2024 Sydney Taylor Book Award winners announced

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/22/2024


ALA Media Relations

Communications, Marketing & Media Relations Office

American Library Association


BALTIMORE — The 2024 winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Award, administered by the Association of Jewish Libraries, an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), were announced today during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held Jan. 19–22, in Baltimore.

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is named in memory of the classic All-of-a-Kind Family series author Sydney Taylor. The award recognizes titles for children and teens that exemplify high literary standards while authentically portraying the Jewish experience.

“This year's winners take readers to unique places and introduce them to memorable people. We are thrilled to share these excellent Jewish books with you” said Aviva Rosenberg, chair of the Sydney Taylor Book Award committee.

The 2024 Sydney Taylor selections include:


“Two New Years” by Richard Ho, illustrated by Lynn Scurfield and published by Chronicle Books, is the winner in the Picture Book category. Follow a Chinese Jewish family as they celebrate not one, but two new years: Rosh Hashanah in fall, and Lunar New Year in early spring. With warm illustrations that evoke the paper cutting traditions of both cultures, this thoughtful look at the two celebrations is full of joy and light.

“The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman” by Mari Lowe, published by Arthur A. Levine, an imprint of Levine Querido, is the winner in the Middle Grade category. Lonely preteen Shaindy is lured into assisting popular Gayil with a series of pranks targeting students in their all-girls Orthodox Jewish middle school. But as the consequences escalate, Shaindy must decide whether fitting in is worth the cost to her classmates - and herself. A subtly thrilling story of friendship, consequences, and forgiveness.

“The Blood Years”  by Elana K. Arnold and published by Balzer+Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, is the winner in the Young Adult category. Growing up in Czernowitz with a protective grandfather and an unstable mother, teenage Frederieke (Rieke) Teitler and her older sister Astra struggle to survive when war breaks out and their beloved community is invaded by the Russian and German armies. Inspired by the author’s grandmother’s harrowing experience in Holocaust-era Romania.


Eleven Sydney Taylor Honor Books were also recognized.

In the Picture Book category, the Honor Books are: “Afikomen” by Tziporah Cohen, illustrated by Yaara Eshet and published by Groundwood Books; “Hanukkah Upside Down” by Elissa Brent Weissman, illustrated by Omer Hoffmann and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS; “Hidden Hope: How a Toy and a Hero Saved Lives During the Holocaust” by Elisa Boxer, illustrated by Amy June Bates and published by Abrams Books for Young Readers, an imprint of ABRAMS.

In the Middle Grade category, the Honor Books are: “Don’t Want to Be Your Monster” by Deke Moulton, published by Tundra Books, an imprint of Tundra Book Group, a division of Penguin Random House Canada; “The Jake Show” by Joshua S. Levy, published by Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers; “Not So Shy” by Noa Nimrodi, published by Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group; and “A Sky Full of Song” by Susan Lynn Meyer, published by Union Square Kids, an imprint of Union Square & Co.

In the Young Adult category, the Honor Books are: “Courage to Dream: Tales of Hope in the Holocaust” by Neal Shusterman, illustrated by Andrés Vera Martinez and published by Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic, Inc.; “Going Bicoastal” by Dahlia Adler, published by Wednesday Books, an imprint of St. Martin’s Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers; “Impossible Escape: A True Story of Survival and Heroism in Nazi Europe” by Steve Sheinkin, published by Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, a division of Macmillan Publishers; and “Wrath Becomes Her” by Aden Polydoros, published by Inkyard Press, an imprint of Harlequin Trade Publishing, a division of HarperCollins Publishers.

In addition to the medal winners, the award committee designated three Notable Books of Jewish Content for 2024. More information about the Sydney Taylor Book Award and a complete listing of the award winners and notables can be found at www.sydneytaylorbookawards.org.


The Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Winner, which recognizes an author or entity who has made a substantial contribution over time to the genre of Jewish children’s literature, is Joni Sussman. Sussman is retiring this year from her position as publisher at Kar-Ben Publishing, an imprint of Lerner Publishing Group, where, over the past twenty years, she has brought a broad and diverse range of excellent Jewish picture book and middle grade titles to a significant audience.

Winning authors and illustrators will receive their awards at the Annual Conference of the Association of Jewish Libraries, to be held at the Holiday Inn San Diego - Bayside from June 24 to June 26, 2024. Gold and Silver medalists will also participate in a blog tour February 5 to February 9, 2024. For more information about the blog tour, please visit www.jewishlibraries.org/blog.

A full list of all the winners is available on the Sydney Taylor Book Award website at https://jewishlibraries.org/sydney_taylor_book_award.

Members of the 2024 Sydney Taylor Book Award committee are: Chair Aviva Rosenberg, Ridgefield Free Public Library, New Jersey; Nat Bension, JCC of Greater Ann Arbor, Michigan; Debra S. Gold, Cuyahoga County Public Library, retired, Beachwood, Ohio; Dr. Annette Y. Goldsmith, Sephardic Temple Tifereth Israel Levy Library, Los Angeles; Eytan Kessler, East Hampton Library, Patchogue, New York; Melanie Koss, Northern Illinois University, Chicago; and Arielle Vishny, author, New York.


About the Association of Jewish Libraries

The Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL) is an international, professional organization that fosters access to information and research in all forms of media relating to all things Jewish. The Association promotes Jewish literacy and scholarship and provides a community for peer support and professional development. AJL is an affiliate of the American Library Association.

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 www.ala.org.

# # #