Congratulations to Our 2018 ALA Award Winners!

The Stars Beneath Our Feet

CORETTA SCOTT KING JOHN STEPTOE AWARD FOR NEW TALENT
THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET by David Barclay Moore

"The right story at the right time. . . . It’s not just a narrative; it’s an experience. It’s the novel we’ve been waiting for." —The New York Times

A boy tries to steer a safe path through the projects in Harlem in the wake of his brother’s death in this outstanding debut novel that celebrates community and creativity.

** WINNER OF THE CORETTA SCOTT KING–JOHN STEPTOE AWARD FOR NEW TALENT! **

MICHAEL B. JORDAN TO DIRECT MOVIE ADAPTATION!

SIX STARRED REVIEWS!

It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward.
 
His path isn’t clear—and the pressure to join a “crew,” as his brother did, is always there. When Lolly and his friend are beaten up and robbed, joining a crew almost seems like the safe choice. But building a fantastical Lego city at the community center provides Lolly with an escape—and an unexpected bridge back to the world. 
 
David Barclay Moore paints a powerful portrait of a boy teetering on the edge—of adolescence, of grief, of violence—and shows how Lolly’s inventive spirit helps him build a life with firm foundations and open doors.
 
MORE PRAISE FOR THE STARS BENEATH OUR FEET:

A New York Times Notable Book
A Time Top 10 Children's Books of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Children's Book of the Year
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year
A Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book of the Year
An ALA-YALSA Quick Pick
An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

A fast and furious read in which we meet some amazing people, people that stay with us. David Barclay Moore is an exciting new voice. We definitely haven’t heard the last of his brilliance.” —Jacqueline Woodson, Newbery Honor and National Book Award–winning of Brown Girl Dreaming

The Stars Beneath Our Feet is about the weight of the world on the back of a child, and the creative tools necessary to alleviate that pressure. I found myself rooting for Lolly, and you will too.” —Jason Reynolds, Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner for As Brave As You

Dear Martin

WILLIAM C. MORRIS AWARD FINALIST
DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone

"Powerful, wrenching.” –JOHN GREEN, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Turtles All the Way Down

"Raw and gripping." –JASON REYNOLDS, New York Times bestselling coauthor of All American Boys

"A must-read!” –ANGIE THOMAS, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hate U Give

Raw, captivating, and undeniably real, Nic Stone joins industry giants Jason Reynolds and Walter Dean Myers as she boldly tackles American race relations in this stunning #1 New York Times bestselling debut, a William C. Morris Award Finalist.


Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

"Vivid and powerful." -Booklist, Starred Review
 
"A visceral portrait of a young man reckoning with the ugly, persistent violence of social injustice." -Publishers Weekly

You're Welcome, Universe

SCHNEIDER FAMILY BOOK AWARD
YOU’RE WELCOME, UNIVERSE by Whitney Gardner

A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Not and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, packed with interior graffiti.

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award!

 
When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.
 
Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.
 
Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.
 
Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

"[A] spectacular debut...a moving, beautifully written contemporary novel full of quirky art and complicated friendships...this book is a gift to be thankful for."—BookRiot

The Murderer's Ape

MILDRED L. BATCHELDER AWARD
THE MURDERER’S APE by Jakob Wegelius, translated by Peter Graves

"This may be the most charming book I’ve read all year." --The New York Times
 
"I don’t know when I last read a book with such pure and unalloyed pleasure." –Philip Pullman, internationally bestselling author of the His Dark Materials series
 
Winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder award, this is a captivating story about dark truths and heinous crimes as well as unexpected friendships, with detailed black-and-white illustrations throughout. Perfect for fans of Brian Selznick and mystery and detective stories.
 
Sally Jones is not only a loyal friend, she’s an extraordinary individual. In overalls or in a maharaja’s turban, this unique gorilla moves among humans without speaking but understanding everything. She and the Chief are devoted comrades who operate a cargo boat. A job they are offered pays big bucks, but the deal ends badly, and the Chief is falsely convicted of murder.
 
For Sally Jones this is the start of a harrowing quest for survival and to clear the Chief's name. Powerful forces are working against her, and they will do anything to protect their secrets.