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Book Awards

Organizations like the American Library Association, the National Book Award, and We Need Diverse Books present awards annually or biennially to the very best in children’s, middle-grade and YA books. Browse the awards below to discover inspiring books for young readers. 

American Indian Youth Literature Award logo

American Indian Youth Literature Award

Awarded biennially, the American Indian Youth Literature Award(opens in a new window) — selected by the American Indian Library Association — identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Books selected to receive the award present Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity.

Asian/Pacific American Award logo

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature honors and recognizes individual work about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage, based on literary and artistic merit. Biennial awards are given for youth literature, children’s literature, and picture book, in addition to adult fiction and non-fiction.

Coretta Scott King Award seal

Coretta Scott King Award

Designed to commemorate the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to honor Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace, the Coretta Scott King Book Awards(opens in a new window) annually recognize outstanding books for young adults and children by African American authors and illustrators that reflect the African American experience. The Award encourages the artistic expression of the black experience via literature and the graphic arts in biographical, social, and historical treatments by African American authors and illustrators.

Grateful American Book Prize seal

Grateful American Book Prize

The Grateful American™ Book Prize recognizes excellence in writing, storytelling, and illustration for middle-grade non-fiction and historical fiction focused on the events and personalities that have shaped the United States since the country’s founding. The prize was created by author and publisher David Bruce Smith. 

National Book Award, Young People's Literature seal

National Book Award, Young People’s Literature Winner

The National Book Award for Young People’s Literature(opens in a new window) is given to the best book by an American citizen, published in the United States from December 1 of the previous year to November 30 of the current year. Books are nominated by their publishers, and selected by a 5-member jury.

Newbery Award seal

John Newbery Medal

The Newbery Medal(opens in a new window) was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

Odyssey Award seal

Odyssey Award

The Odyssey Award(opens in a new window) is given jointly by ALA’s children’s and young adult divisions to the producer of the most distinguished audiobook for children or teens.

Printz Award logo

Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature


The Michael L. Printz Award(opens in a new window) awards a book that exemplifies literary excellence in young adult literature. It is named for a school librarian in Topeka, Kansas, who was a long-time active member of the Young Adult Library Services Association. The award is sponsored by Booklist, a publication of the American Library Association.

Pura Belpré Award seal

Pura Belpré Award

The Pura Belpré Award(opens in a new window), established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The award was named in honor of the first Latina librarian at the New York City Public Library, Pura Belpré.

Schneider Family Award logo

Schneider Family Award

The Schneider Family Book Award(opens in a new window) honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.

Sibert Award seal

Sibert Informational Book Medal

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal(opens in a new window) is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. The award is named in honor of Robert F. Sibert, the long-time President of Bound to Stay Bound Books, Inc. of Jacksonville, Illinois. ALSC administers the award.

Stonewall Award seal

Stonewall Book Award

The Stonewall Book Award(opens in a new window)-Barbara Gittings Literature Award and the Stonewall Book Award-Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award are presented to English language books that have exceptional merit relating to the LGBTQIA+ experience.

Sydney Taylor Book Award seal

Sydney Taylor Book Award

The Sydney Taylor Book Award(opens in a new window) is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience. Presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries since 1968, the award encourages the publication and widespread use of quality Judaic literature. Gold medals are awarded to picture books, middle grade, and young adult. 

Walter Award seal

Walter Awards

The Walter Dean Myers Awards(opens in a new window) for Outstanding Children’s Literature recognize diverse authors whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way. “The Walter,” celebrates the legacy of author Walter Dean Myers (1937-2014). Myers served as the third National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature (2012-2013), authored over a hundred titles, and won countless awards, including two Newbery Honors, five Coretta Scott King Awards, the first-ever Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature, and was a three-time National Book Award finalist. Throughout his prolific, lauded career, Myers was a life-long champion of diversity in children’s and young adult books. The Walter Awards are presented by We Need Diverse Books.