Society of
Children's Book Writers
and Illustrators

SCBWI members dominate ALA young media awards


On Monday morning, the 2019 Youth Media Awards were announced at ALA Midwinter in Seattle, Washington. Many of the top awards went to members of the SCBWI community such as Meg Medina, Sophie Blackall, Ekua Holmes, Oge Mora, and Yuyi Morales.


SCBWI Board member Meg Medina won the John Newbery Medal for Merci Suarez Changes Gears (Candlewick Press). The Night Diary (Dial), written by SCBWI member Veera Hiranandani, was one of two Newbery Honor books.


Elizabeth Acevedo, who will deliver a keynote speech at the SCBWI New York Winter Conference, won the Michael L. Printz Award for The Poet X (HarperTeen), and also received the Pura Belpré Author Award and Odyssey Honor for best children’s audiobook. 2018 Golden Kite winner Elana K. Arnold won a Printz Honor for her novel Damsel (Balzer + Bray).


SCBWI illustrators were prominently featured among the Caldecott winners. Hello Lighthouse (Little, Brown), illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall, won the Randolph Caldecott Medal. Honors were given to writer/illustrators Juana Martinez-Neal for Alma and How She Got Her Name (Candlewick) and Brian Lies for The Rough Patch (Greenwillow). Oge Mora, recipient of the 2016 Student Illustrator Scholarship and Portfolio Showcase Grand Prize, also received a Caldecott Honor for Thank You, Omu! (Little, Brown) and won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Illustrator Award.


While longtime member Claire Hartfield won the Coretta Scott King Author Book Award for A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 (Clarion), a King Honor was given to active SCBWI member Varian Johnson for The Parker Inheritance (Holiday House).


Ekua Holmes’s illustrations for The Stuff of Stars (Candlewick Press) earned her the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Book Award. Hidden Figures (HarperCollins), illustrated by Laura Freeman, took one of three King Illustrator Honor awards.


The Pura Belpré Illustrator Award for excellent books that affirm the Latinx cultural experience was awarded to Dreamers (Neal Porter Books), illustrated and written by Yuyi Morales. Morales previously won SCBWI Golden Kite Awards for Picture Book Illustration in 2012 and 2008.


The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award committee gave an Honor to Spooked!: How a Radio Broadcast and The War of the Worlds Sparked the 1938 Invasion of America, written by Gail Jarrow, also a recipient of a 2019 Golden Kite Honor in Nonfiction. 2018 SCBWI Book Launch Award winner We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga, written by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frané Lessac, also received an Honor, as well as When Angels Sing: The Story of Rock Legend Carlos Santana, written by member Michael Mahin


The Schneider Family Book Award, awarded for excellent artistic expression of the disability experience, was given to Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship (Candlewick), written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by SCBWI member Scott MagoonJessie Oliveros, who won the 2019 Golden Kite Award for Picture Book Text for The Remember Balloons (Simon & Schuster), illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte, received a Schneider Family Honor for the same title.


2014 Don Freeman Grant recipient Corey R. Tabor wrote and illustrated Fox the Tiger (Balzer + Bray), which won the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for distinguished beginning reader book. King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth, written by Dori Hillestad Butler, and illustrated by Nancy Meyers, was awarded a Geisel Honor. 


Adib Khorram’s book, Darius the Great is Not Okay (Dial), won the William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by an author writing for teens. He also won the Asian/Pacific American Award for Teen Readers for the same title. 2019 Golden Kite Honoree Vesper Stamper was a Morris finalist for What the Night Sings (Knopf), and also won a Sydney Taylor Book Award in the Teen Readers Category.


The Sydney Taylor Award, which is presented to books that authentically portray the Jewish experience, also gave awards in the Older Readers category to Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier (Amulet Books) and in the Younger Readers category to All-of-a-Kind-Family Hannukah (Schwartz & Wade) written by Emily Jenkins and illustrated by SCBWI Board member Paul O. Zelinsky.


Elizabeth Partridge, whose book Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam (Viking) won the Golden Kite Award for Nonfiction for Older Readers, was a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Golden Kite Honor winner Jarrett J. Krosoczka was also a finalist for the graphic novel Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction (Graphix).


For the full list of Youth Media Award winners, visit