American Library Association announces 2017 youth media award winners

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The American Library Association (ALA) announced their 2017 youth media awards at their annual midwinter conference. Numerous young adult novels took home awards, but the standout winner was March: Book Three.

Depicting the Civil Rights movement from fall of 1963 through the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, March: Book Three follows John Lewis of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and fellow activists as they carry out a series of nonviolent protests to overcome local barriers and exercise their right to vote. March: Book Three recently won the National Book Award for best young adult literature, but it added three new award stickers to its cover after the ALA awards: the Corretta Scott King Book Award, which recognizes an African-American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults; the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature for young adults; and the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children.

Four additional books took home the title of Printz Honor Books: Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry, Scythe by Neal Shusterman and The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon.

Nicola Yoon also won the Corett Scott King / John Stepote New Talent Author Award for The Sun Is Also A Star. In The Sun Is Also A Star, Natasha believes in facts. Daniel has always been the good son. When the two meet, just 12 hours before Natasha and her family are to be deported to Jamaica, it’s like the universe is telling them that there’s more to their story.

Emery Lord’s When We Collided took home the Schneider Family Book Award for best teen book to embody an artistic expression of the disability experience. Vivi’s in love with life. Jonah’s down on his luck, struggling with the loss of his father, his emotionally absent mother, and raising his young siblings. So when Vivi comes to town, Jonah finds himself drawn to her. But when Vivi’s enthusiasm falters, she starts down a dangerous path.

Sarah Dessen won the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults. Her next book, Once and For All, follows Louna, the daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett. She’s seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Gavriel Savit’s Anna and the Swallow Man won the Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children or young adults. Kraków, 1939. A million soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father. And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. The audiobook is narrated by Allan Corduner.

The Hammer of Thor, the second book in Rick Riordan’s Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, won the Stonewall Book Award, given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. Thor’s hammer is missing again. The thunder god has a disturbing habit of misplacing his weapon – the mightiest force in the Nine Worlds – but this time the hammer isn’t just lost. It has fallen into enemy hands. If Magnus Chase and his friends can’t retrieve the hammer quickly, the mortal worlds will be defenseless against an onslaught of giants.

Anna-Marie McLemore’s When the Moon Was Ours, Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming, and Robin Stevenson’s Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community took home Stonewall Honor Awards.

The William C. Morris Award for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens went to Jeff Zentner for The Serpent King. Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life in The Serpent King—at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, where he faces down bullies.

M-E Girard’s Girl Mans Up, Sonia Patel’s Rani Patel in Full Effect, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s The Smell of Other People’s Houses, and Calla Devlin’s Tell Me Something Real took home the William C. Morris Award honors.

Ten books took home the Alex Award for best adult books to appeal to a teen audience: The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst; The Regional Office Is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales; In The Country We Love: My Family Divided by Dianne Guerrero; Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart; Arena by Holly Jennings; Every Heart A Doorway by Seanan McGuire; Romeo and/or Juliet by Ryan North; Die Young With Me by Rob Rufus; The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar by Matt Simon; and The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott Stambach.

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Nicole Brinkley

Nicole is the editor of YA Interrobang. She has short hair and loves dragons. The rest changes without notice. Follow her on Twitter at @nebrinkley or Tumblr at nebrinkley. Like her work? Leave her a tip.

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