Skip to main content

Blog

January 28, 2019

The 2019 ALA Youth Media Awards

Posted by Rebecca M
Tagged:

Today is one of the biggest days of the year for young adult and children's literature: the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. Each year the American Library Association honors the books, videos and other outstanding works that have released that year for kids and teens and are recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent. We've compiled all of the young adult awards announcements here, so read on to see which of your favorites made the cut and click here to see the children's awards announcements!


The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for 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. The award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

  • Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults
    THE POET X, written by Elizabeth Acevedo, is the 2019 Printz Award winner. The book is published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
     
  • Three Printz Honor Books also were named: DAMSEL, written by Elana K. Arnold and published by Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; A HEART IN A BODY IN A WORLD, written by Deb Caletti and published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing; and I, CLAUDIA, written by Mary McCoy and published by Carolrhoda Lab®, an imprint of Carolrhoda Books®, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature. The award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The award's namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

  • DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY, written by Adib Khorram, is the 2019 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House. 

  • Four other books were finalists for the award: BLOOD WATER PAINT, written by Joy McCullough and published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House; CHECK, PLEASE!: #Hockey, written and illustrated by Ngozi Ukazu and published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; CHILDREN OF BLOOD AND BONE, written by Tomi Adeyemi and published by Henry Holt Books, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; and WHAT THE NIGHT SINGS, written and illustrated by Vesper Stamper and published by Knopf Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House. 

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year's publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002. The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book FAIR GARDEN AND THE SWARM OF BEASTS and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

  • THE BLACK GOD'S DRUMS, By P. Djèlí Clark, Published by Tor.com, an imprint of Tom Doherty Associates, a division of Macmillan. 
     
  • THE BOOK OF ESSIE, By Meghan MacLean Weir, Published by Knopf, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House. 
     
  • CIRCE, By Madeline Miller, Published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group. 
     
  • EDUCATED: A Memoir, by Tara Westover, Published by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House. 
     
  • THE GIRL WHO SMILED BEADS: A Story of War and What Comes After, by Clemantine Wamariya and Elizabeth Weil, Published by Crown Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House. 
     
  • GREEN, by Sam Graham-Felsen, published by Random House, a division of Penguin Random House.
     
  • HOME AFTER DARK, by David Small, illustrated by the author, published by Liveright, an imprint of W.W. Norton & Company.
     
  • HOW LONG ’TIL BLACK FUTURE MONTH? By N. K. Jemisin, Published by Orbit, an imprint of Hachette Book Group. 
     
  • LAWN BOY, by Jonathan Evison, Published by Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, a division of Workman Publishing. 
     
  • SPINNING SILVER, by Naomi Novik, published by Del Rey, a division of Penguin Random House.

Stonewall Book Award --- Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award is given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. The award is sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table.

  • JULIAN IS A MERMAID, written by Jessica Love and published by Candlewick Press, and HURRICANE CHILD, written by Kheryn Callender and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., are the 2019 recipients of the Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award, respectively.

  • Two Honor Books were selected: IVY ABERDEEN’S LETTER TO THE WORLD, written by Ashley Herring Blake and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.; and PICTURE US IN THE LIGHT, written by Kelly Loy Gilbert and published by Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group.

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 - Oct. 31 publishing year. The award winner will be announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December. The award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. On June 22, 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed the award to the American Library Association meeting of the Children's Librarians' Section and suggested that it be named for the eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by the children's librarians and Melcher's official proposal was approved by the ALA Executive Board in 1922.

  • MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS, written by Meg Medina, is the 2019 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Candlewick Press. 

  • Two Newbery Honor Books also were named: THE NIGHT DIARY, written by Veera Hiranandani and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Young Readers Group, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC; and THE BOOK OF BOY, written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards 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. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. The award is sponsored by ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). The Coretta Scott King Book Award was founded in 1969 by Mabel McKissick and Glyndon Greer at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The first award was given to Lillie Patterson in 1970 for her biography, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: Man of Peace (Garrard). In 1982, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards became an officially recognized ALA award. Three awards are given annually: Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award.
 
