2021 ALA Awards

The American Library Association (ALA) announced the results of the Youth Media Awards during their Midwinter Meeting held online January 22-26, 2021.

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller (Random House), is the 2021 John Newbery Medal winner, “for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.” We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly, illustrated by Erin Entrada Kelly & Celia Krampien (Greenwillow) and A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat (Candlewick) were named Newbery Honor books.

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender (Scholastic) is a Coretta Scott King Honor Book, “recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.”

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn (Margaret K. McElderry) won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award, given to “affirm new talent and offer visibility to excellence in writing or illustration at the beginning of a career.”

Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri (Arthur A. Levine) won the Michael L. Printz Award “for excellence in literature written for young adults.”

Several books of genre interest won Alex Awards, given to “the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences”:

Kekla Magoon won the Margaret A. Edwards Award “for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.”

Telephone Tales by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali and translated by Antony Shugaar (Enchanted Lion), is the winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder Award “for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States.”

If These Wings Could Fly by Kyrie McCauley (Katherine Tegen) won the William C. Morris Award, “which honors a book written for young adults by a previously unpublished author.” Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard by Echo Brown (Christy Ottaviano) and Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez (Page Street) were named Morris Award finalists.

The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas (Farrar, Straus, Giroux) and Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera (Bloomsbury) were named Pura Belpré Author Honor Books, “honoring a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.”

How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure, written and illustrated by John Rocco (Crown), is a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book for “most distinguished informational book for children” and a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults.

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller (Random House) won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature in the Children’s Literature category.

Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Khoa Le (Kar-Ben), is a Silver Medalist for the Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Picture Book category, given “to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.”

For a full list of winners and honor books, see the ALA press release.

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