Congratulations to our 2021 ALA Award Winners & Honors!

We are proud to share our 2021 ALA Award winners, honorees, and finalists from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, announced on Monday, January 25th at the Youth Media Awards!

Randolph Caldecott Medal Winner

WE ARE WATER PROTECTORS by Carole Lindstrom,
illustrated by Michaela Goade

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption—a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.


Randolph Caldecott Honor Book

A PLACE INSIDE OF ME: A POEM TO HEAL THE HEART
by Zetta Elliott, illustrate by Noa Denmon

In this powerful, affirming poem by award-winning author Zetta Elliott, a Black child explores his shifting emotions throughout the year. In her stunning debut, illustrator Noa Denmon articulates the depth and nuances of a child’s experiences following a police shooting—through grief and protests, healing and community—with washes of color as vibrant as his words. Here is a groundbreaking narrative that can help all readers—children and adults alike—talk about the feelings hiding deep inside each of us.


Michael L. Printz Honor
for Excellence in Young Adult Literature

DRAGON HOOPS by Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien

In his latest graphic novel, Dragon HoopsNew York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.

Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins. But Gene doesn’t get sports. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about.

The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships. Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page.


Pura Belpré Author Honor Book

THE TOTAL ECLIPSE OF NESTOR LOPEZ by Adrianna Cuevas

In this magical middle-grade debut novel from Adrianna Cuevas, The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, a Cuban American boy must use his secret ability to communicate with animals to save the inhabitants of his town when they are threatened by a tule vieja, a witch that transforms into animals.


Margaret A. Edwards Award Winner
for Lasting Contribution to Children’s Literature

Kekla Magoon, honored for her body of work,
including HOW IT WENT DOWN

When sixteen-year-old Tariq Johnson dies from two gunshot wounds, his community is thrown into an uproar. Tariq was black. The shooter, Jack Franklin, is white.

Tariq’s friends, family, and community struggle to make sense of the tragedy, and to cope with the hole left behind when a life is cut short. In their own words, they grapple for a way to say with certainty: This is how it went down.

In the aftermath of Tariq’s death, everyone has something to say, but no two accounts of the events line up. Day by day, new twists further obscure the truth.


Asian/Pacific American Literature Award
Young Adult Honor Title

DISPLACEMENT by Kiku Hughes

A teenager is pulled back in time to witness her grandmother’s experiences in World War II-era Japanese internment camps in Displacement, a historical graphic novel from Kiku Hughes.

Kiku Hughes weaves a riveting, bittersweet tale that highlights the intergenerational impact and power of memory.


William C. Morris
YA Debut Award Finalist

Save the date for the Morris celebration on February 25th at 7 PM!

BLACK GIRL UNLIMITED: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard by Echo Brown

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age story for fans of Renee Watson’s Piecing Me Together and Ibi Zoboi’s American Street.