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Juvenile Literature

Some information about the Juvenile Literature collection, including awards, news, ways to find more books, review books, and tags used in the collection

ALA Notable Books for Children

Each year a committee of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) identifies the best of the best in children's books. According to the Notables Criteria, "notable" is defined as: Worthy of note or notice, important, distinguished, outstanding.

American Indian Youth Literature Award

The American Indian Library Association (AILA) recognizes excellence in books by and about American Indians.  By identifying and honoring outstanding writing and illustrations in the field of children’s literature, AILA encourages authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and tribal entities to create materials that present Native Americans in the fullness of their humanity in present and past contexts.  This award is given out every two years.

Américas Award

The Américas Award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.

By combining both and linking the Americas, the award reaches beyond geographic borders, as well as multicultural-international boundaries, focusing instead upon cultural heritages within the hemisphere. The award is sponsored by the national Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs (CLASP).

Arab American Book Award, Children/Young Adult

The Arab American Book Award is given to books written by and about Arab Americans and focuses on for categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and books written for Children and Young Adults. 

This award is presented by the Arab American National Museum in an effort to promote greater awareness of writing and scholarship and was first awarded in 2007.

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature is awarded by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) and focuses on works about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage.  Books recieve this award based on literary and artistic merit and range from books for children to books for adults.

BCALA Children & Young Adult Literary Award

The BCALA Children & Young Adult Literary Award is presented by the Black Caucus of the American Library Association and is sponsored by the School Library Journal.

This award, first presented in 2021, "highlight[s] the diversity of the Black experience and recognize authors and books that provide windows, mirrors, and sliding doors for our children to feel and be seen in their schools, libraries, and broader communities." (7/29/2021 award press release)

Best STEM Books K–12

The National Science Teachers Association, in cooperation with the Children's Book Council, publishes an annual bibliography that feature different STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) related trade books written for children in grades K-12.  The inaugural list was published in 2017.

Boston Globe/Horn Book Award

First presented in 1967 and customarily announced in June, the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards are among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Winners are selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction. Two Honor Books may be named in each category. On occasion, a book will receive a special citation for its high quality and overall creative excellence.

Caldecott Award

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Note: Books that have received this award have Yellow stickers on the spine.

Carter G. Woodson Award

The National Council for the Social Studies established the Carter G. Woodson Book Awards for the most distinguished social science books appropriate for young readers that depict ethnicity in the United States.

Children’s Literature Legacy Award

The Children’s Literature Legacy Award honors an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.  This award was formerly called the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.

Christopher Award

First presented in 1949, the Christopher Awards were established by Christopher founder Father James Keller to salute media that “affirm the highest values of the human spirit.” Their goal is to encourage men, women and children to pursue excellence in creative arenas that have the potential to influence a mass audience positively. Award winners encourage audiences to see the better side of human nature and motivate artists and the general public to use their best instincts on behalf of others

Claudia Lewis Award

This award is given for the best poetry book of the year for young readers. A longtime member of the Committee, Claudia Lewis was an esteemed poet, author, and teacher of children's literature. She served on the faculty at Bank Street College of Education.

Coretta Scott King Award

Given to African American authors and illustrator for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions, the Coretta Scott King Book Award titles promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society.

Flora Stieglitz Straus Award

This award is given for a nonfiction book that serves as an inspiration to young readers. Flora Stieglitz Straus chaired the Children's Book Committee for over sixty years.

Giverny Award

The Giverny Award is an annual award established in 1998 by Dr. Jim Wandersee and Dr. Eisabeth E. Schussler for the 15º Laboratory, currently based at Louisiana State University.  It is awarded to the author and to the illustrator of a children's science picture book written in the English language and published within five years of the award date.

Golden Kite Award

Presented by the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators, the Golden Kite Awards, given annually to recognize excellence in children’s literature, grant cash prizes of $2,500 to author and illustrator winners in four categories: Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Book Text, and Picture Book Illustration.

