2019 Newbery Medal and Honor Books

2019 Medal Winner

Book cover: Merci Suárez Changes GearsMerci Suárez Changes Gears, written by Meg Medina, published by Candlewick Press.

Using humor and grace, Merci, a charming and plucky protagonist, cycles through life’s challenges with the support of her intergenerational family. This richly nuanced novel tackles the complexity of navigating a multicultural identity amidst changing family dynamics. 

“Meg Medina’s warm and honest novel masterfully depicts one Cuban-American family’s life with authenticity and empathy,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Ellen M. Riordan. 

2019 Honor Books

Book cover: The Night DiaryThe Night Diary, written by Veera Hiranandani and published by Kokila, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House (originally published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House).

Following introspective Nisha and her family as they flee their homeland for an uncertain future, Hiranandani illuminates the 1947 partition of India with unprecedented balance and sensitivity. Through spare evocative diary entries addressed to her late mother, Nisha discovers the complex beauty of her Hindu-Muslim identity.

Cover: The Book of BoyThe Book of Boy, written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr, and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. 

From Murdock’s first line, readers are swept into an epic quest across Europe in 1350 with Boy and a mysterious pilgrim, adventuring to recover seven relics of St. Peter. Layered characters from goats to nuns, lyrical language, and multiple reveals combine to create this powerful story of redemption.

Members of the 2019 Newbery Medal Selection Committee are: Chair Ellen M. Riordan, D.C. Public Library, Washington, D.C.; Mary Dubbs, Hennepin County Library, Minneapolis, Minn.; Sondra Eklund, Fairfax (Va.) County Public Library; Robbin Ellis Friedman, Chappaqua (N.Y.) Library; Eric Gomez, Broward County Library, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Pamela Archer Hamlin, Prince George's County Memorial Library System, Largo, Md.; Gregory D. Lum, Clark Library, Portland; Abigail Yvonne Morales, Mt. San Antonio College Library and Learning Resource Center, Walnut, Calif.; Emily Mroczek, Naperville (Ill.) Public Library; Lalitha Nataraj, California State University, San Marcos, Calif.; Alma Ramos-McDermott, Lake Trafford Elementary School, Immokalee, Fla.; Stephanie Malosh Rivera, Fowler Branch Library, Concord, Mass.; Sue Z. Rokos, Mohawk Valley Library System, Schenectady, N.Y.; and Terrell A. Young, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

The Newbery and Caldecott Medals and Honor Book seals are property of the American Library Association and cannot be used in any form or reproduced without permission of the ALA Office of Rights and Permissions.