February 01, 2024

ALA Youth Media Awards 2024

youth media awards

In January, the American Library Association (ALA) announced the 2024 Youth Media Award winners. Each year, the ALA honors books and other outstanding materials for children and teens published in the preceding year.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the Youth Media Awards include the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards. They guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.

You can find the full list of winners and honor books here. Most of these titles are available in multiple formats to borrow from the library. Happy reading!


John Newbery Medal

Awarded for the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

the eyes and the impossible by dave eggersThe Eyes and the Impossible

by Dave Eggers; illustrated by Shawn Harris

Johannes, a free dog, lives in a park hemmed in on three sides by dense human neighborhoods, and on one side by the ocean. His job is to be the Eyes — to see everything that happens within the park and report to the park’s elders, three ancient bison who ensure the Equilibrium. But changes are afoot.

 

 

Randolph Caldecott Medal

Awarded for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

big by vashti harrisonBig

by Vashti Harrison

Praised for acting like a big girl when she is small, as a young girl grows, “big” becomes a word of criticism, until the girl realizes that she is fine just the way she is.

 

 

 

Coretta Scott King Award

Awarded to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

Author winner:

nigeria jones by ibi zoboiNigeria Jones

by Ibi Zoboi

When her mother disappears, Nigeria Jones, the daughter of the leader of a Black liberation group, searches for her, uncovering a shocking truth which leads her to question everything she thought she knew about her life and her family.

 

 

Illustrator winner:

an american story by kwame alexander and dave coulterAn American Story

by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Dare Coulter

A picture book in verse that threads together past and present to explore the legacy of slavery during a classroom lesson.

 

 

 

Michael L. Printz Award

Awarded for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.

the collectors:stories edited by a.s. kingThe Collectors: Stories

edited by A.S. King

An anthology of ten stories by young adult authors about surprising and unusual collections.

 

 

 

 

American Indian Youth Literature Awards

Awarded biennially for the best writings and illustrations for youth by and about Native American and Indigenous peoples of North America.

Picture Book winners:

Forever Cousins by Laurel GoodluckForever Cousins

by Laurel Goodluck (Mandan & Hidatsa and Tsimshian); illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Navajo/Diné)

In this Native American story, Kara and Amanda are best-friend cousins. Then Kara leaves the city to move back to the Rez. Will their friendship stay the same?

 

 

 

A Letter for Bob by Kim RogersA Letter For Bob

by Kim Rogers (Wichita & Affiliated Tribes); illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Navajo/Diné)

When its time to say goodbye to a part of her family, a young girl pens a love letter to Bob, the treasured family car that has taken them all over and been there in sad and scary times.

 

Middle Grade winner:

We Still Belong by Christine DayWe Still Belong

by Christine Day (Upper Skagit); cover art by Madelyn Goodnight (Chickasaw Nation)

Wesley is proud of the poem she wrote for Indigenous Peoples’ Day, but the reaction from a teacher makes her wonder if expressing herself is important enough. And due to the specific tribal laws of her family’s Nation, Wesley is unable to enroll in the Upper Skagit tribe and is left feeling “not Native enough.” Through the course of the novel, with the help of her family and friends, she comes to embrace her own place within the Native community.

Youth Adult winner:

Rez Ball by Byron GravesRez Ball

by Byron Graves (Ojibwe); jacket art by Natasha Donovan (Métis)

These days, Tre Brun is happiest when he is playing basketball on the Red Lake Reservation high school team–even though he can’t help but be constantly gut-punched with memories of his big brother, Jaxon, who died in an accident. After decades of rez teams almost making it, Tre needs to take his team to state. Because if he can live up to Jaxon’s dreams, their story isn’t over yet.

 

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

Awarded for literature about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage.

Picture Book winner:

the truth about dragons by julie leungThe Truth About Dragons

by Julie Leung; illustrated by Hanna Cha

In a mix of Eastern and Western mythologies, a mother tells her child about two forests inhabited by different, but equally enchanting dragons that coexist within the child’s heart.

 

 

Children’s Literature winner:

ruby lost and found by christina liRuby Lost and Found

by Christina Li

Thanks to her Ye-Ye’s epic scavenger hunts, thirteen-year-old Ruby Chu knows San Francisco like the back of her hand. But after his death, she feels lost, and it seems like everyone — from her best friends to her older sister — is abandoning her. After Ruby gets in major trouble at school, her parents decide she has to spend the summer at a local senior center, with her grandmother, Nai-Nai, and Nai-Nai’s friends for company.

 

Youth Literature winner:

I'd Rather Burn Than Bloom by Shannon C. F. RogersI’d Rather Burn Than Bloom

by Shannon C.F. Rogers

Alternating between present day and flashbacks, multiracial Filipina-American teen Marisol tries to figure out who she really is in the wake of her mother’s sudden death.

 

 

 

 

Odyssey Award

Awarded for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults.

