Amina Luqman-Dawson's 'Freewater' wins Newbery, more books honored at 2023 Youth Media Awards
The power of the written word is more than mere child's play.
The American Library Association (ALA) announced the winners of the 2023 Youth Media Awards at its LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience conference Monday.
The Youth Media Awards recognize the cream of the crop in children and young adult media, spanning areas such as literature, digital media, and video and audio books, according to the official ALA website. Awards are selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s experts, per ALA, and "encourage original and creative work."
Check out the big winners of the ALA Youth Media Awards.
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John Newbery Medal
The John Newbery Medal recognizes a literary work that has made an "outstanding contribution to children's literature."
Newbery medal winner: "Freewater," by Amina Luqman-Dawson
Newbery Honor books:
“Iveliz Explains It All,” by Andrea Beatriz Arango
“The Last Mapmaker,” by Christina Soontornvat
“Maizy Chen’s Last Chance,” by Lisa Yee
Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Randolph Caldecott Medal honors the "most distinguished American picture book for children."
Caldecott medal winner: "Hot Dog," by Doug Salati
Caldecott Honor books:
“Ain’t Burned All the Bright,” by Jason Reynolds; illustrated by Jason Griffin
“Berry Song,” by Michaela Goade
“Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement,” by Angela Joy; illustrated by Janelle Washington
“Knight Owl,” by Christopher Denise
Coretta Scott King Book Award (author)
The Coretta Scott King Book Award (author) recognizes an outstanding literary work for youth by an African American author.
Winner: “Freewater,” by Amina Luqman-Dawson
King Author Honor books:
“Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler,” by Ibi Zoboi
“The Talk,” by Alicia D. Williams, illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu
“Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice,” by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile
Coretta Scott King Book Award (illustrator)
The Coretta Scott King Book Award (illustrator) recognizes an outstanding literary work for youth by an African American illustrator.
Winner: “Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual,” illustrated by Frank Morrison; written by Carole Boston Weatherford
King Illustrator Honor Books:
“Me and the Boss: A Story about Mending and Love,” illustrated by April Harrison; written by Michelle Edwards
“Swim Team,” by Johnnie Christmas
“Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice,” illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile; written by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes
The Alex Awards recognize the "10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences."
“A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting,” by Sophie Irwin
“Babel, Or the Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators' Revolution,” by R. F. Kuang
“Chef’s Kiss,” by Jarrett Melendez; illustrated by Danica Brine
“Daughter of the Moon Goddess," by Sue Lynn Tan
“I’m Glad My Mom Died,” by Jennette McCurdy
“Solito: A Memoir,” by Javier Zamora
“The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere.,” by James Spooner
“The Kaiju Preservation Society,” by John Scalzi
“True Biz,” by Sara Nović
“Wash Day Diaries,” by Jamila Rowser; illustrated by Robyn Smith
Michael L. Printz Award
The Michael L. Printz Award honors an author who has achieved "excellence in literature written for young adults."
Printz Award winner: “All My Rage,” by Sabaa Tahir
Printz Honor Books:
“Scout’s Honor,” by Lily Anderson
“Icebreaker,” by A.L. Graziadei
“When the Angels Left the Old Country,” by Sacha Lamb
“Queer Ducks (and Other Animals): The Natural World of Animal Sexuality,” by Eliot Schrefer
The YALSA Award recognizes an author who has achieved "excellence in nonfiction for young adults."
Excellence winner: “Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice,” written by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Dawud Anyabwile
“Abuela, Don't Forget Me,” by Rex Ogle
“American Murderer: The Parasite That Haunted the South," by Gail Jarrow
“A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome,” by Ariel Henley
“Unequal: A Story of America,” by Michael Eric Dyson and Marc Favreau
Pura Belpré Children’s Author Award
The Pura Belpré Children's Author Award recognizes a Latinx author whose literary work for youth best encompasses "the Latino cultural experience."
Belpré Children’s Author Award Winner: “Frizzy,” by Claribel A. Ortega; illustrated by Rose Bousamra
Belpré Children’s Author Honor books:
“The Coquíes Still Sing,” by Karina Nicole González; illustrated by Krystal Quiles
“The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border,” by Stephen Briseño; illustrated by Magdalena Mora
“Tumble,” by Celia C. Pérez
Pura Belpré Youth Illustration Award
The Pura Belpré Youth Illustration Award recognizes a Latinx illustrator whose literary work for youth best encompasses "the Latino cultural experience."
