Sherman Alexie, Erin Entrada Kelly, Renée Watson and Jennifer Egan lead library book awards


The American Library Assn. announced the winners of its annual awards for adult and children’s literature this week, including the prestigious Carnegie, Newbery, Caldecott and Printz medals.

On Sunday, the ALA awarded the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction to Jennifer Egan’s “Manhattan Beach,” a historical novel about a female naval diver trying to solve the mystery of her father’s disappearance. The Carnegie Medal for nonfiction went to “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” Sherman Alexie’s memoir about his stormy relationship with his mother.

On Monday, the ALA announced the winners of its awards for children’s and young adult literature. The 2018 John Newbery Medal, given to “the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature,” was awarded to Erin Entrada Kelly for “Hello, Universe,” a children’s novel about three middle school students who come together after one of their neighbors goes missing along with his beloved pet guinea pig. The Michael L. Printz Award, for a young adult book, went to Nina LaCour for “We Are Okay,” a novel about a college freshman struggling to overcome a painful childhood.


This year’s Randolph Caldecott Medal, given to the illustrator of a “distinguished American picture book for children,” went to Matthew Cordell for “Wolf in the Snow,” which he also wrote. The winner of the Coretta Scott King Award, given to an African American author or illustrator of a children’s book, went to Renée Watson for “Piecing Me Together,” about a private school student from a poor neighborhood who doesn’t quite fit in.

“Piecing Me Together” was also a runner-up for the Newbery Medal, along with Jason Reynolds’ “Long Way Down” and Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James’ “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut.” The three books were given Newbery Honors.

Four books were given Caldecott Honors, including James’ “Crown,” Elisha Cooper’s “Big Cat, little cat,” Jason Chin’s “Grand Canyon” and Thi Bui and Bao Phi’s “A Different Pond.”

One of the year’s most acclaimed young adult books, Angie Thomas’ “The Hate U Give,” didn’t escape the notice of the ALA. The book won the William C. Morris Award for a debut young adult book, and was also a runner-up for the King and Printz awards. It also won the Odyssey Award for the best children’s or young adult audiobook.


The ALA gave the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award, which honors an author or illustrator who has made “a substantial and lasting contribution to literature for children,” to Jacqueline Woodson, the National Book Award-winning author and new Young People’s Poet Laureate.

Finalists for the Carnegie Medals were Daniel Ellsberg’s “The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner” and David Grann’s “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” in nonfiction and, in fiction, Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award-winning “Sing, Unburied, Sing,” and George Saunders’ Man Booker Prize-winning “Lincoln in the Bardo.”

Some of this year’s winners took to Twitter to celebrate their wins:


A full list of the ALA Youth Media Awards honorees is available on the association’s website.