AOB authors and illustrators earn heavy medal

Monday’s American Library Association Youth Media Awards (YMAs) celebrated some of 2018’s exemplary books for children and teens. An Open Book Foundation congratulates the award-winning authors and illustrators who have contributed their time, talent, and energy to share their work with the students we serve.

For the first time this year, the YMAs included the announcement of awards from three additional affiliates of the ALA: the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), the American Indian Library Association (AILA), and the Association of Jewish Libraries (AJL). May 2018 visitor Emily X.R. Pan received the APALA Young Adult Literature Honor Award for her debut The Astonishing Color of After, and Adib Khorram won the APALA Young Adult Literature Award as well as the YALSA Morris Award for his debut Darius the Great is Not Okay, which Adib shared with students in November. APALA’s Picture Book winner was Drawn Together, which local author and AOB board member Minh Lê will visit a school with us at the end of this month.

Adib Khorram autographed students’ books during his visit to Wakefield High School in November, 2018

Author Xelena González, who visited with us in September,received an AILA Youth Literature Honor Award for her picture book All Around Us, which was also a 2018 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Award title. You can read more about Xelena’s dynamic visit with AOB on the ALSC blog.

Several AJL Sydney Taylor Book Awards went to frequent AOB visitors, including the co-creators of Gold Medal Picture Book All-of-a-Kind Family HanukkahEmily Jenkinsand illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky. Among the Honor titles was Through the Window, by Barb Rosenstock, who visited with us in December, and All Three Stooges, by local author and frequent AOB visitor Erica Perl.

Yuyi Morales autographes Dreamers/Soñadores at Mount Rainier Elementary School in September, 2018

Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Yuyi Morales  presented Dreamers/Soñadores twice, including a creative workshop where she made books with after-school students. The 2019 Pura Belpré Author Award went to local author-poet Elizabeth Acevedo, along with the 2018 National Book Award, the Printz Award, and this year’s Odyssey Award for the audiobook, which Elizabeth narrated. Elizabeth also shared The Poet X with students twice through AOB, including a presentation at the school where Liz once taught.

Among nonfiction awards, author Traci Sorell and illustrator Frané Lessac‘s We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga received a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Honor Medal (both shown in first photo), while Jarrett J. Krosoczka (below) received a YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Honor Medal for his graphic memoir Hey, Kiddo.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka with books he later autographed for students at Roosevelt High School in November, 2018

A YALSA Morris Honor Award, given to a debut author, went to Tomi Adeyemi for Children of Blood and Bone, while a Schneider Family Book Award in the young children’s category went to debut authors Jessica Kensky  and Patrick Downes for their embodiment of the artistic expression of the disability experience in Rescue & Jessica: A Life Changing Friendship.

Jessica Kensky with her service dog, Rescue, at Jefferson-Houston School in May, 2018

Among the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Awards this year, AOB is delighted to congratulate author Tiffany D. Jackson on receiving the John Steptoe Award for New Talent (Author) for her book Monday’s Not Coming. To read more about Tiffany’s AOB visit with the book to the New Beginnings Youth Development Center this fall, please visit the Free Minds Book Club webpage.

Tiffany D. Jackson autographs a student’s book at Cesar Chavez Parkside High School in December, 2018

Additionally, Ekua Holmes received her second CSK Illustrator Award, this time for The Stuff of Stars, while R. Gregory Christie received his fourth CSK Illustrator Honor Award for his work on Memphis, Martin, and the MountaintopLesa Cline-Ransome, who visited last year with a picture book, received a CSK Author Honor Award for her middle-grade debut, Finding Langston.

Illustrator Sophie Blackall received her second Randolph Caldecott Medal this year, this time for Hello Lighthouse.  Meanwhile, Grace Lin received a Caldecott Honor for her picture book A Big Mooncake for Little Star. Both creators have volunteered in the past for AOB.

Veera Hiranandani during her April, 2018 visit

AOB has welcomed all three of the recipients of this year’s Newbery Medals including Meg Medina, who won the Medal for Merci Suarez Changes GearsVeera Hiranandani, who won an Honor Medal for The Night Diary, and Catherine Gilbert Murdock, who also received a Newbery Honor Medal for her work The Book of Boy.

We Need Diverse Books announced their Walter Award winning titles earlier in January, and five of six Walter Award recipients have shared their talents with students through an Open Book Foundation within the last school year. This includes Jewell Parker RhodesVeera HiranandaniElizabeth AcevedoEmily X.R. Pan, and Tiffany D. Jackson. Finally, a congratulations to one of AOB’s own: Program Coordinator Kathie Weinberg served again this year as Co-chair of the Walter Awards.

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