Skip to main content

Blog

February 12, 2018

The 2018 ALA Youth Media Awards

Posted by Rebecca M
Tagged:

Today is one of the biggest days of the year for young adult and children's literature: the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. Each year the American Library Association honors the books, videos and other outstanding works that have released that year for kids and teens and are recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent. We've compiled all of the young adult awards announcements here, so read on to see which of your favorites made the cut and click here to see the children's awards announcements!


The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

  • WE ARE OKAY, written by Nina LaCour, is the 2018 Printz Award winner. The book is published by Dutton Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers.

  • Four Printz Honor Books also were named: THE HATE U GIVE, written by Angie Thomas and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; LONG WAY DOWN, written by Jason Reynolds and published by Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; STRANGE THE DREAMER, written by Laini Taylor and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, a division of Hachette Book Group; and VINCENT AND THEO: The Van Gogh Brothers, written by Deborah Heiligman and published by Godwin Books/Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature. The award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association. The award's namesake is William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

  • THE HATE U GIVE, written by Angie Thomas, is the 2018 Morris Award winner. The book is published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • Four other books were finalists for the award: DEAR MARTIN, written by Nic Stone and published by Crown Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC; DEVILS WITHIN, written by S. F. Henson and published by Sky Pony Press, an imprint of Skyhorse Publishing; SAINTS AND MISFITS, written by S. K. Ali and published by Salaam Reads, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; and STARFISH, written by Akemi Dawn Bowman and published by Simon Pulse, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing.

The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The winning titles are selected from the previous year's publishing. The Alex Awards were first given annually beginning in 1998 and became an official ALA award in 2002. The award is sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust and administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. Edwards pioneered young adult library services and worked for many years at the Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book FAIR GARDEN AND THE SWARM OF BEASTS and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

  • ALL SYSTEMS RED, by Martha Wells, a Tor.com Book, published by Thomas Doherty Associates

  • THE CLOCKWORK DYNASTY, by Daniel H. Wilson, published by Doubleday, a division of Penguin Random House LLC

  • DOWN AMONG THE STICKS AND BONES, by Seanan McGuire, a Tor.com Book, published by Thomas Doherty Associates

  • ELECTRIC ARCHES, by Eve L. Ewing, published by Haymarket Books

  • A HOPE MORE POWERFUL THAN THE SEA, by Melissa Fleming, published by Flatiron Books

  • MALAGASH, by Joey Comeau, published by ECW Press

  • ROUGHNECK, by Jeff Lemire, published by Gallery 13, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

  • SHE RIDES SHOTGUN, by Jordan Harper, published by Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

  • THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON, by Tasha Kavanagh, published by MIRA Books

  • AN UNKINDNESS OF MAGICIANS, by Kat Howard, published by SAGA Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Stonewall Book Award --- Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award is given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. The award is sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table.

  • LITTLE & LION, written by Brandy Colbert and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group Inc.; and THE 57 BUS, written by Dashka Slater and published by Farrar Straus Giroux for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC are the 2018 recipients of the Stonewall Book Awards–Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award.

  • Two Stonewall Honor Books were also named: AS THE CROW FLIES, written and illustrated by Melanie Gillman and published by Iron Circus Comics; and THE GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE written by Mackenzi Lee and published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a Nov. 1 - Oct. 31 publishing year. The award winner will be announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Youth Media Awards, with a shortlist of up to five titles named the first week of December. The award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

  • VINCENT AND THEO: The Van Gogh Brothers, written by Deborah Heiligman, is the 2018 Excellence winner. The book is published by Godwin Books/Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

  • Four other books were finalists for the award: #NOTYOURPRINCESS: Voices of Native American Women, edited by Mary Beth Leatherdale and Lisa Charleyboy and published by Annick Press; EYES OF THE WORLD: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism, written by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos and published by Henry Holt, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; THE 57 BUS: A True Story of Two Teenagers and the Crime That Changed Their Lives, written by Dashka Slater and published by Farrar Straus Giroux, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group; and THE WHYDAH: A Pirate Ship Feared, Wrecked, and Found, written by Martin W. Sandler and published by Candlewick Press.

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. On June 22, 1921, Frederic G. Melcher proposed the award to the American Library Association meeting of the Children's Librarians' Section and suggested that it be named for the eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. The idea was enthusiastically accepted by the children's librarians and Melcher's official proposal was approved by the ALA Executive Board in 1922.

  • HELLO, UNIVERSE, written by Erin Entrada Kelly, is the 2018 Newbery Medal winner. The book is published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • Three Newbery Honor Books also were named: CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James and published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denene Millner Book; LONG WAY DOWN, written by Jason Reynolds and published by Atheneum, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book; and PIECING ME TOGETHER, written by Renée Watson and published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually 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. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood. The award is sponsored by ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT). The Coretta Scott King Book Award was founded in 1969 by Mabel McKissick and Glyndon Greer at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  The first award was given to Lillie Patterson in 1970 for her biography, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: Man of Peace (Garrard). In 1982, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards became an officially recognized ALA award. Three awards are given annually: Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award and Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award.

  • PIECING ME TOGETHER, written by Renée Watson, is the King Author Award winner. The book is published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books.

