The best children’s books: Newbery, Caldecott winners announced

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The winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and other prestigious awards were announced

CNN  — 

Your guide to the best new children’s and young adult literature is here.

The winners of the 2015 Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, Coretta Scott King and other prestigious youth media awards were announced Monday morning by the American Library Association. In addition to books, these awards highlight videos and other creative materials produced for children over the past year.

Diverse authors and titles from 2014, such as “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander and “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson, were highlighted with many awards, causing the audience to cheer the choices by the committees.

The Caldecott Medal went to “The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend,” illustrated and written by Dan Santat, which follows the journey of an imaginary friend in search of his perfect match.

The Newbery Medal was awarded to “The Crossover” by Kwame Alexander, a story about family and brotherhood told through verse by 12-year-old twin basketball players Josh and Jordan Bell.

Parents can use these titles as a guide when considering what books to recommend to their children and teens, while teachers and librarians look to the award-winning and runner-up titles as a helpful list of what to keep on the shelves in classrooms and libraries.

The ALA Youth Media Awards were announced during the organization’s winter meeting in Chicago and selected by a national judging committee of librarians and children’s literature experts.

Here’s the list of winners:

John Newbery Medal for most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

“The Crossover,” written by Kwame Alexander

Honor books:

“El Deafo,” written and illustrated by Cece Bell

“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson

‘Lemony Snicket’ author sorry for ‘racist’ joke at National Book Awards

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children

“The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend,” illustrated and written by Dan Santat

Honor books:

“Nana in the City,” illustrated and written by Lauren Castillo

“The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art,” illustrated by Mary GrandPré and written by Barb Rosenstock

“Sam and Dave Dig a Hole,” illustrated by Jon Klassen

“Viva Frida,” illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales

“The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus,” written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

“This One Summer,” illustrated by Jillian Tamaki and written by Mariko Tamaki

Coretta Scott King awards for an African-American author and illustrator

Author award: Jacqueline Woodson for “Brown Girl Dreaming”

Illustrator award: Christopher Myers for “Firebird,” written by Misty Copeland

Honor books:

Illustrator Christian Robinson for “Josephine: The Dazzling life of Josephine Baker,” written by Patricia Powell

Illustrator Frank Morrison for “Little Melba and Her Big Trombone,” written by Katheryn Russell-Brown

Author Kwame Alexander for “The Crossover”

Author Marilyn Nelson for “How I Discovered Poetry,” illustrated by Hadley Cooper

Author Kekla Magoon for “How It Went Down”

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award

Author Jason Reynolds for “When I Was the Greatest”

Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for lifetime achievement for illustrator/author

Deborah D. Taylor

Margaret A. Edwards Award, for an author’s significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature

Sharon M. Draper for “Tears of a Tiger,” “Forged by Fire,” “Darkness Before Dawn,” “The Battle of Jericho,” “November Blues” and “Copper Sun.”

Diversity in young adult fiction

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture, recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian or teacher of children’s literature

Author Pat Mora will deliver the 2016 Arbuthnot Lecture.

Pura Belpre awards for a Latino writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

Illustrator: Yuyi Morales for “Viva Frida”

Author: Marjorie Agosin for “I Lived on Butterfly Hill,” illustrated by Lee White

Honor books:

Illustrator Susan Guevara for “Little Roja Riding Hood,” written by Susan Middleton Elya

Illustrator John Parra for “Green is a Chile Pepper,” written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

Illustrator Duncan Tonatieuh for “Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation”

Author Juan Felipe Herrera for “Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes”

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, honoring an author or illustrator whose books, published in the U.S., have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.

Donald Crews

Stonewall Book Award, the Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award for books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience

“This Day in June,” written by Gayle E. Pitman and illustrated by Kristyna Litten

Honor books:

“Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out,” written and photographed by Susan Kuklin

“I’ll Give You the Sun,” written by Jandy Nelson

“Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress,” written by Christine Baldacchio and illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

Young children’s book: “A Boy and a Jaguar,” written by Alan Rabinowitz and illustrated by Catia Chien

Middle grade book: “Rain Reign,” written by Ann M. Martin

Teen book: “Girls Like Us,” written by Gail Giles

An interview with Ann M. Martin on “Rain Reign”

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults

“I’ll Give You the Sun” by Jandy Nelson

Honor books:

“And We Stay” by Jenny Hubbard

“The Carnival at Bray” by Jessie Ann Foley

“Grasshopper Jungle” by Andrew Smith

“This One Summer” by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for beginning reader book

“You Are (Not) Small,” written by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant

Honor books:

“Mr. Putter and Tabby Turn the Page,” written by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Arthur Howard

“Waiting is Not Easy,” written and illustrated by Mo Willems

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens

“Gabi, a Girl in Pieces,” written by Isabel Quintero


“The Carnival at Bray,” written by Jessie Ann Foley

“The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim,” written by E.K. Johnston

“The Scar Boys,” written by Len Vlahos

“The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender,” written by Leslye Walton

Meet the Morris Award finalists

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for informational books for children

“The Right Word: Roget and his Thesaurus,” written by Jen Bryant and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Honor books:

“Brown Girl Dreaming,” written by Jacqueline Woodson

“The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia,” written by Candace Fleming

“Josephine: The Dazzling life of Josephine Baker,” written by Patricia Powell and illustrated by Christian Robinson

“Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands,” illustrated and written by Katherine Roy

“Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation,” illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatieuh

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

“Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek,” written by Maya Van Wagenen


“Laughing at My Nightmare,” written by Shane Burcaw

“The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia,” written by Candace Fleming

“Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business – and Won!” written by Emily Arnold McCully

“The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights,” written by Steve Sheinkin

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for a book published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States

“Mikis and the Donkey,” written by Bibi Dumon Tak and illustrated by Philip Hopman

Honor books:

“Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust,” written by Loic Dauvillier and Greg Salsedo, illustrated by Marc Lizano

“Nine Open Arms,” written by Benny Lindelauf

Odyssey Award for best audiobook for children and young adults

“H.O.R.S.E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination,” produced by Live Oak Media, written by Christopher Myers and narrated by Dion Graham

Honor audiobooks:

“Five, Six, Seven, Nate,” produced by Simon & Schuster Audio, narrated and written by Tim Federle

“The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place,” produced by Listening Library, written by Julie Berry, narrated by Jayne Entwistle

“A Snicker of Magic,” produced by Scholastic, written by Natalie Lloyd, narrated by Cassandra Morris

Andrew Carnegie Medal for children’s video

“Me … Jane,” produced by Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Elllard, Weston Woods Studios

Alex Awards for 10 adult books that appeal to teens

“All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

“Bellweather Rhapsody” by Kate Racculia

“Bingo’s Run” by James A. Levine

“Confessions” by Kanae Minato, translated by Stephen Snyder

“Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng

“Lock In” by John Scalzi

“The Martian” by Andy Weir

“The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice” by Zak Ebrahim with Jeff Giles

“Those Who Wish Me Dead” by Michael Koryta

“Wolf in White Van” by John Darnielle