The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Awards in Youth Literature

Compiled by Suzy Piel

ABBY Award (Indies Choice Book Award)
This award, whose name is an acronym for the American Booksellers Book of the Year, results from surveying thousands of booksellers for the book "they most love to recommend." The stories often have a moral. In 2000 the award was renamed as the Book Sense Book of the Year (BSBY), and then became the Indies Choice Book Award in 2009.
Year created: 1991

Jane Addams Children's Book Award
Peace, social justice, and world community are themes featured in the winners of this award. Its namesake, Jane Addams, was a social reformer who shared the 1931 Nobel Peace Prize for her work with underprivileged and oppressed woman and children, particularly immigrants.
Year created: 1953

Alex Award (YALSA)
Given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18.
Year created: 1998

American Indian Youth Literature Award
The American Indian Library Association (an affiliate of the ALA) grants this award to picture books and books for middle schoolers and young adults to "identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians." The books are selected for their excellent in presenting "American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts."
Year created: 2006

Américas Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature
This award is given in recognition of U.S. works of fiction, poetry, folklore, or selected non-fiction (from picture books to works for young adults) published in the previous year in English or Spanish that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.
Year created: 1993

Mildred L Batchelder Award (ALA)
An outstanding foreign-language book, subsequently published in English, is cited by this award. The award aims to promote the international exchange of quality children's books. Winning titles appeal to children from preschool to teens.
Year created: 1968

The Pura Belpré Award (ALA)
Presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The awards was given biennially from 1996 to 2008, but is now an annual award.
Year created: 1996

Boston Globe - Horn Book Award
Librarians in New England judge these the best fiction, nonfiction, and illustrated books of the year. Sponsored by The Boston Globe, Boston's major newspaper, and The Horn Book, a well-known children's magazine.
Year created: 1967 (fiction) 1976 (nonfiction) 1967 (picture book)

Bulletin Blue Ribbons
Blue Ribbons are chosen annually by the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books staff and represent what they believe to be the best of the previous year's literature for youth.
Year created: 1990

Caldecott Medal (ALA)
Distinguished American children's picture books are celebrated by this award, which is administered by the American Library Association. It is names for the nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. The award is considered one of the highest achievements in children's literature.
Year created: 1938

Carnegie Medal
The Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals annually awards the writer of an outstanding book for children published in the United Kingdom with the Carnegie Medal. The medal honors Andrew Carnegie whose philanthropies focused on public libraries and education in both American and the U.K.
Year created: 1936

Andrew Carnegie Medal (ALA)
The Association for Library Service to Children (confusingly enough) awards the Andrew Carnegie Medal annually to the most outstanding video productions for children released during the previous year.
Year created: 1991

Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award
The Rebecca Caudill is given annually to the author of the book voted most outstanding by fourth through eighth graders in Illinois schools. The award honors Rebecca Caudill, who lived in Urbana for more than 50 years and authored many books for children.
Year created: 1988

Christopher Award
Lofty values of the human spirit, such as honor and charity, are featured in books that win this award. There are awards for books appealing to several age groups.
Year created: 1970

Edgar Allan Poe Award
The "Edgar" honors great suspense, detective, and spy works. There are two awards for young audiences. Judges are members of the Mystery Writers of America.
Year created: 1954 (juvenile book) 1989 (young adult)

The Margaret A. Edwards Award
Honors an author's lifetime achievement for writing books that have been popular over a period of time. It recognizes an author's body of work in helping adolescents become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world.
Year created: 1988

(Theodor Seuss) Geisel Medal
The Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal honors the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished contribution to the body of American children’s literature known as beginning reader books published in the United States during the preceding year.
Year created: 2004

The Giverny Book Award
The Giverny Award is an annual award established by the 15 Degree Laboratory, currently based at Louisiana State University. The award is given to a science picture book that teaches its young reader at least one important scientific principle well, or encourages the reader toward specific science-related pursuits or inquiry. Books about plants and/or plant science will have preference.
Year created: 1998

Golden Kite Award
Writers and illustrators themselves vote for the best work of their peers. The well-respected Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators has expanded its mission over the years to applaud books of nonfiction and illustration as well as fiction. The winner is a society member who has created a book that best addresses the fascinations and concerns of children.
Year created: 1973 (fiction) 1977 (nonfiction) 1982 (illustration)

Governor General's Literary Award
Canadian writers and illustrators are awarded this honor. Sponsored by the writing and publishing section of The Canada Council, this series of awards includes French-language books and English-language titles.
Year created: 1949

Kate Greenaway Medal
The best-illustrated children's books in the United Kingdom are given this award. It is named for Kate Greenaway, the nineteenth-century English author and illustrator. Like its companion, the Carnegie Medal, this award is administered by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
Year created: 1955

