FACT SHEET

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ALA Youth Media Awards

Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, ALA awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media. Winners are announced annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting of the association (usually in January). Award presentations are at the ALA Annual Conference (usually in June). Major awards include:

 

Alex Awards
The Alex Awards are given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. The Alex Awards have been given annually since 1998, becoming an official ALA award in 2002. The award is administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist magazine and the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust.

The awards are named for Margaret Alexander Edwards, a pioneer in young adult services at Enoch Pratt Library in Baltimore. Her work is described in her book “Fair Garden and the Swarm of Beasts,” and over the years she has served as an inspiration to many librarians who serve young adults. The Alex Awards are named after Edwards, who was called “Alex” by her friends.

YALSA will publish the Alex Awards’ officially nominated titles on its website after the awards are announced.

More information on the Alex Awards can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/booklists/alex.

 

Andrew Carnegie Medal
The Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Children’s Video honors an outstanding video production for children released during the previous year. Producers George McQuilkin and John Matthews received the first award in 1991 for “Ralph S. Mouse,” based on the book by Beverly Cleary.  An endowment was established as a component of the 1989 ALA Carnegie Quality Video for Youth project, funded by the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to create this annual award. The recipient has been selected by the Notable Children’s Videos Committee since the 2011 award. It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

More information about the Carnegie Medal can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/carnegiemedal.

 

Coretta Scott King Book Awards
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards honor African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults that communicate the African American experience. The books - fiction or nonfiction - must have been published in the year prior to the award.

The Coretta Scott King Book Award was first presented in 1970 to Lillie Patterson, author of "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Man of Peace." The first award to an illustrator was presented in 1974 to George Ford for "Ray Charles," written by Sharon Bell Mathis. Mathis also received the Coretta Scott King author award.

The awards are administered by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, with support from the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. Winners receive a framed citation, an honorarium of $1,000 and multiple formats of the Encyclopedia Britannica or World Book Encyclopedia. Certificates are given to authors and illustrators of books receiving honor awards or for new talent.

More information regarding the Coretta Scott King Book Awards can be found at www.ala.org/csk .
 

The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement
The Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement is presented in odd years (i.e. 2011, 2013, 2015…), to an African American practitioner for substantial contributions through active engagement with youth using award winning African American literature for children and/or young adults, via implementation of reading and reading related activities/programs. The recipient may be a public librarian, academic librarian, school librarian (public or private), an educator (pre K-12 or any level therein, or higher education), or youth literature advocate whose vocation, work , volunteer service or ongoing promotion of books with and/or on behalf of youth is significant and sustained. 

In even years (i.e. 2012, 2014, 2016…), the award honors an African American author, illustrator or author/illustrator for a body of his or her published books for children and/or young adults who has made a significant and lasting literary contribution.

The Award pays tribute to the late Virginia Hamilton and the quality and magnitude of her exemplary contributions through her literature and advocacy for children and youth, especially in her focus on African American life, history and consciousness. 

The Award is administered by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee of the Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table, with support from the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services.  The recipient receives a medal and $1,500 cash award. 

More information regarding the Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement can be found at www.ala.org/csk .

 

John Newbery Medal
The John Newbery Medal honors the author of the year's most outstanding contribution to children's literature. Presented every year since 1922, the Medal is named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. Henrik Van Loon won the first Newbery Medal in 1922 for "The Story of Mankind." Receiving the Newbery Medal practically guarantees that the winning book will remain in print and on library and bookstore shelves for years to come. It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

More information about the Newbery Medal can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newberymedal/newberymedal.

 

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, established in 1954, honors an author or illustrator whose books are published in the U.S. and have, over a period of years, made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children. The award is named in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the popular "Little House" series of books, which later became the basis for a television series. Wilder's first book, "The Little House in the Big Woods," (1932) was published when she was 65. Wilder received the first award in 1954. The award, administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA, was given every five years between 1960 and 1980. It is now given every other year.

More information about the Wilder Award can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/wildermedal.

 

Margaret A. Edwards Award
The Margaret A. Edwards Award honors an author, as well as a specific body of his or her work, for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. The award was first given in 1988 and is administered by YALSA and sponsored by School Library Journal. Winners receive $2,000 and a citation.

The award is named in honor of the late Margaret A. Edwards, an administrator of young adult programs at Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Md., for more than 30 years. Edwards brought young adult literature and library services to the attention of the library profession. She spent her professional life bringing books and young adults together, pioneering outreach services for teenagers and establishing a stringent training program designed for librarians beginning their work with adolescents.

More information on the Edwards Award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/edwards.

 

May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture
The lecturer, announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting, may be an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children's literature, of any country, who shall prepare a paper considered to be a significant contribution to the field of children's literature. This paper is delivered as a lecture each April or early May, and is subsequently published in Children & Libraries, the journal of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC). Once the lecturer’s name is made public, institutions wishing to host the lecture may apply. A library school, department of education in a college or university, or a public library system may be considered.  ALSC established the lecture series in 1969 with sponsorship from Scott, Foresman and Company. The lectureship is now funded by the ALSC May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Endowment, and is administered by ALSC, a division of ALA.

