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2020-2021 Children’s and Young Adult Book Awards

Each year, the announcement of the American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards gives us occasion to celebrate the many awards in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Below you will find links to the 2021 ALA award-winning, honor books, and authors that we blogged about, as well as links to other books we blogged about in the past that have won some of the most prestigious awards and honors in the field for 2020.

The following awards are included in this post:

  • 2021 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards
  • 2021 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Charlotte Huck Awards, Orbis Pictus Book Awards, and Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels
  • 2021 International Literacy Association (ILA) Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (CLR SIG) Notable Books for a Global Society
  • 2021 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Outstanding Science Trade Books

We invite you to explore our previously written blog entries for these winners and honor books. In the coming weeks, we will select a few more titles from the list of ALA winners and post blog entries to support you as you teach with these titles.

2021 ALA Youth Media Awards

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children

2021 Caldecott Medal Award
We Are Water Protectors
Illustrated by Michaela Goade; Written by Carole Lindstrom
Published by Roaring Brook Press

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

2021 Newbery Honor Award
We Dream of Space
Written by Erin Entrada Kelly
Published by Greenwillow Books

2021 National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Children’s Book and Poetry Awards

Charlotte Huck Award for fiction that has the potential to transform children’s lives by inviting compassion, imagination, and wonder

Charlotte Huck Award Winner
I am Every Good Thing
Written by Derrick Barnes; Illustrated by Gordon C. James
Published by Nancy Paulsen Books
2021 Charlotte Huck Honor Book
We Are Water Protectors
Illustrated by Michaela Goade; Written by Carole Lindstrom
Published by Roaring Brook Press

Orbis Pictus Award for excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children

2021 Orbis Pictus Award Winner
Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball
Written by Jen Bryant
Illustrated by Frank Morrison
Published by Abrams Books
2021 Orbis Pictus Honor Book
The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History 
Written by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace
Illustrated by Charly Palmer 
Published by Calkins Creek
2021 Orbis Pictus Recommended Book
Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons; Illustrated by Laura Freeman
Published by Lee & Low Books

2021 Notable Poetry Books and Verse Novels

No Voice Too Small: Fourteen Young Americans Making History
Edited by Lindsay H. Metcalf, Keila V. Dawson, and Jeanette Bradley;
Illustrated by Jeanette Bradley
Published by Charlesbridge
Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z
Written by Irene Latham and Charles Waters;
Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
Publisehd by Carolrhoda Books

2021 ILA CLR SIG Notable Books for a Global Society

The Teachers March! How Selma’s Teachers Changed History 
Written by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace
Illustrated by Charly Palmer 
Published by Calkins Creek

We Are Water Protectors
Illustrated by Michaela Goade; Written by Carole Lindstrom
Published by Roaring Brook Press

2021 NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Books

The Polio Pioneer: Dr. Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine
Written by Linda Elovitz Marshall; Illustrated by Lisa Anchin
Published by Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Grace Enriquez About Grace Enriquez

Grace is an associate professor of language and literacy at Lesley University. A former English Language Arts teacher, reading specialist, and literacy consultant, she teaches and writes about children’s literature, critical literacies, and literacies and embodiment. Grace is co-author of The Reading Turn-Around and co-editor of Literacies, Learning, and the Body.