Paying Renewed Attention to Book Awards - NCTE
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Paying Renewed Attention to Book Awards

Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Earlier today, those awards were announced. Many of the titles were familiar to NCTE as they can also be found on the NCTE Children’s Book and Poetry Awards lists.

New Kid, written by Jerry Craft, is the 2020 John Newbery Medal winner for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. The book is illustrated by the author and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers. New Kid  is also the Coretta Scott  King Author Book Award winner. In addition, New Kid was named as an honor book for the 2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children.

Other Words for Home, written by Jasmine Warga and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, was named a Newbery Honor Book, part of the John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. Other Words for Home was also identified as one the 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels, selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee.

The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, is the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal winner for the most distinguished American picture book for children. The Coretta Scott King Book Award also recognized The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, as the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In addition, The Undefeated was identified as one the 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels, selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee.The Undefeated was also named as a Newbery Honor Book.

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, written by Kwame Mbalia and published by Disney-Hyperion, an imprint of Disney Book Group, was one of three 2020 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books selected. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky was also named as a recommended book for the 2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children.

King Illustrator Honor Books included The Bell Rang, illustrated by James E. Ransome, written by the illustrator and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book. It was also listed as one of the 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels, selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee.

Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War, written by Duncan Tonatiuh, illustrated by the author and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS, was one of four Pura Belpré Author Honor Books named for 2020. This title was also named as one of the 2020 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award® honor books. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, written by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Paola Escobar and published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers, was also an honor book for both the Pura Belpré Award and the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award® in 2020.

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, offers three youth categories including Picture Book, Children’s Literature and Young Adult Literature. This year’s Picture Book winner is Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom, written by Teresa Robeson, illustrated by Rebecca Huang, and published by Sterling Children’s Books. Queen of Physics was also a recommended book for the 2020 NCTE Orbis Pictus Award®.

One of the 2020 recipients of the Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award  is When Aidan Became a Brother written by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita, and published by Lee & Low Books Inc. When Aidan Became a Brother was also named as an honor book for the 2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children.

The American Indian Youth Literature Award, given by the American Indian Library Association (AILA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, selected I Can Make This Promise, written by Christine Day (Upper Skagit), with cover art by Michaela Goade (Tlingit, Kiks.ádi clan, Steel House), published by HarperCollins, as a Middle Grade Book Honor title for 2020. I Can Make This Promise was also named as an honor book for the 2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, is the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award winner for most distinguished informational book for children. The book is published by Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings. Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story was also named as a recommended book for the 2020 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award® for Outstanding Fiction for Children. In addition, Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story was listed as one of the 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels, selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee.

The Odyssey Award is for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults available in English in the United States. Redwood and Ponytail, produced by Hachette Audio, written by K. A. Holt and narrated by Cassandra Morris and Tessa Netting was selected as a 2020 Odyssey Honor Audiobooks and also as one of the 2020 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels, selected by the NCTE Award for Excellence in Children’s Poetry Committee.

Learn more about the NCTE Children’s Book and Poetry Awards and take time to read!