Hello, fellow writers and illustrators… it that time of year again: We can learn about what the industry thinks are the best books for young readers by reading and examining the books on this list — what a fun assignment!
As you may know, the American Library Association announced their 2015 Book and Media Award Winners at their recent Midwinter Meeting in Chicago.
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.
Here is a partial list of the 2015 winners:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
“The Crossover,” written by Kwame Alexander, is the 2015 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Two Newbery Honor Books also were named:
“El Deafo” by Cece Bell, illustrated by Cece Bell and published by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS.
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson and published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
“The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend,” illustrated by Dan Santat, is the 2015 Caldecott Medal winner. The book was written by Dan Santat and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Six Caldecott Honor Books also were named:
“Nana in the City,” illustrated by Lauren Castillo, written by Lauren Castillo and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
“The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art,” illustrated by Mary GrandPré, written by Barb Rosenstock and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.
“Sam & Dave Dig a Hole,” illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Candlewick Press.
“Viva Frida,” illustrated by Yuyi Morales, written by Yuyi Morales and published by Roaring Brook Press, a Neal Porter Book.
“The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus,” illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant, and published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
“This One Summer,” illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki and published by First Second.
Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the King Author Book winner. The book is published by Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Three King Author Honor Books were selected:
Kwame Alexander for “The Crossover,” published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing.
Marilyn Nelson for “How I Discovered Poetry,” illustrated by Hadley Hooper and published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Books (USA) LLC.
Kekla Magoon for “How It Went Down,” published by Henry Holt and Company, LLC.
Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award:
“Firebird,” illustrated by Christopher Myers, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book was written by Misty Copeland and published by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) LLC.
Two King Illustrator Honor Books were selected:
Christian Robinson for “Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker,” by Patricia Hruby Powell, published by Chronicle Books LLC.
Frank Morrison for “Little Melba and Her Big Trombone,” by Katheryn Russell-Brown, published by Lee and Low Books, Inc.
Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:
“When I Was the Greatest,” written by Jason Reynolds, is the Steptoe winner. The book is published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division.
Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement:
Deborah D. Taylor is the winner of the Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement. The award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton.
Taylor’s career in public service began more than 40 years ago with the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, where she is currently coordinator of School and Student Services. Her career has been spent as mentor, educator and literacy advocate for young adults. As an inspiring young adult librarian, leader in national associations and university instructor, she has been distinctly effective in introducing young people and her professional colleagues to the outstanding work of African American authors.
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
“I’ll Give You the Sun,” written by Jandy Nelson, is the 2015 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Dial Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
Four Printz Honor Books also were named:
“And We Stay,” by Jenny Hubbard, and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Random House, Inc., a Penguin Random House Company.
“The Carnival at Bray,” by Jessie Ann Foley, and published by Elephant Rock Books.
“Grasshopper Jungle,” by Andrew Smith, and published by Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group USA, a Penguin Random House Company.
“This One Summer,” by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, and published by First Second.
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
“A BOY AND A JAGUAR” written by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chien and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, wins the award for children ages 0 to 10.
“RAIN REIGN” written by Ann M. Martin and published by A FEIWEL AND FRIENDS BOOK, is the winner of the middle-school (ages 11-13).
The teen (ages 13-18) award winner is “Girls Like Us,” written by Gail Giles and published by Candlewick Press.
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.
The 2015 winner is Donald Crews, whose award-winning works include “Freight Train,” which was a Caldecott Honor Book in 1979, and “Truck,” a Caldecott Honor Book in 1981. He has been consistently excellent with a wide range of titles, such as “Harbor,” “Parade,” “Shortcut” and “Bigmama’s,” all published by Greenwillow Books.