More information about the Arbuthnot Honor Lecture can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/arbuthnothonor/arbuthnothonor.

 

Michael L. Printz Award
The Michael L. Printz Award honors excellence in literature written for young adults. The annual award, first given in 2000, is administered by YALSA and sponsored by Booklist.

The award is named in honor of the late Michael L. Printz, longtime YALSA member and Topeka, Kans., school librarian, known for discovering and promoting quality books for young adults. "Mike," as his friends and colleagues knew him, served on both the YALSA’s Best Books for Young Adults and Margaret A. Edwards Award Committees.

More information on the Printz Award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/printz.

 

Mildred L. Batchelder Award
The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is presented to a publisher for the most outstanding book originally published in a country other than the United States in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the U.S. The award was first presented in 1968 to Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., for "The Little Man," written by Erich Kästner and translated from the German by James Kirkup. The award is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

More information about the Batchelder Award can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/batchelderaward

 

Odyssey Award
The Odyssey Award honors the producer of the best audiobook for children or young adults available in English in the United States, as well as up to five honor recordings.  The award, first given in 2008, is jointly administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and YALSA and is sponsored by Booklist.

More information on the Odyssey Award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/odyssey.

 

Pura Belpré Awards
The Pura Belpré Awards annually honor Latino writers and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in a work of literature for youth. The award is named in honor of Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library and a pioneer in preserving and disseminating Puerto Rican folklore.

The Belpré Award was first presented in 1996 to Judith Ortiz Cofer, author of "An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio" and to Susan Guevara, illustrator for "Chato’s Kitchen." It is jointly administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA and the National Association to Promote Library Services to the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA). This award was presented every other year from 1996-2008.  It is now presented annually.

More information about the Belpré Awards can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/belpremedal.

 

Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Randolph Caldecott Medal honors the illustrator of the year's most distinguished American picture book for children. Presented every year since 1938, the medal is named for Randolph Caldecott, a 19th-century English illustrator known for the action, vitality and humor of his picture books. Dorothy P. Lathrop won the first Caldecott Medal in 1938 for "Animals of the Bible." Receiving the Caldecott Medal practically guarantees that the winning book will remain in print and on library and bookstore shelves for years to come. It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

More information about the Caldecott Medal can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/caldecottmedal/caldecottmedal.

 

Robert F. Sibert Medal
The Robert F. Sibert Medal was awarded for the first time in 2001 to Marc Aronson for “Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado.” It is given to honor the authors, illustrators and/or photographers of the most distinguished informational book published for children in the preceding year. Informational books are defined as those written and illustrated to present, organize and interpret documentable factual material.

The award was named to commemorate Mr. Robert F. Sibert, founder of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc., of Jacksonville, Ill. Sibert is known for his early work in establishing standards of bookbinding.  It is administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

More information about the Sibert Medal can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/sibertmedal.

 

Schneider Family Book Award
The Schneider Family Book Award is donated by Dr. Katherine Schneider, and honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three annual awards are presented for the best Teen, Middle School and Children’s Book. The American Library Association administers the Awards, and each recipient receives $5,000 and a framed plaque. Winners are announced at the ALA Midwinter Meeting.

 

Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award
The Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award joined the Youth Media Awards in 2011. The first Stonewall Book Award was given in 1971 to Isabel Miller's "Patience and Sarah" and in 2010, the first Stonewall Children's & Young Adult Award was given to "The Vast Fields of Ordinary." The award honors exceptional merit in English-language works relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience.

The Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award are selected by the American Library Association’s (ALA) Stonewall Book Awards Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT), the first professional GLBT organization of its kind in the United States, with support from the ALA Office for Literacy and Outreach Services. The awards are currently awarded in three categories, including adult literature, adult non-fiction and children’s/young adult literature.

More information on the Stonewall Award can be found at http://www.ala.org/glbtrt/award

 

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award is presented annually to both the author(s) and illustrator(s) of an outstanding book for beginning readers published in the past calendar year. The winning author(s) and illustrator(s) must demonstrate great creativity and imagination to engage children in reading. The first Theodor Seuss Geisel Award was presented in 2006 to author Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Suçie Stevenson for “Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas.” The Association Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the ALA, administers the award.

More information about the Geisel Award can be found at http://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/geiselaward.

 

William C. Morris Award
The William C. Morris Award honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens. First given in 2009, the Morris Award is administered by YALSA using funds from the William C. Morris Endowment.

A shortlist of up to five titles is named the first week of December. The winner of the award is announced during the Youth Media Awards ceremony at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting.

The award is named for William C. Morris, an influential innovator in the publishing world and an advocate for marketing books for children and young adults. Bill Morris left an impressive mark on the field of children’s and young adult literature. He was beloved in the publishing field and the library profession for his generosity and marvelous enthusiasm for promoting literature for children and teens.

More information on the Morris Award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/morris.

 

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults, ages 12-18. First given in 2010, the award is administered by YALSA.

A shortlist of up to five titles is named in December. The winner of the award is announced during the Youth Media Awards ceremony at ALA’s Midwinter Meeting.

YALSA will publish the Nonfiction Award’s official nominations on its website after the awards announcement.

More information on the Nonfiction Award can be found at www.ala.org/yalsa/nonfiction