Children's Literature Awards
The Education Psychology Library at UC Berkeley maintains a collection of outstanding children's literature, primarily fiction. Although not limited only to these awards, the EDP Library's collection includes award-winning titles from the following Award Sponsors.
For a list of more American and international awards for children's literature, see the Database of Award-winning Children's Literature.
ALA Notable Children's Books
The Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association awards 40 to 70 titles per year. The winning titles are selected for their originality, creativity and suitability for children. The Notable Children’s Book Committee is composed of children’s librarians, educators and other professionals.
Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Award *
The Canadian Library Association bestows the Amelia Frances Howard-Gibbon Illustrator's Award annually to an outstanding illustrator of a children's book published in Canada. To be eligible for this award, an illustrator must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada, and the text of the book must be worthy of the book's illustrations and suitable for children up to and including age 12.
American Indian Youth Literature Award*
The American Indian Library Association (AILA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, awards excellence in books by and about American Indians. By identifying and honoring outstanding writing and illustrations in the field of children’s literature, AILA encourages authors, illustrators, editors, publishers and tribal entities to create materials that present Native Americans in the fullness of their humanity in present and past contexts.
Americas Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature.
CLASP (Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs) founded the Américas Award in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles.
Asian Pacific Americans Awards for Picture books and Youth Literature.
The Asian/Pacific American Awards for Literature (APAAL) are a set of literary awards presented annually by the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA). The awards honor books about Asian/Pacific Americans, their history and culture. Writers and artists do not need to be of Asian or Pacific Islander ancestry, but they must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents. The books must be about Asian/Pacific American heritage, and must have been written in English and published for general release within the United States.
ASPCA Henry Bergh Children's Book Award and Honors.
Every June at the American Library Association's national conference, the ASPCA presents the Henry Bergh Children's Book Award to honor books that promote the humane ethic of compassion and respect for all living things. These books promote children's development of empathy and understanding of the earth and its inhabitants.
Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and Honors
The Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards (first presented in 1967) are among the most prestigious honors in the field of children’s and young adult literature. Winners and Honors are selected in three categories: Picture Book, Fiction and Poetry, and Nonfiction. The winning titles must be published in the United States, but they may be written or illustrated by citizens of any country. The awards are chosen by an independent panel of three judges who are annually appointed by the Editor of the Horn Book.
Caldecott Medal and Honors (for Children's literature illustration)
The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children during the past year.
California Young Reader Medal - Winners and Nominees
The CYRM program is sponsored by four statewide organizations committed to books and reading:
California Association of Teachers of English (CATE)
California Library Association (CLA)
California Reading Association (CRA)
California School Library Association (CSLA)
To be considered for nomination, a book must be an original work of fiction published within the last four years by a living author. Recommendations for nomination are due annually for consideration as a nominee the following year. It is a two-year cycle from the time of nomination by students to the presentation of the California Young Reader Medal to the winning authors (and illustrators in the Primary and Picture Books for Older Readers categories). Students may read and vote for books in any and all categories, but they must read all the books nominated in a category to be eligible to vote. Students read the nominated books from July through March and vote for their favorite. Teachers and librarians introduce the nominees to students, often in exciting and innovative ways. They provide ballots for the students, compile vote totals, and submit results to the CYRM committee.
The Carnegie Medal is awarded annually to the writer of an outstanding book for children.
It was established by in 1936, in memory of the great Scottish-born philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie (1835-1919). Carnegie was a self-made industrialist who made his fortune in steel in the U.S. His experience of using a library as a child led him to resolve that "if ever wealth came to me that it should be used to establish free libraries." Carnegie set up more than 2800 libraries across the English speaking world and, by the time of his death, over half the library authorities in Great Britain had Carnegie libraries.
The first award went to Arthur Ransome for ‘Pigeon Post’. Today the winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.
The medal is awarded by the British Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals.
Children's Africana Book Award* - Winners and Honors
The Outreach Council of the African Studies Association established this award in 1991 for outstanding K-12 books on Africa published in the U.S. The award encourages balanced children’s materials on Africa, recognizes literary excellence, and acknowledges the research achievements of outstanding authors and illustrators.
