The 2018 Newbery Winners and Other Book Awards Are Here!

Is the book fair still open at your school? Because we’ve got some great new book recommendations! The American Library Association just announced its top books for children and young adults of 2018, including the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King and Newbery awards.

The 2018 award winners

The John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature went to Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. Here’s what you can expect from Hello, Universe.

In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball.

They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

Three Newbery Honor Books were also named, including Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes, Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds and Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson.

The Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children went to Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell.

Wolf in the Snow is about a girl is lost in a snowstorm. A wolf cub is lost, too. How will they find their way home?

In this wordless picture book, epic paintings tell the story of friendship and trust.

Set on a wintry night, will spark imaginations and warm hearts.

The Coretta Scott King Author Award, recognizing African American authors of outstanding books for children and young adults, went to Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson.

Piecing Me Together follows Jade, who believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way.

And Jade has: every day she rides the bus away from her friends and to the private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities. But some opportunities she doesn’t really welcome, like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls.

She’s tired of being singled out as someone who needs help, someone people want to fix. Jade wants to speak, to create, to express her joys and sorrows, her pain and her hope.

Maybe there are some things she could show other women about understanding the world and finding ways to be real, to make a difference.

The Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, recognizing African American illustrators of outstanding books for children and young adults, went to Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

The book was written by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderly and Marjory Wentworth.

The Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults went to We Are Okay by Nina LaCour.

It’s the story of Marin, who hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel.

But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits.

Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.


The Alex Awards for the 10 best adult books that appeal to teen audiences went to the following books:

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

The Clockwork Dynasty by Daniel H. Wilson

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Electric Arches by Eve L. Ewing

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming

Malagash by Joey Comeau

Roughneck by Jeff Lemire

She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper

Things We Have in Common by Tasha Kavanagh

An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard



For more information on the ALA awards, visit

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