ALA Youth Media Awards! (A Book List)


Each year, the American Library Association announces its Youth Media Awards in January. These highly anticipated awards include the prestigious John Newbery Medal and Randolph Caldecott Medal, but there are also many more high-profile selections.


Here we share each of the books that won in the 2022 Youth Media Awards. It’s important that we note there were many outstanding books that may not have won, but received honors, that are not listed here. There were also other winners, such as digital media awards and author and illustrator recognitions, that we could not fit into this article. We have included a link at the bottom of the page if you’re interested in learning more about these and others.


The best way to organize these titles for the purpose of this article is into three categories: picture books, middle grade fiction, and young adult literature. You and your child may have already read some of these books, but we hope you can also find something new and wonderful to discover together. Enjoy!


Picture Books

Watercress illustrated by Jason Chin

Winner of the Randolph Caldecott Award for the most distinguished American picture book for children. Written by Andrea Wang.

Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (picture book winner). The award promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit.


Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults. This book won both the King Awards for author and illustrator.


The Me I Choose To Be illustrated by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt

Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award. Written by Natashia Anastasia Tarpley.


My City Speaks by Darren Lebeuf and illustrated by Ashley Barron

Winner of the Schneider Family for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience. Winner of the award for books for young children (0 to 8).


¡Vamos! Let's Cross the Bridge illustrated by Raúl Gonzalez

Winner of thePura Belpré Youth Illustration Award. The Pura Belpré Awards honor Latinx writers and illustrators whose children's and young adult books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.


The People's Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice With Art by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Evan Turk

Winner of the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award for most distinguished informational book for children.


Fox at Night written and illustrated by Corey R. Tabor

Winner of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award for the most distinguished beginning reader book.


Herizon written by Daniel W. Vandever [Diné], illustrated by Corey Begay [Diné]

Winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award (picture book). The American Indian Youth Literature Awards identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Selected titles present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts.


The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel

Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award (picture book) for outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.


Middle Grade Fiction

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

Winner of the John Newbery Medal for outstanding contribution to children’s literature.

Winner of thePura Belpré Children’s Author Award. The Pura Belpré Awards honor Latinx writers and illustrators whose children's and young adult books best portray, affirm and celebrate the Latino cultural experience.


A Bird Will Soar by Alison Green Myers

Winner of the Schneider Family for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience. Winner of the award for books for middle grades (ages 9-13).


Temple Alley Summer by Sachiko Kashiwaba

Originally published as “Kimyōji Yokochō no Natsu,” in Japanese, and winner of the Mildred L. Batchelder award for an outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently published in English in the United States. Illustrated by Miho Satake, translated by Avery Fischer Idagawa.


Too Bright to See by Kyle Lukoff

Winner of the Stonewall Book Award (children’s)- Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award given annually to English-language children’s and young adult books of exceptional merit relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience.


Healer of the Water Monster by Brian Young [Diné]

Winner of the American Indian Youth Literature Award (middle grade book). The American Indian Youth Literature Awards identify and honor the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives. Selected titles present American Indians in the fullness of their humanity in the present and past contexts.


Amina's Song by Hena Khan

Winner of the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature (children’s literature winner). The award promotes Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage and is awarded based on literary and artistic merit.


How to Find What You're Not Looking For by Veera Hiranandani

Winner of the Sydney Taylor Book Award (middle grade book) for outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.


Young Adult Literature

Me (Moth) by Amber McBride

Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Author Talent Award