The American Library Association (ALA) today announced the top books, digital media, video and audio books for children and young adults today virtually from Chicago, Illinois.
A list of all the 2021 award winners follows:
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature: “When You Trap a Tiger,” written by Tae Keller.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children: “We Are Water Protectors,” by Carole Lindstrom was illustrated by Michaela Goade.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
- Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award: “Before the Ever After,” written by Jacqueline Woodson.
- Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul,” by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Frank Morrison.
- Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award: “Legendborn,” written by Tracy Deonn,
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: “Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story),” by Daniel Nayeri.
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
- For young children (ages 0 to 10): “I Talk Like a River,” written by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith
- For middle grades (ages 11-13): “Show Me a Sign,” written by Ann Clare LeZotte
- For teens (ages 13-18): “This Is My Brain in Love,” written by I.W. Gregorio.
Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences: “Black Sun,” by Rebecca Roanhorse; “The House in the Cerulean Sea,” by TJ Klune; “The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice -Crossing Antarctica Alone,” by Colin O’Brady; “Kent State: Four Dead in Ohio,” by Derf Backderf; “The Kids Are Gonna Ask,” by Gretchen Anthony; “The Only Good Indians,” by Stephen Graham Jones; “Plain Bad Heroines,” by emily m. danforth; “Riot Baby,” by Tochi Onyebuchi; “Solutions and Other Problems,” by Allie Brosh; “We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel,” by Quan Barry.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English: “Telephone Tales” by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali, translated by Antony Shugaar. (Originally published in Italian as “Favole al telefono.”)
Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults: “Kent State,” by Deborah Wiles and produced by Paul R. Gagne.
Pura Belpré Awards honoring a Latinx writer and illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience:
- Illustrator Award: “¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat,” illustrated and written by Raúl Gonzalez.
- Children’s Author Award: "Efrén Divided,” written by Ernesto Cisneros.
- Young Adult Author Award: "Furia,” written by Yamile Saied Méndez
Stonewall Book Award -Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience: “We Are Little Feminists: Families,” written by Archaa Shrivastav.
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book is “See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog,” written by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka.
William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens: “If These Wings Could Fly,” written by Kyrie McCauley.
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults: “The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh,” written by Candace Fleming.
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. The award promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit.
- The Picture Book winner is “Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist,” written by Julie Leung, illustrated by Chris Sasaki
- The Children’s Literature winner is “When You Trap a Tiger,” written by Tae Keller
- The Youth Literature winner is “This Light Between Us,” written by Andrew Fukuda
- Picture Book: “Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail,”by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal.
- Middle Grades: “Turtle Boy,” by M. Evan Wolkenstein.
- Young Adult: “Dancing at the Pity Party,” written and illustrated by Tyler Feder.
I have read very few of the books listed (and the honor books I didn't list) but every year I set goals to read some of the best of the best in Children's literature and these are them. For the full list from the ALA here is a pdf. Back when I was a high school librarian I would attempt to read all the YA winners on the list now I shall just attempt to read the Printz winner and honor books sometime in 2021:
Michael L. Printz Awards:
- Winner: “Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story),” by Daniel Nayer.
- Honor books:
- “Apple (Skin to the Core),” by Eric Gansworth
- “Dragon Hoops,” created by Gene Luen Yang
- “Every Body Looking,” by Candice Iloh
- “We Are Not Free,” by Traci Chee