2017 Youth Media Awards

What is the most exciting day of the year for Children’s Librarians?!! It happens in mid-January, when the 2017 Youth Media Awards are live streamed from the annual American Library Association’s Mid-Winter Conference at 8:00 am, announcing the best books and videos of the year for children and teens!

We are familiar with the Newbery & Caldecott Medals—awarded to the best written and illustrated books for children each year—but there are several other important awards not to be missed: the Coretta Scott King Award, the Pura Belpre Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video, the Sibert Informational Book Award, the Michael L. Printz Award and YALSA Award in Nonfiction for Young Adults, among others.

Wonderful resources for parents, teachers and librarians alike, the awards showcase the best in children’s literature, audiobooks and videos of the year and are a great place to start when looking for a great book or video.

Here is how the awards are described:
Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.
Here are descriptions of all of the awards—and clicking on “Learn more about…” under each award links to the winners!

Check out this year’s award-winning books:

John Newbery Medal is awarded annually “to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.”
John Newbery Medal
Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded annually “to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.”
Randolph Caldecott Medal
Coretta Scott King Award is 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.”
Coretta Scott King Award
Pura Belpre Award is presented annually “to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.”

Schneider Family Book Award honors “an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given annually “to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers.”

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video honors “the most outstanding video productions for children.”

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually “to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published.”

Odyssey Award is given “to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults.”

Michael L. Printz Award is “an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.”
Michael L. Printz Award
YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults “honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults ages 12-18.”

Stonewall Book Award is given annually to “works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.”

Also available on the ALA website is a helpful list of each year’s Notable Books for Children.

The 2017 award-winning books have been announced. So head on over and find a great book to read aloud with your child or steer an older child to a great read. Great reading adventures await!


—Jackie Spritzer, Youth Services, Lawrence Headquarters Branch

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