Originally planned for Indianapolis, the American Library Association hosted their Mid-Winter conference online, as had been done with the Annual conference last Summer. What was unchanged from previous years was that the ALA Youth Media Awards were once again livestreamed online, as many librarians host early-morning watch parties across the country.
Normally, I would be in a ballroom packed full of librarians, publishers, and bibliophiles, cheering on the winners and taking lots of notes. This year, I watched it online, posted to Facebook, and checked each winner on Amazon to see if books that looked like graphic novels were actually comics. (It’s a big peeve of mine when I see a cartoony cover on a book, flip it open, and it’s a boring everyday prose novel.)
While there were no Caldecott or Newbery wins by graphic novels, there were numerous graphic novels lauded by the ALA Youth Media Awards committees. When Stars are Scattered, written by Somali refugee Omar Mohamed and Victoria Jamieson who also illustrated the work, received two honors. The Schneider Family Book Award honors “an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.” The book also received an Odyssey Award, “given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults”. Yes, a graphic novel not only was adapted into an audiobook, with a full cast, but it won an award as one of the best! (Noelle Stevenson‘s Nimona received a similar honor back in 2017.)
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
The Sydney Taylor Book Award
Schneider Family Book Award
This Award is presented to “books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience.” When Stars Are Scattered, written by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed, illustrated by Victoria Jamieson, color by Iman Geddy and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Penguin Young Readers, a division of Penguin Random House LLC., was selected as an honor book for middle grades.
Stonewall Book Awards – Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Award
Beetle & The Hollowbones, illustrated and written by Aliza Layne and published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division was selected as an honor book.
Michael L. Printz Award
Pura Belpré Awards
Mildred L. Batchelder Award
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Kiku Hughes, Allie Brosh, and Gene Luen Yang were among this year’s ALA Youth Media Awards honorees.
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