On Monday, January 11, the American Library Association announced the winners of the 2016 Youth Media Awards. Some of the most respected and prestigious honors in children’s literature–including the Caldecott Medal, the Newbery Medal, the Coretta Scott King Award, and more–were awarded to the most highly regarded authors, illustrators, and books of the past year. Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the winners that we are most excited about–but it is not an exhaustive list! For more information, you can view the full list of awards and winners here. How many of the winning books have you read?
John Newbery Medal
The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. Past winners include Number the Stars, A Wrinkle in Time, and Bud, Not Buddy.
This year’s winner of the Newbery Medal is Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña & illustrated by Christian Robinson. Lovely illustrations and simple text follow a boy and his grandmother as they travel around the city, weaving in a profound message about being grateful for what we have instead of focusing on what we lack.
The ALA also named three Newbery Honor Books: The War that Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley; Roller Girl, written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson; and Echo, by Pam Muñoz Ryan. Congratulations to all of these talented authors and illustrators!
Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott, and it is awarded annually to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. Some past Caldecott winners include The Polar Express, Where the Wild Things Are, and The Snowy Day.
This year’s winner of the Caldecott Medal is Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall & written by Lindsay Mattick. If you’re a Winnie-the-Pooh fan, this sweet story is a must-read!The ALA also named four Caldecott Honor books: Trombone Shorty, illustrated by Bryan Collier & written by Troy Andrews; Waiting, illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes; Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, illustrated by Ekua Holmes & written by Carole Boston Weatherford; and finally, Last Stop on Market Street, illustrated by Christian Robinson & written by Matt de le Peña. Once again, congratulations to these talented authors and illustrators!
Coretta Scott King Awards
The Coretta Scott King Awards, named for the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 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.
This year’s winner of the King Author Book Award is Rita Williams-Garcia, for Gone Crazy in Alabama. Past winners of the Author Award include Jacqueline Woodson, Christopher Paul Curtis, and Sharon Draper.
This year’s winner of the King Illustrator Book Award is Bryan Collier, for Trombone Shorty. Past winners of the Illustrator Award include Christopher Myers, Kadir Nelson, and Ashley Bryan.
There are three additional Coretta Scott King Awards given out each year, which you can read about here. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners!
Michael L. Printz Award
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award given to a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. Past winners of the Printz Award include Looking For Alaska, The Book Thief, and The Scorpio Races.
This year’s winner of the Printz Award is Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby. Told from alternating viewpoints, this book perfectly melds elements of fairy tales, myths, gothic romance, and magic realism into the story of Finn, who lives in a town with gaps in the very fabric of time and place.
The ALA also named two Printz Honor books: The Ghosts of Heaven, by Marcus Sedgwick; and Out of Darkness, by Ashley Hope Pérez. Congratulations, all!
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually to the most distinguished American book for beginning readers. Past winners of the Geisel Award include You Are (Not) Small, Bink and Gollie, and There is a Bird on Your Head.
This year’s winner of the Geisel Award is Don’t Throw It to Mo!, written by David A. Adler & illustrated by Sam Ricks. If you like a good underdog story, you’ll love Mo Jackson. Just because he’s the smallest in size does not mean he’s the smallest in heart!
The ALA also named three Geisel Honor books: A Pig, a Fox, and a Box, written & illustrated by Jonathan Fenske; Supertruck, written & illustrated by Stephen Savage; and Waiting, written & illustrated by Kevin Henkes. Congratulations to this year’s winners!
Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
The Laura Ingalls Wilder 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. Past winners of the Wilder Award include Dr. Seuss, Beverly Cleary, Tomie dePaola, and Katherine Paterson.
This year’s winner of the Wilder Award is Jerry Pinkney, illustrator of the Caldecott-winning The Lion and the Mouse and five Caldecott Honor books (among others): Noah’s Ark; The Ugly Duckling; John Henry; The Talking Eggs: A Folktale from the American South; and Mirandy and Brother Wind. Pinkney has also received five Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards and four Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors. Our heartfelt congratulations to Mr. Pinkney!
And that does it for our recap of the 2016 Youth Media Awards! One more congratulations to all of those who won and were honored. And if you’d like to know more, a full list of awards and winners can be found here.