For immediate release | January 22, 2024

Pam Muñoz Ryan wins 2024 Children’s Literature Legacy Award

BALTIMORE — Pam Muñoz Ryan is the winner of the 2024 Children’s Literature Legacy Award honoring an author or illustrator published in the United States whose books have made a significant and lasting contribution to literature for children. Her numerous works include “Echo” (Scholastic, 2015), “Becoming Naomi Le​​ón” (Scholastic Press, 2004), “Esperanza Rising” (Scholastic Press, 2000) and “Amelia and Eleanor Go for a Ride” (Scholastic, 1999).

The award was announced today, during the American Library Association’s (ALA) LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience in Baltimore. The award is administered annually by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA.

“A versatile stylist of both prose and poetry, Ryan expertly tells stories with elegance and realism, primarily of Latine children, whose authentic voices speak to young readers,” said Children’s Literature Legacy Award Committee Chair Caroline Ward.

Born in Bakersfield, California, Ryan is of Mexican heritage. Ryan earned a bachelor of arts in child development and a master of education in post-secondary education at San Diego State University, hoping to teach college-level children’s literature. Beginning with the picture book, “One Hundred is a Family” in 1994, Ryan has published over 40 books for children. She lives near San Diego with her family.

Ryan is the recipient of numerous national awards including the 2002 Pura Belpré Award for Narrative for “Esparanza Rising,” a 2003 Sibert Honor for “When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson,” and a 2016 Newbery Honor for “Echo.”

Throughout her writing career, Ryan has created works for a wide range of readers: picture books, beginning readers, biographies and novels, often published simultaneously in Spanish and English. She infuses her work with magical realism, rooted in her deep respect and affection for her Mexican heritage, often bringing an underlying sense of pride to the complexity of the immigrant experience.

In the Newbery Honor-winning “Echo” (Scholastic, 2015), Ryan explores the power of music to inspire hope. Using a multi-layered folkloric framework, Ryan connects three poignant stories of children living in historically challenging times, emphasizing the unity of their struggles. Their resourcefulness and resilience in the face of adversity make for a sweeping and compelling epic tale.

Members of the 2024 Children’s Literature Legacy Award Committee are Chair Caroline Ward, Cos Cob, Connecticut; Joel A. Bangilan, San Jacinto College, Houston; Ruth Guerrier-Pierre, New York Public Library; Dr. Michelle H. Martin, University of Washington, Seattle; and Casey O’Leary, Indianapolis Public Schools.

The Association for Library Service to Children is the world’s largest organization dedicated to the support and enhancement of library service to children. With a network of more than 4,000 children’s and youth librarians, literature experts, publishers, and educational faculty, ALSC members are committed to engaging communities to build healthy, successful futures for all children. To learn more, visit

For more information on the Children’s Literature Legacy Award and other ALA literary awards, visit

About the American Library Association

The American Library Association (ALA) is the foremost national organization providing resources to inspire library and information professionals to transform their communities through essential programs and services. For more than 140 years, the ALA has been the trusted voice for academic, public, school, government, and special libraries, advocating for the profession and the library's role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit



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