Yesterday’s big awards news had nothing to do with Bradley Cooper or the Oscars (which I can’t wait for either). The American Library Association announced the 2015 Caldecott and Newbery medal winners for young adult literature, and we were really excited to see some of the best books for kids that we’ve recommended here before rise to the top as winners.
If you’re looking for your next favorite book, whether it’s a picture book for your young kids or a novel for your teens (or yourself), this is a great place to start. And if your favorite online shop is sold out, don’t be surprised. Also be sure to support your favorite local bookstore, who might have it in stock.
The 2015 John Newbery Medal
The prize given for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature this year goes to The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. It’s the story of two basketball phenom brothers, their love for the sport and their family, and a new relationship that threatens to drive them apart. The book is written in poetic verse–an unexpected, engrossing feature, that should draw in some new middle readers in grades 4 to 7.
The 2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal
This award goes to the best American picture book for children, and we were excited to see one of our favorites win this year: The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat. Beekle is an imaginary friend waiting for a child to choose him, but he keeps getting overlooked. So he sets out to the big city to find a friend for himself. Great art and a really charming story.
The 2015 Coretta Scott King Awards
The King awards recognize excellent African American authors and illustrators. The King Author Award this year was also an honor book for the Newbery medal: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson. This is the powerful story of Woodson’s experience growing up African American in the 1960s and 1970s in the Jim Crow South. Like The Crossover, which was an honor book in this category, Brown Girl Dreaming is written in poetic verse.
The King Illustrator Award recognized Firebird by illustrator Christopher Myers and author Misty Copeland, whom you might know better as the first ever African-American career dancer with the American Ballet Theater. This is the gorgeous story of a young African American girl longing to be a ballerina, set against Stravinsky’s ballet, The Firebird. Which, in fact, was Copeland’s own very first lead role in 2012.
For a complete list of all the ALA award winners, visit their website.