March 22, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Book Awards Roundup: Rainbow List, Amelia Bloomer Project, and Other Non-YMA Awards

While ALA’s Youth Media Awards took the spotlight on Monday morning during the ALA Midwinter Meeting, several other children’s book awards were recently announced, including the Orbis Pictus, Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature,  American Indian Youth Literature Awards, Amelia Bloomer Project for feminist books, and the Rainbow Project focusing on LGBT titles. Below is a roundup of the winning titles.

A Splash of RedNCTE Orbis Picture Award

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) announced the winners of the Orbis Pictus Award on January 24. The prize was established in 1989 to promote and recognize excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children. School Library Journal Best Book and 2014 Schneider Family Medal-winning A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Knopf) took the top prize.

The awards committee also selected five honor books, listed below. Judged on accuracy, organization, design, and style, the informational texts “should be useful in classroom teaching grades K-8, encourage thinking and more reading, model exemplary expository writing and research skills, share interesting and timely subject matter, and appeal to a wide range of ages,” according to the guidelines.

Honor Books:

Locomotive by Brian Floca
(S & S)
2014 Caldecott and Sibert Honor-winning and SLJ Best Book

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos
by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
(Roaring Brook)

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909
by Michelle Markel, illustrated by Melissa Sweet
(HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray)
SLJ Best Book

Parrots Over Puerto Rico
by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore
(Lee & Low)
2014 Sibert Medalist and SLJ Best Book

Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers
by Tanya Lee Stone

The winning books will be honored at the NCTE Annual Convention in Washington, DC, during the Books for Children Luncheon on Saturday, November 22. For the full list of recommended titles, see the NCTE website.

Thing about LuckAsian/Pacific American Awards for Literature (APAAL)

The recipients for the 2014 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature were announced by an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), on January 25.  The winning books were chosen in the picture book, children’s, and young adult categories.

Established in 1980, APALA was founded by librarians of diverse Asian and Pacific ancestries committed to “addressing the needs of Asian Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian Pacific American communities,” according to the guidelines.

Below are the authors and their winning titles:

Picture Book Winner:  Ji-li Jiang. Red Kite, Blue Kite. Disney/Hyperion.

Picture Book Honor:  Marissa Moss. Barbed Wire Baseball, illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. Abrams.

Children’s Literature Winner:  Cynthia Kadohata. The Thing About Luck. S & S/Atheneum

Children’s Literature Honor:  Josanne La Valley. The Vine Basket. Clarion.

Young Adult Literature:  Leza Lowitz and Shogo Oketani. Jet Black and the Ninja Wind. Tuttle.

Young Adult Literature Honor:  Suzanne Kamata. Gadget Girl: The Art of Being Invisible. GemmaMedia.

killer of enemiesAmerican Indian Youth Literature Awards (AIYLA)

The winners of the 2014 American Indian Youth Literature Awards were announced on January 26. Presented every two years, the awards honor the best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Books are selected by a committee from the American Indian Library Association (AILA), an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA).

This year, three titles were chosen for the top recognition: Tomson Highway’s Caribou Song, Atihko Oonagamoon (Fifth House, 2012), illustrated by John Rombough; Tim Tingle’s How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story (Roadrunner, 2013); and Joseph Bruchac’s Killer of Enemies (Tu Books, 2013).

Danny Blackgoat, Navajo Prisoner by Tim Tingle (7th Generation, 2013) was selected as an Honor Book in the Middle School category and If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth (Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2013) was named as an Honor Book in the Young Adult category.

The Summer Prince, a Printz Indeed (says I)Rainbow Project

The Rainbow Project, a joint committee between the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender (GLBT-RT) and Social Responsibilities (SRRT) Round Tables of the American Library Association posted the 2014 Rainbow List on January 27. Below are the top ten titles selected by group.

Block, Francesca Lia. Love in the Time of Global Warming. Holt, 2013. Gr 9-12.

Bornstein, Kate. My New Gender Workbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Achieving World Peace Through Gender Anarchy and Sex Positivity. Routledge, 2013. Gr 7-up.

Clark, Kristin Elizabeth. Freakboy. Farrar, 2013. Gr 7-up.

Dos Santos, Steven. The Culling. Flux, 2013. Gr 9-12.

Egloff, Z. Leap. Bywater Books, 2013. Gr 9-up.

Farizan, Sara. If You Could Be Mine. Algonquin, 2013. Gr 9-up.

Federle, Tim. Better Nate than Ever. S & S 2013. Gr 4-up.
2014 Stonewall Honor Book

Johnson, Alaya Dawn. The Summer Prince. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, 2013. Gr 9-up.

Lam, Laura. Pantomime. Strange Chemistry, 2013. Gr 9-up.

Setterington, Ken. Branded by the Pink Triangle. Second Story, 2013. Gr 9-up.

Brave GirlAmelia Bloomer Project

The Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table of the American Library Association shared their annual booklist of the best feminist books for young readers, ages birth through 18 on January 28. Named the Amelia Bloomer Project after the 19th century women’s rights and temperance advocate, the group also selected their top ten titles, which are listed below.

Cummins, JulieFlying Solo: How Ruth Elder Soared into America’s Heart. Illus. by Malene R. Laugesen. Roaring Brook Press, 2013. K-Gr.2.

Gevinson, Tavi (Ed.). Rookie Yearbook Two. Drawn & Quarterly, 2013. Gr.7-up.

Global Fund for Children. Global Baby Girls. Charlesbridge, 2013. PreS.

Markel, MichelleBrave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909. Illus. by Melissa Sweet. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, 2013. K-Gr.4.

Molloy, Aimee. However Long the Night: Molly Melching’s Journey to Help Millions of African Women and Girls Triumph. 252p. HarperOne, 2013. Gr.10-up.

Mullenbach, Cheryl.  Double Victory: How African American Women Broke Race and Gender Barriers to Help Win World War II.   Chicago Review Pr. 2013. Gr.9-up.

Povich, Lynn. The Good Girls Revolt: How the Women of Newsweek Sued Their Bosses and Changed the Workplace. PublicAffairs, 2012. Gr.10-up.

Schnall, Marianne. What Will It Take to Make a Woman President? Seal Press, 2013. Gr.10-12.

Wishinsky, Frieda. Profiles: Freedom Heroines. Scholastic, 2012. Gr.4-6.

Yousafzai, Malala with Christina Lamb. I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Little, Brown, 2013. Gr.8-12.


Shelley Diaz About Shelley Diaz

Shelley M. Diaz ( is School Library Journal's Reviews Team Manager and SLJTeen newsletter editor. She has her MLIS in Public Librarianship with a Certificate in Children’s & YA Services from Queens College, and can be found on Twitter @sdiaz101.



  1. Katelyn Browne says:

    Shelley, thanks for linking to the Amelia Bloomer Project list! However, the link in your post currently leads to last year’s list. The 2014 list, which was just released, is available here:

  2. Mary Louise Sanchez says:

    Thank you for calling attention to these awards. I hope books eligible for these awards are heavily promoted in 2014-2015.

  3. I’d also like to call your attention to the Sydney Taylor Book Award, recognizing the best in children’s and teen literature that authentically portrays the Jewish experience. The award is named after Sydney Taylor, author of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series. See the 2014 list of winners at