It’s my favorite day of the year!
The 2022 ALA Youth Media Awards were announced this morning. For those of us book loving nerds, the ALA’s are the Academy Awards of children’s literature. We have been buzzing with anticipation for weeks, eager to hear which books (and which creators) will take home these tremendous honors.
Just like with any major awards, some years you can guess the winners, and some years you are shocked and thrilled with sleeper stories you didn’t expect.
I watched the awards from my school library and cheered with joy at the announcements. As always, many books that made us laugh and touched our hearts were not award winners this year, but many other books we loved have authors and illustrators who can’t stop grinning, their lives changed forever.
We are thrilled with today’s winners, and we are honored to share them with you!
Here is a list of some of the major awards (with a link to the complete list on the ALA website at the bottom), together with affiliate links for your ease of reference.
Without further ado, here are the winners!!!!
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
WINNER: The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higuera
HONOR: A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger
HONOR: Too Bright to See, by Kyle Lukoff
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for Children
HONOR: Have You Ever Seen a Flower, by Shawn Harris
HONOR: Mel Fell, by Cory R. Tabor
HONOR: Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Masssacre, illustrated by Floyd Cooper and written by Carole Boston Weatherford
HONOR: Wonder Walkers, by Micha Arche
Michael L. Printz Award
This award is for excellence in literature written for young adults.
WINNER: Firekeeper’s Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
HONOR: Concrete Rose, by Angie Thomas
HONOR: Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo
HONOR: Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People, by Kekla Magoon
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
This award is given to the most distinguished beginning reader book.
HONOR: Beak and Ally: Unlikely Friends, by Norm Feuti
HONOR: I Hop, by Joe Cepeda
HONOR: Nothing Fits a Dinosaur, by Jonathan Fenske
Coretta Scott King Book Awards – Author
This award recognizes African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults.
WINNER (AUTHOR): Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Masssacre, illustrated by Floyd Cooper and written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Coretta Scott King Book Awards – Illustrator
WINNER (ILLUSTRATOR): Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Masssacre, illustrated by Floyd Cooper and written by Carole Boston Weatherford
HONOR: Nina: A Story of Nina Simone, by Christian Robinson
HONOR: We Wait for the Sun, illustrated by Raissa Figueroa and written by Dovey Johnson Rountree and Katie McCabe
HONOR: Soul Food Sunday, illustrated by C.G. Esperanza and written by Winsome Bingham
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award
WINNER (AUTHOR): Me (Moth), by Amber McBride
WINNER (ILLUSTRATOR): The Me I Choose to Be, illustrated by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt and written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley. The Me I Choose to Be is on our list of the best self-esteem books for kids.
Pura Belpre Awards
This award honors Latinx writers and illustrators whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.
WINNER (ILLUSTRATOR): Vamos! Let’s Cross the Bridge, by Raul Gonzalez
HONOR (ILLUSTRATOR): Boogie Boogie, Y’all, by C.G. Esperanza
HONOR (ILLUSTRATOR): Bright Star, by Yuyi Morales
HONOR (ILLUSTRATOR): De Aqui Como El Coqui, by Nomar Perez and translated by Farah Perez
WINNER (AUTHOR): The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higuera
HONOR (AUTHOR): Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, by Alda P. Dobs
HONOR (AUTHOR): Child of the FLower-Song People: Luz Jimenez, Daughter of the Nahua, by Gloria Amescua and illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh
HONOR (AUTHOR): De Aqui Como El Coqui, by Nomar Perez and translated by Farah Perez
Stonewall Book Award
This award is given annual to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.
WINNER (Children): Too Bright to See, by Kyle Lukoff
WINNER (Young Adult): Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo
HONOR: Almost Flying, by Jake Maia Arlow
HONOR: The Darkness Outside Us, by Eliot Schrefer
Sydney Taylor Awards
This award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.
WINNER (YOUNGER READERS): The Passover Guest, by Susan Kusel and illustrated by Sean Rubin, by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by Paul O. Zelinskey.
HONOR (YOUNGER READERS): Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued, by Peter Sis
HONOR (YOUNGER READERS): Dear Mr. Dickens, by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by Benthany Stancliffe
HONOR (YOUNGER READERS): The Christmas Mitzvah, by Jeff Gottesfeld and illustrated by Michelle Laurentia
WINNER (OLDER READERS): How to Find What You’re Not Looking for, by Veera Hiranandani
HONOR (OLDER READERS): The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain, by Eugene Yelchin
HONOR (OLDER READERS): Linked, by Godon Korman
WINNER (TEEN READERS): The City Beautiful, by Aden Polydoros
HONOR (TEEN READERS): The Last Words We Said, by Leah Scheier
HONOR (TEEN READERS): Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero, by E. Lockhart and illustrated by Manuel Preitano
HONOR (TEEN READERS): The Summer of Lost Letters, by Hannah Reynolds
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
This award promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit.
HONOR (PICTURE BOOK): A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi, by James Yang
WINNER (CHILDREN’S LITERATURE): Amina’s Song, by Hena Khan
HONOR (CHILDREN’S LITERATURE): Finding Junie Kim, by Ellen Oh
WINNER (YOUTH LITERATURE): Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award
This award goes to the most distinguished informational book for children.
WINNER: The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art, by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Evan Turk
HONOR: The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem, by Colleen Paeff and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
Schneider Family Book Award
This award goes to a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience.
HONOR (YOUNG CHILDREN): A Walk in the Words, by Hudson Talbott
HONOR (YOUNG CHILDREN): A Sky-Blue Bench, by Bahram Rahman and illustrated by Peggy Collins
WINNER (MIDDLE GRADE): A Bird Will Soar, by Alison Green Myers
HONOR (MIDDLE GRADE): Stuntboy, in the Meantime, by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Raul the Third
HONOR (MIDDLE GRADE): A Kind of Spark, by Elle McNicoll
WINNER (TEENS): The Words in My Hands, by Asphyxia
HONOR (TEENS): A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome, by Ariel Henley
American Indian Youth Literature Awards
WINNER (PICTURE BOOK): Herizon, by Daniel Vandever and illustrated by Corey Begay
WINNER (MIDDLE GRADE): Healer of the Water Monsters, by Brian Young
WINNER (YOUNG ADULT): Apple (Skin to the Core), by Eric Gansworth
Congratulations to all the remarkable winners!
For the complete list of awards, CLICK HERE!