Review of Revolution in Our Time, by Kekla Magoon

Revolution in Our Time

The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People

by Kekla Magoon

Candlewick Press, 2021. 390 pages.
Review written August 20, 2022, from my own copy, purchased at the Walter Awards and signed by the author.
2022 Printz Honor Book
2022 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award
2022 National Book Award Finalist
2022 Walter Dean Myers Honor Award
Starred Review

Revolution in Our Time is an amazing work of scholarship, telling the complete history of the Black Panther Party for young people, complete with hundreds of photographs and plenty of sidebars and analysis. It won multiple Honor awards, and the meticulous research and clear presentation make it an obvious choice, even for awards that are usually won by novelists.

I didn’t know much at all about the Black Panthers. And honestly, all my impressions of them were negative. I certainly didn’t know that much of their reason for existing was to protest the same disproportionate police violence against Black people that still exists today. But it went much further than that. They wanted to help Black people in poverty and help Black communities come together. Reading this book helped me understand the organization was much more nuanced than anything I’d heard about them.

The Panthers fought a revolution in their time, just as we are fighting one in ours. They were called troublemakers, terrorists, and branded as anti-American, but the truth of their work belies these labels. They boldly claimed their place at the vanguard of a centuries-old fight for equality, and their legacy continues to lead the way forward. The story of the Black Panther Party is one of violence and heartbreak and struggle and conviction. It is the story of a group of young people who set out to change the world around them — in very radical ways.

They came up against many obstacles — including an FBI effort to stop them. They had many successes and many failures. This book tells their complete story, and it opened my eyes.

I was especially interested to learn that especially at the beginning, they were careful to follow all laws. They “policed the police” following police actions with legally owned guns, to protect people in their neighborhoods from police violence. I’m afraid I’m not surprised this resulted in some changes to what was legal.

I like the way the last chapter focuses on how young the founders of the Black Panther Party were. There is a reason the author targeted this amazing work of scholarship to young people. Here’s a paragraph from that last chapter:

I discovered an archival video in the course of my research, with former civil rights movement leaders who were looking back in the early 2000s at their own words and convictions of the 1960s. They declared in retrospect that the biggest mistake of the civil rights era was to believe that all the problems could be solved in their lifetime, and they failed to train the next generation to take up the mantle in the necessary ways to maintain the struggle. My own life experience bears this up in a lot of ways: young people are often underestimated and excluded from challenging conversations. Whether it’s to protect the children, or due to a misguided faith in their own power to solve everything, the perennial mistake of elders is to dismiss the power and potential of youth. On the flip side, the mistake of youth is often to dismiss the wisdom and experience of those who have gone before. In their day, the Panthers didn’t make either of these mistakes. They placed the core of their emphasis on building a cadre of revolutionary youth, and they promoted empowerment through education about Black history. They were undermined and overturned at every stage, perhaps partly because of the truly systemic nature of the change they envisioned, and the fact that they made real progress in these directions in a very short time frame.

Not that the author paints a completely rosy picture of what the Black Panthers were trying to do. But whatever you know about the Black Panthers, I suspect this book will give you a fuller picture. An amazing story of people who wanted to bring about equality and were willing to fight to get it.

keklamagoon.com

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Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of Anya and the Dragon, by Sofiya Pasternack

Anya and the Dragon

by Sofiya Pasternack

Versify (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), 2019. 394 pages.
Review written May 19, 2020, from a library book
Starred Review
2020 Sidney Taylor Book Award Honor, Middle Grade

Anya and her family live in a village in Russia during the time of the tsars. Their family is Jewish, and they’re trying to blend in. But Anya’s papa has been sent to fight in the wars, and the magistrate says that doesn’t give them relief from taxes because they’re Jews, so they’re likely to lose their house.

Meanwhile, magic has been forbidden by the tsar, but everyone in the village quietly uses magic anyway – except for Anya, who hopes she will discover that she has magic at the time of her bat mizvah.

When the tsar’s fool and his family come to their village, the youngest son, Ivan, makes friends with Anya. His father tells Anya that they have come to capture the local dragon and take it to the tsar. He will pay Anya to help them find it, which could solve all their problems.

Is there a dragon in their village? And if Anya hands him over, would she be responsible for his death? Meanwhile, a foreigner has come to the village who is also looking for the dragon. And he’s strong and magical and determined not to let anyone stand in his way.

