2023 Schneider Family Book Awards recipients named

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/30/2023


ALA Media Relations

Communications and Marketing Office

American Library Association


NEW ORLEANS — The American Library Association (ALA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Schneider Family Book Awards, which honor an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The award winners were announced today during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience held January 27-30, in New Orleans. 

Recipients are selected in three categories: young children birth through grade school (age 0–8), middle grades (age 9–13) and teens (age 14–18). Winners will receive $5,000 and a framed plaque. 

“In the Blue,” written and illustrated by Erin Hourigan and published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc., is a Schneider Family Book Award young children’s honor title.

“Listen: How Evely Glennie, a Deaf Girl, Changed Percussion,” written by Shannon Stocker, illustrated by Devon Holzwarth and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, won the award for best young children’s title.

As a child, Evelyn Glennie loved music. After the nerves in her ears began to degenerate, she became deaf. Defying doctors’ predictions, Evelyn persevered to find an innovative way to listen and play percussion, becoming an award-winning musician. The words and art reflect the rhythm and movement of her experiences.

“The committee was impressed by the coordination of the expressive art and lyrical text to depict Evelyn Glennie’s perseverance in expanding access to music education” said award co-chairs Susan Hess and Mary-Kate Sableski.

“Honestly Elliott,” written by Gillian Dunn, and published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Inc., is a Schneider Family Book Award best middle grades honor title. 

"Hummingbird,” written by Natalie Lloyd, and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., is a Schneider Family Book Award best middle grades honor title. 


"Wildoak,” written by C.C. Harrington and published by Scholastic Press, an imprint of Scholastic Inc., won the award for the best middle grade title.

Maggie’s parents send her to her grandfather’s home in hopes that the Cornish countryside will improve her stuttering. There, she finds and saves an abandoned snow leopard that had once been purchased as a pet. In Wildoak Forest, she learns that “all things speak…just not in the same language.”

“With luminous language and a complex, layered story, this book stands out as an exemplary representation of disability as integral to identity and self-acceptance.” said Hess and Sableski.

"Breathe and Count Back from Ten,” written by Natalia Sylvester, and published by Clarion Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is a Schneider Family Book Award teens honor title.

"The Words We Keep,” written by Erin Stewart and published by Delacorte Press, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House, won the award for best teens title.

While hiding her anxiety from others, Lily strives to retain her perfect image, both at school and at home. As her illness spirals, she discovers the curative power of art and poetry. A collaborative project helps her understand the complexities of mental health and the importance of seeking help.

“In this celebration of creativity, Stewart masterfully employs art and poetry to lay bare the realities of anxiety disorders throughout this heartfelt, compelling story.” said Hess and Sableski.

Members of the 2023 committee include: Susan Hess, co-chair, New York City School Librarian, retired, Osprey, Florida; Mary-Kate Sableski, co-chair, associate professor, University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio; Patricia Bandre’, reading instructional specialist, Salina Public Schools, Salina, Kansas; Angela Carstensen, independent school library director, retired, Croton-on-Hudson, New York; Dora T. Ho, young adult librarian, retired, Los Angeles Public Library, Los Angeles, California; Erin Lankford, assistant director, Tennessee Library for Accessible Books and Media, Madison, Tennessee; Scot Smith, librarian, Robertsville Middle School, Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Alyson Beecher, ex-officio, educator, Glendale Unified School District, Glendale, California.

For more information on the Schneider Family Book Award and other ALA Youth Media Awards, please visit www.ala.org/yma.


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, ALA has been the trusted voice for libraries, advocating for the profession and the library’s role in enhancing learning and ensuring access to information for all. For more information, visit ala.org.