Important Book Awards

There are certain awards and honors given to pivotal books each year by the American Library Association. Public librarians as well as school librarians should be conscious of these awards and make an effort to read as many of the listed selections as possible. 

Every title awarded various honors and medals are considered outstanding works of literature. Not only will reading these books grant you an awareness of what is considered remarkable by an award committee, it will also sharpen your readers’ advisory skills.

The following are awarded by the 2016 Youth Media Awards, an annual event where ALA honors the best books, videos, and other outstanding material for children and teens:

2016 John Newbury Medal

(for the most distinguished American children’s book published in the previous year)


“Last Stop on Market Street,” written by Matt de la Peña, iIllustrated by Christian Robinson

2016 Newbury Honor Books (noteworthy runners-up)

war-saved-life                                             ” The War that Saved my Life,” by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


“Roller Girl,” written and illustrated by Victoria Jamieson


“Echo,” by Pam Muñoz Ryan

2016 Randolph Caldecott Medal 

(for most distinguished children’s picture book published in the previous year)


Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, written by Lindsay Mattick

2016 Caldecott Honor Books (noteworthy runners-up)


“Trombone Shorty” illustrated by Bryan Collier, written by Troy Andrews


“Waiting,” illustrated and written by Kevin Henkes


“Voice of Freedom Fannie Lou Hamer Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement,” illustrated by Ekua Holmes, written by Carole Boston Weatherford

“Last Stop on Market Street,” illustrated by Christian Robinson, written by Matt de le Peña

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (honors an author or illustrator whose books, over a period of years, have made a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children.)

Jerry Pinkney – has won five Caldecott Honor Awards, five Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards, and four Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honors.


2016 Odyssey Award (given to the best producer of an audiobook for children and/or young adults)
“The War that Saved My Life,” produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group, written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Jayne Entwistle
2016 Michael L. Printz Award
 (awarded to a book that exemplifies excellence in young adult literature)
“Bone Gap,” written by Laura Ruby
2016 Printz Honor Books
“Out of Darkness,” by Ashley Hope Pérez
“The Ghosts of Heaven,” by Marcus Sedgwick
Other noteworthy awards:
Andrew Carnegie Medal – honors the most outstanding children’s video productions produced during the previous year.
Coretta Scott King book/illustrator award – recognizes an African American author/illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults.
Alex Awards  – for the ten best adult books which appeal to a young adult audience
Margaret A. Edwards Award – for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults
(2016 winner – David Levithan)
Odyssey Award – for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults
Mildred L Batcheldor Award – for most outstanding book originally published in a foreign language.
For more information on the aforementioned awards and honors, visit