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Prestigious Youth Media Awards Presented by the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) has announced the top books for children and young adults at its 2021 Youth Media Awards. Selected by librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards include the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz and Coretta Scott King Awards. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards guide parents, educators, librarians, and others to the best materials for youth.

“The award that teachers and parents probably know the most about is the Caldecott medal for picture book illustrations, and the Newbery medal for excellence in children’s literature,” said Erin Wen, DML Materials Selection Librarian. “For those of us who love children’s books, the Youth Media Awards are kind of like the Oscars. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the best of the best.”

The 2021 Youth Media Award announcements took place January 25 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits virtual conference in Chicago.

When You Trap a Tiger, written by Tae Keller, is the 2021 Newbery Medal winner for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature.

We Are Water Protectors, illustrated by Michaela Goade, is the 2021 Caldecott Medal winner for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Wen served on the Sibert Award Committee, which selects the best informational books for children. The 2021 winner of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera, written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann.

Coretta Scott King Awards recognize an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. Before the Ever After, written by Jacqueline Woodson, is the Coretta Scott King Author Book winner. R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, illustrated by Frank Morrison, is the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book winner.

Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story), by Daniel Nayeri, is the 2021 Michael L. Printz Award winner for excellence in literature written for young adults.

The Children’s Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose body of work has made a substantial and lasting contribution to children’s literature. The 2021 winner is Mildred D. Taylor, whose award-winning works include Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, the 1977 Newbery Medal winner and a Coretta Scott King Author honor book; The Land, the 2002 Coretta Scott King Author Award winner; and The Road to Memphis, the 1991 Coretta Scott King Author Award winner.

You can find a complete list of the many Youth Media Awards and honor recipients here.

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