Golden Sower Award

Thousands of Nebraska's students participate in the Golden Sower Award program each year as evidenced by the program's annual voting records.  The award is presented annually at the Fall Conference sponsored by Nebraska Library Association (NLA) and Nebraska Educational Media Association (NEMA).

Three children's choice awards are presented annually:
Picture Book category (formerly Primary Book): titles appropriate for grades kindergarten through 2
Chapter Book category (formerly Intermediate Grades): titles appropriate for grades 3 through 5
Novel category (formerly Young Adult): titles appropriate for grades 6 through 8

Gryphon Award

The Gryphon Award of $1,000 is given annually in recognition of an English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary audience is children in Kindergarten through Grade 4. The title chosen best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between books for reading aloud to children and books for practiced readers.

Jane Addams Children's Book Award

The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.

John Steptoe New Talent Award

This award is an off-shoot of the Coretta Scott King award.  It was established to affirm new talent and to offer visibility to excellencec in writing and/or illlustration which otherwise might not be formally unacknowledged within a given year within the structure of the two awards given annually by the Coretta Scott King Task Force.

Josette Frank Award

This award is given each year to honor a book or books of outstanding literary merit in which children or young people deal in a positive and realistic way with difficulties in their world and grow emotionally and morally.

In addition to being a well-known author of articles about children's books, Josette Frank was the first editor of the Children's Book Committee publications and remained a member for over sixty years.  The prize to the author of the award books has been generously provided by The Florence L. Miller Memorial Fund.

Mathical Books for Kids from Tots to Teens

The Mathical Books for Kids from Tots to Teens is an award that debuted in 2015.  Created by the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute and the Children's Book Council, this award focuses on math related books, both fiction and nonfiction, that are geared towards readers from PreK through 12th grade.

Michael L. Printz Award

The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award

The Batchelder Award is a citation awarded to an American publisher for a children's book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English and published in the United States.

Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature

This award honors books for younger readers (from “Young Adults” to picture books for beginning readers), in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia.

National Book Award, Young People's Literature

The National Book Award is given to recognize achievements in four genres: Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People's Literature.

NCTE Notable Poetry Books

The National Council for Teachers of English's Poetry Committee, in addition to selecting the recipient for its bi-annual Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children award, compiles an annual list of notable poetry books for children.

The New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award

Every year since 1952, the Book Review has asked a panel of judges to select 10 books from among the several thousand children’s books published that year.

Starting in 2017, the New York Times partnered with the New York Public Library in selecting these titles.  To reflect this change, the name of the award changed to "The New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books Award."

Newbery Award

The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Note: Books that have received this award have Green stickers on the spine

Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts

The books on the Notable Children's Books in the Language Arts list are selected by the Children's Literature Assembly of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE).  These titles could be fiction, nonfiction, or works of poetry and are written for Kindergarten-8th Grade.

Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

The National Council for the Social Studies and the Children's Book Council publish an annual bibliography highlighting books from the field of Social Studies that are written for children in grades K-12.  Up until 1998, this award was known as the "Notable Children's Trade Books in the Field of Social Studies" award.

Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

The Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children was established as an annual award for promoting and recognizing excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children. The name Orbis Pictus, commemorates the work of Johannes Amos Comenius, Orbis Pictus—The World in Pictures (1657), considered to be the first book actually planned for children.

Outstanding International Books

The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBYP) selects an annual list of  international books that are deemed most outstanding of those published during the calendar year.

Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12

The books that appear in these lists were selected as outstanding children's science trade books. They were selected by a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and assembled in cooperation with the Children’s Book Council (CBC). NSTA and CBC have cooperated on this bibliographic project since 1973.  Please note, up until 2002, this award was known as "Oustanding Science Trade Books for Children" and did not always focus on the full K-12 grade range.

OWL Award

The Outstanding Works of Literature, or OWL, Award is awarded yearly by the wholesale book distributor BookPal.  This award "highlights titles that are changing the way organizations do business, educators create and teach curriculum, and communities understand and pursue well-being."

