2020 Youth Media Awards – Teen/Young Adult Books

2020 Award Winning Teen & Young Adult Books!

Jump to an award: Newbery   Coretta Scott King   Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe   Printz   Alex    Edwards   Odyssey   Sibert   Stonewall   Morris   YALSA Nonfiction Excellence   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 Teens & Young Adults which won awards or received honors!
The John Newbery Medal is given for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature


Genesis Begins Again, written by Alicia D. Williams

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


The Stars and the Blackness Between Them, written by Junauda Petrus

The Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award is given to affirm new talent and offer visibility to excellence in writing at the beginning of a career as a published book creator of literature that best exemplifies African American life and culture.

WINNER: Genesis Begins Again, written by Alicia D. Williams

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

WINNER: Dig, written by A.S. King


Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me, written by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir, written by Nikki Grimes

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

WINNER, Teens: Cursed, written by Karol Ruth Silverstein


The Silence Between Us, written by Alison Gervais

The Alex Awards are given to the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences

A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, by C.A. Fletcher
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh
Dominicana, by Angie Cruz
Gender Queer: A Memoir, by Maia Kobabe
High School, by Sara Quin and Tegan Quin
In Waves, by AJ Dungo
Middlegame, by Seanan McGuire
The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
The Swallows, by Lisa Lutz

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

WINNER: Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, produced by Scholastic Audiobooks, written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and narrated by the author, Jeanne Birdsall, Jenna Lamia, Richard Ferrone and a full cast

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


Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir, written by Nikki Grimes

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

WINNER: The Black Flamingo, written by Dean Atta, illustrated by Anshika Khullar


Pet, written by Akwaeke Emezi
Like a Love Story, written by Abdi Nazemian
The Best at It, written by Maulik Pancholy

The William C. Morris Award is given 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


The Candle and the Flame written by Nafiza Azad
Frankly in Love written by David Yoon
Genesis Begins Again written by Alicia D. Williams
There Will Come a Darkness written by Katy Rose Pool

The YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults is given by the Young Adult Library Services Association

WINNER: Free Lunch, written by Rex Ogle


The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance, written and illustrated by Lynn Curlee
A Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust, written by Albert Marrin
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II, written by Elizabeth Wein
Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of ‘The Children’s Ship’, written by Deborah Heiligman

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

WINNER, Young Adult: They Called Us Enemy, written by George Takei, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott, illustrated by Harmony Becker


Frankly in Love, written by David Yoon

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

WINNER, Young Adult: Someday We Will Fly, by Rachel DeWoskin


Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work, by Victoria Ortiz
Sick Kids in Love, by Hannah Moskowitz

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, Young Adult: Hearts Unbroken, by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee)


Surviving the City, written by Tasha Spillett (Nehiyaw-Trinidadian), illustrated by Natasha Donovan (Métis Nation of British Columbia)
Reawakening Our Ancestors’ Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing, gathered and compiled by Angela Hovak Johnston (Inuk), with photography by Cora De Vos (Inuk)
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People, written by Debbie Reese (Nambé Owingeh) and Jean Mendoza, adapted from the adult book by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Apple in the Middle, written by Dawn Quigley (Ojibwe, Turtle Mountain Band)