ALA Honors Writers for Youth

Over 20,000 librarians and exhibitors attended the American Library Association (ALA) conference in Washington, DC this June. One of its major strands, as usual, was outstanding authors for youth.

The year marks the 50th anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Award, which honors African American authors of children’s literature. Kwame Alexander and Jacqueline Woodson spoke at the King ceremony, which was held at the Library of Congress. A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, written by Claire Hartfield, is the 2019 King Author Book winner. Past recipients of the award were also lauded.

Now in its 21st year, the International Latino Book Awards recognized 261 finalist authors in 95 categories. The books, by and about Latinos, may be written in English, Spanish or Portuguese. The honored authors themselves live in the United States and 18 other countries. The complete list of awardees is available at http://mpoweringstudents.org/awards/.

Attendees were treated to a strong, diverse lineup of speakers from the show’s main stages, including bestselling poet and middle grade author Jason Reynolds. The auditorium speaker series included U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, bestselling Nigerian-American writer Tomi Adeyemi, NBC News reporter Mariana Atencio, sociologist and author Eric Klinenberg (who appeared with Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden), Today host Hoda Kotb, comics legend Frank Miller and Tom Wheeler, author Nnedi Okorafor (best known for her African-themed sci-fi novels), and actor and activist George Takei.

For an complete list of ALA youth media awards, go to http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/presskits/youthmediaawards/alayouthmediaawards.

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