It is a universally acknowledged truth that a curious reader in want of a good book needs only direct their footsteps (and questions) to the nearest librarian. Librarians, after all, are always a font of good book suggestions.
So naturally, when a whole bunch of them get together for the American Library Association's annual midwinter conference, you can expect a host of recommendations to come of it. Enter: the annual Youth Media Awards, a slew of children's book prizes announced Monday, including the John Newbery and Randolph Caldecott medals.
Jerry Craft won this year's Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature for New Kid, a book focused on the struggles of a seventh grade student of color who has been sent to a prestigious private school with little diversity. Meanwhile, The Undefeated, an ode to great black Americans illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander, won the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children.
At Monday's ceremony, both books also claimed Coretta Scott King Awards, which celebrate children's books produced by African Americans. New Kid won for Craft's work as an author, and The Undefeated earned the prize for Nelson's contributions as an illustrator.
Monday's win marks the latest in a raft of honors for Alexander, who also has a Newbery medal to his name after his novel The Crossover won five years ago. The Undefeated is among the first books published by his Versify imprint, launched last year at publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
While the Newbery and Caldecott regularly grab headlines, they weren't the only prizes handed out Monday. Find the full list of Youth Media Award winners below.
Newbery Medal: New Kid, by Jerry Craft.
Caldecott Medal: The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards (for "books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values"):
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award (for "the most distinguished American book for beginning readers"): Stop! Bot!, written and illustrated by James Yang.
Children's Literature Legacy Award (for an author or illustrator whose books "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"): Kevin Henkes.
Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media (for "distinguished digital media for an early learning audience"): Molly of Denali, produced by PBS Kids.
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal (for "the most distinguished informational book"): Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award (for the publisher of the most outstanding books originating in a country other than the U.S. and in a language other than English, later translated and published in the U.S.): Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter and translated by Kari Dickson. Originally published in Norwegian as Brune.
Pura Belpré Award (for "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"):
Michael L. Printz Award (for "the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit"): Dig, written by A.S. King.
Excellence in Nonfiction Award (for "the best nonfiction book published for young adults — ages 12-18"): Free Lunch, written by Rex Ogle.
William C. Morris Award (for work "published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature"): The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, written by Ben Philippe.
Odyssey Award (for the "best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the U.S."): Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and narrated by the author, Jeanne Birdsall, Jenna Lamia, Richard Ferrone and a full cast.
Margaret A. Edwards Award (for "significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature"): Steve Sheinkin.
Stonewall Book Awards (for work of "exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience"):
Schneider Family Book Award (for "a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences"):
Sydney Taylor Book Award (for "outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience"):
Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association Award for Literature(for outstanding "work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage"):
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