By Glory Benacka | Jan. 31, 2019

January is a big month for librarians around the United States. Each year advisory and collection development librarians read diligently to award and spotlight outstanding books in a wide variety of categories. Most of these titles are available or being added to our Salina Public Library collection as I enthusiastically write this blog entry. You may also request titles we do not own through interlibrary loan. Below is our guide to 2019 award-winning youth books to add to your TBR (to be read) list this year.

2019 Youth Media Award Winners

Newbery Medal: Merci Suárez Changes Gears,” by Meg Medina. The John Newbery Medal is for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.

Caldecott Medal:  Hello Lighthouse,” by Sophie Blackall. The Randolph Caldecott Medal is awarded for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award: “A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919,” by Claire Hartfield.

Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award: “The Stuff of Stars,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, is the King Illustrator Book winner. The book is written by Marion Dane Bauer. The Coretta Scott King Book awards recognize African-American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults.

Printz Award: The Poet X,” written by Elizabeth Acevedo. The Michael L. Printz Award is for excellence in literature written for young adults.

Schneider Family Book Award: Rescue & Jessica A Life-Changing Friendship,” written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes. The Schneider Family Book Award is for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.

Alex Awards: The Alex Awards are for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award:  The Fox on the Swing,” originally published in Lithuanian as “Laime Yra Lape,” was written by Evelina Daciūtė and illustrated by Aušra Kiudulaitė. The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is awarded to 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:

Odyssey Award is for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults.“Sadie,” produced by Macmillan Audio from Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Press, is the 2019 Odyssey Award winner. The book is written by Courtney Summers and narrated by Rebecca Soler, Fred Berman, Dan Bittner, Gabra Zackman, and more.

Pura Belpré Awards honor a Latinx writer and illustrator whose children’s book best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience. This year’s winner “Dreamers” is illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales. (Spanish language version “Soñadores“)

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children honors “The Girl Who Drew Butterflies: How Maria Merian’s Art Changed Science,” by Joyce Sidman.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book is “Fox the Tiger,” written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens:  “Darius the Great Is Not Okay,” by Adib Khorram.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults: “The Unwanted: Stories of the Syrian Refugees,” written and illustrated by Don Brown.

Looking for even more award-winning youth books? Check out the comprehensive list that includes honorable mentions and runners up via the American Library Association.