Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Golden Kite, Fleischman Humor, and Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award Winners!


The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Golden Kite Awards and Sid Fleischman Award.  These awards, which are the only ones of their kind to be judged by a jury of author and illustrator peers, are given for excellence in six genres:  YA Fiction, MG/YR Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Book Text, Picture Book Illustration and Humor (the Sid Fleischman).


“The SCBWI is gratified that the Golden Kite Awards have achieved such high visibility in our community and in the public eye,” SCBWI Executive Director Lin Oliver stated.  “Our hope is that by recognizing excellence, these books will prosper and live to influence a generation of readers.”


Golden Kite Award Winners

FICTION: Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman (HarperCollins)

Caden Bosch is on a galleon that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Alternatively, Bosch is a brilliant high school student dealing with schizophrenia…and as fantasy and paranoia begin to take over, his parents have only one choice left.  


MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG READER FICTION: The Detective's Assistant by Kate Hannigan (Little, Brown)

Based on the extraordinary true story of America's first-ever female detective, this fast-paced adventure recounts feats of daring and danger, including saving the life of Abraham Lincoln!

NONFICTION: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle (Atheneum)

In this poetic memoir, acclaimed author Margarita Engle tells the story of growing up as a Cuban-American child, balancing two different cultures during the Cold War. 


PICTURE BOOK ILLUSTRATION: Marvelous Cornelius by John Parra, written by Phil Bildner (Chronicle Books)

In this inspiring book about a real garbage man, John Parra depicts the story of a humble man and the heroic difference he made in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.


PICTURE BOOK TEXT: Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley (Macmillan)

In this stunning debut, author/illustrator Jessixa Bagley explores the subtle and deep emotions associated with loss in a heartwarming tale about a boy, his mother, and the boats he carves for an absent father. 


SID FLEISCHMAN HUMOR AWARD: Teddy Mars: Almost a World Record Breaker by Molly B. Burnham (HarperCollins)

Told in short sections for young readers, this hilarious new series is about a determined ten-year-old boy from a big family who dreams of making it into The Guinness Book of World Records.


Golden Kite Award Honor Books

FICTION: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (Dial Books)

Seventeen-year-old Minnow Bly has spent her enitre life in a wilderness cult in Montana, until the community is mysteriously burned to the ground. Now in the outside world, she must come to terms with her secrets, her crimes, and the lies she was taught since childhood.


MIDDLE GRADE/YOUNG READER FICTION: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow Books)

When Apple's friends turn on her, and life gets weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music in this heartfelt story.


NONFICTION: Mesmerized by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno (Candlewick)

This rollicking glimpse into a fascinating moment in history shows the early development and practice of the scientific method.


PICTURE BOOK ILLUSTRATION: Thomas Jefferson Grows a Nation by Stacy Innerst, written by Peggy Thomas (Calkins Creek)

Thomas Jefferson was more than a president and patriot. He was also a planter and gardener who loved to watch things grow!


PICTURE BOOK TEXT: Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Julie Morstad (Chronicle Books)

An enchanting look at the most famous prima ballerina of all time.



The SCBWI is pleased to announce the winners of the 2016 Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, a new award that recognizes the publication of an excellent book of poetry or anthology for children and/or young adults. The award is given every three years.


WINNER: Forest Has A Song by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater (Clarion)

Forest Has A Song is a collection of lighthearted, lyrical poems celebrating owls, frogs, woodpeckers, and the other natural voices of the forest. VanDerwater is also the author of Every Day Birds, a book of poetry that introduces children to the birds of North America. You can find out more at



Dear Wandering Wildebeest by Irene Latham (Millbrook)

Dear Wandering Wildebeest features fifteen lively poems about the different species of animals that congregate around a Kenyan watering hole. Latham writes poetry and fiction for both children and adults, including the recent middle grade novel Don’t Feed the Boy. You can find more of her work at


Feeding the Flying Fanellis by Kate Hosford (Carolrhoda)

In Feeding the Flying Fanellis: And Other Poems from a Circus Chef, Kate Hosford imagines meals for a whimsical family of jugglers, strongmen, and trapeze artists. She has authored three other picture books, including the award-winning Infinity and Me, which can be found at


The winners were chosen by Lee Bennett Hopkins, renowned poet and anthologist of nearly 200 collections, including Amazing Places and Jumping Off Library Shelves. He holds the Guinness World Record as the world’s most prolific anthologist of poetry for children. To learn more about the Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry award, visit: