Every year at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, librarians from across the continent gather for the most exciting event on the youth fiction calendar--the announcement of the ALA Youth Media Awards. These awards, from the venerable Newbery medal to the relatively new Stonewall Book Award, are awarded to what can only be termed the rockstars of the youth media world, and the enthusiasm surrounding the event carries out this comparison. Books nominated for these prizes are enshrined in their own sections of libraries, assigned in schools, and treasured by decades of readers, young and old. The 2013 winners were announced this morning in Seattle, Washington.
The 2013 Newbery Medal for the most outstanding children's literature of the year was awarded to Katherine Applegate for her book The One and Only Ivan.
The Caldecott Medal, celebrating its 75th year of honoring the best of the best of children's picture books, was awarded to Jon Klassen for This Is Not My Hat.
The Coretta Scott King Book Award for an outstanding publication that represents the African American experience was given to illustrator Bryan Collier for I, Too, Am America and author Andrea Davis Pinkney for Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America while The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement recognized Demetria Tucker, librarian and youth media advocate, for her longstanding contributions.
The Pura Belpré Awards for works that best represent the Latino experience honored Martín de Porres: The Rose in the Desert for David Diaz's illustrations, and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz for text.
The Michael L. Printz Award for the best book written for young adults was awarded to Nick Lake for In Darkness.
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for a lifelong contribution to children's literature in the United States was awarded to Katherine Paterson, author of Bridge to Terabithia and many other beloved books, and The Margaret A. Edwards Award for contribution to teen literature went to Tamora Pierce for her quartets The Song of the Lioness and Protector of the Small.
For a full list of winners and honorable mentions, visit the American Library Association's awards page or the ALA Youth Media Awards Facebook page, and be sure to check out our section of award winning children's books in the Downtown Library youth room.