Kwame Alexander has won the 2015 John Newbery Medal for his novel The Crossover (HMH); the book was edited by Margaret Raymo. Dan Santat has won the 2015 Randolph Caldecott Medal for The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend (Little, Brown); it was edited by Connie Hsu. And Jandy Nelson has won the 2015 Michael L. Printz Award for I’ll Give You the Sun (Dial); it was edited by Jessica Garrison. The awards were announced this morning at the American Library Association’s midwinter conference in Chicago. It was a first-time award for all three recipients.
See our interviews with all three newly minted Medalists, on where they were when they got "the call."
Alexander is a poet and author of 17 books, including seven for children; The Crossover, a middle-grade verse novel about a seventh-grade basketball star, is his first for HMH. Author-illustrator Santat is also known for creating the Disney Channel series The Replacements; his picture book The Adventures of Beekle follows an imaginary friend who gets tired of waiting to be picked by a child and goes off in search of him or her. And I'll Give You the Sun, Nelson’s second novel, is told through the alternating perspectives of twins, which thread their way to the event that drove the once-close siblings apart.
Two Newbery Honor Books were named: El Deafo by Cece Bell (Abrams/Amulet); and Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Penguin/Paulsen).
There were six Caldecott Honor Books: Nana in the City by Lauren Castillo (Clarion); The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky’s Abstract Art, illustrated by Mary GrandPré, written by Barb Rosenstock (Knopf); Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett (Candlewick); Viva Frida, written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (Roaring Brook/Porter); The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, illustrated by Melissa Sweet, written by Jen Bryant (Eerdmans); and This One Summer, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki (First Second).
Four Printz Honors were given: And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard (Delacorte); The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley (Elephant Rock); Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith (Dutton); and This One Summer, illustrated by Jillian Tamaki, written by Mariko Tamaki (First Second).
The Robert F. Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book for children went to The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus, by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Eerdmans). There were five Sibert Honors: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (Penguin/Paulsen); The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming (Random/Schwartz & Wade); The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, written by Patricia Hruby Powell, illustrated by Christian Robinson (Chronicle); Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy (Roaring Brook/Macaulay Studio); and Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams).
The Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best work of translation went to Mikis and the Donkey by Bibi Dumon Tak, illustrated by Philip Hopman, translated by Laura Watkinson (Eerdmans). There were two Batchelder Honor books: Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loïc Dauvillier, illustrated by Marc Lizano, color by Greg Salsedo, translated by Alexis Siegel (First Second); and Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf, illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova, translated by John Nieuwenhuizen (Enchanted Lion).
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children, went to two-time Caldecott Honor artist Donald Crews.
The 2015 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime contribution in writing for young adults was given to Sharon M. Draper, and Pat Mora was chosen to deliver the 2015 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture.
Librarian Deborah D. Taylor won the Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Jacqueline Woodson won the Coretta Scott King Author award for Brown Girl Dreaming (Penguin/Paulsen), and Christopher Myers won the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for Firebird, written by Misty Copeland (Putnam).
Three King Author Honor Books were selected: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (HMH); How I Discovered Poetry by Marilyn Nelson, illustrated by Hadley Hooper (Dial); and How It Went Down by Kekla Magoon (Holt). Two King Illustrator Honor Books were chosen: Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker , illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Patricia Hruby Powell (Chronicle); and Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, illustrated by Frank Morrison, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown (Lee and Low).
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award went to When I Was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds (S&S/Atheneum).
The William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens was given to Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero (Cinco Puntos Press). There were four previously announced finalists: The Carnival at Bray by Jessie Ann Foley (Elephant Rock); The Story of Owen: Dragon Slayer of Trondheim by E.K. Johnston (Carolrhoda Lab); The Scar Boys by Len Vlahos (Egmont USA); and The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton (Candlewick).
For the second year in a row, Yuyi Morales won the Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, honoring a Latino illustrator whose children’s book best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience, for Viva Frida (Roaring Brook/Porter). Three Belpré Illustrator Honor Books were chosen: Little Roja Riding Hood, illustrated by Susan Guevara, written by Susan Middleton Elya (Putnam); Green Is a Chile Pepper, illustrated by John Parra, written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong (Chronicle); and Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family¹s Fight for Desegregation, illustrated and written by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams).
I Lived on Butterfly Hill won the Pura Belpré Author Award; the book is written by Marjorie Agosín and illustrated by Lee White (S&S/Atheneum). One Belpré Author Honor Book was chosen: Portraits of Hispanic American Heroes by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Raúl Colón (Dial).
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for most distinguished beginning reader books went to You Are (Not) Small by Anna Kang, illustrated by Christopher Weyant (Two Lions). There were two Geisel Honor Books: Mr. Putter & Tabby Turn the Page by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Arthur Howard (HMH); and Waiting Is Not Easy! by Mo Willems (Hyperion).
The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults went to Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek by Maya Van Wagenen (Dutton). There were four previously announced finalists: Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw (Roaring Brook); The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming (Random/Schwartz & Wade); Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business—and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully (Clarion); and The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook).
The Stonewall Book Award, given to children’s and YA books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience, went to This Day in June by Gayle E. Pitman, illustrated by Kristyna Litten (Magination Press). Three Stonewall Honor Books were chosen: Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out by Susan Kuklin (Candlewick); I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (Dial); and Morris Micklewhite and the Tangerine Dress by Christine Baldacchio, illustrated by Isabelle Malenfant (Groundwood/House of Anansi).
The Schneider Family Book Awards, for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience, are: A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz, illustrated by Catia Chien (HMH) for best young children’s book; Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Feiwel and Friends) for best middle grade book; and Girls Like Us by Gail Giles (Candlewick) for best teen book.
The Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production went to H. O. R. S. E.: A Game of Basketball and Imagination, written by Christopher Myers, narrated by Dion Graham and Christopher Myers, and produced by Live Oak Media. Three Odyssey Honor Recordings were chosen: Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, written and narrated by Tim Federle (Simon and Schuster Audio); The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry, narrated by Jayne Entwistle (Listening Library); and A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd, narrated by Cassandra Morris (Scholastic Audiobooks).
The Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video went to Me...Jane, adapted from the picture book by Patrick McDonnell, produced by Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard (Weston Woods Studios).