While the OWL award focuses on many categories/audiences, we monitor those categories that highlight works of juvenile literature.  Please check out their site to see what other award categories they have, including the Advanced Reader category!

Phoenix Award

The Children's Literature Association, an organization of teachers, scholars, librarians, editors, writers, illustrators, and parents interested in encouraging the serious study of children's literature, created the Phoenix Award as an outgrowth of the Association's Touchstones Committee. The award, given to a book originally published in the English language, is intended to recognize books of high literary merit.

Also, beginning in 2013, a companion award, the Phoenix Picture Book Award, has been given to titles that meet similar criteria as the original Phoenix Award.

Pura Belpré Award

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually 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.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published during the preceding year.

Schneider Family Book Award

The Schneider Family Book Award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

In 1982, Scott O'Dell established The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction. The annual award of $5,000 goes to an author for a meritorious book published in the previous year for children or young adults.  Scott O'Dell established this award to encourage other writers--particularly new authors--to focus on historical fiction. He hoped in this way to increase the interest of young readers in the historical background that has helped to shape their country and their world.

Septima Clark Book Award

The Septima Clark Book Award, presented by the National Council for the Social Studies, is given annually to nonfiction books for children and teens that depict women's issues on a global scale.

Sid Fleischman Award

The Sid Fleischman Award for Humor is an award for authors whose work exemplifies the excellence of writing in the genre of humor. The SCBWI established the award to honor humorous work, so often overlooked in children’s literature by other award committees.

Stonewall Children's & Young Adult Literature Award

The Children's & Young Adult Literature Award, created in 2010, is an expansion of the Stonewall Book Awards.  The Stonewall Book Awards is sponsored by the American Library Association's Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Round Table.

Sydney Taylor Book Award

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) since 1968, the Award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. Gold medals are presented in three categories: Younger Readers, Older Readers, and Teen Readers. Honor Books are awarded silver medals, and Notable Books are named in each category.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books published in the United States during the preceding year.

Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award

Texas State University College of Education developed the Tomás Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. The award was established in 1995 and was named in honor of Dr. Tomás Rivera, a distinguished alumnus of Texas State University.

Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature

The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children’s Literature, also known as "The Walter", named in honor of author Walter Dean Myers, recognizes "diverse authors (or co-authors) whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way." 

This award was created by We Need Diverse Books, who "defines 'diverse' to be one or more of the following: a person of color, Native American, LGBTQIA, a person with a disability, and/or a member of a marginalized religious or cultural minority in the United States."

Whippoorwill Book Award for Rural YA Literature

The Whippoorwill Book Award for Rural YA Literature is given to titles written for young adults that accurately portray rural settings, communities, and populations, in addition to meeting other general guidelines for excellence in the field of Young Adult literature.

This award was developed to help teachers find works that do not portray the often found rural stereotypes and could be used to help facilitate classroom discussions.

William C. Morris YA Debut Award

The William C. Morris YA Debut Award, first awarded in 2009, honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literarure.

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

The YALSA Award for Ecellence in Nonfiction honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18) during a November 1 - Octorber 31 publishing year.

YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults

YALSA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults Committee presents fiction titles published for young adults in the past 16 months that are recommended reading for ages 12 to 18. 

From this list, they select the Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults titles from this list.
This award replaces the ALA Best Books for Young Adults award.

About this list

The Curriculum Department monitors the following awards and orders as many as they can of the new award winners for the collection.

Are we missing an important Juvenile Literature award that you think we should monitor?  If so, please fill out the feedback form or send me an e-mail to let the department know.  We will take a look at your suggestion and you might see it added to our list!

Please note: Caldecott Winner and Honor books have a yellow sticker on the spine, making them easier to locate on our shelves.  Newbery Winner and Honor books are similarly marked with a green sticker.

Curriculum Associate