Donna Barba Higuera has won the 2022 John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature, for her novel The Last Cuentista (Levine Querido), edited by Nick Thomas. Jason Chin has won the 2022 Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book for children, for Watercress, written by Andrea Wang (Holiday House/Neal Porter Books), edited by Neal Porter. And Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Henry Holt), edited by Tiffany Liao, has won the 2022 Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults. It was a first-time win for all three recipients. The Youth Media Awards were announced Monday morning during the American Library Association’s LibLearnX conference.
There were four Newbery Honor Books: Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca (HarperCollins/Quill Tree); A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido); Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff (Dial); and Watercress by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin (Holiday House/Neal Porter Books). Watercress won both the Caldecott Medal and a Newbery Honor, an unusual distinction for a picture book.
Four Caldecott Honor Books were announced: Have You Ever Seen a Flower? illustrated and written by Shawn Harris (Chronicle); Mel Fell, illustrated and written by Corey R. Tabor (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray); Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, illustrated by Floyd Cooper, written by Carole Boston Weatherford (Carolrhoda); and Wonder Walkers, illustrated and written by Micha Archer (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books).
And there were four Printz Honor Books named: Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray); Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (Dutton); Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People by Kekla Magoon (Candlewick); and Starfish by Lisa Fipps (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books).
The 2022 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults went to A.S. King, whose books include SW/TCH, Still Life with Tornado, Ask the Passengers, Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, and Please Ignore Vera Dietz.
The Children’s Literature Legacy Award, which honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children, was given to Grace Lin. Lin has written and/or illustrated more than 40 books for children since the publication of her first book, The Ugly Vegetables (1999). She is the recipient of a 2010 Newbery Honor for Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, a 2011 Geisel Honor for Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, and a 2019 Caldecott Honor for A Big Mooncake for Little Star, among other accolades.
The Mildred L. Batchelder Award for best work of translation went to Temple Alley Summer, originally published in Japanese as Kimyōji Yokochō no Natsu, written by Sachiko Kashiwaba, illustrated by Miho Satake, and translated by Avery Fischer Udagawa (Yonder/Restless). Five Batchelder Honor Books were selected: Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost by Betina Birkjær, illustrated by Anna Margrethe Kjærgaard, and translated by Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov (Enchanted Lion); In the Meadow of Fantasies by Hadi Mohammadi, illustrated by Nooshin Safakhoo, and translated by Sara Khalili (Elsewhere); The Most Beautiful Story by Brynjulf Jung Tjønn, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, and translated by Kari Dickson (Enchanted Lion); Sato the Rabbit by Yuki Ainoya, and translated by Michael Blaskowsky (Enchanted Lion); and The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón, illustrated by Amanda Mijangos, and translated by David Bowles (Levine Querido).
This year’s Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement was given to Nikki Grimes, in recognition of her contribution to young people’s literature. The author of more than 77 books, many of which weave together poetry and prose, Grimes is the recipient of numerous awards.
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Lerner/Carolrhoda), won the Coretta Scott King Author Award, and the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award went to Floyd Cooper for Unspeakable.
The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award went to Me (Moth) by Amber McBride (Feiwel and Friends). And the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award went to The Me I Choose to Be, illustrated by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt, and written by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley (Little, Brown).
The Robert F. Sibert Award for the most distinguished informational book for children went to The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art, written by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Evan Turk (Abrams). Five Sibert Honor Books were named: The Great Stink: How Joseph Bazalgette Solved London’s Poop Pollution Problem, written by Colleen Paeff and illustrated by Nancy Carpenter (McElderry); Fallout: Spies, Superbombs, and the Ultimate Cold War Showdown, written by Steve Sheinkin (Roaring Brook); We Are Still Here!: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know, written by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge); Summertime Sleepers: Animals That Estivate, written by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen (Charlesbridge); and Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper(Carolrhoda).
The William C. Morris Award, for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens, went to Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley (Henry Holt), which also won the Printz Award.
The Stonewall Book Award–Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award, given to children’s and YA books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience, went to Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff (Dial) for the children's award, and Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (Dutton) for the young adult award. Three Honor Books were chosen: Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow (Dial); The Darkness Outside Us by Eliot Schrefer (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books); and Grandad’s Camper, written and illustrated by Harry Woodgate (Little Bee Books).
