Celebrating Our ALAYMA Award Winners and Honor Recipients!

We’re thrilled to share the following awards and honors, announced on Monday morning at the 2022 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards.

Unspeakable Named a Caldecott Honor Book, a Sibert Honor Book, and Winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards for Author and Illustrator


Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre, written by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Floyd Cooper (1956-2021), is the recipient of a Caldecott Honor, awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The book was also named a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book, which is awarded to the author and illustrator of the most distinguished informational picture book for children published in the United States. ​In addition, Carole Boston Weatherford is the 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Author Winner and Floyd Cooper is the 2022 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner. The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are awarded annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.

Previously, Unspeakable was also longlisted for the National Book Awards, selected as a New York Times Best Illustrated Children’s Book, named a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Nonfiction Honor Book, and was a finalist for the 2021 Kirkus Prize. Unspeakable also received SIX starred reviews.

Click here to download the PDF teaching guide for Unspeakable created by Dr. Sonja Cherry-Paul.

Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre | Carole Boston Weatherford; Illustrated by Floyd Cooper | Interest Level: Grades 3-6 | Reading Level: Grade 4 | 32 Pages | HC: 978-1-5415-8120-3 $17.99

Where I Belong Receives a Pura Belpré Young Adult Author Honor

Where I Belong

Where I Belong, written by Marcia Argueta Mickelson is the recipient of a Pura Belpré Honor, which is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.

Named one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Teen Books of 2021, Where I Belong introduces readers to Millie Vargas, an immigrant teen forced to fight for her family, her future, and the place she calls home. In a starred review, School Library Journal says Where I Belong is “[N]ot to be missed. There is truth on every page—about love, restraint, and integrity.”

Click here to download the PDF discussion guide for Where I Belong.

Where I Belong | Marcia Argueta Mickelson | Interest Level: Grades 6-12 | Reading Level: Grade 6 | 264 Pages | HC: 978-1-5415-9797-6 $17.99

Classified is an American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Honor Book


Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace Engineer, written by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Natasha Donovan, is a 2022 American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Honor Picture Book. Awarded biennially, the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America.

Named an Orbis Pictus Honor Book, an NSTA/CBC Best STEM Books for Students, and one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Children’s Books of 2021, Classified traces Ross’s journey from being the only girl in her high school math class to becoming an accomplished engineer and leader. With engrossing prose and striking illustrations, Classified showcases Cherokee values including education, working cooperatively, remaining humble, and helping ensure equal opportunity and education for all.

Click here to download the PDF teaching guide, resource toolkit, and poster for Classified.

Classified | Traci Sorell; Illustrated by Natasha Donovan | Interest Level: Grades 2-5 | Reading Level: Grade 3 | 32 Pages | HC: 978-1-5415-7914-9 $17.99

The Christmas Mitzvah Named a Sydney Taylor Book Award Silver Medalist

The Christmas Mitzvah

The Christmas Mitzvah by Jeff Gottesfeld, illustrated by Michelle Laurentia Agatha, and published by Creston Books, was named a Sydney Taylor Book Award Silver Medalist. Creston Books are distributed by Lerner Publisher Services. In the book, Al Rosen, a Jewish man, takes on the jobs of his Christian neighbors on Christmas Eve and day so they can spend the holiday with their families, starting a tradition that lasts for decades. A strong cross-over read, this warm story is about kindness and differences bringing people together. Kirkus Reviews called the book “a heartwarming slice of neighborly love, caring, and sharing.”

The Christmas Mitzvah | Creston Books | Jeff Gottesfeld; Illustrated by Michelle Laurentia Agatha | Interest Level: Grades PreK-2 | Reading Level: Grade 1 | 40 Pages | HC: 978-1-939547-94-1 $18.99

We Are Still Here! Receives an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor and a Sibert Honor

We Are Still Here!

We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac, and published by Charlesbridge Publishing, Inc. / Live Oak Media received both an American Indian Youth Literature Award Honor and was named a Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book. Live Oak Media eReadalong books are distributed by Lerner Publisher Services.

Too often, Native American history is treated as a finished chapter instead of an ongoing story. This book offers readers everything they never learned in school about Native American people’s past, present, and future.

We Are Still Here! | Charlesbridge Publishing Inc./Live Oak Media | Traci Sorell; Illustrated by Frané Lessac | Interest Level: Grades 2-5 | Reading Level: Grade 3 | Live Oak Media eReadalong: 978-1-4301-4485-4 $29.95

Jane Yolen Receives the Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award

Miriam at the River

The Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Award recognizes an author or entity who has made a substantial contribution over time to the genre of Jewish children’s literature. This year’s winner is Jane Yolen, author of Mrs. Noah’s Doves and the Sydney Taylor Honor Book Miriam at the River, both published by Kar-Ben Publishing, a division of Lerner Publishing Group.

Visit Jane Yolen’s website to see more of her work!

Read more about the ALA Youth Media Award results in these articles!

Calling Caldecott from the Horn Book Magazine writes about Floyd Cooper’s legacy and his Caldecott honor in this article.

NPR.org discusses titles that received multiple awards/recognition at the 2022 YMAs in this article.

Extreme Caldecott Placement is a fun tradition to celebrate the Caldecott award created by author Minh Lê. Take a look here!

The Associated Press reports on the ALA Youth Media Awards in this article.

Browse more accolades from Lerner.

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