2019 ALA Youth Media Awards Winners!


Exciting morning watching the ALA Youth Media Awards live webcast from Seattle! It’s fun to root for your favorite children’s and YA books published in 2018, and there are usually a couple of surprises to keep things interesting.

First off, there were several welcome additions to the annual announcements. For years, I wondered why the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Literature Awards were not included. We’d hear about the Coretta Scott King and Pura Belpré winners, but not about the Asian Pacific American winners.

Well, from now on, not only will the APALA Literature Award winners be highlighted, but also awards from the American Indian Library Association (AILA) and the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL). All in an effort “to bring awareness about and encourage the creation of more books that depict diverse cultures, or by authors of color.” About time, I say. Hooray!

I was happy to see that the program began with the APALA  winners. 🙂

For Picture Book, DRAWN TOGETHER by Minh Lê and Dan Santat:


For Children’s Literature, FRONT DESK by Kelly Yang:


and for Young Adult Novel, DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OKAY by Adib Khorram:


I was also very happy to see that one of my fave picture books of 2018, ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY HANUKKAH by Emily Jenkins and Paul O. Zelinsky, won the Sydney Taylor Award for Younger Readers. You may remember that I featured this book recently along with a latkes recipe.



Now, continuing on to the winners of the oldest and most prestigious children’s literature awards, the Caldecott and Newbery.

2018 was a good year for picture books, and the competition was fierce. Nice to see that four female illustrators were chosen this time, in a category where male illustrators usually dominate.

So happy that one of my all-time favorite picture book creators, Sophie Blackall, won the 2019 Caldecott Medal for her beautiful HELLO LIGHTHOUSE!! (You may recall that just three years ago Sophie won the Caldecott for Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear.) What an incredible talent! Go, Sophie!!


2019 Caldecott Medal Winner Sophie Blackall


Four Caldecott Honor Books were also announced:





This one also won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award



The 2019 Newbery Medal winner is MERCI SUÁREZ CHANGES GEARS by Virginia author Meg Medina!!


2019 Newbery Medal Winner Meg Medina


Two Newbery Honor books were selected:





More highlights:

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Winner is Ekua Holmes for THE STUFF OF STARS, written by Marion Dane Bauer:


2019 CSK Illustrator Award Winner Ekua Holmes


and the Coretta Scott King Author Winner is Claire Hartfield for A FEW RED DROPS: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919:


2019 CSK Author Award Winner Claire Hartfield




The Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner is Yuyi Morales for DREAMERS:


2019 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winner Yuyi Morales


The Pura Belpré Author Winner is Elizabeth Acevedo for THE POET X:

2019 Pura Belpré Author Winner Elizabeth Acevedo (The Poet X also won the Printz Award for Excellence in YA Literature)




The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award went to Joyce Sidman for THE GIRL WHO DREW BUTTERFLIES: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science:


2019 Sibert Informational Book Award Winner Joyce Sidman




Click here to see the ALA Youth Media Awards Press Release for the complete list of 2019 awards and winners.

If you’d like to see the webcast video, click here.

Wouldn’t it be nice to also recognize the best Poetry Books for Children? Hopefully, someday  . . . 🙂

We extend our heartiest congratulations to all the winners!

Copyright © 2019 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

20 thoughts on “2019 ALA Youth Media Awards Winners!

  1. Hooray for all of the winners! I too am happy that both the APALA, AILA & AJL will be part of the festivities. That sends just the right message!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. There are no awards specifically for PB texts either, right? And yet there’s a Geisel award for early readers. Maybe poetry is too hard to categorize. Verse novels like Kwame’s Crossover won the Newbery, so maybe they feel they have “poetry” covered (which of course they don’t).


  2. It was an exciting morning. I’ve read nearly all the books noted, & am thrilled about Hello Lighthouse, was rooting for it! I’ve read Merci Suarez, a gem, and loved The Girl Who Drew Butterflies. I agree with Lee, wishing there was a poetry category. In the Cybils, we still struggle with comparing the poetry collections with verse novels. It’s a challenge. Thanks, Jama, love celebrating with you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Impressed that you’ve already read most of the cited books, Linda! You’re always ahead of the curve. 🙂 I love Lighthouse and Butterflies — both so gorgeous! Am reading Merci Suarez next.

      Re. Poetry — I remember agonizing over the same problem when I served as a Cybils poetry judge years ago. It’s impossible to weigh a verse novel against a poetry picture book or poetry anthology. Different animals entirely. And how to judge an illustrated vs. unillustrated poetry book? The art certainly plays a role.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! You got this up quick! I tried to listen while I was teaching…Didn’t work At. All. Lots of great books on this list!

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.