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book went to Fox at Night, written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray). Three Geisel Honor Books were announced: Beak & Ally #1: Unlikely Friends, written and illustrated by Norm Feuti (HarperAlley); I Hop, written and illustrated by Joe Cepeda (Holiday House); and Nothing Fits a Dinosaur, written and illustrated by Jonathan Fenske (Simon Spotlight).
The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults went to Ambushed!: The Assassination Plot Against President Garfield by Gail Jarrow, (Astra/Calkins Creek).
The Pura Belpré Awards, honoring a Latinx writer and illustrator whose children’s books best portray, affirm, and celebrate the Latino cultural experience, went to ¡Vamos! Let's Cross the Bridge, illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez (HarperCollins/Versify) for the Illustrator Award; The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera (Levine Querido) for the Author Award; and How Moon Fuentez Fell in Love with the Universe by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland (Simon & Schuster) for the Young Adult Author Award.
Four Belpré Youth Illustration Honor Books were named: Boogie Boogie, Y’all, illustrated and written by C.G. Esperanza (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books); Bright Star, illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales (Holiday House/Neal Porter Books); De aquí como el coquí, illustrated and written by Nomar Perez, translated by Farah Perez (Dial); and May Your Life Be Deliciosa, illustrated by Loris Lora, written by Michael Genhart (Cameron Kids).
Three Belpré Children’s Author Honor Books were announced: Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, written by Alda P. Dobbs (Sourcebooks Young Readers); Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua, written by Gloria Amescua, illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh (Abrams); and De aquí como el coquí, written and illustrated by Nomar Perez, translated by Farah Perez (Dial Books for Young Readers).
Three Belpré Young Adult Author Honor Book were named: Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun, written by Jonny Garza Villa (Skyscape); Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet by Laekan Zea Kemp (Little, Brown); and Where I Belong by Marcia Argueta Mickelson (Carolrhoda Lab).
The Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award, which recognizes an author or individual who has made a substantial contribution over time to Jewish children’s literature, was given to Jane Yolen.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award for outstanding books for young readers that authentically portray the Jewish experience are presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries. This year’s Gold Medalists are: in the Picture Book category, The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel, illustrated by Sean Rubin (Holiday House/Neal Porter Books); in the Middle Grade category, How to Find What You’re Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani (Kokila); and in the Young Adult category, The City Beautiful by Aden Polydoros (Inkyard Press).
The Sydney Taylor Book Award Silver Medalists for Picture Book are Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued by Peter Sis (Norton Young Readers); Dear Mr. Dickens by Nancy Churnin, illustrated by Bethany Stancliffe (Albert Whitman); and The Christmas Mitzvah by Jeff Gottesfeld, illustrated by Michelle Laurentia Agatha (Creston). The Middle Grade honors are The Genius Under the Table: Growing up Behind the Iron Curtain by Eugene Yelchin (Candlewick); and Linked by Gordon Korman (Scholastic Press). The Young Adult honors are The Last Words We Said by Leah Scheier (Simon & Schuster); Whistle: A New Gotham City Hero by E. Lockhart, illustrated by Manuel Preitano (DC Comics); and The Summer of Lost Letters by Hannah Reynolds (Razorbill).
The Schneider Family Book Awards, for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience, went to My City Speaks, written by Darren Lebeuf, illustrated by Ashley Barron (Kids Can Press); A Bird Will Soar, written by Alison Green Myers (Dutton); and Words in My Hands, written and illustrated by Asphyxia (Annick Press) in the teen category.
Two honor books for young children were chosen: A Walk in the Words, written and illustrated by Hudson Talbott (Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Books); and A Sky-Blue Bench, written by Bahram Rahman and illustrated by Peggy Collins (Pajama Press). Two honor books for middle grades were selected: Stuntboy, in the Meantime, written by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Raúl the Third (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books); and A Kind of Spark by Elle McNicoll (Crown). One honor book for teens was selected: A Face for Picasso: Coming of Age with Crouzon Syndrome by Ariel Henley (FSG Books for Young Readers.