Belpré Children’s Illustrator Award Winner: “Where Wonder Grows,” illustrated by Adriana M. Garcia; written by Xelena González
Belpré Youth Illustration Honor Books:
“The Coquíes Still Sing,” illustrated by Krystal Quiles; written by Karina Nicole González
“A Land of Books: Dreams of Young Mexihcah Word Painters,” by Duncan Tonatiuh
“Magic: Once Upon a Faraway Land,” by Mirelle Ortega
“Phenomenal AOC: The Roots and Rise of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez,” illustrated by Loris Lora; written by Anika Aldamuy Denise
“Srta. Quinces,” by Kat Fajardo
“Still Dreaming / Seguimos soñando,” illustrated by Magdalena Mora; written by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez
Stonewall Book Award (children's)
The Stonewall Book Award (children's) recognizes an exceptional literary work for children that relates to "the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience."
Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s Literature Award: “Love, Violet," by Charlotte Sullivan Wild; illustrated by Charlene Chua
Honor Books for Children’s Literature:
“In the Key of Us,” by Mariama J. Lockington
“Kapaemahu," by Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson; illustrated by Daniel Sousa
“The Real Riley Mayes,” by Rachel Elliott
"Strong," by Rob Kearney & Eric Rosswood; illustrated by Nidhi Chanani
Stonewall Book Award (young adult)
The Stonewall Book Award (young adult) recognizes an exceptional literary work for teens that relates to "the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience."
Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Young Adult Literature Award: “When the Angels Left the Old Country," by Sacha Lamb
Honor Books for Young Adult Literature:
“I Kissed Shara Wheeler,” by Casey McQuiston
“Kings of B’more,” by R. Eric Thomas
“Man o’ War,” by Cory McCarthy
“The Summer of Bitter and Sweet,” by Jen Ferguson
Sydney Taylor Book Award
The Sydney Taylor Book Award honors "outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience."
Picture book winner: “The Tower of Life: How Yaffa Eliach Rebuilt Her Town in Stories and Photographs,” by Chana Stiefel, illustrated by Susan Gal
Middle grade winner: “Aviva vs. the Dybbuk,” by Mari Lowe
Young adult winner: “When the Angels Left the Old Country,” by Sacha Lamb
Picture book honors: “Big Dreams, Small Fish,” by Paula Cohen; “The Very Best Sukkah: A Story from Uganda,” by Shoshana Nambi, illustrated by Moran Yogev; and “Sitting Shiva,” written by Erin Silver, illustrated by Michelle Theodore
Middle grade honors: “Honey and Me,” by Meira Drazin; “Black Bird, Blue Road,” by Sofiya Pasternack; and “Ellen Outside the Lines,” by A. J. Sass
Young adult honors: “My Fine Fellow: A Delicious Entanglement,” by Jennieke Cohen; “Some Kind of Hate,” by Sarah Darer Littman; and “Eight Nights of Flirting,” by Hannah Reynolds
Asian/Pacific American Awards
The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature recognizes literary works for youth that highlight Asian and Pacific American cultures.
Picture book winner: “From the Tops of the Trees,” by Kao Kalia Yang; illustrated by Rachel Wada
Picture book honor title: “Nana, Nenek & Nina,” by Liza Ferneyhough
Children’s literature winner: “Maizy Chen's Last Chance," by Lisa Yee
Children’s literature honor title: “Troublemaker,” by John Cho, with Sarah Suk
Youth literature winner: “Himawari House,” by Harmony Becker
Youth literature honor title: “The Silence That Binds Us,” by Joanna Ho
Lifetime Achievement Honors
The Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Award pays tribute to children’s author Virginia Hamilton. The Children’s Literature Legacy Award recognizes an author or illustrator whose literary works have made "a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences." The Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author's lifetime achievement in the YA genre.
Coretta Scott King Virginia Hamilton Award: Dr. Claudette McLinn
Children’s Literature Legacy Award: James E. Ransome
Margaret A. Edwards Award: Jason Reynolds
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2023 Youth Media Awards winners: 'Freewater,' 'Hot Dog,' more books