  • Three King Author Honor Books also were named: CROWN: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes, published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denene Millner Book; LONG WAY DOWN, written by Jason Reynolds, published by Atheneum, an Imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division, a Caitlyn Dlouhy Book; and THE HATE U GIVE, written by Angie Thomas, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

  • OUT OF WONDER: Poems Celebrating Poets, illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Award winner. The book is written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth.

  • Two King Illustrator Honor Books also were named: CROWN: An Ode to a Fresh Cut, illustrated by Gordon C. James, written by Derrick Barnes and published by Bolden, an Agate Imprint, a Denene Millner Book; and BEFORE SHE WAS HARRIET: The Story of Harriet Tubman, illustrated by James E. Ransome, written by Lesa Cline-Ransome and published by Holiday House.

  • THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET, written by David Barclay Moore, is the Steptoe Author Award winner. The book is published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

  • MAMA AFRICA! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song, illustrated by Charly Palmer, is the Steptoe Illustrator Award winner. The book is written by Kathryn Erskine and published by Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group, LLC.

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The award is donated by Dr. Katherine Schneider. Three annual awards are presented for the best Teen, Middle School and Children’s Book. The American Library Association administers the Awards, and each recipient receives $5000 and a framed plaque. Winners are announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

  • YOU'RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE, written and illustrated by Whitney Gardner and published by Alfred A. Knopf, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC is the winner for teens (ages 14-18).

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, established in 1988, honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The annual award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, and sponsored by School Library Journal magazine. It recognizes an author's work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society and in the world. The Edwards award celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013.

  • The 2018 winner is Angela Johnson. Her books include HEAVEN, LOOKING FOR RED, THE FIRST PART LAST, and SWEET, HEREAFTER, all published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing; BIRD, published by Puffin Books, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers and TONING THE SWEEP, published by Orchard Books, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

The May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture recognizes an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site. The lecturer, announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children's literature. Once the name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in college or university or a children's library system may be considered. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April, and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children. ALSC established the lecture series in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company. May Hill Arbuthnot (1884-1969) was born in Mason City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Chicago in 1922, receiving her master's degree in 1924 from Columbia University. Along with educator William Scott Gray, she created and wrote the Curriculum Foundation Readers --- better known as the Dick and Jane series --- for children published by Scott, Foresman and Company (now Pearson Scott Foresman).

  • Debbie Reese will deliver the 2019 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. Dr. Reese is a longtime advocate for Native representation and is a former teacher and university professor. She earned her PhD in Education from the University of Illinois, where she also helped establish the Native American House and American Indian Studies program. Dr. Reese also holds an M.Ed degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. She is tribally enrolled at Nambe Owingeh Pueblo in New Mexico.

The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

  • The 2018 winner is Jacqueline Woodson, whose award-winning works include BROWN GIRL DREAMING, AFTER TUPAC & D FOSTER, LOCOMOTION, and SHOW WAY.

The Odyssey Award is given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The award is jointly given and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist. The story of the wanderings of Ulysses, as he returns to his kingdom of Ithaca after the Trojan War, are ascribed to the blind poet Homer who either wrote, or dictated, the epic poem called THE ODYSSEY. Whether this odyssey of Ulysses was based on one specific event, or many different ones, is argued by researchers today, though they all seem to agree that the poems comprising THE ODYSSEY were originally told and retold in the oral tradition, hence the name for this award. The Odyssey Award allows us to return to the ancient roots of storytelling, while living in our modern world.

  • THE HATE U GIVE, produced by HarperAudio, is the 2018 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Angie Thomas and narrated by Bahni Turpin.

  • Five Odyssey Honor Audiobooks also were named: THE BOOK OF DUST: La Belle Sauvage, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Philip Pullman and narrated by Michael Sheen; A BOY CALLED CHRISTMAS, produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Matt Haig and narrated by Stephen Fry; LONG WAY DOWN, produced by Simon & Schuster Audio and written and narrated by Jason Reynolds; TROMBONE SHORTY produced by Live Oak Media, written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and narrated by Dion Graham; and THE WIZARDS OF ONCE, produced by Hachette Audio, written by Cressida Cowell and narrated by David Tennant.

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois. The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, administers the award.

  • TWELVE DAYS IN MAY: Freedom Ride 1961, written by Larry Dane Brimner, is the Sibert Award winner. The book is published by Calkins Creek, an imprint of Highlights.

  • Four Sibert Honor Books also were named: CHEF ROY CHOI AND THE STREET FOOD REMIX, written by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and June Jo Lee, illustrated by Man One and published by Readers to Eaters Books; GRAND CANYON, written and illustrated by Jason Chin and published by Roaring Book Press, a Neal Porter Book; NOT SO DIFFERENT What You Really Want to Ask about Having a Disability, written by Shane Burcaw, illustrated by Matt Carr and published by Roaring Brook Press; and SEA OTTER HEROES: The Predators That Saved an Ecosystem, written by Patricia Newman and published by Millbrook Press, a division of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other children’s experts, the awards encourage original and creative work. For more information on the ALA youth media awards and notables, please visit www.ala.org/yma.