2024 Winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, King, Belpre & More Awards from the American Library Association

By Carrie McBride, Communications
January 22, 2024

Celebrating excellence in literature for children and young adults, The American Library Association announced the winners of the Youth Media Awards this morning at its LibLearnX conference in Baltimore. Top honors went to Dave Eggers's middle grade novel The Eyes and the Impossible, a story of friendship and adventure starring a free dog living in an urban park, which received the Newbery Medal and Big written and illustrated by Vashti Harrison about a little girl's journey to acceptance and self-love which took home the Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished picture book of the year.

You can find the full list of winners and honor books on the ALA website  Most are available in multiple formats to borrow from the Library.

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature

  • The Eyes and the Impossible

    by Dave Eggers; illustrated by Shawn Harris

    Johannes, a free dog, lives in an urban park by the sea. His job is to be the Eyes—to see everything that happens within the park and report back to the park’s elders, three ancient Bison. His friends—a seagull, a raccoon, a squirrel, and a pelican—work with him as the Assistant Eyes, observing the humans and other animals who share the park and making sure the Equilibrium is in balance. But changes are afoot. More humans, including Trouble Travelers, arrive in the park. A new building, containing mysterious and hypnotic rectangles, goes up. And then there are the goats—an actual boatload of goats—who appear, along with a shocking revelation that changes Johannes’s view of the world.

Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children

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    written and illustrated by Vashti Harrison

    Praised for acting like a big girl when she is small, as a young girl grows, "big" becomes a word of criticism, until the girl realizes that she is fine just the way she is.

Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults

Author Award:

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    Nigeria Jones

    by Ibi Zoboi

    A sixteen-year-old girl whose father is the leader of a Black liberation group discovers her own place in the world.

Illustrator Award:

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    An American Story

    illustrated by Dare Coulter; written by Kwame Alexander

    A picture book in verse that threads together past and present to explore the legacy of slavery during a classroom lesson.

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults

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    The Collectors: Stories

    edited by A.S. King; written by M.T. Anderson, E.E. Charlton-Trujillo, A.S. King, David Levithan, Cory McCarthy, Anna-Marie McLemore, G. Neri, Jason Reynolds, Randy Ribay, and Jenny Torres Sanchez

    An anthology of ten stories centering around an unforgettable cast of characters and their strange and surprising collections.

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience

Young Children's Award:

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    Henry, Like Always

    by Jenn Bailey; illustrated by Mika Song

    Henry, a first grader on the autism spectrum, attempts to navigate friendships, and sudden changes in classroom routines—like a parade on Friday instead of share time.

Middle Grades Award:

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    The Fire, the Water, and Maudie McGinn

    by Sally J. Pla

    Follows thirteen-year-old neurodivergent Maudie during an eventful summer in California with her father, where she struggles with whether to share a terrible secret about life with her mom and stepdad.

Teens Award:

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    Forever Is Now,

    by Mariama J. Lockington

    When sixteen-year-old Sadie, a Black bisexual recluse, develops agoraphobia the summer before her junior year, she relies on her best friend, family, and therapist to overcome her fears.

Mildred L. Batchelder Award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States

Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States

For Children:

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    El Deafo

    by Cece Bell; produced by Matie Argiropoulos; narrated by a full cast

    A poignant graphic tale based on the creator's own experiences with hearing loss follows the adventures of young Cece, who develops "superpowers" to manage the challenges of making friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid that sometimes lets her hear things she shouldn't.

For Young Adults:

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    Promise Boys

    by Nick Brooks, produced by Macmillan Young Listeners; narrated by a full cast

    Becoming prime suspects in the murder of their principal known for doling out extreme discipline, three Urban Promise Prep School students team up to catch the real killer and clear their names. 

Pura Belpré Award honoring Latinx writers and illustrators whose children's and young adult books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience

Children's Author Award and Youth Illustration Award:

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    Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir

    written and illustrated by Pedro Martín

    Pedro Martín has grown up hearing stories about his abuelito—his legendary crime-fighting, grandfather who was once a part of the Mexican Revolution! But that doesn't mean Pedro is excited at the news that Abuelito is coming to live with their family. Still, Pedro piles into the Winnebago with his family for a road trip to Mexico to bring Abuelito home, and what follows is the trip of a lifetime.

Young Adult Author Award:

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    Saints of the Household

    by Ari Tison

    After breaking up a fight that harms their school’s star soccer player in the process, two Bribri American brothers have to lay low due to their physically abusive father and grapple with the weight of their actions to find their way forward. 

