2020 Awards for Youth Literature
The Newbery Medal will be awarded to New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft (Harper). Four Newbery Honor Books also were named: The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Versify/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); Scary Stories for Young Foxes, written by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu (Holt); Other Words for Home, by Jasmine Warga (Balzer + Bray); and Genesis Begins Again, by Alicia D. Williams (Dlouhy/Atheneum).
The Caldecott Medal will be awarded to The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander (Versify/ Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Three Caldecott Honor Books were also named: Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris (Little); Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney (Knopf ); and Going Down Home with Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons (Peachtree).
The Coretta Scott King Book Award for writing goes to New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft (Harper). Three King Author Honor Books were selected: The Stars and the Blackness between Them, by Junauda Petrus (Dutton); Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, by Kwame Mbalia (Disney Hyperion); and Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, by Jason Reynolds (Dlouhy/Atheneum).
The Coretta Scott King Book for illustration goes to The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander (Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt). Three King Illustrator Honor Books were selected: The Bell Rang, written and illustrated by James E. Ransome (Dlouhy/Atheneum); Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace, written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan (Atheneum); and Sulwe, illustrated by Vashti Harrison, written by Lupita Nyong’o (Simon).
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award goes to Alicia D. Williams for Genesis Begins Again (Dlouhy/Atheneum).
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award goes to April Harrison for What Is Given from the Heart, by Patricia C. McKissack. (Schwartz & Wade).
Mildred D. Taylor is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
The Pura Belpré Award for illustration goes to Rafael López for Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln, written by Margarita Engle (Atheneum). Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were named: Across the Bay, written and illustrated by Carlos Aponte (Penguin Workshop); My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illustrated by Zeke Peña, written by Isabel Quintero (Kokila/Random House); and ¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market, written and illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez (Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).
The Pura Belpré Author Award goes to Carlos Hernandez for Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (Disney Hyperion). Four Belpré Author Honor Books was named: Lety Out Loud, by Angela Cervantes (Scholastic); The Other Half of Happy, by Rebecca Balcárcel (Chronicle); Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar (Harper); and Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams).
The American publisher receiving the Mildred L. Batchelder Award for the most outstanding translation of a book originally published in a foreign language is Enchanted Lion Books for Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, and translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson. Four Honor Books also were selected: The Beast Player, written by Nahoko Uehashi, illustrated by Yuta Onoda, and translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano (Godwin/Holt); The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree, written by Paola Peretti, illustrated by Carolina Rabei and translated from the Italian by Denise Muir (Atheneum); Do Fish Sleep? written by Jens Raschke, illustrated by Jens Rassmus, and translated from the German by Belinda Cooper (Enchanted Lion); and When Spring Comes to the DMZ, written and illustrated by Uk-Bae Lee and translated from the Korean by Chungyon Won and Aileen Won (Plough).
The Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults goes to A. S. King for Dig (Dutton). Four Printz Honor Books also were named: The Beast Player, written by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano (Godwin/Holt); Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, written by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell (First Second); Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir, by Nikki Grimes (Wordsong); and Where the World Ends, by Geraldine McCaughrean (Flatiron).
The Robert F. Sibert Medal for most distinguished informational book for children goes to Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal (Roaring Brook). Four Sibert Honor Books were also named: All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World, written by Lori Alexander, illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality, written by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy (Bloomsbury); Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir, by Nikki Grimes (Wordsong); and Hey, Water! written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis (Porter/Holiday House).
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for most distinguished beginning reader book goes to Stop! Bot!, written and illustrated by James Yang (Viking). Three Geisel Honor Books were named: Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot!, written and illustrated by Cece Bell (Candlewick); Flubby Is Not a Good Pet!, written and illustrated by J. E. Morris (Penguin Workshop) and The Book Hog, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli (Disney Hyperion).
The Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience goes to Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, written by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López (Philomel) in the category for young children (ages 0 to 10). One honor book for young children was selected: A Friend for Henry, written by Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song (Chronicle). Song for a Whale, by Lynne Kelly (Delacorte), is the winner of the middle grade award (ages 11-13). One honor book for middle grades was selected: Each Tiny Spark, by Pablo Cartaya (Kokila/Penguin). Cursed, by Karol Ruth Silverstein (Charlesbridge), is the winner of the teen award (ages 13-18). One honor book for teens was selected: The Silence Between Us, written by Alison Gervais (Blink).
The Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award for children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience were given respectively to When Aidan Became a Brother, written by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Lee & Low), and The Black Flamingo, written by Dean Atta, illustrated by Anshika Khullar (Hodder). Three Honor Books were selected: Pet, by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World/Random House); Like a Love Story, by Abdi Nazemian (Balzer + Bray); and The Best at It, by Maulik Pancholy (Balzer + Bray).
The Children’s Literature Legacy Award for a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children goes to Kevin Henkes.
The Odyssey Award for excellence in audiobook production goes to Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, produced by Scholastic Audiobooks. The book is written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and narrated by the author, Jeanne Birdsall, Jenna Lamia, Richard Ferrone and a full cast. Four Odyssey Honor Audiobooks also were selected: Redwood and Ponytail, produced by Hachette Audio, written by K. A. Holt and narrated by Cassandra Morris and Tessa Netting; Song for a Whale, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Lynne Kelly and narrated by Abigail Revasch with the author; We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, produced by Live Oak Media, written by Traci Sorell and narrated by Lauren Hummingbird, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey, Ryan Mackey, Traci Sorell, and Tonia Weavel; We’re Not from Here, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Geoff Rodkey and narrated by Dani Martineck.
The 2021 Children’s Literature Lecture (formerly the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture) will be delivered by Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop.
The Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults goes to Steve Sheinkin.
The William C. Morris Award for a book written by a first-time author for teens goes to The Field Guide to the North American Teenager, by Ben Philippe (Balzer + Bray). Four other books were finalists for the award: The Candle and the Flame, by Nafiza Azad (Scholastic); Frankly in Love, by David Yoon (Putnam); Genesis Begins Again, by Alicia D. Williams (Dlouhy/Atheneum); and There Will Come a Darkness, by Katy Rose Pool (Holt).
The YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award goes to Free Lunch, by Rex Ogle (Norton). Four other books were finalists for the award: The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance, written and illustrated by Lynn Curlee (Charlesbridge Teen); A Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust, by Albert Marrin (Knopf ); A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II, by Elizabeth Wein (Balzer + Bray); and Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship,” by Deborah Heiligman (Holt).
The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit. The Picture Book winner is Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom, written by Teresa Robeson, illustrated by Rebecca Huang (Sterling). One Picture Book honor was named: Bilal Cooks Daal, written by Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Anoosha Syed (Salaam Reads/Simon). The Children’s Literature winner is Stargazing, written and illustrated by Jen Wang (First Second). One Children’s Literature honor was named: I’m Ok, by Patti Kim (Atheneum). The Young Adult Literature winner is They Called Us Enemy, written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott, illustrated by Harmony Becker (Top Shelf/ IDW). One Young Adult Literature honor was named: Frankly in Love, by David Yoon (Putnam).
The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. The Picture Book winner is The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come, written by Sue Macy, illustrated by Stacy Innerst (Wiseman/Simon). Two Picture Book honor books were also named: Gittel’s Journey, written by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Amy June Bates (Abrams), and The Key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and Her Music, written by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer (Kar-Ben). The Middle Grade winner is White Bird: A Wonder Story, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio (Knopf ). Two Middle Grade honor books were named: Anya and the Dragon, by Sofiya Pasternack (Versify/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany, by Andrew Maraniss (Philomel). The Young Adult winner is Someday We Will Fly, by Rachel DeWoskin (Viking). Two Young Adult honor books were selected: Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work, by Victoria Ortiz (Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and Sick Kids in Love, by Hannah Moskowitz (Entangled).
The American Indian Youth Literature award is announced in even-numbered years and established to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. The Picture Book winner is Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi’idim, written by Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe), translated into Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain (Lac La Croix First Nation), illustrated by Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe) and published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press. Five Picture Book Honor were also named: Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard (Seminole Nation, Mekusukey Band), illustrated by Juana Martínez-Neal (Peruvian-American) and published by Roaring Brook; Birdsong, written and illustrated by Julie Flett (Cree-Métis) and published by Greystone; At the Mountain’s Base, written by Traci Sorell (Cherokee), illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva/Scots-Gaelic), and published by Kokila/Penguin Random House; We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, written by Traci Sorell (Cherokee), illustrated by Frané Lessac, and published by Charlesbridge; and Raven Makes the Aleutians, adapted from a traditional Tlingit story and illustrated by Janine Gibbons (Haida, Raven of the Double-Finned Killer Whale clan, Brown Bear House) and published by Sealaska Heritage.
The Middle Grade Book winner is Indian No More, written by Charlene Willing McManis (Umpqua/Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde) with Traci Sorell (Cherokee), cover art by Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota, Mohegan, Muscogee Creek), published by Tu/Lee & Low. Two Middle Grade Book Honor titles were named: I Can Make This Promise, written by Christine Day (Upper Skagit), with cover art by Michaela Goade (Tlingit, Kiks.ádi clan, Steel House), published by Harper; and The Grizzly Mother, written by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (“Brett D. Huson,” Gitxsan), illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Métis Nation of British Columbia), and published by Highwater/Portage & Main.
The Young Adult Book winner is Hearts Unbroken, written by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee) and published by Candlewick Press. Four Young Adult Book Honor titles were named: Surviving the City, written by Tasha Spillett (Nehiyaw-Trinidadian), illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Métis Nation of British Columbia), and published by Highwater/Portage & Main; Reawakening Our Ancestors’ Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing, gathered and compiled by Angela Hovak Johnston (Inuk), with photography by Cora De Vos (Inuk), published by Inhabit Media; An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People, written by Debbie Reese (Nambé Owingeh) and Jean Mendoza, adapted from the adult book by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, published by Beacon Press; and Apple in the Middle, written by Dawn Quigley (Ojibwe, Turtle Mountain Band) and published by North Dakota State University Press.
The Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Butterfly Yellow, by Thanhhà La.i (Harper).
The Carnegie Medal was awarded to Elizabeth Acevedo for The Poet X (HarperTeen).
The Kate Greenaway Medal for distinguished illustration in a book for children was awarded to The Lost Words, illustrated by Jackie Morris, written by Robert Macfarlane (Hamish Hamilton/Penguin UK).
The 2019 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for outstanding nonfiction for children goes to A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech that Inspired a Nation, written by Barry Wittenstein and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney (Holiday House). The honor titles are Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island, written and illustrated by Jennifer Thermes (Abrams); Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, written by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar (Harper); Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War, written and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams); 1919: The Year That Changed America, by Martin W. Sandler (Bloomsbury); and The Poison Eaters, by Gail Jarrow (Calkins Creek).
This Is MY Fort! and What Is Inside THIS Box?, written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Olivier Tallec (Scholastic), are the winners of The Center for Children’s Books 2020 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature. Three Gryphon Honors also were named: The Very Impatient Caterpillar, written and illustrated by Ross Burach (Scholastic); ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go to the Market, written and illustrated by Raúl the Third (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); and Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons, written by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Mercè López (Millbrook).