For Children:

El Deafo by Cece BellEl Deafo

by Cece Bell; produced by Matie Argiropoulos; narrated by a full cast

The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her “superpower.”

 

 

For Young Adults:

Promise Boys by Nick BrooksPromise Boys

by Nick Brooks, produced by Macmillan Young Listeners; narrated by a full cast

J.B., Ramaon, and Trey, students of the Urban Promise Prep School, must follow the school’s strict rules, but when their principal is murdered, the three boys must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested.

 

Pura Belpré Award

Awarded to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Children’s Author and Illustrator winner:

Mexikid- A Graphic Memoir by Pedro MartínMexikid: A Graphic Memoir

by Pedro Martín

Pedro Martin’s grown up in the U.S. hearing stories about his legendary abuelito, but during a family road trip to Mexico, he connects with his grandfather and learns more about his own Mexican identity in this moving and hilarious graphic memoir

 

 

 

Young Adult Author winner:

Saints of the Household by Ari TisonSaints of the Household

by Ari Tison

When brothers Max and Jay help a classmate in trouble, they struggle with the consequences of their violent actions and worry they may be more like their abusive father than they thought, so the brothers turn to their Bribri roots to find their way forward.

 

 

 

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal

Awarded for the most distinguished informational book for youth.

The Mona Lisa Vanishes- A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity by Nicholas DayThe Mona Lisa Vanishes: A Legendary Painter, a Shocking Heist, and the Birth of a Global Celebrity

by Nicholas Day; illustrated by Brett Helquist

A narrative nonfiction about how the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, how the robbery made the portrait the most famous artwork in the world — and how the painting by Leonardo da Vinci should never have existed at all.

 

 

 

Schneider Family Book Award

Awarded for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

Young Children winner:

Henry, Like Always by Jenn BaileyHenry, Like Always

by Jenn Bailey; illustrated by Mika Song

Henry, a first grader on the autism spectrum, attempts to navigate friendships, and sudden changes in classroom routines–like a parade on Friday instead of share time.

 

 

 

Middle Grade winner:

The Fire, the Water, and Maudie McGinn by Sally J. PlaThe Fire, the Water, and Maudie McGinn

by Sally J. Pla

Follows thirteen-year-old neurodivergent Maudie during an eventful summer in California with her father, where she struggles with whether to share a terrible secret about life with her mom and stepdad.

 

 

 

Teen winner:

Forever Is Now, by Mariama J. LockingtonForever Is Now

by Mariama J. Lockington

When sixteen-year-old Sadie, a Black bisexual recluse, develops agoraphobia the summer before her junior year, she relies on her best friend, family, and therapist to overcome her fears.

 

 

 

Sydney Taylor Book Award

Awarded for outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

Picture Book winner:

Two New Years by Richard HoTwo New Years

by Richard Ho; illustrated by Lynn Scurfield

A multicultural family celebrates the traditions of two New Years — the Jewish Rosh Hashanah in the autumn, and the Asian Lunar New Year several months later.

 

 

 

Middle Grade winner:

The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman by Mari LoweThe Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman

by Mari Lowe

Helping her popular next-door neighbor Gayil set up what she thinks are harmless pranks, 12-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl Shaindy must figure out how to stop them before she becomes the next target when the pranks escalate and turn malicious.

 

 

Young Adult winner:

The Blood Years by Elana K. ArnoldThe Blood Years

by Elena K. Arnold

Frederieke Teitler and her older sister, Astra, live in a house, in a city, in a world divided. Their father ran out on them when Rieke was only six, leaving their mother a wreck and their grandfather as their only stable family. He’s done his best to provide for them and shield them from antisemitism, but now, seven years later, being a Jew has become increasingly dangerous, even in their beloved home of Czernowitz, long considered a safe haven for Jewish people.

 

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Awarded for the most distinguished book for beginning readers.

Fox Has a Problem by Corey R. TaborFox Has a Problem

by Corey R. Tabor

Fox has a not-so-new problem, and every possible solution leads to more problems for the other animals, until they all come together with the ultimate fix

 

 

 

 

William C. Morris Award

Awarded to a first-time author writing for teens.

Rez Ball by Byron GravesRez Ball

by Byron Graves

These days, Tre Brun is happiest when he is playing basketball on the Red Lake Reservation high school team–even though he can’t help but be constantly gut-punched with memories of his big brother, Jaxon, who died in an accident.  After decades of rez teams almost making it, Tre needs to take his team to state. Because if he can live up to Jaxon’s dreams, their story isn’t over yet.

 

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction

Awarded for the best nonfiction book published for young adults.

Accountable- The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed by Dashka SlaterAccountable: The True Story of a Racist Social Media Account and the Teenagers Whose Lives It Changed

by Dashka Slater

A young adult nonfiction book on how Albany High School handles a racist social media incident that incurs lasting and devastating consequences