Based on the title, readers won’t be surprised when Anya does meet a dragon. But there are many surprises about what the dragon is like.

I like the way this book takes a simple fantasy tale about a magical creature and weaves in thoughts about right and wrong and doing good as Anya is getting ready for her bat mizvah.

I also like Anya’s courage, persistence and cleverness as she faces many dangerous mythical creatures as well as a supernaturally strong man who wants to kill her. This story has adventure and danger as well as humorous, kind, and loving characters.

hmhbooks.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of The 100 Years of Lenni and Margot

The 100 Years of Lenni and Margot

by Marianne Cronin
read by Sheila Reid and Rebecca Benson

HarperAudio, 2021. 10 hours, 54 minutes.
Review written July 9, 2022, from a library eaudiobook
Starred Review
2022 Alex Award Winner (books published for adults of interest to teens)

Oh, this book touched my heart!

You’re warned right from the start. Lenni is a Swedish girl living in the terminal ward of the Princess Royal Hospital in Glasgow. She’s 17 years old, and she doesn’t want to die.

As the book begins, she can still go on adventures around the hospital. She goes to the chapel and meets Father Arthur. She asks him some uncomfortable questions about why she’s going to die, and ends up making friends with him. She helps a temp name the new room for hospital patients to do art. They call it the Rose Room — and that’s where Lenni meets Margot.

Margot is 83 years old and also dying — and Lenni notices that between the two of them, they’ve lived 100 years.

They begin a project together in the Rose Room — 100 paintings, one for each year of their lives. And along with the paintings, they started telling stories, stories from different years of their lives.

I love the two narrators for this audiobook. The narrator reading Lenni’s part sounds 17, and the narrator reading Margot’s stories sounds 83. And they both have wonderful accents, so the whole thing is a delight to read.

We know from the start that Lenni and Margot are dying. So you can simply expect some heartbreak at the end. But that’s going to come because this unlikely pair will have completely wound their way into your heart before you’re done with their stories and their enthusiasm for living.

Oh, and there’s a Swedish man in the book named Mr. Eklund, so that’s proof it’s a great book!

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Review of The Great Nijinsky, by Lynn Curlee

The Great Nijinsky

God of Dance

by Lynn Curlee

Charlesbridge Teen, 2019. 112 pages.
Review written May 12, 2020, from a library book
A 2020 Capitol Choices selection
2020 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Award Finalist

The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance is a biography of Vaslav Nijinsky, who took the world of ballet by storm in 1909, when he was only 20 years old.

Nijinsky danced only ten more years but is still considered one of the greatest dancers of all time. He also choreographed some groundbreaking ballets, beginning an entirely new style for the twentieth century.

Much of the book focuses on Nijinsky’s status as one of the first wildly popular performer celebrities. People would even break into his dressing room for souvenirs. He was a sex symbol, especially with some of the new suggestive choreography, and he was the center of scandal for being openly the lover of a man at the start of his career. He later married a woman who’d become obsessed with him and was probably bisexual. Tragically, the last thirty years of his life, he stopped performing because of mental illness.

An interesting part of this book is the series of paintings of Nijinsky in various roles. We learn in the author’s note at the back that the author painted many of them life-size in the 1970s, long before he’d ever thought of writing a book to go with his paintings. So this book was the culmination of a long-held interest in Vaslav Nijinsky.

curleeart.com
charlesbridgeteen.com

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Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but the views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

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Review of The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higuera

The Last Cuentista

by Donna Barba Higuera

Levine Querido, 2021. 320 pages.
Review written April 6, 2022, from my own copy, purchased via amazon.com
2022 Newbery Medal Winner

The Last Cuentista won the Newbery Medal. Everyone should read it. The writing is lyrical, lush, and gorgeous. It talks about the power of Story, greater than anything.

As the story begins, Petra and her family are getting ready to leave earth. She misses her grandmother Lita, who told her a story about Halley’s Comet as a fire snake with bad eyesight that accidentally hit its mother, earth, and destroyed it.

It feels wrong to be sneaking off Earth while so many are left behind. They don’t even inform my parents of our destination until the day before. Dad says Pleiades had been storing their ships in a massive underground facility at the old Denver airport — they weren’t supposed to leave Earth on their first official trip for another two years. The maiden test flights into nearby space a few months earlier had been successful, but because we’re now leaving so suddenly, this will be the first interstellar journey.

