Youth Media Awards highlight 2024 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature youth category winners

For Immediate Release
Mon, 01/22/2024


ALA Media Relations

Communications, Marketing & Media Relations Office

American Library Association

BALTIMORE — The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association (ALA), announced the 2024 winners of its Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature youth categories today during the ALA’s LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience, held Jan. 19–22 in Baltimore.

The Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature celebrate Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage. The awards are based on literary and artistic merit within three youth categories including Picture Book, Children’s Literature and Youth/Young Adult Literature.   

The 2024 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature Picture Book winner is “The Truth About Dragons,” written by Julie Leung, illustrated by Hanna Cha and published by Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers.

A young boy explores a magical world conjured from his mother’s bedtime story. Mythic beings from eastern and western mythologies populate enchanted forests that unravel through lushly illustrated ink drawings. The stunning imagery and captivating storytelling pave an ingenious path toward exploring identity and the boy’s own mixed cultural heritage.

The committee selected one Picture Book Honor title:

“Finding Papa,” written by Angela Pham Krans, illustrated by Thi Bui and published by HarperCollins.

The 2024 Asian/Pacific American Award for Children’s Literature winner is “Ruby Lost and Found,” written by Christina Li and published by Quill Tree Books, an imprint of HarperCollins.

After getting in trouble at school, Ruby goes to live with her grandmother in Chinatown for the summer. There, Ruby and a new friend strategize to save a cherished local Chinatown bakery from closing. Through a multigenerational cast, Li explores gentrification, the cost of living, death and the hope of new beginnings.

The committee selected one Children Literature Honor title:

“Parachute Kids: A Graphic Novel,” written and illustrated by Betty C. Tang and published by Graphix, an imprint of Scholastic Inc.

The 2024 Asian/Pacific American Award for Youth/Young Adult Literature winner is “I'd Rather Burn Than Bloom,” written by Shannon C. F. Rogers and published by Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishing Group.

After her mother's death, 15-year-old Marisol tries to piece her life back together in an emotional, thoughtful exploration of pulling yourself up when you’ve made a mess of everything. Biracial Marisol sees her mother as her connection to Filipino culture, adding a layer of complexity to her grief throughout the story.

The committee selected one Youth/Young Adult Literature Honor title:

“In Limbo,” written by Deb JJ Lee and published by First Second, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press, an imprint of Holtzbrinck Publishing.

Winning and Honor Books were chosen from titles by or about Asian Pacific Americans published between September 2022 to August 2023. Each award will be named and given the award seal during the annual APALA Literature Award Ceremony taking place during the ALA Annual Conference and Exhibition in San Diego in June.   

For a complete list of Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature including adult fiction and nonfiction titles, please visit

The 2024 Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature committee members include:

Co-Chairs: Candice Wing-yee Mack, Los Angeles Public Library; Zoë McLaughlin, Michigan State University, East Lansing; and Vice Chair Sandy Wee, San Mateo County Library, California.

Picture Book Award Jury: Co-Chair Hannah Park, American University, Washington, DC; Co-Chair Cynthia Mari Orozco, East Los Angeles College, Monterey Park, California; Jerry Dear, San Francisco Public Library; Charlene Hsu Gross, DeKalb County Public Library, Ellenwood, Georgia; and Joy Shioshita, Berkeley Public Library, California.

Children's Literature Award Jury: Chair Florence Tang, Tucker, Georgia; Andrew Chae, San Jose State University, California; Danny Le, Santa Clara City Library, San Jose, California; and Jen Woo, San Francisco Public Library.

Youth/Young Literature Award Jury: Chair Helen Lee, Cambridge Public Library, Massachusetts; Erika Fitzpatrick, Central Rappahannock Regional Library, Stafford, Virginia; Tiffani Lewis-Lockhart, Bellarmine College Preparatory, San Jose, California; Jovy O’Grady, Harrison Public Library, New York; and Perlita Payne, Berkeley Public Library, California.

The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) was founded in 1980 by librarians of diverse Asian/Pacific ancestries committed to working together toward a common goal: to create an organization that would address the needs of Asian/Pacific American librarians and those who serve Asian/Pacific American communities.


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

# # #