Hits, Misses, a Different List, and Some Award Stats

Elizabeth Bluemle -- January 29th, 2019

The children’s literature equivalent of the Oscars—aka the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards—were announced on Monday morning, and 66 books from 23 publishers took home 77 awards (plus 10 adult titles from the Alex Awards). Forty-seven awards (excluding the Alex Awards) went to women; 30 went to men.

So many beautiful, enduring books were included, along with some surprising omissions. And oh, the humanity! Only two Newbery Honor books?! I loved the choices, and judges, our shelves also have room for a couple more! (Scroll down for a complete list of winners and honors, grouped by age range instead of separated by award.)

Readers, what books were you sad, surprised, and/or outraged not to see on these lists? I’ll join that conversation in the comments.

Several books took home multiple awards: one book, The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen) took home three, and the following books each took home two: Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Dial), The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Scholastic/Levine), Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (Little, Brown), The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (HMH), What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (Knopf), and When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin, illustrated by Jose Ramirez (Atheneum).

And big congratulations to M.T. Anderson, Neil Gaiman, and (in memoriam) Walter Dean Myers, who won the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award, and the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, respectively.

(Can’t resist a local shout-out to Vermonters M.T. Anderson and Kekla Magoon for their awards! Woot!!)

More numbers: by my count (not including the adult Alex titles), the publishers celebrated the following numbers of awards: Abrams-2, Candlewick-5, Charlesbridge-1, Chronicle-1, Cinco Puntos-1, Disney Book Group-2, Enchanted Lion-1, Hachette-5, HarperCollins-11, Highlights-2, Holiday House-2, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt-6, Lerner-2, Live Oak Media-1, Macmillan-5, NorthSouth-1, Peachtree-1, Penguin Random House-11, Restless Books-1, Scholastic-6, Simon & Schuster-5, Thames & Hudson-1, Workman-1.

Congratulations, everyone!

   

     

Does it matter which books win? You bet. While the big awards, especially the Newbery, do not offer monetary prizes as such, they reap rich rewards for their publishers and authors, whose sales increase exponentially and whose books’ shelf lives improve considerably. (I’m not sure what it is now, but just a few years ago, the average in-print life of a children’s book was 18 months.) A Newbery or Caldecott award can take a quiet book and catapult its sales into the tens, even hundreds of thousands of copies. Honor book sales usually soar, too. Authors who win the major awards are also hot tickets on the paid speaking circuit—often a writer’s bread and butter.

Although most people are aware of the major awards, the ALA actually offers 21 different youth media awards and 1 award for adult books that appeal to teens (the Alex Awards). Three of these awards are given to authors rather than books. Also, please note: the American Indian Youth Literature Awards will officially be added to the ALA Youth Media Awards next year! In the meantime, check out the rich offerings and award winners here! [https://ailanet.org/activities/american-indian-youth-literature-award/]

Instead of repeating the ALA’s press release listing all of the winners, which you can readily access yourselves, I thought I’d provide a list of the winning and honor books grouped by picture books, beginning readers, middle grade, and young adult books. That way, ShelfTalker readers can do a quick cut-and-paste for their home and library collections.

2019 ALA YOUTH MEDIA AWARD WINNERS

PICTURE BOOK AWARD WINNERS

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky (Random House/Schwartz & Wade)—Sydney Taylor Book Award for Younger Readers Winner

Drawn Together by Minh Lê, illustrated by Dan Santat (Disney Hyperion)—Asian/Pacific Award for Literature Picture Book Winner

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (Holiday House/Neal Porter)—Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner

The Fox on the Swing by Evelina Daciūtė, illustrated by Aušra Kiudulaitė, translated by The Translation Bureau (Thames & Hudson) (Originally published in Lithuanian as Laimė Yra Lapė)—Mildred L. Batchelder Award Winner

Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall (Little, Brown)—Randolph Caldecott Winner

Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (Candlewick)—Stonewall Children’s Book Award Winner

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon (Candlewick)—Schneider Family Book Award for Young Children Winner

The Stuff of Stars, illustrated by Ekua Holmes (text by Marion Dane Bauer) (Candlewick)—Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Winner

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (Little, Brown)—Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award

PICTURE BOOK AWARD HONORS

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal (Candlewick)—Caldecott Honor

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin (Little, Brown)—Caldecott Honor

Du Iz Tak? by Carson Ellis—narrated by Eli D’Amico, Sebastian D’Amico, Burton Fott, Galen Fott, Laura Fott, Sarah Hart, Bella Higginbotham, Evelyn Hipp, and Brian Hull (produced by Weston Woods Studio/Scholastic)—Odyssey Audiobook Award Honor

Esquivel! Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood—narrated by Brian Amador (produced by Live Oak Media)—Odyssey Audiobook Award Honor

Hidden Figures, illustrated by Laura Freeman (text by Margot Lee Shetterly) (HarperCollins)—Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor

Islandborn, illustrated by Leo Espinosa (written by Junot Díaz) (Dial)—Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor

Jerome by Heart by Thomas Scotto, illustrated by Olivier Tallec and translated from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick and Karin Snelson (Enchanted Lion)—Mildred L. Batchelder Award Honor

Let the Children March, illustrated by Frank Morrison (text by Monica Clark-Robinson) (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)—Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor

Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie (text by Alice Faye Duncan) (Calkins Creek)—Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Honor

The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte (Simon & Schuster)—Schneider Family Book Award for Young Children Honor

