2020 Youth Media Awards – Middle Grades Books!

2020 Award Winning Middle Grades Books!

Jump to an award: Newbery   Coretta Scott King   Printz   Schneider   Edwards   Batchelder   Odyssey  Pura Belpre   Sibert    Asian/Pacific American Literature   Taylor   American Indian Youth Literature

The American Library Association names winners for book awards every January. In 2020, there were so many winners, we’ve had to divide them into 3 different lists: books for Children, for Middle Grades, and for Teens & Young Adults.

Here are the books for middle grades which won awards or received honors:

The John Newbery Medal is given for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature

WINNER: New Kid, written & illustrated by Jerry Craft

Newbery Honors:

Other Words for Home, written by Jasmine Warga
Scary Stories for Young Foxes, written by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu

The Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award recognizes an African-American author of outstanding books for children and young adults

WINNER: New Kid written and illustrated by Jerry Craft


Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, written by Kwame Mbalia
Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, written by Jason Reynolds

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

Printz Honors:

The Beast Player, written by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano
Where the World Ends, written by Geraldine McCaughrean

The Schneider Family Book Award is given for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience in 3 different age categories.

WINNER, Middle Grades (age 11-13): Song for a Whale, written by Lynne Kelly

Schneider Honor:

Each Tiny Spark, written by Pablo Cartaya

The Margaret A. Edwards Award is a lifetime achievement in writing for young adults:

WINNER: Steve Sheinkin. His books include: Bomb: The Race to Build-and Steal-the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon; The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights; The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery; and Lincoln’s Grave Robbers.

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is given 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

Batchelder Honors:

The Beast Player, originally published in Japanese, written by Nahoko Uehashi, illustrated by Yuta Onoda and translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano
The Distance Between Me and the Cherry Tree, originally published in Italian, written by Paola Peretti, illustrated by Carolina Rabei, translated from the Italian by Denise Muir
Do Fish Sleep? originally published in German, written by Jens Raschke, illustrated by Jens Rassmus, translated from the German by Belinda Cooper

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

Odyssey Award Honors:

Redwood and Ponytail, produced by Hachette Audio, written by K.A. Holt and narrated by Cassandra Morris and Tessa Netting
Song for a Whale, produced by Listening Library (Penguin Random House), written by Lynne Kelly and narrated by Abigail Revasch with the author
We’re Not from Here, produced by Listening Library (Penguin Random House), written by Geoff Rodkey and narrated by Dani Martineck.

The Pura Belpré Author Award honors a Latino author whose children’s books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.

WINNER: Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, written by Carlos Hernandez

Pura Belpré Author Honors:

Lety Out Loud, written by Angela Cervantes
The Other Half of Happy, written by Rebecca Balcárcel

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is given for the most distinguished informational book for children


All in a Drop: How Antony van Leeuwenhoek Discovered an Invisible World, written by Lori Alexander, illustrated by Vivien Mildenberger
This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality, written by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit.

WINNER, Children’s Literature: Stargazing, written by Jen Wang

Asian/Pacific American Honor:

I’m Ok, written by Patti Kim

The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.

WINNER, Middle Grade: White Bird: A Wonder Story, by R. J. Palacio


Anya and the Dragon, by Sofiya Pasternack
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

The American Indian Youth Literature award is announced in even years and established to identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians. Learn more at ailanet.org.

WINNER, Middle Grade: Indian No More, by Charlene Willing McManis (Umpqua/Confederated Tribes of Grande Ronde) with Traci Sorell (Cherokee), cover art by Marlena Myles (Spirit Lake Dakota, Mohegan, Muscogee Creek)

American Indian Youth Literature Honors:

I Can Make This Promise, by Christine Day (Upper Skagit), with cover art by Michaela Goade (Tlingit, Kiks.ádi clan, Steel House)
The Grizzly Mother, written by Hetxw’ms Gyetxw (Brett D. Huson, Gitxsan), illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Métis Nation of British Columbia)