American Library Assn.'s 2017 award winners include 'March: Book Three' by Rep. John Lewis

The American Library Assn. announced the winners of its annual prizes Sunday at its yearly meeting. Its top awards — the Newbery, Caldecott and Printz — and went to books by a  former teacher, a second-generation illustrator and a congressman and his co-authors.

"March: Book Three,” created by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, took home both the Printz and YALSA awards for excellence in literature and nonfiction for young adults, respectively, as well as the Robert F. Sibert award for most distinguished informational book for children. Lewis and co-writer Aydin were also awarded the Coretta Scott King (Author) Book Award, recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults.

Sales of the “March” trilogy, a graphic memoir about Lewis’ life, recently spiked after Lewis spoke critically on “Meet the Press”   about President Trump,  who responded “all talk, talk, talk — no action” via Twitter. Lewis’ books recount his work in civil rights movement — participation that included having his skull fractured in the Bloody Sunday march in Alabama. After Trump’s remarks, "March” climbed from No. 451 to No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

The Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children was awarded to the book “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe. Steptoe, an author and artist who has illustrated a dozen books, is the son of illustrator John Steptoe. “Radiant Child” also earned the Coretta Scott King (Illustrator) Book Award.

“The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill was awarded the Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature. Barnhill is a Minnesota-based former teacher who writes books for children and short stories for adults. 

The ALA also announced the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in fiction and nonfiction for adults. In fiction, a medal was awarded to Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad,” and in nonfiction, Matthew Desmond's “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” was honored.

The complete list of winners:

John Newbery Medal “The Girl Who Drank the Moon” by Kelly Barnhill 

Randolph Caldecott Medal “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” by Javaka Steptoe

Michael L. Printz Award John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell, “March: Book Three” 

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in fiction “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead

Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in nonfiction “Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond 

Coretta Scott King Book Award (to an author) John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, “March: Book Three” 

Coretta Scott King Book Award (to an illustrator) Javaka Steptoe, “Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat” 

Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award Nicola Yoon, “The Sun Is Also a Star” 

Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop

Schneider Family Book Award (for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience) “Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille” by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Boris Kulikov (for ages 0-10); “as brave as you” by Jason Reynolds (ages  11-13); “When We Collided” by Emery Lord (ages 13-18). 

Alex Awards (for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences) “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 Diane Guerrero with Michelle Burford; “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: A Choosable-Path Adventure” by Ryan North; “Die Young with Me: A Memoir” by Rob Rufus; “The Wasp that Brainwashed the Caterpillar” by Matt Simon; “The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko” by Scott Stambach.

Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children's video Ryan Swenar, “Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music” 

Laura Ingalls Wilder Award (for a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children) Nikki Grimes

Margaret A. Edwards Award (for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults) Sarah Dessen

2018 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture Award Naomi Shihab Nye

Mildred L. Batchelder Award (for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States) “Cry, Heart, but Never Break” by Glenn Ringtved, translated by Robert Moulthrop and illustrated by Charlotte Pardi

Odyssey Award for the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults “Anna and the Swallow Man” by Gavriel Savit, narrated by Allan Corduner

Pura Belpré Award (for a Latino author) "Juana & Lucas” written (and illustrated) by Juana Medina

Pura Belpré Award (for a Latino illustrator) Raúl Gonzalez, illustrator of “Lowriders to the Center of the Earth,” written by Cathy Camper  

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award “March: Book Three” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell,  (Top Shelf Productions)

Stonewall Book Award — Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Awards (for children’s and young adult books relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience) “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor” by Rick Riordan; “If I Was Your Girl” by Meredith Russo

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award “We Are Growing: A Mo Willems’ Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! Book” by Laurie Keller

William C. Morris Award (for a debut book for teens) “The Serpent King” by Jeff Zentner

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults “March: Book Three” by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin and Nate Powell

agatha.french@latimes.com

@agathafrenchy

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