,” written by Tracy Deonn, is the Steptoe author award winner. The book is published by Margaret K. McElderry Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.

 

Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:

 

Dorothy L. Guthrie 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.

Dorothy L. Guthrie is an award-winning retired librarian, district administrator, author and school board member. A respected children’s literature advocate, Guthrie promotes and affirms the rich perspectives of African Americans. Her work, “Integrating African American Literature in the Library and Classroom,” inspires educators with African American literature. Guthrie founded the first African American museum in her home, Gaston County, North Carolina.

 

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: 

 

“Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story),” by Daniel Nayeri, is the 2021 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido.

 

Four Printz Honor Books also were named: 

“Apple (Skin to the Core),” by Eric Gansworth and published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido; “Dragon Hoops,” created by Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien and published by First Second Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group; “Every Body Looking,” by Candice Iloh and published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House; and “We Are Not Free,” by Traci Chee and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience: 

 

“I Talk Like a River,” written by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith and published by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House, wins the award for young children (ages 0 to 10). Two honor books for young children were selected: “All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything,” written by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Nabi H. Ali and published by Sourcebooks eXplore, an imprint of Sourcebook Kids, and “Itzhak: A Boy who Loved the Violin,” written by Tracy Newman, illustrated by Abigail Halpin and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Abrams.

 

“Show Me a Sign,” written by Ann Clare LeZotte and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., is the winner for middle grades (ages 11-13). Two honor books for middle grades were selected: “Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen!,” written by Sarah Kapit and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, and “When Stars Are Scattered,” written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson, color by Iman Geddy and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

 “This Is My Brain in Love,” written by I.W. Gregorio and published by Little Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, is the winner for teens (ages 13-18). No honor book for teens was selected.

 

Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences: 

 

“Black Sun,” by Rebecca Roanhorse, published by Saga Press/Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

“The House in the Cerulean Sea,” by TJ Klune, published by Tor Books, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan

 

“The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice - Crossing Antarctica Alone,” by Colin O’Brady, published by Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

 

“Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio,” by Derf Backderf, published by Abrams Comicarts

 

“The Kids Are Gonna Ask,” by Gretchen Anthony, published by Park Row Books, an imprint of Harlequin, a division of HarperCollins Publishers

 

“The Only Good Indians,” by Stephen Graham Jones, published by Saga Press/Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

 

“Plain Bad Heroines,” by emily m. danforth, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins

 

“Riot Baby,” by Tochi Onyebuchi, published by Tordotcom, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan

 

“Solutions and Other Problems,” by Allie Brosh, published by Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster

 

“We Ride Upon Sticks:  A Novel,” by Quan Barry, published by Pantheon Books, a division of Penguin Random House

 

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 through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences. 

 

The 2021 winner is Mildred D. Taylor, whose award-winning works include "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry,” the 1977 Newbery Medal winner and a Coretta Scott King (CSK) Author honor; "The Land," the 2002 CSK Author Award winner; "The Road to Memphis," the 1991 CSK Author Award winner; “All the Days Past, All the Days to Come”; and “The Gold Cadillac,” among other titles.

 

Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults: The 2021 winner is Kekla Magoon. Her books include: “X: A Novel,” co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz and published by Candlewick Press; “How It Went Down,” published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group; “The Rock and the River” and “Fire in the Streets,” both published by Aladdin, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

 

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States:

 

“Telephone Tales” is the 2021 Batchelder Award winner. Originally published in Italian as “Favole al telefono,” the book was written by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali, translated by Antony Shugaar and published by Enchanted Lion Books. 

 

One Honor Book also was selected: “Catherine’s War,” published by HarperAlley, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, written by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel and translated from French by Ivanka Hahnenberger.  

 

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States: 

 

“Kent State,” produced by Paul R. Gagne for Scholastic Audio, is the 2021 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Deborah Wiles and narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina DeLaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries.

Four Odyssey Honor Audiobooks also were selected:

“Clap When You Land,” produced by Caitlin Garing for HarperAudio, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, written by Elizabeth Acevedo and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte; “Fighting Words,” produced by Karen Dziekonski for Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Bahni Turpin; “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” produced by Robert Van Kolken for Hachette Audio, written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and narrated by Jason Reynolds with an introduction by Ibram X. Kendi; and “When Stars Are Scattered,” produced by Kelly Gildea & Julie Wilson for Listening Library, an imprint of Penguin Random House Audio, written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed and narrated by Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi and a full cast.  

 

Pura Belpré Awards honoring a Latinx writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:

 

“¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat,” illustrated and written by Raúl Gonzalez, is the Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The book was published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

 One Belpré Illustrator Honor Book was named:

“Sharuko: El Arqueólogo Peruano/Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello,” illustrated by Elisa Chavarri, written by Monica Brown and published by Children’s Book Press, an imprint of Lee & Low Books, Inc.

