2021 ALA Youth Media Awards!

This week the American Library Association (ALA) revealed its much-anticipated 2021 Youth Media Award Winners! Each year, the ALA selects a winner for each of its many categories, as well as honorable mentions.

From the ALA blog: “Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by judging committees of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work.”

Here is the complete list of all 2021 winners and honor books, with links directly to each item in our online catalog. Click on the book title to access our online catalog and reserve a copy. Each catalog listing also includes suggested ages or reading levels, as well as a summary of the book.

The John Newbery Medal is awarded for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.

2021 John Newbery Medal winner:

When You Trap a Tiger, written by Tae Keller

Five Newbery Honor Books:


The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

2021 Randolph Caldecott Medal winner:

We Are Water Protectors, illustrated by Michaela Goade, written by Carole Lindstrom

Four Caldecott Honor Books:


The Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognize an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.

Coretta Scott King Author Book Award winner:

Before the Ever After, written by Jacqueline Woodson

Three King Author Honor Books:

Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award winner:

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Carole Boston Weatherford

Three King Illustrator Honor Books:

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award:

Legendborn, written by Tracy Deonn


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

Michael L. Printz Award winner:

Everything Sad Is Untrue (A True Story), by Daniel Nayeri

Four Printz Honor Books:


The Schneider Family Book Awards are given for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Schneider Family Book Award winner for young children (ages 0-10):

I Talk Like a River, written by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith

Two Honor Books for young children:

Schneider Family Book Award winner for middle grades (ages 11–13):

Show Me a Sign, written by Ann Clare LeZotte

Two Honor Books for middle grades:

Schneider Family Book Award winner for teens (ages 13–18):

This Is My Brain in Love, written by I. W. Gregorio

(No honor book for teens.)


The Alex Awards are given for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences. Here are this year’s ten winners:


The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is given for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award winner:

Telephone Tales, written by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali, translated by Antony Shugaar; originally published in Italian as Favole al telefono

One Honor Book:

  • Catherine’s War, written by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel, and translated from French by Ivanka Hahnenberger

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

Odyssey Award winner:

Kent State, produced by Paul R. Gagne, written by Deborah Wiles, and narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina DeLaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries

Four Odyssey Honor Audiobooks:

  • Clap When You Land, produced by Caitlin Garing, written by Elizabeth Acevedo, and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte
  • Fighting Words, produced by Karen Dziekonski, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley, and narrated by Bahni Turpin
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You, produced by Robert Van Kolken, written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, and narrated by Jason Reynolds with an introduction by Ibram X. Kendi
  • When Stars Are Scattered, produced by Kelly Gildea and Julie Wilson, written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, and narrated by Faysal Ahmed, Barkhad Abdi, and a full cast. (Item not yet owned in Clevnet … please check back later.)

The Pura Belpré Awards honor a Latinx writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.

Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner:

¡Vamos! Let’s Go Eat, illustrated and written by Raúl Gonzalez

One Belpré Illustrator Honor Book:

Pura Belpré Children’s Author Award winner:

Efrén Divided, written by Ernesto Cisneros

Two Belpré Children’s Author Honor Books:

Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Award winner:

Furia, written by Yamile Saied Méndez

Two Belpré Young Adult Author Honor Books:


The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is given for the most distinguished informational book for children.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award winner:

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera, written by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Eric Rohmann

Three Sibert Honor Books:


The Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award is given to a digital media producer that has created distinguished digital media for an early learning audience.

Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award winner:

One honor title:


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

Stonewall Book Award—Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award winner:

We Are Little Feminists: Families, written by Archaa Shrivastav, designed by Lindsey Blakely. (Item not yet owned in Clevnet … please check back later.)

Four Honor Books:


The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is presented for the most distinguished beginning reader book.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner:

See the Cat: Three Stories About a Dog, written by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

Four Geisel Honor Books:


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

William C. Morris Award winner:

If These Wings Could Fly, written by Kyrie McCauley

Four other books were finalists:


YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults:

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh, written by Candace Fleming

Four other books were finalists:


The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is given based on literary and artistic merit in three youth categories.

Picture Book winner:

Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist, written by Julie Leung, illustrated by Chris Sasaki

Picture Book Honor Book:

Danbi Leads the School Parade, written and illustrated by Anna Kim

Children’s Literature winner:

When You Trap a Tiger, written by Tae Keller

Children’s Literature Honor Book:

Prairie Lotus, written by Linda Sue Park

Youth Literature winner:

This Light Between Us, written by Andrew Fukuda

Youth Literature Honor Book:

Displacement, written by Kiku Hughes


The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

Sydney Taylor Book Award Gold Medalists:

Picture Book category:

Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail, by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Susan Gal

Middle Grades category:

Turtle Boy, by M. Evan Wolkenstein

Young Adult category:

Dancing at the Pity Party, written and illustrated by Tyler Feder

Sydney Taylor Book Award Silver Medalists:

Picture Book category:

  • I Am the Tree of Life: My Jewish Yoga Book, by Mychal Copeland, illustrated by André Ceolin. (Item not yet owned in Clevnet … please check back later.)
  • Miriam at the River, by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Khoa Le

Middle Grades category:

Young Adult category:


Lifetime Achievement Awards:

The Coretta Scott King—Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Award pays tribute to the quality and magnitude of beloved children’s author Virginia Hamilton. Dorothy L. Guthrie is the 2021 winner. She is an award-winning retired librarian, district administrator, author, and school board member.

The Children’s Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children’s lives and experiences. The 2021 winner is Mildred D. Taylor. See here for books by Mildred D. Taylor in our catalog.

The Margaret A. Edwards Award is presented for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. The 2021 winner is Kekla Magoon. See here for books by Kekla Magoon in our catalog.

For more information on the ALA Youth Media Awards and notables, please visit their page at www.ala.org/yma.

For more information about checking out these books, or any other children’s or teen materials, contact our Children’s Desk at 330-653-6658, ext 1020.