Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

Finalists Announced for the 2021 Golden Kite Awards


SCBWI announces, for the first time ever, the finalists for the  2021 Golden Kite Awards Gala and the Sid Fleischmann Humor Award. Judging panels comprised of some of the most celebrated names in children’s and young adult literature have narrowed down the field from over 1,000 entries to 5 finalists in each category. There will be one winner per category and one honor book chosen. The Golden Kites serve as the kickoff event to SCBWI’s virtual conference on Friday, February 19 at 7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT. The awards are open to the public via Facebook at conference is from February 19-21.


The Golden Kite Awards are one of the only children’s literary award judged by a jury of peers. The Awards recognize excellence in children’s literature in seven categories: Middle Grade/Young Reader Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers, Nonfiction Text for Older Readers, Picture Book Text, and Picture Book Illustration. The Sid Fleischman Humor Award is for exemplary writing for children in the genre of humor.


Each winner will receive a $2,500 award along with $1,000 to contribute to a nonprofit of their choice. Each honor winner will receive a $500 award along with $250 to a nonprofit of their choice. The finalists for this year’s awards are listed below: 


Finalists for Middle Grade/Young Reader Fiction

A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner (FSG)

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial)

The Magic in Changing Your Stars by Leah Henderson (Sterling)

Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan (Scholastic)

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury)


Finalists for Picture Book Text

All Because You Matter by Tami Charles; illustrated by Bryan Collier (Orchard Books)

The Blue House by Phoebe Wahl (Knopf)

I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes; illustrated by Gordon C. James (Nancy Paulsen Books)

Lights Out by Marsha Diane Arnold; illustrated by Susan Reagan (Creative Editions)

We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom; illustrated by Michaela Goade (Roaring Brook Press)


Finalists for Nonfiction Text for Younger Readers

Dark Was the Night written by Gary Golio ; illustrated by E. B. Lewis (Nancy Paulsen Books)

Nacho’s Nachos written by Sandra Nickel, illustrated by Oliver Dominguez (Lee & Low)

Terry Fox and Me written by Mary Beth Leatherdale, illustrated by Milan Pavlovic (Tundra)

William Still and His Freedom Stories written and illustrated by Don Tate (Peachtree)

Winged Wonders written by Meeg Pincus, illustrated by Yas Imamura (Sleeping Bear Press)


Finalists for Picture Book Illustration

The Bear and the Moon illustrated by Catia Chien; written by Matthew Burgess (Chronicle)

The Camping Trip illustrated and written by Jennifer K. Mann (Candlewick)

From Archie to Zack illustrated and written by Vincent X. Kirsch (Abrams)

Outside In illustrated by Cindy Derby; written by Deborah Underwood (HMH)

Welcoming Elijah illustrated by Susan Gal; written by Leslea Newman (Charlesbridge)


Finalists for Nonfiction Text for Older Readers

All Thirteen by Christina Soontornvat (Candlewick)

Alphamaniacs written by Paul Fleischman, illustrated by Melissa Sweet (Candlewick Studio)

Dung for Dinner by Christine Virnig, illustrated by Korwin Briggs (Holt)

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh by Candace Fleming (Schwartz & Wade)

True or False by Cindy L. Otis (Feiwel & Friends)


Finalists for Illustrated Book for Older Readers

How We Got to the Moon illustrated and written by John Rocco (Crown)

Flamer illustrated and written by Mike Curato (Holt)

Chance illustrated and written by Uri Shulevitz (FSG)

Our Friend Hedgehog illustrated and written by Lauren Castillo (Knopf)

The Wanderer by Peter Van Den Ende (Levine Querido)


Finalists for Young Adult Fiction

The Blossom and the Firefly by Sherri L. Smith (Putnam)

Dear Justyce by Nic Stone (Crown)

Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido)

With a Star in My Hand by Margarita Engle (Atheneum)

Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams (Little, Brown)


Finalists for the Sid Fleischman Humor Award

Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera (Levine Querido) 

Zeus, Dog of Chaos by Kristen O’Donnell Tubb (Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins) 

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson (Bloomsbury)

Badger and Skunk by Amy Timberlake (Workman Publishing) 

Fly on the Wall by Remy Lai (Holt)