NEW YORK (AP) – Jerry Craft’s â€œNew Kid,” a graphic novel about a 7th grader’s struggle to adjust to a private school with little diversity, has won the John Newbery Medal for the year’s best children’s book. â€œNew Kidâ€ also received the Coretta Scott King Award for an outstanding work by an African American writer.
Kadir Nelson won the Randolph Caldecott Medal for his illustration of â€œThe Undefeated,â€ a poetic tribute to African American history, featuring the words of Kwame Alexander. â€œThe Undefeatedâ€ was also a runner-up for the Newbery prize, won by Alexander in 2015 for â€œThe Crossover,” and won the Coretta Scott King prize for best illustrated book.
The prizes were announced Monday by the American Library Association during its annual mid-winter meeting, held this year in Philadelphia.
Other winners include A.S. King’s â€œDig,” named the outstanding young adult novel, and Colson Whitehead’s novel â€œThe Nickel Boys,â€ cited as one of 10 books for adults that appealed to young people. Lifetime achievement prizes were given to Kevin Henkes, whose books include â€œKitten’s First Full Moon,â€ and Steve Sheinkin, author of such historical works as â€œThe Port Chicago 50″ and â€œThe Notorious Benedict Arnold.”
Carlos Hernandez’s â€œSal and Gabi Break the Universe” was the Pura BelprÃ© Author Award winner for an outstanding Latino writer. Rafael Lopez received the Belpre illustrator prize for â€œDancing Hands: How Teresa CarreÃ±o Played the Piano for President Lincoln.” American Indian Youth Literature awards were given to â€œBowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimiâ€™idimâ€ and illustrator Jonathan Thunder for best picture book and to â€œHearts Unbroken,â€ written by Cynthia Leitich Smith, for best young adult book.
Some writers from the outside book world also were honored. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor won the Schneider Family Book Award for books that â€œembody an artistic expression of the disability experience.â€ Her book, â€œJust Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You,â€ illustrated by Rafael LÃ³pez, was inspired in part on her battle with diabetes.
George Takei of â€œStar Trekâ€ fame shared a prize for best young adult literature by an author of Asian Pacific background. He, Justin Eisinger and Steven Scott co-wrote â€œThey Called Us Enemy,â€ a graphic memoir based on Takei’s being held in a detention camp for Japanese Americans during World War II.