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children

Stonewall Book Award—Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience

Children’s Literature Award:

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    Cross My Heart and Never Lie

    written and illustrated by Nora Dåsnes; translated by Matt Bagguley 

    Tuva is starting seventh grade, and her checklist of goals includes: writing out a diary, getting a trendy look, building the best fort in the woods with her BFFs, and much more. But when she starts school, nothing is how she hoped it would be. Seventh grade has split her friends into rival factions: TEAM LINNEA and the girls who fall in love and TEAM BAO and the girls who NEVER fall in love. Linnea has a BOYFRIEND, Bao hates everything related to love. Worst of all, Linnea and Bao expect Tuva to choose a side!

Young Adult Literature Award:

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    Only This Beautiful Moment

    by Abdi Nazemian

    Set against the backdrop of Tehran and Los Angeles, this sweeping intergenerational story, examining queer identity at the end of different decades, follows three boys in the same Iranian family as they each gain a new understanding of their history, culture, and themselves. 

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book

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    Fox Has a Problem

    written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor

    Fox has a problem: His kite is stuck in a tree! But every clever plan creates even more problems for him – and for all his friends. Can they work together to fix things before it’s too late? 

American Indian Youth Literature Awards

Picture Book Awards:

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    Forever Cousins

    by Laurel Goodluck (Mandan & Hidatsa and Tsimshian); illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Navajo/Diné

    Amanda and Kara are cousins and best friends in an intertribal Native American family; but Kara's family leaves the city and moves back to the Rez, making both girls sad—but the summer reunion reminds them that they will always be cousins.

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    A Letter for Bob

    by Kim Rogers (Wichita & Affiliated Tribes); illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Navajo/Diné)

    When its time to say goodbye to a part of her family, a young girl pens a love letter to Bob, the treasured family car that has taken them all over and been there in sad and scary times.

Middle Grade Book Award

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    We Still Belong

    by Christine Day (Upper Skagit); cover art by Madelyn Goodnight (Chickasaw Nation)

    Wesley's hopeful plans for Indigenous Peoples' Day (and asking her crush to the dance) go all wrong—until she finds herself surrounded by the love of her Indigenous family and community at the intertribal powwow.

Young Adult Book Award:

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    Rez Ball

    by Byron Graves (Ojibwe); jacket art by Natasha Donovan (Métis) 

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage

Picture Book Award:

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    The Truth About Dragons

    by Julie Leung; illustrated by Hanna Cha 

    In a mix of Eastern and Western mythologies, a mother tells her child about two forests inhabited by different, but equally enchanting dragons that coexist within the child's heart.

Children's Literature Award:

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    Ruby Lost and Found

    by Christina Li 

    Forced to spend the summer at Nai-Nai’s senior center, Ruby Chu works to help save a historic Chinatown bakery while revisiting her late Ye-Ye’s favorite spots to find a way to deal with her grief—and maybe even find herself. 

Youth Literature Award:

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    I'd Rather Burn Than Bloom

    by Shannon C. F. Rogers

    Alternating between present day and flashbacks, multiracial Filipina-American teen Marisol tries to figure out who she really is in the wake of her mother's sudden death.

The Sydney Taylor Book Award for outstanding books that authentically portray the Jewish experience

Picture Book Award:

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    Two New Years

    by Richard Ho; illustrated by Lynn Scurfield

    A multicultural family celebrates the traditions of two New Years—the Jewish Rosh Hashanah in the autumn, and the Asian Lunar New Year several months later.

Middle Grade Award:

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    The Dubious Pranks of Shaindy Goodman

    by Mari Lowe 

    Helping her popular next-door neighbor Gayil set up what she thinks are harmless pranks, 12-year-old Orthodox Jewish girl Shaindy must figure out how to stop them before she becomes the next target when the pranks escalate and turn malicious.

Young Adult Award:

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    The Blood Years

    by Elana K. Arnold 

    Based on the author's grandmother's true experiences during the Holocaust in Romania, this harrowing story follows Rieke Teitler as she must decide whether holding on to her life might mean letting go of everything that has ever mattered to her.

William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens

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    Rez Ball

     by Byron Graves

    When the varsity basketball team members take him under their wing, Tre Brun, representing his Ojibwe reservation, steps into his late brother’s shoes as star player but soon learns he can’t mess up—not on the court, not in school and not in love. 

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

Summaries provided via NYPL’s catalog, which draws from multiple sources. Click through to each book’s title for more.