If a solar flare hadn’t shifted the comet off course a week earlier, we’d be watching Fire Snake harmlessly pass Earth in a few days like it had since the beginning of time.

Petra and her brother Javier are prepared to go into a stasis pod. They will sleep for three hundred and eighty years and wake up ready to go to a new planet, named Sagan, where another ship has already gone to terraform. Scientists like Petra’s parents will help set up life on the new settlement — and Petra and Javier have custom programming that will go into their brains while in stasis, so they will wake up scientific experts as well.

As they go into stasis, Petra learns that her desired elective — storytelling — was overridden by her parents. She doesn’t want to be a scientist. She wants to be a Cuentista like her grandmother.

Not everyone on the spaceship will be in stasis. The Monitors will spend their lives in space making sure that those in the pods are safe.

But something goes wrong from the very start when Petra is supposed to go to sleep. And when she wakes up, near the planet, she discovers the Collective has taken over. They expect her to answer to the name Zeta-1 and serve the Collective.

The story is compelling and beautifully written. But I had problems with it that I’ve had with other dystopian fiction. I couldn’t get around my questions of why? Why would the Collective want to ban memories of earth and ban stories? The explanation given was that earth was a place of war and they were starting over, but I didn’t buy it. I didn’t think people leaving their home planet would want to forget everything.

I also couldn’t really bring myself to believe in the magic technology that could reprogram brains — and somehow didn’t work on Petra. And Petra could make people remember despite that. So although I see the amazing craft in the book, I could never quite suspend my disbelief and really believe it would happen that way.

But it won the Newbery. So there are many people who didn’t have any problem with those things. Try it yourself! Read this beautiful story and then tell me what you think: Were you pulled into this tale of the last survivors of humankind?

levinequerido.com

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Review of The Ones We’re Meant to Find, by Joan He, narrated by Nancy Wu

The Ones We’re Meant to Find

by Joan He
narrated by Nancy Wu

Tantor Audio, 2021. 11 hours.
Review written February 1, 2022, from a library eaudiobook
2021 Cybils Finalist, Young Adult Speculative Fiction

The Ones We’re Meant to Find tells two parallel stories in alternating chapters. One story is of Cee, who’s been living for three years on an abandoned island, trying to build a boat so she can go look for her sister, Kay.

The other story is about Kasey, a socially awkward scientific genius who lives in the next-to-the-top level of an eco-city built above the clouds, designed to be safe from all the disasters that have overtaken planet earth. Kasey’s sister Celia went missing three months ago, and everybody thinks she’s dead.

The two stories do come together, but not at all as we expect they will at the beginning.

Before they come together, Cee tries to set out to find Kay, but her boat is swamped by a storm. She washes up back on the island. Not long after that, a boy washes up on the beach, and life on the island changes.

Meanwhile, with the help of a hacker, Kasey finds Celia’s brain interface, which she had removed before she disappeared. Kasey can access Celia’s memories and find out why she left. Oh, and the world faces more disasters for everyone outside the eco-cities.

The set-up is intriguing, and we want to learn about how they connect. For me, several details toward the end stretched credibility, but I can’t list those things because it would give away the big reveal. However, it’s a nice speculative fiction book about how people might respond to manmade disasters threatening to make earth uninhabitable and the kind of dilemmas people might face. A book that makes you think, while providing engaging characters facing difficult decisions and trying circumstances.

joanhewrites.com
fiercereads.com

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Review of A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger

A Snake Falls to Earth

by Darcie Little Badger

Levine Querido, 2021. 372 pages.
Review written February 14, 2022, from a library book
Starred Review
2021 National Book Award Longlist
2022 Newbery Honor Book

Because Darcie Little Badger’s debut novel, Elatsoe, was one of my favorite books I read in 2021, I had this book all checked out ready to read as soon as I finished reading for the Cybils Awards. So I felt like I’d won the jackpot when it won Newbery Honor, and I already had it checked out.

Like Elatsoe, this book features an older teen protagonist and is on the Young Adult shelves at my library, but has no sex or graphic violence and will appeal to middle school readers as well as older teens. Also like Elatsoe, A Snake Falls to Earth is steeped in Native American tales from the author’s Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas.