Gryphon Award
Given annually to the author of an outstanding English language work of fiction or non-fiction for which the primary audience is children K-4 who are transitional readers. The title chosen best exemplifies those qualities that successfully bridge the gap in difficulty between picture books and full-length books.
Year created: 2004

Coretta Scott King Book Award (ALA)
Outstanding books by African-American authors and illustrators that are particularly education and inspirational receive this honor. Winning titles celebrate black history, spirit, and dreams in fiction and nonfiction. This award is name for the wife of the late social activist, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Year created: 1970 (author) 1979 (illustrator)

Monarch Award
Given by the Illinois School Library Media Association, the Monarch Award is a K-3 readers' choice award granted annually.
Year created: 2003

William C. Morris YA Debut Award (YALSA)
The Morris Award honors a book written for young adults by a first-time, previously unpublished author.
Year created: 2009

The Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children's Literature
This award honors books for younger readers (from "Young Adults" to picture books for beginning readers), in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia . Books are nominated for the award and chosen by members of the Mythopoeic Society.
Year created: 1992

National Book Award for Young People's Literature
This award is given to recognize literary achievement in the genre of Young People's Literature. The goal is to enhance the public's awareness of exceptional books written by fellow Americans, and to increase the popularity of reading in general.
Year created: 1950

NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children
Poetry is honored in this award created by the National Council for Teachers of English. The council's intention is to foster the production of high-quality poetry for younger audiences, from playful to thought-provoking verse. Since 2008, the Award has been granted biennially.
Year created: 1977

National Jewish Book Award
The Jewish Book Council awards grants two awards for Jewish content in books related to children's literature: The Louis Posner Memorial Award for illustration in a picture book and the National Jewish Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature.
Year created: 1952 (Author) 1983 (Illustrator)

Newbery Medal (ALA)
The best American children's literature is granted this well-known distinction. This award is named for the eighteenth-century Englishman John Newbery, who was the first publisher and seller of children's books.
Year created: 1922

Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
Historical fiction set in the New World (North, South, or Central America) is celebrated by this award.
Year created: 1984

Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production (YALSA)
This award honors the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States.
Year created: 2008

Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children
Distinguished nonfiction is featured in the list of these winners. The award itself commemorates what is thought to be the first children's book, Orbis Pictus. This award is administered by the National Council of Teachers of English and is given for a book considered useful in classroom teaching.
Year created: 1990

Phoenix Award
A 20-year-old book which suffers from neglect is highlighted by this unique award. Named for the fabled bird that rises from the ashes to renewed life, the prize honors a book that did not win a major award at publication date. Yet its timeless literary merit is deemed worthy of special recognition two decades later by the teachers, scholars, librarians, and parents who belong to the Children's Literature Association.
Year created: 1985

Please Touch Museum Book Award
Very young children, ages 3 and younger, delight in these winning books, chosen for their encouragement of learning through play. Featured are bright pictures and simple tasks that aim to teach something, such as counting. In 1995 a counterpart for children ages 4 to 7 was launched.
Year created: 1985 (ages 3 and under) 1995 (ages 4-7)

Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature (YALSA)
The Michael L. Printz Award is an award for a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a Topeka, Kansas school librarian who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association.
Year created: 2000

Tomás Rivera Mexican-American Children's Book Award
This award was established by Texas State University–San Marcos to encourage authors, illustrators and publishers of books that authentically reflect the lives of Mexican American children and young adults in the Southwestern region of the United States.
Year created: 1995

The Schneider Family Book Award (ALA)
The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. Three annual awards will be given annually in each of the following age categories: birth through grade school (age 0-8), middle school (age 9-13) and teens (age 14-18).
Year created: 2004

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal (ALA)
The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, established by the Association for Library Service to Children, is awarded annually to the author of the most distinguished informational book published in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc.
Year created: 2001

Stonewall Book Award: Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award(ALA)
The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association awards the Stonewall Book Awards annually for exceptional literature highlighting GLBT/queer experiences. An award and honors for children's and young adult literature was added in 2010.
Year created: 2010

Western Heritage Award
To encourage writers who spin tales of the American West, the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Heritage Center created this award. The books are funny, wild, and offer a unique perspective for a juvenile audience.
Year created: 1962

Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal
Authors or illustrators whose entire body of work has made a lasting and substantial contribution to American children's literature are given this honor. This award is given every three years by the Association of Library Services to Children.
Year created: 1954

Carter G. Woodson Book Award
National Council for the Social Studies established the Carter G. Woodson Book Awards to honor the most distinguished social science books appropriate for young readers that depict ethnicity in the United States.
Year created: 1974

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults
YALSA's honors excellence in the authorship of a nonfiction book for young adults.
Year created: 2010


Adapted from:

Carlson, Laura, Sean Creighton, and Sheila Cunningham, ed. Literary Laurels: Kid's Edition . New York: Hillyard, 1996
and the American Library Association Website (