The American Indian Youth Literature Awards, which are announced in even years, were established to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. This year’s winners are, for Picture Book: Herizon, written by Daniel W. Vandever [Diné], illustrated by Corey Begay [Diné] (South of Sunrise Creative); for Middle Grade Book: Healer of the Water Monster, written by Brian Young [Diné] (HarperCollins/Heartdrum); and for Young Adult Book: Apple (Skin to the Core), written by Eric Gansworth [Onondaga] (Levine Querido).
Picture Honor Books are: Diné Bich’eekę Yishłeeh [Diné Bizaad]/Becoming Miss Navajo [English] by Jolyana Begay-Kroupa [Diné] (Salina Bookshelf); Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Gold Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer by Traci Sorell [Cherokee], illustrated by Natasha Donovan [Métis] (Millbrook Press); Learning My Rights with Mousewoman, written and illustrated by Morgan Asoyuf [Ts’msyen] (Native Northwest); I Sang You Down from the Stars by Tasha Spillet-Sumner [Cree and Trinidadian], illustrated by Michaela Goade [Tlingit & Haida] (Little, Brown); and We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell [Cherokee], illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge/Live Oak Media).
Middle Grade Honor Books are: Ella Cara Deloria: Dakota Language Protector by Diane Wilson [Dakota], illustrated by Tashia Hart [Red Lake Anishinaabe] (Minnesota Humanities Center); Indigenous Peoples’ Day by Katrina M. Phillips [Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe], illustrated by Tashia Hart [Red Lake Anishinaabe] (Capstone/Pebble); Jo Jo Makoons: The Used-to-Be Best Friend by Dawn Quigley [Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe], illustrated by Tara Audibert [Wolastoqey] (HarperCollins/Heartdrum); Peggy Flanagan: Ogimaa Kwe, Lieutenant Governor by Jessica Engelking [White Earth Band of Ojibwe], illustrated by Tashia Hart [Red Lake Anishinaabe] (Minnesota Humanities Center); and The Sea in Winter by Christine Day [Upper Skagit] (HarperCollins/Heartdrum.
Young Adult Honor Books are: Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger [Lipan Apache Tribe], cover art and illustrations by Rovina Cai (Levine Querido); Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley [Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians] (Henry Holt); Hunting by Stars by Cherie Dimaline [Métis Nation of Ontario] (Abrams/Amulet); Notable Native People: 50 Indigenous Leaders, Dreamers, and Changemakers from Past and Present by Adrienne Keene [Cherokee Nation], illustrated by Ciara Sana [Chamoru] (Ten Speed); and Soldiers Unknown by Chag Lowry [Yurok, Maidu and Achumawi], illustrated by Rahsan Ekedal (Great Oak Press).
The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, which promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage, announced three winners in three categories: picture book, children’s literature and youth literature. The picture book winner is Watercress, written by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Jason Chin (Holiday House/Neal Porter Books), and there was one honor title: A Boy Named Isamu: A Story of Isamu Noguchi, written and illustrated by James Yang (Viking). The children’s literature winner is Amina’s Song by Hena Khan and (S&S/Salaam Reads), and there was one honor title: Finding Junie Kim by Ellen Oh (HarperCollins). The youth literature winner is Last Night at the Telegraph Club by Malinda Lo (Dutton), and there was one honor title: We Are Not Free by Traci Chee (HMH).
The Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children went to Boogie Boogie, Y’all, written and narrated by C. G. Esperanza, produced by HarperAudio/Katherine Tegen Books; and When You Look Like Us, written by Pamela N. Harris, narrated by Preston Butler III, and produced by HarperAudio/Quill Tree, is the 2022 Odyssey Award winner for young adults.
Three Honor audiobooks also were selected: Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, written by Laurie Ann Thompson, narrated by Adjoa Andoh, and produced by Listening Library; I Talk Like a River, written and narrated by Jordan Scott, produced by Dreamscape Media; and Perfectly Parvin, written by Olivia Abtahi, narrated by Mitra Jouhari, and produced by Listening Library.
The Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Awards, given to a digital media producer that has created distinguished digital media for an early learning audience, went to Alma’s Way, produced by Fred Rogers Productions. Two honor titles were chosen: Goodnight, World! produced by Sesame Workshop and Headspace; and Tab Time, produced by Kids at Play and Scale Productions.
To see our interviews with the Newbery, Caldecott, and Printz winners, click here.