The Transylvania Times -

Award Winning Books For Youth Announced

Everyday Education


Last updated 2/3/2020 at 4:09pm

Every year I wait with excitement to learn which books for youth will be named the best of the best and this year was no different. Publishers, educators, readers and librarians such as myself eagerly await the day that the Youth Media Awards are announced by the American Library Association.

On Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, awards such as the prestigious Newbery Medal, Caldecott Medal and Printz Award were given to the top books and audiobooks for children and teens. Winners are selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts.

In case you missed reading these award-winning titles, this is the perfect opportunity to learn about new books, especially if you’re not sure what to read next. Below are just a few notables for 2020. The Coretta Scott King Awards, the Odyssey Award, the Pura Belpré Awards, the Early Learning Digital Media Award, and many others were also awarded. For a full list of all the winners and honorees, go to: or visit the Transylvania County Library’s website at

The John Newbery Medal is awarded for the most distinguished American children’s book. The 2020 winner is “New Kid,” written by Jerry Craft. In this graphic novel, middle schooler Jordan navigates being one of a few kids of color at his new school. Four Newbery Honor Books were also announced: “The Unde-feated,” written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson; “Scary Stories for Young Foxes,” written by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu; “Other Words for Home,” written by Jasmine Warga; and “Genesis Begins Again,” written by Alicia D. Williams.

The Randolph Calde-cott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. This year’s winner is “The Undefeated,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander. This poem speaks to the history and the future of black life in America. Three Caldecott Honor Books were also announced: “Bear Came Along,” illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris; “Double Bass Blues,” illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney; and “Going Down Home with Daddy,” illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons.

The Michael L. Printz Award is given each year for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. This year’s winner is “Dig,” written by A.S. King. In this surreal novel, five white teenage cousins grapple with the secrets of their wealthy family’s racial injustices. Four Printz Honor Books were also announced: “The Beast Player,” written by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano; “Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me,” written by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell; “Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir,” written by Nikki Grimes; and “Where the World Ends,” written by Geraldine McCaughrean.

It’s fun to hear about all of the award-winning books, but this year I was especially excited to hear about the awards that “The Undefeated” received: Caldecott Medal, Newbery Honor, and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award. Last April, Kwame Alexander visited Transyl-vania County Library and he shared this just released book with his audience. Congratulations to Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson!

If you’re looking for your next read, check out all the award winners and you’re sure to find one that sparks your interest. The staff at the Transylvania County Library can also assist you in finding the right book. Come in and talk to a Youth Services staff member for youth suggestions, or view book lists on our website under the “Kid’s Stuff” and “Teen Space” pages. You will also find NoveList Plus which will help everyone youth to adult find their next great read. We cannot wait to find out what remarkable books are in store for us this year!

(Brock is Youth Services Librarian for Transylvania County Library.)


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019