This book follows two stories. One is the story of Nina, a sixteen-year-old Lipan girl who lives in Texas and is worrying about a hurricane headed for her Grandma’s house. That house is on land that has long been in their family, and Grandma gets sick if she leaves it. The story her dying great-grandmother told Nina might shed some light on the reasons why, if Nina can manage to translate it.

The other story is about one of the animal people in the Reflecting World. In his true form, Oli is a cottonmouth snake. In his false form, he’s a boy with scales in place of eyebrows. When we first meet Oli, his mother has sent him away from home, and Oli has adventures looking for a place of his own. He makes friends along the way, and when one of those friends gets in trouble, Oli is willing even to make the dangerous journey to Earth to help.

And of course those stories come together in unexpected and delightful ways when Oli makes it to Earth.

Something I loved about Elatsoe was that kids didn’t hide magical events from the adults in their lives, and that’s true in this book, too. There’s a strong sense of community, including parents and elders. Altogether, this is a magical adventure that feels like a yarn you could hear at a storyteller’s feet.

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Review of Mel Fell, by Corey R. Tabor

Mel Fell

by Corey R. Tabor

Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins), 2021. 40 pages.
Review written July 10, 2021, from a library book
2022 Caldecott Honor Book

Mel Fell is a simple picture book with pizzazz. I love the way it plays with the format of the picture book to catch interest.

The book begins in an unusual position. You open the book with the spine up. Then we get a tale of a baby kingfisher named Mel who decides it’s time to fly. But when she stepped off the branch, instead of flying, Mel fell.

We’re zoomed in on Mel and see various creatures try to catch her – squirrels, bees, a spider – all to no avail. Then there’s a big “Oh no!” and Mel’s eyes that were serenely closed pop open.

But on the next page, there’s a big splash. Then we see underwater, where Mel catches a fish in her beak, and we’re cleverly asked to turn the book.

The rest of the book has Mel flying triumphantly out of the water (now with the spine of the book below the pages we’re turning) and up and up, past the creatures we saw on the way down, back to her nest.

It’s all fun and simple, with only a little text on each page, but a dramatic and easy-to-follow story.

An author’s note at the back explains that kingfishers dive into the water from trees. “A young kingfisher probably doesn’t catch a fish the first time they leave the nest. But then, Mel is a very special bird.”

coreyrtabor.com
harpercollinschildrens.com

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Review of Classified, by Traci Sorell, illustrations by Natasha Donovan

Classified

The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer

by Traci Sorell
illustrations by Natasha Donovan

Millbrook Press, 2021. 32 pages.
Review written January 5, 2022, from a library book
Starred Review
2022 Mathical Book Prize Honor Book, Grades 3-5
2022 American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book, Picture Books

I’m so happy about a recent burst of picture book biographies of distinguished women mathematicians and engineers! They would have inspired me as a child, and they inspire me as an adult.

This book tells the story of Mary Golda Ross, a member of the Cherokee nation, who excelled in math, even though she was surrounded by boys in her classes. The book portrays her as always learning. She became a teacher after graduating from college, but during World War II got a job working on fighter jets for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. That job led her to take engineering classes at a local university to become Lockheed’s first female engineer. After the war, she worked in a classified group developing space travel and satellites.

I like the way Cherokee values are introduced at the beginning and throughout the text we’re told how she demonstrated them: “gaining skills in all areas of life, working cooperatively with others, remaining humble when others recognize your talents, and helping ensure equal education and opportunity for all.”

A whole spread at the end is devoted to Mary’s work helping others not have to face the barriers she did:

Although her work was classified, Mary still had much to share. She never stopped recruiting American Indians and young women to study math and science and helping support them to become engineers.

Mary’s work and her legacy of service have helped many others become trailblazers, too.

I learned in the timeline at the back that she helped found the Los Angeles section of the Society of Women Engineers and later a scholarship was established in her name.

A lovely book about a remarkable woman I’m glad to now know about.

tracisorell.com
natashadonovan.com

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Winners Galore!

It’s Book Award Season! I’m doing a program to highlight some of my favorite books from 2021 that have been honored with awards this year, as well as highlighting the many awards out there. This post will give links to the award lists so you can find even more great books, along with featuring the books I plan to highlight. Books I’ve reviewed will have links to the review.

This year, I got to be part of three groups that selected outstanding books:

Committee to select the Mathical Book Prize, “an annual award for fiction and nonfiction books that inspire children of all ages to see math in the world around them.”