  • A FEW RED DROPS: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, written by Claire Hartfield, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
     
  • Three King Author Honor Books were selected: FINDING LANGSTON, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and published by Holiday House; THE PARKER INHERITANCE, written by Varian Johnson and published by Arthur A. Levine Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.; and THE SEASON OF STYX MALONE, written by Kekla Magoon and published by Wendy Lamb Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.
  • MONDAY'S NOT COMING, written by Tiffany D. Jackson, is the Steptoe Author Award winner. The book is published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The award is donated by Dr. Katherine Schneider. Three annual awards are presented for the best Teen, Middle School and Children’s Book. The American Library Association administers the Awards, and each recipient receives $5000 and a framed plaque. Winners are announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It recognizes an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society and in the world. The Edwards award celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.
  • The 2019 winner is M.T. Anderson. His books include: FEED; THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING, TRAITOR TO THE NATION, VOLUME I: THE POX PARTY; and THE ASTONISHING LIFE OF OCTAVIAN NOTHING, TRAITOR TO THE NATION, VOLUME II: THE KINGDOM OF THE WAVES, all published by Candlewick Press. 

The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture recognizes an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site. The lecturer, announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children's literature. Once the name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in college or university or a children's library system may be considered. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April, and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children. ALSC established the lecture series in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company. May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master's degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers --- better known as the Dick and Jane series --- for children published by Scott, Foresman and Company (now Pearson Scott Foresman).

  • Neil Gaiman will deliver the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Born in England, Gaiman is a United States resident. His work has been honored with many awards internationally, including the Newbery Medal. He is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. Gaiman is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama and a vocal defender of the freedom to read.

The 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.

  • The 2019 winner is Walter Dean Myers, whose award-winning works include SOMEWHERE IN THE DARKNESS, a 1993 Newbery Honor Book, and MONSTER, recipient of a 2000 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book. In addition, Myers received the first Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement in 2010.

The Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The award is jointly given and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist. The story of the wanderings of Ulysses, as he returns to his kingdom of Ithaca after the Trojan War, are ascribed to the blind poet Homer who either wrote, or dictated, the epic poem called THE ODYSSEY. Whether this odyssey of Ulysses was based on one specific event, or many different ones, is argued by researchers today, though they all seem to agree that the poems comprising THE ODYSSEY were originally told and retold in the oral tradition, hence the name for this award. The Odyssey Award allows us to return to the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.

  • SADIE, produced by Macmillan Audio from Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, is the 2019 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Courtney Summers and narrated by Rebecca Soler, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, and more.
     
  • DU IZ TAK, produced by Weston Woods Studio, a division of Scholastic, written by Carson Ellis and narrated by Eli and Sebastian D’Amico, Burton, Galen and Laura Fott, Sarah Hart, Bella Higginbotham, Evelyn Hipp and Brian Hull; ESQUIVEL! Space-Age Sound Artist, produced by Live Oak Media, written by Susan Wood and narrated by Brian Amador; THE PARKER INHERITANCE, produced by Scholastic Audiobooks, written by Varian Johnson and narrated by Cherise Booth; and THE POET X, produced by HarperAudio, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers and written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo.

The Pura Belpré Awards are named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to 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. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA) and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

  • THE POET X, written by Elizabeth Acevedo, is the Pura Belpré Author Award winner. The book is published by HarperTeen, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • One Belpré Author Honor Book was named: THEY CALL ME GÜERO: A Border Kid’s Poems, written by David Bowles and published by Cinco Puntos Press.

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, administers the award.

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature 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 Young Adult Literature. The award is administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association.

  • This year’s Young Adult Literature winner is DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY, written by Adib Khorram and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

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

  • This year’s Teen Readers winner is WHAT THE NIGHT SINGS, by Vesper Stamper, illustrated by the author, published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.

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 children’s 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.