CLA Book of the Year - Children's Literature*
The Canadian Library Association presents a Book of the Year for Children Award. The book must have been published in Canada, and its author must be a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada. Any genre of creative writing is eligible regardless of published format, including anthologies and collections.
Coretta Scott King Author - Award and Honors
Coretta Scott King Illustrator - Award and Honors
The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award honors both Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for their work for peace and world brotherhood.
Hans Christian Andersen Award* - Author and Illustrator
Every other year IBBY (the International Board on Books for Young People) presents the Hans Christian Andersen Awards to a living author and illustrator whose complete works have made a lasting contribution to children's literature. The Hans Christian Andersen Award is the highest international recognition given to an author and an illustrator of children's books. Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark is the Patron of the Andersen Awards.
International Latino Book Award* - Winners and Honors
These awards were founded to support literacy in the Latino community, and are sponsored primarily by Latino Literacy Now together with other annual sponsors.
IRA (Int'l Reading Assn) Children's Book Award - Young Fiction
Children’s and Young Adults' Book Awards are given to newly published authors who show unusual promise as children’s and young adult book authors/illustrators. Awards are given for fiction and nonfiction in each of three categories: primary, intermediate, and young adult. Winning books are from all countries and are published in English for the first time during the current calendar year.
Irma & James H. Black Award
The Irma Simonton Black and James H. Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature goes to an outstanding book for young children - a book in which text and illustrations are inseparable, each enhancing and enlarging on the other to produce a singular whole. The Award is unusual in that children are the final judges of the winning book. The winning book receives a gold seal. Three additional finalists may receive honors and be given a silver seal. Both seals were designed by Maurice Sendak. The winning award is a scroll (one each for the author and illustrator, if they are different) with the recipient's name and a gold seal.
Jane Addams Award for Older Children
The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races, as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence. The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards have been presented annually since 1953 by the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the Jane Addams Peace Association. Beginning in 1993, a Picture Book category was created. Honor books may also be chosen.
John Steptoe Awards for Authors and Illustrators
This ALA-sponsored award was established to affirm new talent and to offer visibility to excellence in writing and/or illustration which otherwise might be formally unacknowledged within a given year within the structure of the two awards given annually by the Coretta Scott King Task Force. The criteria for eligibility are the same as those for the Coretta Scott King awards, with the exception that the winner(s)' published works cannot exceed three in number.
Kate Greenaway Medal
The Kate Greenaway Medal, sponsored by the British Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, was established in 1955 for distinguished illustration in a book for children. It is named after the popular nineteenth century artist known for her fine children's illustrations and designs.
The winner receives a golden medal and £500 worth of books to donate to a library of their choice.
Since 2000, the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal has also been awarded the £5000 Colin Mears Award. Colin Mears, a Worthing based accountant and children's book collector, left a bequest providing every Greenaway winner with a cash award as well as the coveted Medal.
Mildred L. Batchelder Award
The Batchelder Award is given to the most 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. The Award is sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
New York Times Best Illustrated Books
The New York Times Book Review annually asks a panel of judges to choose ten New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Books from among the thousands of children’s books published during the calendar year.
Newbery Medal and Honors
The Newbery Medal, considered the premier U.S. children's book author award, was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.
Pura Belpre Author Award - Winners and Honors
Pura Belpre Illustrator Award - Winners and Honors
The awards are named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.
Scott O'Dell Award
The Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction was established in 1982 to encourage authors to focus on historical fiction set in the Americas. The award was created by Scott O’Dell, author of Island of the Blue Dolphins and 25 other children's books. To be eligible, a book must be written in English for children or young adults and published by an American publisher. Authors must be United States citizens.
Tomas Rivera Children's Book Award
Texas State University College of Education developed the Tomas Rivera Mexican American Children's Book Award to honor authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican American experience. The award was established in 1995 and was named in honor of Dr. Tomas Rivera, a distinguished alumnus of Texas State University.