Round 2 Panel to select one winner for the Cybils Award (Children and Young Adult Bloggers’ Literary Awards) in Young Adult Speculative Fiction from seven Finalists. Something great about the Cybils Awards are the many categories and the lists of Finalists — if a kid is asked to read an award-winning book, they can certainly find something they like among the Cybils Finalists. There’s somethiing for everyone.

Capitol Choices. This is a DC-area group of children’s literature librarians and other professionals who meet monthly to choose 100 of the best children’s and young adult books each year.

I’m going to talk about books from these committees as well as other favorites that were honored with the many ALA Awards. From the “Youth Media Awards” page, you can find a brief description of each award and links to the pages with current and past winners. Here’s the press release for all this year’s winners.

On my blog every year, I also post a list of Sonderbooks Stand-outs, my personal favorite books read that year. This year it just so happened that three of my #1 Sonderbooks Stand-outs were honored with multiple ALA awards. That didn’t even happen the year I was on the Newbery committee!

For this award tasting, I’m going to mention favorite books and tell the awards and honors they’ve won. I’m going to start with books for the youngest children and move to older children and teens. I am going to try to cover lots of different awards along the way, and I’ll tell about the awards as they come up.

For Youngest Readers

2022 Mathical Winner, PreK:
1 Smile, 10 Toes, by Nelleke Verhoeff

2021 Cybils Finalist, Board Books:
2022 Mathical Honor Book, PreK:
Circle Under Berry, by Carter Higgins

For Preschoolers

The Randolph Caldecott Medal is given to “the illustrator of the most distinguished American picture book for children” that year. This is given for the art.

2022 Caldecott Honor Book:
Mel Fell, by Corey R. Tabor

2022 Caldecott Honor Book:
Have You Ever Seen a Flower?, by Shawn Harris

2022 Caldecott Honor Book:
Wonder Walkers, by Micha Archer

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor books “that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.”

2022 Schneider Family Award Winner, Young Children:
My City Speaks, by Darren Lebeuf, illustrated by Ashley Barron

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards go to “outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.”

2022 Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration:
We Wait for the Sun, by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe, pictures by Raissa Figueroa

For Early Elementary School

The John Newbery Medal is given to “the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.” This is given for the text.

The Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature “celebrate Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage,” given for literary and artistic merit.

The Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards are given to outstanding children’s and young adult books based on a calendar that goes from June to May.

2022 Caldecott Medal Winner:
2022 Newbery Honor Book:
2022 Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner, Picture Books:
2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, Picture Books:
2021 Cybils Winner, Fiction Picture Books:
2021 #1 Sonderbooks Stand-out, Picture Books:
Watercress, by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chen

The Sydney Taylor Book Awards “recognize titles for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.”

2022 Sidney Taylor Award Gold Medal, Picture Books:
2021 #2 Sonderbooks Stand-out, Picture Books:
The Passover Guest, by Susan Kusel, illustrated by Sean Rubin

Fun fact: Susan Kusel is a local librarian, and a past chair of the Sydney Taylor committee!

2022 Mathical Book Prize Winner, Grades K-2:
Uma Wimple Charts Her House, by Reif Larsen and Ben Gibson

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is given to the “most distinguished American book for beginning readers.”

2022 Geisel Award Winner:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Easy Readers:
Fox at Night, by Corey R. Tabor

2022 Geisel Honor Book:
Beak & Ally: Unlikely Friends, by Norm Feuti

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards are given every two years for the best writing and illustrations that “present Native American and Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity in present, past and future contexts.”

2022 American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book, Middle Grades:
JoJo Makoons, The Used-to-Be Best Friend, by Dawn Quigley, illustrated by Tara Audibert

2022 Schneider Family Award Honor Book, Middle Grades:
Stuntboy, Volume 1, In the Meantime, by Jason Reynolds, drawings by Raul the Third

For Upper Elementary

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is given to the most distinguished American informational book.