The Rough Patch by Brian Lies (Greenwillow)—Caldecott Honor

Thank You, Omu! by Oge Mora (Little, Brown)—Caldecott Honor

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge)—Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor

When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana by Michael Mahin, illustrated by Jose Ramirez (Atheneum)—Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor, Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor

BEGINNING READER AWARD WINNER

Fox the Tiger by Corey R. Tabor (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)—Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner

BEGINNING READER AWARD HONORS

The Adventures of Otto: See Pip Flap by David Milgrim (Simon Spotlight)—Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor

Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier (Chronicle)—Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor

King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth by Dori Hillestad Butler, illustrated by Nancy Meyers (Peachtree)—Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor

Tiger vs. Nightmare by Emily Tetri (First Second)—Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Honor

MIDDLE GRADE AWARD WINNERS

Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine)—Asian/Pacific Award for Literature Children’s Literature Winner

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science by Joyce Sidman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)—Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Winner

Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender (Scholastic Press)—Stonewall Young Adult Book Award Winner

Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina (Candlewick)—John Newbery Winner

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (Abrams/Amulet)—Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers Winner

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen)—Schneider Family Book Award for Middle Grades Winner

MIDDLE GRADE AWARD HONORS

The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr (Greenwillow)—Newbery Honor

Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild by Catherine Thimmesh (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)—Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor

The Collectors by Jacqueline West (Greenwillow)—Schneider Family Book Award for Middle Grades Honor

Edison: The Mystery of the Missing Mouse Treasure by Torben Kuhlmann and translated from the German by David Henry Wilson (NorthSouth Books)—Mildred L. Batchelder Award Honor

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Holiday House)—Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor

Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (Little, Brown)—Stonewall Children’s Book Award Honor

My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder by Nie Jun, originally published in Mandarin and translated from the French by Edward Gauvin (Lerner/Graphic Universe)—Mildred L. Batchelder Award Honor

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Dial)—Newbery Honor

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (Scholastic/Levine)—Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor; Odyssey Audiobook Award Honor, narrated by Cherise Booth (produced by Scholastic Audiobooks)

Run for Your Life by Silvana Gandolfi (translated from the Italian by Lynne Sharon Schwartz) (Restless Books/Yonder)—Mildred L. Batchelder Award Honor

The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon (Random House/Wendy Lamb)—Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor

Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America by Gail Jarrow (Calkins Creek)—Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles (Cinco Puntos)—Pura Belpré Author Award Honor

YOUNG ADULT AWARD WINNERS

Anger Is a Gift by Mark Oshiro (Tor Teen)—Schneider Family Book Award for Teens Winner

A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 by Claire Hartfield (Clarion)—Coretta Scott King Author Award Winner

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram (Dial)—William C. Morris Debut Young Adult Book Award Winner, Asian/Pacific Award for Literature Young Adult Literature Winner

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen)—Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award Winner

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen)—Michael L. Printz Award Winner; Pura Belpré Author Award Winner

Sadie by Courtney Summers—narrated by Rebecca Soler, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, and more (produced by Macmillan Audio from Wednesday Books)—Odyssey Audiobook Award Winner

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)—YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Winner

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (Knopf)—Sydney Taylor Book Award for Teen Readers Winner

YOUNG ADULT AWARD HONORS

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation About Mental Health, edited by Kelly Jensen (Algonquin Young Readers)—Schneider Family Book Award for Teens Honor

The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor by Sonia Sotomayor (Delacorte)—YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Honor

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough (Dutton)—William C. Morris Debut Young Adult Book Award Honor

Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking)—YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Honor

Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu (First Second)—William C. Morris Debut Young Adult Book Award Honor

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (Henry Holt)—William C. Morris Debut Young Adult Book Award Honor

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)—Michael L. Printz Award Honor

The Faithful Spy: Dietrich Bonhoeffer and the Plot to Kill Hitler by John Hendrix (Abrams/Amulet)—YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Honor

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti (Simon Pulse)—Michael L. Printz Award Honor

Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Scholastic/Graphix)—YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Honor

I, Claudia by Mary McCoy (Carolrhoda Lab)—Michael L. Printz Award Honor

Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert (Hyperion)—Stonewall Young Adult Book Award Honor

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo—narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo (produced by HarperAudio)—Odyssey Audiobook Award Honor

The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees by Don Brown (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)—Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor

What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (Knopf)—William C. Morris Debut Young Adult Book Award Honor

ADULT BOOKS WITH TEEN APPEAL — ALEX AWARD BOOKS

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark (Tor.com)

The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir (Knopf)

Circe by Madeline Miller (Little, Brown)

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover (Random House)

The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil (Crown)

Green by Sam Graham-Felsen (Random House)

Home After Dark by David Small (W. W. Norton)/Liveright

How Long ’Til Black Future Month? by N. K. Jemisin (Hachette/Orbit)

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin)

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Del Rey)

 ****

It’s a beautiful list of books! Most weren’t surprising, but there are some books I was really surprised not to see honored. Jacqueline Woodson’s The Day You Begin, for one. The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin. Jewell Parker Rhodes’ Ghost Boys.

We want to hear from you! What books were you sad, surprised, and/or outraged not to see on these lists? Add your comments!

3 thoughts on “Hits, Misses, a Different List, and Some Award Stats

    1. Elizabeth Bluemle Post author

      Hi, Melissa. Like you, I thought Ghost Boys was a surprising omission. Sweep did win the Sydney Taylor Book Award for Older Readers, and The Season of Styx Malone received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. I do think the Newbery Honor category had room for more than two books!

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