2019 ALA Award Winners and Honorees

CORETTA SCOTT KING AUTHOR HONOR

This award is given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. 

The Season of Styx Malone

The Season of Styx Malone By Kekla Magoon

Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town.

Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade—exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets—secrets so big they could ruin everything.

LEGACY AWARD WINNER

Formerly known as the Wilder Award, the Legacy Award is given to an author for their body of work.

Walter Dean Myers

Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014) was one of the premier authors of children’s books. Among his many honors are two Newbery Honor Books, Scorpions and Somewhere in the Darkness. He is also a two-time recipient of the Coretta Scott King Award for Now Is Your Time! and Fallen Angels. In addition, Myers has received the Margaret A. Edwards Award for his contribution to young adult literature. Myers was also named the 2012 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. 

SYDNEY TAYLOR BOOK AWARD

This award is for outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

Winner for Younger Readers

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah By Emily Jenkins; illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky

Acclaimed author Emily Jenkins (A Greyhound, a Groundhog) and Caldecott Award-winning artist Paul O. Zelinsky (Rapunzel) bring the beloved All-of-a-Kind Family to life in a new format. Fans, along with those just meeting the five girls (“all of a kind,” as their parents say), will join them back in 1912, on the Lower East Side of NYC, and watch as preparations for Hanukkah are made. When Gertie, the youngest, is not allowed to help prepare latkes, she throws a tantrum. Banished to the girls’ bedroom, she can still hear the sounds and smell the smells of a family getting ready to celebrate. But then Papa comes home and she is allowed out—and given the best job of all: lighting the first candle on the menorah.

Winner for Teen Readers

What the Night Sings

What the Night Sings By Written & illustrated by Vesper Stamper

After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and on to living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

Honor Book for Younger Readers

Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall's Life and Art

Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall's Life and Art By Barb Rosenstock; illustrated by Mary GrandPre

Known for both his paintings and stained-glass windows, Marc Chagall rose from humble beginnings to become one of the world’s most renowned artists. Admired for his use of color and the powerful emotion in his work, Chagall led a career that spanned decades and continents, and he never stopped growing. This lyrical narrative shows readers, through many different windows, the pre-WWI childhood and wartime experiences that shaped Chagall’s path.

Honor Book for Older Readers

All Three Stooges

All Three Stooges By Erica S. Perl

Spoiler alert: This book is not about the Three Stooges. It’s about Noah and Dash, two seventh graders who are best friends and comedy junkies. That is, they were best friends, until Dash’s father died suddenly and Dash shut Noah out. Which Noah deserved, according to Noa, the girl who, annoyingly, shares both his name and his bar mitzvah day.

Now Noah’s confusion, frustration, and determination to get through to Dash are threatening to destroy more than just their friendship. But what choice does he have? As Noah sees it, sometimes you need to risk losing everything, even your sense of humor, to prove that gone doesn’t have to mean “gone for good.”

ASIAN/PACIFIC AMERICAN AWARD FOR LITERATURE

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature honors individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit.

The House That Lou Built

The House That Lou Built By Mae Respicio

Lou Bulosan-Nelson has the ultimate summer DIY project. She’s going to build her own “tiny house,” 100 square feet all her own. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother’s house, and longs for a place where she can escape her crazy but lovable extended Filipino family. Lou enjoys her woodshop class and creating projects, and she plans to build the house on land she inherited from her dad, who died before she was born. But then she finds out that the land may not be hers for much longer.

Lou discovers it’s not easy to save her land, or to build a house. But she won’t give up; with the help of friends and relatives, her dream begins to take shape, and she learns the deeper meaning of home and family.

WILLIAM C. MORRIS AWARD FINALIST

This award honors a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.

What the Night Sings

What the Night Sings By Written & illustrated by Vesper Stamper

After losing her family and everything she knew in the Nazi concentration camps, Gerta is finally liberated, only to find herself completely alone. Without her papa, her music, or even her true identity, she must move past the task of surviving and on to living her life. In the displaced persons camp where she is staying, Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor who she just might be falling for, despite her feelings for someone else. With a newfound Jewish identity she never knew she had, and a return to the life of music she thought she lost forever, Gerta must choose how to build a new future.

YALSA EXCELLENCE IN NONFICTION AWARD FINALIST

This award honors the best nonfiction book published for young adults (ages 12-18).

The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor

The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor By Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor was just a girl when she dared to dream big. Her dream? To become a lawyer and a judge even though she’d never met one of either, and none lived in her neighborhood.

Sonia did not let the hardships of her background—which included growing up in the rough housing projects of New York City’s South Bronx, dealing with juvenile diabetes, coping with parents who argued and fought personal demons, and worrying about money—stand in her way. Always, she believed in herself. Her determination, along with guidance from generous mentors and the unwavering love of her extended Puerto Rican family, propelled her ever forward.

Eventually, all of Sonia’s hard work led to her appointment as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in 2009, a role that she has held ever since.

Learn about Justice Sotomayor’s rise and her amazing work as well as about the Supreme Court in this fascinating memoir that shows that no matter the obstacles, dreams can come true.

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