ALA Youth Media Awards 2020

Hiya everyone, it’s Sarah!

Today has been such an exciting day! Today ALA announced the winners of this year’s Youth Media Awards. Becky and I were texting throughout the announcements, essentially just jumping up and down with excitement when we saw our favorite books show up on the lists. We were super happy with the winners this year, what were your thoughts?

If you need a reminder of the awards and what they represent, please follow this link to get more info.


Winner: The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander

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This book is gorgeous both in text and illustrations. The more times you read this work and look at the illustrations the more it has to say. From the use of white space and color, to the direction people on the page are facing, the depth of this book seems endless. Alexander and Nelson are powerhouses, who know how to use their art to solidify their message. Readers will find familiar and unfamiliar aspects black life in the United States, however the ties between subjects will ensure that they will walk away with a better understanding. This book will begin many discussions and will be important to use in the classroom.


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Bear Came Along illustrated by LeUyen Pham and written by Richard T. Morris

Double Bass Blues illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez and written by Andrea J. Loney

Going Down Home with Daddy illustrated by Daniel Minter and written by Kelly Starling Lyons

I was super exited to see that Bear Came Along made its way into the honor’s list, it was one of my favorite picture books of last year.


Winner: New Kid written by Jerry Craft


Jordan begins attending school at an affluent private school. As a young black man, Jordan describes his need to code switch between where he lives and where he goes to school. This graphic novel clearly presents microaggressions and obvious racism that Jordan experiences on a daily basis. Jordan is just a regular kid with a comedic look on life. Great addition to children’s literature, especially in the graphic novel section which needs more diversity in content and characters.


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The Undefeated illustrated by Kadir Nelson and written by Kwame Alexander

Scary Stories for Young Foxes written by Christian McKay Heidicker illustrated by Junyi Wu

Other Words for Home written by Jasmine Warga

Genesis Begins Again written by Alicia D. Williams

I just finished Scary Stories for Young Foxes a few days ago (blog to come) and I am still shivering from that book…the scariness is real stuff. I felt it. I also need to make sure that I talk Becky out of reading it, so not Becky friendly. In fact, more sensitive readers are going to have serious problems with this book–so know your reader before recommending.

Genesis Begins Again is one of the books I didn’t have a chance to get to yet, but it had a strong showing through the YMAs this year and I can’t wait to get to it.


Winner: Dig written by A. S. King

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I knew it! I knew this one would show up on the Printz list…and I told everyone I talked to. However, I didn’t know if it would win, but it did! Congrats King! This work did feel like it came back to the Vera Dietz and Ask the Passenger realm.


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The Beast Player written by Nahoko Uehashi

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir written by Nikki Grimes

Where the World Ends written by Geraldine McCaughrean

I can’t wait to read some of these honors that I haven’t read before. HOW DID I MISS THE NIKKI GRIMES BOOK!? Beast Player looks awesome and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Notable Book:

40645658Song for a Whale written by Lynne Kelly

One of our favorite books this year was Song for a Whale (like we are giving it to everyone that crosses our path) made an appearance on the Schneider and Odyssey awards list. We were super excited to see it get some recognition and this is just me fangirling at this point.


So were you cheering this year, or were you in tears? Let us know your thoughts about the awards this year.

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