 

"Efrén Divided,” written by Ernesto Cisneros, is the Pura Belpré Children’s Author Award winner. The book is published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

 

Two Belpré Children’s Author Honor Books were named: 

"The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez," written by Adrianna Cuevas and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group, and "Lupe Wong Won’t Dance," written by Donna Barba Higuera and published by Levine Querido.

 

"Furia,” written by Yamile Saied Méndez, is the Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Award winner. The book is published by Algonquin Young Readers, an imprint of Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill.

 

Two Belpré Young Adult Author Honor Books were named: 

 

"Never Look Back," written by Lilliam Rivera and published by Bloomsbury YA, and "We Are Not from Here," written by Jenny Torres Sanchez and published by Philomel Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

 

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:

 

“Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera,” written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Neal Porter Books/Holiday House.

 

Three Sibert Honor Books were named:

 

“How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure,” written and illustrated by John Rocco, published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House; “Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks,” written by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera, published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS; and “All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team,” written by Christina Soontornvat, published by Candlewick Press.

 

The Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award is given to a digital media producer that has created distinguished digital media for an early learning audience. 

 

The 2021 Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award winner is “The Imagine Neighborhood,” produced by Committee for Children. 

 

One honor title was named: “Sesame Street Family Play: Caring for Each Other,” produced by Sesame Workshop. 

Stonewall Book Award - Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience:

 

 “We Are Little Feminists: Families,” written by Archaa Shrivastav, designed by Lindsey Blakely and published by Little Feminist, is the 2021 recipient of the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award.

 

 Four Honor Books were selected:

 

“Beetle & The Hollowbones,” illustrated and written by Aliza Layne and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division; “Darius the Great Deserves Better,” written by Adib Khorram and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; “Felix Ever After,” written by Kacen Callender and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; and “You Should See Me in a Crown,” written by Leah Johnson and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

 

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book is

“See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog,” written by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka and published by Candlewick Press.

 

Four Geisel Honor Books were named: 

 

“The Bear in My Family,” written and illustrated by Maya Tatsukawa and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House; “Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom!” written by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Nina Mata and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers; “"What About Worms!?” written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins and published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group; and “Where’s Baby?” written and illustrated by Anne Hunter and published by Tundra Books of Northern New York, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers, a Penguin Random House Company.

 

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:

 

“If These Wings Could Fly,” written by Kyrie McCauley, is the 2021 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

 Four other books were finalists for the award:  

 

“Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard,” written by Echo Brown and published by Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group; “The Black Kids,” written by Christina Hammonds Reed and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; “It Sounded Better in My Head,” written by Nina Kenwood and published by Flatiron Books, Macmillan Publishers; and “Woven in Moonlight,” written by Isabel Ibañez and published by Page Street Publishing.

 

 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

 

“The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh,” written by Candace Fleming, is the 2021 Excellence winner. The book is published by Schwartz and Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House.

Four other books were finalis

ts for the award:  

“All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team,” written by Christina Soontornvat and published by Candlewick Press; “The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival,” written by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess with Laura L. Sullivan and published by Bloomsbury YA; “How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure,” written and illustrated by John Rocco and published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House; and “You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Democracy and Deliver Power to the People,” written by Elizabeth Rusch and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature.  The award 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 Youth Literature.  The award is administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association.  This year’s winners include: 

 

The Picture Book winner is “Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist,” written by Julie Leung, illustrated by Chris Sasaki and published by Schwartz & Wade, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. The committee selected one Picture Book honor title: “Danbi Leads the School Parade,” written and illustrated by Anna Kim and published by Viking Children's Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

 

The Children’s Literature winner is “When You Trap a Tiger,” written by Tae Keller and published by Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. The committee selected one children’s literature honor title: “Prairie Lotus,” written by Linda Sue Park and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, a division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

 

The Youth Literature winner is “This Light Between Us,” written by Andrew Fukuda and published by Tor Teen. The committee selected one Youth Literature honor title: “Displacement,” written by Kiku Hughes and published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children's Publishing Group.

 

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

 

This year’s Gold Medalists include: in the Picture Book category, “Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail,” by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal and published by Charlesbridge; in the Middle Grades category, “Turtle Boy,” by M. Evan Wolkenstein and published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC; and in the Young Adult category, “Dancing at the Pity Party,” written and illustrated by Tyler Feder and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

 

Sydney Taylor Book Award Silver Medalists include: in the Picture Book category, “I Am the Tree of Life: My Jewish Yoga Book,” by Mychal Copeland, illustrated by André Ceolin and published by Apples and Honey Press, an imprint of Behrman House, and “Miriam at the River,” by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Khoa Le and published by Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group; in the Middle Grades category, “No Vacancy,” by Tziporah Cohen and published by Groundwood Books; “Anya and the Nightingale,” by Sofiya Pasternack and published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; and “The Blackbird Girls,” by Anne Blankman and published by Viking Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House LLC; and in the Young Adult category, “They Went Left,” by Monica Hesse and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Hachette Book Group.

 

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 literature and media 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.

 

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