Additional ALA Awards 2020


Alex Award

[for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences]

  • A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher (Orbit/Hachette)
  • Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Saga Press/Gallery Books/Simon)
  • Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron/Macmillan)
  • Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe (Lion Forge/Oni)
  • High School by Sara Quin and Tegan Quin (MCD/FSG/Macmillan)
  • In Waves by AJ Dungo (Nobrow)
  • Middlegame by Seanan McGuire ( Doherty/Macmillan)
  • The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday/PRH)
  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston (St. Martin's Griffin/St. Martin's/Macmillan)
  • The Swallows by Lisa Lutz (Ballantine/Random/PRH)


ALSC Children's Literature Lecture Award

[recognizing an author, critic, librarian, historian, or teacher of children's literature, who then presents a lecture at a winning host site]

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop will deliver the 2021 lecture.


The American Indian Youth Literature Awards

[announced in even years and established to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians; administered by the American Indian Library Association (AILA)]

Picture Book winner: Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi’idim by Brenda J. Child, illustrated by Jonathan Thunder, translated into Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain (Minnesota)

Honor books:

Middle Grade winner: Indian No More by Charlene Willing McManis with Traci Sorell (Tu/Lee & Low)

Honor books:

  • I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day (Harper/HarperCollins)
  • The Grizzly Mother by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson), illustrated by Natasha Donovan (HighWater)

Teen winner: Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Candlewick)

Honor books:

  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese (Beacon)
  • Reawakening Our Ancestors’ Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing edited by Angela Hovak Johnston, photos by Cora DeVos and Meta Antolin (Inhabit Media)
  • Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley (North Dakota)
  • Surviving the City by Tasha Spillett, illustrated by Natasha Donovan (HighWater)


Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature

[for promoting Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage; awarded based on literary and artistic merit; administered by the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA)]

Picture Book winner: Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom by Teresa Robeson, illustrated by Rebecca Huang (Sterling)

Honor book: Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Anoosha Syed (Salaam/Simon)

Children's Literature winner: Stargazing by Jen Wang (First Second/Roaring Brook)

Honor book: I’m Ok by Patti Kim (Atheneum)

Young Adult Literature winner: They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott, illustrated by Harmony Becker (Top Shelf)

Honor book: Frankly in Love by David Yoon (Putnam)


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 publiation in the United States]

Winner: Brown, written by Håkon Øvreås, illustrated by Øyvind Torseter, translated from the Norwegian by Kari Dickson (Enchanted Lion)

Honor books:

  • The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree written by Paola Peretti, illustrated by Carolina Rabei, translated from the Italian by Denise Muir (Atheneum)
  • Do Fish Sleep? written by Jens Raschke, illustrated by Jens Rassmus, translated from the German by Belinda Cooper (Enchanted Lion)
  • The Beast Player written by Nahoko Uehashi, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano (Godwin/Holt)
  • When Spring Comes to the DMZ written and illustrated by Uk-Bae Lee, translated from the Korean by Chungyon Won and Aileen Won (Plough)


Children's Literature Legacy Award

[honoring an author or illustrator whose books, published in the United States, have made, over a period of years, a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children through books that demonstrate integrity and respect for all children's lives and experiences]

Kevin Henkes


Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award

[given by the Coretta Scott King Task Force to young authors or illustrators who demonstrate outstanding promise]

Steptoe Author Award winner: Alicia D. Williams for Genesis Begins Again (Atheneum)

Steptoe Illustrator Award winner: April Harrison for What Is Given from the Heart, written by Patricia C. McKissack (Schwartz & Wade/Random)


Coretta Scott King — Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

[given by the Coretta Scott King Task Force for lifetime achievement]

Mildred D. Taylor


Margaret A. Edwards Award

[for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults]

Steve Sheinkin


Excellence in Early Learning Digital Media Award

[for distinguished digital media for an early learning audience]

Winner: Molly of Denali produced by PBS Kids


  • Seek produced by iNaturalist
  • States of Matter by Tinybop produced by Tinybop, Inc.


William C. Morris Award

[for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens]

Winner: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)


  • The Candle and the Flame by Nafiza Azad (Scholastic)
  • There Will Come a Darkness by Katy Rose Pool (Holt)
  • Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams (Atheneum)
  • Frankly in Love by David Yoon (Putnam)


Odyssey Award

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

Winner: Hey, Kiddo, written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, read by the author, Jeanne Birdsall, Jenna Lamia, Richard Ferrone and a full cast (Scholastic Audiobooks)

Honor audiobooks:

  • Redwood and Ponytail written by K. A. Holt, read by Cassandra Morris and Tessa Netting (Hachette Audio)
  • Song for a Whale written by Lynne Kelly, read by Abigail Revasch with the author (Listening Library)
  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga written by Traci Sorell, read by Lauren Hummingbird, Agalisiga (Choogie) Mackey, Ryan Mackey, Traci Sorell, and Tonia Weavel (Live Oak Media)
  • We’re Not from Here written by Geoff Rodkey, read by Dani Martineck (Listening Library)


Schneider Fmaily Book Award

[for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience]

Young Children (ages 0 to 10) winner: Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López (Philomel)

Honor book: A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song (Chronicle)

Middle Grades (ages 11-13) winner: Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly (Delacorte)

Honor book: Each Tiny Spark by Pablo Cartaya (Kokila/Penguin)

Teen (ages 14-18) winner: Cursed by Karol Ruth Silverstein (Charlesbridge Teen)

Honor book: The Silence Between Us by Alison Gervais (Blink)


Stonewall Book Award — Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's & Young Adult Literature Award

[given annually to English-language children's and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender experience]


Honor books:

  • Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World/Random)
  • Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)
  • The Best at It by Maulik Pancholy (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins)


Sydney Taylor Book Awards

[to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience; presented by the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL)]

Picture Book winner: The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come by Sue Macy, illustrated by Stacy Innerst (Wiseman/Simon)

Honor books:

Middle Grade winner: White Bird: A Wonder Story by R. J. Palacio (Knopf)

Honor books:

  • Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler’s Germany by Andrew Maraniss (Philomel)
  • Anya and the Dragon by Sofiya Pasternack (Versify/Houghton)

Young Adult winner: Someday We Will Fly by Rachel DeWoskin (Viking)

Honor books:

Lesléa Newman is the winner of the 2020 Sydney Taylor Body of Work Award.

For the complete list, including Notables, visit the AJL's website.


YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

Winner: Free Lunch by Rex Ogle (Norton)




See the Horn Book's reviews of major 2020 ALA Youth Media Award winners.


For more, click on the tag ALA Midwinter 2020.

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