Amina Luqman-Dawson's Newbery Win: A Dual Celebration

We spoke with Amina Luqman-Dawson about her immediate reaction to the news that her middle-grade historical novel Freewater, inspired by the lesser-known stories of formerly enslaved people, won this year's Coretta Scott King Book Award and the John Newbery Medal. “I dropped to my knees,” she said. “I started crying. The whole world is now going to know about Freewater and experience this story.”

Doug Salati's Caldecott Win: The Ultimate 'Hot Dog!' Moment

Author-illustrator Doug Salati was catching up on some work when last Sunday evening took a turn for the extraordinary. In what he described as “a once-in-a-lifetime moment,” he answered his phone to hear the Caldecott committee inform him he had won the award for Hot Dog, which is his solo debut. Salati said, "I think that a good takeaway for all of us making books and for kids reading books is that it is worth trying new things and telling the stories you want to tell.”

Sabaa Tahir's Printz Win: Disneyland and an Emotional Support Cat

Sabaa Tahir, author of the YA novel All My Rage, knows for sure that her fateful Zoom call from the Printz committee came on Tuesday, January 24, because the following day she went to Disneyland with her family; the novel, which tells the story of a working-class Pakistani American family in the California desert, was inspired in part by her childhood experiences.