The American Library Association recognized several graphic novels this past weekend as part of the 2020 Youth Media Awards at their Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia. These included the prestigious Newbery Medal, which has been given out since 1922 to “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children;” the Coretta Scott King Book Award; and many others.
The winner of this year’s Newbery Medal was New Kid, the graphic novel by Jerry Craft that was published by HarperCollins Children’s Books. It also won the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award. It’s interesting to note that these aren’t in a “graphic novel” category or anything like that; The Newbery Medal is the highest honor the ALA gives out every year, and this is the first time a graphic novel has won it outright.
Other graphic novels honored at the awards include:
Michael L. Printz Award: Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, was one of four Honor Boosk recognized for this award.
The Alex Awards recognize the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences. Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe, and In Waves, By AJ Dungo, both made the list.
The Odyssey Award for best audiobook went to the audiobook for a graphic novel: Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction,by Jarrett J. Krosoczka.
Graphic novels took two of the three awards given out for the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature. Stargazing, written by Jen Wang, was the Children’s Literature winner, while They Called Us Enemy, written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, and illustrated by Harmony Becker, won the Young Adult Literature award.
The Sydney Taylor Book Award middle grade winner was White Bird: A Wonder Story, by R. J. Palacio.