Youth Media Awards

Youth Literature and Its Library Advocates Promote Black History

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Perhaps no audience is more important during Black History Month than our nation’s youth, who will tend the flame of that history for future generations.

An encouraging sign for the perpetuation of that legacy was the plaudits recently earned by civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis for “March: Book Three,” written by Lewis and Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. The book captured an unprecedented four Youth Media Awards, including one of the prestigious Coretta Scott King Book Awards, at the annual ceremony held by the American Library Association in January in Atlanta.

The Youth Media Awards, held each year at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, illustrate the important role librarians play in promoting the top books, video and audio books for children and young adults. Committees of librarians choose the winners and honor recipients of 19 major awards, including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Newbery and Printz awards.

The Pura Belpré Award Celebrates 20 Years of Outstanding Latino Children’s Literature

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Established in 1996, the Pura Belpré Award honors the works of Latino/Latina writers and illustrators whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library, and is given during the American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting during the annual Youth Media Awards celebration. The upcoming year promises to be extra special, with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the award.  Held at the 2016 American Library Association Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida, the celebration will feature speeches by the 2016 Pura Belpré award-winning authors and illustrators, book signings, light snacks and entertainment. The event will also feature a silent auction of original artwork by Belpré award-winning illustrators, sales of the new commemorative book “The Pura Belpré Award: Twenty Years of Outstanding Latino Children’s Literature” and a presentation by keynote speaker Carmen Agra Deedy.

The Pura Belpré Awards: A window into the Latino cultural experience

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The Pura Belpré Award is presented to a Latino writer and to a Latino illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children. The award, announced annually at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards presentation, is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA, and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA), an ALA Affiliate.

Honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: The Coretta Scott King Book Awards

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On Monday, Jan. 19, we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That day, our nation reflects on his life and legacy.

Dr. King’s life and work will also be commemorated two weeks later during the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting, when the ALA honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens during its Youth Media Awards (YMA) ceremony on Monday, Feb. 2.

Sponsored by the ALA's Ethnic and Multicultural Information Exchange Round Table (EMIERT), 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 commemorates the life and work of Dr. King and honors Mrs. King for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

Stonewall Book Awards recognize books of exceptional merit relating to the GLBT experience

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Each year, the American Library Association (ALA) honors the best of the best in children’s and young literature. The Youth Media Awards, which are awarded during the association’s Midwinter Meeting, are eagerly anticipated by librarians, publishers and the authors and illustrators themselves.

Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the awards serve as a guide for parents, educators, librarians and those interested in providing youth with the very best reading and viewing materials.

The most prominent are the Newbery and Caldecott medals. But collectively, the awards not only speak to the quality of the books, but also reflect the diversity of children’s and young adult literature.

Beginning in 2011, the Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children's & Young Adult Literature Award joined the YMA pantheon.

The Schneider Family Book Award: A Legacy of Inspiration

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Seeking books about children who were blind or had other disabilities, a 9-year-old girl began borrowing books in braille from the National Library Service for the Blind.

The girl, Katherine Schneider, went on to become the first blind student to graduate from the public school system in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

A valedictorian and a National Merit Scholar, Schneider went on to obtain her doctorate from Purdue University and become a clinical psychologist and a university professor, teaching psychology courses at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, as well as counseling, supervising and administering counseling services there.

ALA 2011 Youth Media Awards - Newberry & Caldecott

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Each year the American Library Association (ALA) honors books and media for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards guide parents, educators, librarians and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media. The award announcements were made as part of the ALA Midwinter Meeting, held in 2011 at the San Diego Convention Center.

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