2020 Youth Media Awards


The annual Youth Media Awards are the top honors in children’s literature. School Library Journal has it covered—from interviews with the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz-winning authors and illustrators to SLJ reviews of the winners and honor books.
Find our coverage here, along with a complete list of winners with links to individual book reviews plus author interviews and more related coverage from SLJ and our blog network.


2020 Youth Media Awards Coverage

New Kid Makes History as First Graphic Novel To Win Newbery; Caldecott Goes To The Undefeated

Graphic Novels Break Through at the 2020 Youth Media Awards

Jerry Craft Breaks Barriers with Historic 2020 Newbery Win

Kadir Nelson on His 2020 Caldecott Win for The Undefeated

Dig Wins the Printz, Much to Author A.S. King's Surprise  

SLJ Reviews the 2020 Youth Media Award Winners and Honor Books

2020 Youth Media Awards Winners


SLJ Individual Reviews of YMA Winners and Related Content


John Newbery Medal

New Kid by Jerry Craft


Newbery Honors

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illus. by Kadir Nelson

Scary Stories for Young Foxes by Christian McKay Heidicker ("Heavy Medal" review)  

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

Randolph Caldecott Medal

The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander


Caldecott Honors

Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris

Book Chat: LeUyen Pham on Bear Came Along | A Fuse #8 Production


Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney

Going Down Home with Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons 

Review: Going Down Home with Daddy  | A Fuse #8 Production



Michael L. Printz Award

Dig by A.S. King

New Year, Past Winners | Pondering Printz

Dig by A. S. King, An important Reflection on White Privilege in YA literature | Teen Librarian Toolbox


What A.S. King Means to Me, A Guest Post | Teen Librarian Toolbox


Michael L. Printz Honors

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell 

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi, trans. by Cathy Hirano

Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean


Coretta Scott King Book Awards

Coretta Scott King Author Award

New Kid by Jerry Craft


Coretta Scott King Author Honors

Tristan Song Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by Jason Reynolds 

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them by Junauda Petrus 


Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award

The Undefeated illus. by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander


Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors

Ashley Bryan for Infinite Hope
Vashti Harrison for Sulwe
James E. Ransome for The Bell Rang


Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams


Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award

What is Given from the Heart illustrated by April Harrison, written by Patricia C. McKissack



Schneider Family Book Awards


Young Children (ages 0 to 10)

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor, illus, bt Rafael López

Young Children Honor Book: 

A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey, illus. by Mika Song


Middle Grade (ages 11-13)

Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly

Middle Grade Honor Book: 

Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya

Teens (ages 13-18)

Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein

Teens Honor Book: 

The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais


Odyssey Award

Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction,  written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and narrated by the author, Jeanne Birdsall, Jenna Lamia, Richard Ferrone and a full cast

Odyssey Honors

Redwood and Ponytail, written by K.A. Holt and narrated by Cassandra Morris and Tessa Netting

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, produced by Live Oak Media, written by Traci Sorell and narrated by Lauren Hummingbird, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey, Ryan Mackey, Traci Sorell, Tonia Weavel

We’re Not from Here,  written by Geoff Rodkey and narrated by Dani Martineck

Song for a Whale, written by Lynne Kelly and narrated by Abigail Revasch with the author


Pura Belpré Awards

Pura Belpré (Author) Award

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Pura Belpré (Author) Honor 

Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes

The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illus. by Paola Escobar

Soldier for Equality:José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War written & illus by Duncan Tonatiuh


Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln illus. by Rafael López

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Honor

Across the Bay by Carlos Aponte

My Papi Has a Motorcycle  by Isabel Quintero illus by Zeke Peña

       Bank Street Announces Winner of Best Spanish Language Picture Book Award

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raúl Gonzalez

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard, illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honors

All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World by Lori Alexander, illus. by Vivien Mildenberger

This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce & Debbie Levy

Ordinary Hazards by Nikki Grimes

Hey, Water! by Antoinette Portis


Stonewall Book Award

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff, illus. by Kaylani Juanita

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, illus. by Anshika Khullar

Stonewall Book Honors

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy


Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

Stop! Bot! by James Yang

Theodor Seuss Geisel Honors

Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! by Cece Bell

Flubby Is Not a Good Pet! by J.E. Morris

The Book Hog by Greg Pizzoli


William C. Morris Award

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe


William C. Morris Honors

The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad

         First Flames: An Interview Between Debut Authors Hafsah Faizal and Nafiza Azad 
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool


YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

Free Lunch by Rex Ogle

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction Finalists

The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance by Lynn Curlee
A Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust by Albert Marrin

            A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth Wein

Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of 'The Children's Ship' by Deborah Heiligman

     Gripping New Nonfiction from Deborah Heiligman: Torpedoed
     Heavy Medal Finalist #15: Torpedoed by Deborah Heiligman


Asian/Pacific American Awards

Picture Book

Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom by Teresa Robeson, illus. by Rebecca Huang

Picture Book Honor Title

Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed, illus. by Anoosha Syed


Children's Literature

Stargazing by Jen Wang

           Jen Wang Draws from Reality
           Books Navigate the Good, Bad—and Often Complicated—World of Middle School Friendships

Children's Honor Title

            I'm OK by Patti Kim

Young Adult Literature

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, illustrated by Harmony Becker

             “We Are Better Than This” | SLJ Talks to George Takei

             Takei Opens SLJ Summit With Emotional, Inspiring History Lesson

Young Adult Honor Title

            Frankly in Love by David Yoon


AILA American Indian Youth Literature Awards

Best Picture Book

Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi’idim by Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe), trans. into Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain (Lac La Croix First Nation), illus. by Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe)

Honor Titles

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard (Seminole Nation, Mekusukey Band), illus. by Juana Martínez-Neal (Peruvian-American)

Birdsong by Julie Flett (Cree-Métis)

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell (Cherokee), illus. by Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva/Scots-Gaelic)

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell (Cherokee), illus. by Frané Lessac

Raven Makes the Aleutians adapted from a traditional Tlingit story and illus. by Janine Gibbons (Haida, Raven of the Double-Finned Killer Whale clan, Brown Bear House)


Best Middle Grade Book

Indian No More by  Charlene Willing McManis (Umpqua/Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde) with Traci Sorell (Cherokee), cover art by Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota, Mohegan, Muscogee Creek) 

Honor Titles

            I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day (Upper Skagit) with cover art by Michaela Goade (Tlingit, Kiks.ádi clan, Steel House)

            The Grizzly Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (“Brett D. Huson,” Gitxsan), illus. by Natasha Donovan (Métis Nation of British Columbia)


Best Young Adult Book

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee)

Honor Title

            Surviving the City by Tasha Spillett (Nehiyaw-Trinidadian), illus. by Natasha Donovan (Métis Nation of British Columbia)

            Reawakening Our Ancestors’ Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing gathered and compiled by Angela Hovak Johnston (Inuk), with photography by Cora De Vos (Inuk)

           An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Debbie Reese (Nambé Owingeh) and Jean Mendoza adapted from the adult book by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz,

           Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley (Ojibwe, Turtle Mountain Band) 


Sydney Taylor Book Awards

Picture Book

How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come by Sue Macy, illus. by Stacy Innerst


           Honor Titles

           Gittel’s Journey by Lesléa Newman, illus. by Amy June Bates

           The Key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and Her Music by Debbie Levy, illus. by Sonja Wimmer


Middle Grade

White Bird: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio 

Honor Titles 

           Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack

           Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany by Andrew Maraniss


Young Adult

Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin 

Honor Titles

            Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work by Victoria Ortiz

            Sick Kids in Love by Hannah Moskowitz



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