2022 Coretta Scott King Author Winner:
2022 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Winner:
2022 Caldecott Honor Book:
2022 Sibert Honor Book:
2021 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Book, Nonfiction:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Middle Grade Nonfiction:
2021 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #1 Children’s Nonfiction:
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper

2022 Mathical Winner, Grades 3-5:
2021 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #10 Children’s Nonfiction:
Maryam’s Magic: The Story of Mathematician Maryam Mirzakhani, by Megan Reid, illustrations by Aaliya Jaleel

2022 Mathical Honor Book, Grades 3-5:
2022 American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book, Picture Books:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Middle Grade Nonfiction:
Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer, by Traci Sorell, illustrations by Natasha Donovan

2022 Mathical Honor Book, Grades 3-5:
Molly and the Mathematical Mysteries, by Eugenia Cheng

2022 Sibert Honor Book:
2021 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #5 Children’s Nonfiction:
The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem, by Colleen Paeff, illustrated by Nancy Carpenter

2022 Sidney Taylor Silver Medal, Middle Grades:
The Genius Under the Table, by Eugene Yelchin

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding book originally published in another language in another country and translated into English.

2022 Batchelder Honor Book:
The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas, written by María García Esperón, illustrated by Amanda Mijangos and translated by David Bowles

For Middle School

The Pura Belpré Award is given to “a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth”

2022 Newbery Medal Winner:
2022 Pura Belpré Award Author Winner:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction:
The Last Cuentista, by Donna Barba Higuera

The Stonewall Book Award – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award is given to “English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.”

The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature is given to an American author, on a publishing year that runs from December to November.

2022 Newbery Honor Book:
2022 Stonewall Award Winner, Children’s Literature:
2021 National Book Award Finalist:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Elementary/Middle Grade Speculative Fiction:
Too Bright to See, by Kyle Lukoff

The Michael L. Printz Award is given to “a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature.”

2022 Printz Honor Book:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Poetry:
2021 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #5 Children’s Fiction:
Starfish, by Lisa Fipps

The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature is sponsored by We Need Diverse Books and celebrates diversity in children’s literature.

2022 Newbery Honor Book:
2022 Walter Award Winner, Younger Readers Category:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Poetry:
Red, White and Whole, by Rajani LaRocca

2022 Mathical Book Prize Winner, Grades 6-8:
AfterMath, by Emily Barth Isler

2022 Mathical Honor Book, Grades 6-8:
2021 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #8 Children’s Fiction:
In the Red, by Christopher Swiedler

2022 Sidney Taylor Gold Medal, Middle Grades:
How to Find What You’re Not Looking For, by Veera Hiranandani

2022 American Indian Youth Literature Honor Book:
2020 Cybils Young Adult Speculative Fiction Finalist:
2020 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #5 Teen Speculative Fiction:
Elatsoe, by Darcie Little Badger

2022 Newbery Honor Book:
2021 National Book Award Longlist:
A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults is given to “the best nonfiction book for young adults.”

2022 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist:
2022 Capitol Choices selection:
In the Shadow of the Fallen Towers, by Don L. Brown

2022 Mathical Book Prize Honor Book, Grades 6-8:
It’s a Numbers Game: Baseball

For High School

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award “honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.”

2022 Printz Medal Winner:
2022 Morris Award Winner:
2022 American Indian Youth Literature Honor Book:
2022 Walter Award Winner, Teen Category:
2021 Cybils Finalist, Young Adult Fiction:
2021 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #1 Teen Fiction:
Firekeeper’s Daughter, by Angeline Boulley

2022 Cybils Young Adult Fiction Winner:
2021 Sonderbooks Stand-out, #2 Teen Fiction:
The Girls I’ve Been, by Tess Sharpe

2022 Cybils Young Adult Speculative Fiction Winner:
Vespertine, by Margaret Rogerson

2021 Cybils Young Adult Speculative Fiction Finalist:
The Mirror Season, by Anna-Marie McLemore

2022 Printz Honor Book:
2021 Cybils Young Adult Fiction Finalist:
Concrete Rose, by Angie Thomas

2022 Sidney Taylor Gold Medal, Young Adults
2021 Cybils Young Adult Speculative Fiction Finalist:
The City Beautiful, by Aden Polydoros

2021 Cybils Young Adult Speculative Fiction Finalist:
Bad Witch Burning, by Jessica Lewis

2022 Printz Honor Book:
2022 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book:
2021 National Book Award Finalist:
Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People, by Kekla Magoon

2022 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Honor Book:
The Woman All Spies Fear: Codebreaker Elizebeth Smith Friedman and Her Hidden Life, by Amy Butler Greenfield