DCPLive is a blog by library staff at the DeKalb County Public Library!
Apr 14 2008

Book Awards for Children

by Ginny C

There are so many awards given out each year to children’s and young adult books that it can be difficult to keep them all separate.  The biggest awards in children’s literature are the Caldecott and the Newbery. The Caldecott Medal is awarded for outstanding illustrations in a picture book.  Generally, these books are written for preschool and elementary age children.  The Newbery Medal is awarded for outstanding writing in a chapter book.  Books that win the Newbery are often written for children in upper elementary through middle school, although some books written for the teen audience have won the award.

Although the Caldecott and the Newbery are the most well known, there are other awards to be aware of.  The Sibert Award is given to the best children’s informational book (i.e. non-fiction.)  The Pura Belpre Award is award to the author/illustrator of the book that best depicts the Latino culture.  The Michael L. Printz Award is given to the author of the best book for young adults. 

The above awards are sponsored by the American Library Association and are given on a national level.  On a statewide level, Georgia also gives awards to outstanding childrens books.   The University of Georgia’s College of Education sponsors the Georgia Book Awards.  Once a year they release a list of 20 nominees in two categories: Picture Storybooks (for k – 3rd grade) and Chapter Books (for 4th – 8th grade.)  Throughout the year, children read and vote on their favorites and the winner is announced the following year.

For Georgia teens, there is the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers.  Started in 2004, it highlights fiction and non-fiction books written for grades 9 through 12.  Teens can vote for their favorite titles in schools and public libraries.

Check out the websites for complete lists of current and past winners and nominees.  They are a great place to start if you’re looking for something for your child or teenager (or for yourself) to read.  And don’t forget that most of the titles are available in the library!

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