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ALA announces 2018 youth media awards


On February 12 the American Library Association announced the winners of the 2018 youth media awards. Erin Entrada Kelly won the John Newbery Medal for Hello, Universe (Greenwillow), a novel about a group of middle school misfits whose lives unexpectedly intertwine. The Newbery Honor books were Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, written by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James (Bolden); Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum); and Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury).

Matthew Cordell won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for writing and illustrating Wolf in the Snow (Feiwel and Friends), the nearly wordless tale of a red-clad girl helping a wolf pup in a blizzard.  Four Caldecott Honors went to Big Cat, little cat, written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper (Roaring Brook); A Different Pond, illustrated by Thi Bui, written by Bao Phi (Capstone Young Readers)Grand Canyon, illustrated and written by Jason Chin (Neal Porter Book); and Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, illustrated by Gordon C. James, written by Derrick Barnes (Bolden), which also won two Coretta Scott King Honors. 

The winner of the Coretta Scott King award was Piecing Me Together, a moving YA novel by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury).

Juana Martinez-Neal was honored with the Pura Belpré Illustration Award for her work on La Princesa and the Pea, written by Susan Middleton Elya (G. P. Putnam). The Pura Belpré Author Award was given to Ruth Behar, author of the middle grade novel Lucky Broken Girl (Nancy Paulsen).

SCBWI member and Golden Kite winner Deborah Heiligman won the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers (Henry Holt), which also garnered a Printz Honor.

Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give and closing keynote at the 2018 SCBWI New York Winter Conference, won the William C. Morris Award for best debut book, as well as a Coretta Scott King honor and a Michael L. Printz honor. The Hate U Give also won the Odyssey Award for best audiobook, with narration by Bahni Turpin.

For the full list of 2018 winners, visit the American Library Association site at