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Today is the biggest day of the year in kids’ books. The American Library Association named the winners of the Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature, the Caldecott Medal for outstanding picture book for children, and a host of other awards recognizing some of the best children’s and young adult books of the year. Each winner is selected by a committee of librarians and other literature experts.

See—and place your holds for!—the winning titles below. For a complete list of winners, including Honor books in many categories and awards recognizing authors rather than individual books, see the ALA’s announcement.

ALA Youth Media Awards 2018


Hello, Universe

Hello, Universe

By Erin Entrada Kelly

The lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully’s prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature

Wolf in the Snow

Wolf in the Snow

By Matthew Cordell

When a wolf cub and little girl are lost in a snowstorm, they must find their way home.

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

Piecing Me Together

Piecing Me Together

By Renée Watson

Tired of being singled out at her mostly-white private school as someone who needs support, high school junior Jade would rather participate in the school’s amazing Study Abroad program than join Women to Women, a mentorship program for at-risk girls.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets

By Kwame Alexander

Presents a collection of twenty poems written by Kwame Alexander, Chris Colderley, and Marjory Wentworth, in tribute to well-known poets from around the world. Illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award recognizing an African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

By David Barclay Moore

Unable to celebrate the holidays in the wake of his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting, Lolly Rachpaul struggles to avoid being forced into a gang himself while constructing a fantastically creative LEGO city at the Harlem community center.

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award

Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song

Mama Africa! How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song

By Kathryn Erskine

A harrowing picture biography of civil-rights activist and Grammy Award-winning South African singer Miriam Makeba. Illustrated by Charly Palmer

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award

We Are Okay

We Are Okay

By Nina LaCour

After leaving her life behind to go to college in New York, Marin must face the truth about the tragedy that happened in the final weeks of summer when her friend Mabel comes to visit.

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

Silent Days, Silent Dreams

Silent Days, Silent Dreams

By Allen Say

A fictionalized biography of James Castle, a deaf, autistic artist whose drawings hang in major museums throughout the world.

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

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess

By Shari Green

Deaf sixth-grader Macy struggles with resentment as her mother sells their house and prepares to add a stepfather and twin stepsisters to their family. Helping an elderly neighbor who is also preparing to move turns from a chore to an escape as Iris finds ways to communicate with Macy and shares stories that inspire the girl to look at life in new ways.

Available through SearchOhio.

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

You're Welcome, Universe

You're Welcome, Universe

By Whitney Gardner

When Julia gets kicked out of the Kingston School for the Deaf for putting up an illegal mural, she is moved to a mainstream school in the suburbs where she starts putting up more art, but she soon finds that someone is showing off their skills by adding to her tags.

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

The Murderer's Ape

The Murderer's Ape

By Jakob Wegelius; translated by Peter Graves

When her best friend, the sailor Henry Koskela, is falsely accused of murder, a gorilla named Sally Jones visits the run-down docks of Lisbon, embarks on a dizzying journey across the seven seas, and calls on the Maharaja of Bhapur’s magnificent court—all in an attempt to clear Henry’s name.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book translated from a foreign language and subsequently published in the United States

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States

La Princesa and the Pea

La Princesa and the Pea

By Susan Middleton Elya

A rhyming twist on the classic fairy tale in which a queen places a pea under a young lady’s mattress to see if she is truly a princess incorporates Spanish words. Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal.

Pura Belpré (Illustrator) Award honoring a Latino illustrator whose children's books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

Lucky Broken Girl

Lucky Broken Girl

By Ruth Behar

In 1960s New York, fifth-grader Ruthie, a Cuban-Jewish immigrant, must rely on books, art, her family, and friends in her multicultural neighborhood when an accident puts her in a body cast.

Pura Belpré (Author) Award honoring a Latino writer whose children's books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

By Larry Dane Brimner

For twelve history-making days in May 1961, thirteen black and white civil rights activists, also known as the Freedom Riders, traveled by bus into the South to draw attention to the unconstitutional segregation still taking place. Despite their peaceful protests, the Freedom Riders were met with increasing violence the further south they traveled.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children

Little & Lion

Little & Lion

By Brandy Colbert

Suzette returns home to Los Angeles from boarding school and grapples with her bisexual identity when she and her brother Lionel fall in love with the same girl, pushing Lionel’s bipolar disorder to spin out of control and forcing Suzette to confront her own demons.

Stonewall Book Award—Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's & Young Adult Literature Award for English-language children's and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience

Charlie & Mouse

Charlie & Mouse

By Laurel Snyder

Charlie and Mouse, two young brothers, enjoy a day out together, attending an imaginary party and collecting rocks. Illustrated by Emily Hughes.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book

The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

After witnessing her friend’s death at the hands of a police officer, Starr Carter’s life is complicated when the police and a local drug lord try to intimidate her in an effort to learn what happened the night Kahlil died.

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

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

By Deborah Heiligman

The true story of the relationship between brothers Theo and Vincent van Gogh.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults


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