If you’re looking for the best children’s or young adult books, the American Library Association announced the winners of the 2022 Youth Media Awards this week! Here are some of this year’s award-winning books, including those that won the prestigious Newbery and Caldecott Medals. See the full list including all of the Honor Books and finalists at American Libraries Magazine.
John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:
The Last Cuentista written by Donna Barba Higuera
A girl named Petra Pena, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth.
Awards: Newbery Medal Award, 2022; Pura Belpre Award, Children’s Author Award Winner, 2022.
Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:
Watercress illustrated by Jason Chin and written by Andrea Wang
Embarrassed about gathering watercress from a roadside ditch, a girl learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage after learning why the plant is so important to her parents.
Awards: Newbery Honor Book, 2022; Caldecott Medal Award, 2022; Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Winner, Picture Book, 2022.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:
Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre written by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper
A powerful look at the 1921 Tulsa race massacre, one of the worst incidents of racial violence in our nation’s history.
Awards: Caldecott Honor Book, 2022; Coretta Scott King Award, Author Award Winner, 2022; Coretta Scott King Award, Illustrator Award Winner, 2022; Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor Book, 2022.
Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:
Firekeeper’s Daughter written by Angeline Boulley
Treated like an outsider in both her hometown and on the Ojibwe reservation, a half-Native American science geek and star hockey player places her dreams on hold in the wake of a family tragedy.
Awards: Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, 2022; William C. Morris Young Adult Debut Award Winner, 2022; American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor Book, Young Adult, 2022.
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children:
The People’s Painter: How Ben Schan Fought for Justice With Art written by Cynthia Levinson ; pictures by Evan Turk
“The first thing I can remember,” Ben said, “I drew.” As an observant young child growing up in Lithuania, Ben Shahn yearns to draw everything he sees-and, after seeing his father banished by the Czar for demanding workers’ rights, he develops a keen sense of justice, too. So when Ben and the rest of his family make their way to America, Ben brings with him both his sharp artistic eye and his desire to fight for what’s right.
Awards: Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Winner, 2022
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book:
Fox at Night written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor
Fox is up late in the night. There are shadows and noises everywhere. Fox is sure the night is full of monsters! Then he meets the real creatures of the night and realizes they are not so scary after all.
Awards: Theodor Seuss Geisel Award Winner, 2022
Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:
Young Children’s Awards: My City Speaks written by Darren Lebeuf and illustrated by Ashley Barron
Middle Grades Awards: A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers
Teens Award: Words in My Hands written and illustrated by Asphyxia
See the Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences, the Pura Belpré Awards honoring Latinx writers and illustrators, winners of the American Indian Youth Literature Awards, and more at American Libraries Magazine.