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Teen Space: 2020 Youth Media Awards

Your guide to all things teen at the Huntington Beach Public Library!

Each year the American Library Association honors books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. Recognized worldwide for the high quality they represent, the ALA Youth Media Awards, including the prestigious Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards, guide parents, educators, librarians, and others in selecting the best materials for youth. Selected by committees composed of librarians and other literature and media experts, the awards encourage original and creative work in the field of children’s and young adult literature and media.


This award, sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards Trust, honors ten adult books with special appeal to teens, ages 12 through 18. The Alex committee also publishes its official nomination list after the awards announcement in January. Click here to see the list of 2020 Nominees!


Awarded biennially, the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Books selected to receive the award present Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity. In odd-numbered years, nominations are encouraged in fiction or nonfiction and may include graphic novels. Awards are granted in even-numbered years.

2020 Award Winner

2020 Honor Books

The Margaret A. Edwards Award, sponsored by School Library Journal, honors an author and specific works by that author for significant and lasting contribution for writing to teens. It recognizes an author's work in helping teens become aware of themselves and addressing questions about their role and importance in relationships, society, and in the world.

Steve Sheinkin wins the 2020 Edwards Award for “Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon,” “The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights,” and “The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery.”

Steve Sheinkin is the recipient of the 2020 Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens for “Bomb: The Race to Build - and Steal- the World's Most Dangerous Weapon,” “The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights,” and “The Notorious Benedict Arnold: A True Story of Adventure, Heroism, & Treachery."

Sheinkin is a powerful force in today’s ever-expanding field of nonfiction for teens, a genre that offers a particularly unique avenue for teens to become aware of themselves and to answer their questions about their role in society and in the world.  Sheinkin’s ability to tell a story that is contextualized with rich details about the time and place that surround it allows teens to delve deeply into a range of issues and ideas.  Like any great fiction writer, Sheinkin brings his characters to life by building a plot that gently unfolds, allowing the reader a chance to get to know the history on a very personal level.

“The digital age presents new challenges for teens in navigating information sources. Sheinkin provides readers with extremely well researched information, including primary sources, photographs, quotations, and letters, in such a way that readers can be assured that the engaging story they are reading is true,” said Edwards Committee chair Dawn McMillan.


The William C. Morris YA Debut Award honors the best book published by a first-time author writing for teens and celebrating impressive new voices in young adult literature.

2020 Morris Award Winner: The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

2020 Morris Award Finalists:

The Candle and the Flame written by Nafiza Azad
Frankly in Love written by David Yoon
Genesis Begins Again written by Alicia D. Williams
There Will Come a Darkness
 written by Katy Rose Pool


The YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award honors the best nonfiction written for teens ages 12-18 each year. The Nonfiction committee also publishes its official nomination list after the awards announcement.

2020 Winner: Free Lunch by Rex Ogle

2020 Finalists:
The Great Nijinsky: God of Dance by Lynn
A Light in the Darkness: Janusz Korczak, His Orphans, and the Holocaust by Albert Marrin
A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth
Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of "The Children's Ship" by Deborah Heiligman

The Odyssey Award honors the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The award is co-administered with the Association for Library Service to Children.

2020 Winner: Hey, Kiddo: How I Lost My Mother, Found My Father, and Dealt with Family Addiction, produced by Scholastic Audiobooks, written by Jarrett J. Krosoczka and narrated by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Jeanne Birdsall, Jenna Lamia, Richard Ferrone and a full cast.

2019 Honor Recordings:  
Redwood and Ponytail, written by K.A. Holt, narrated by Tess Netting and Cassandra Morris and produced by Hachette Audio.
Song for a Whale, written by Lynne Kelly, read by Abigail Revasch with the author and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.
We’re Not from Here, written by Geoff Rodkey, narrated by Dani Martineck and produced by Listening Library, an imprint of the Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.


The Michael L. Printz Award, sponsored by Booklist, honors the best book written for teens each year.


2020 Winner: Dig by A.S. King


2020 Honor Books:

The Beast Player by Nahoko Uehashi, translated by Cathy Hirano
Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me
 by Mariko Tamaki, illustrated by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell
Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes
Where the World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

The Pura Belpré Award 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. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

Below are the middle-grade teen award and honor titles for this year.

2020 Author Award Winner

2020 Author Honor Books

The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for youth.

2020 Award Winner - Teen

2020 Honor Book - Teen

2020 Award Winner - Middle Grade

2020 Honor Book - Middle Grade

The Stonewall Book Award is given annually to English-language works of exceptional merit for children or teens relating to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender experience. The award is sponsored by the American Library Association's 
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table.

2020 Stonewall Young Adult Literature Award Winner

2020 Stonewall Young Adult Honor Books

The Walter Dean Myers Award for Outstanding Children's Literature recognizes diverse authors (or co-authors) whose works feature diverse main characters and address diversity in a meaningful way for children, and teens ages 13-18. Two to four Honor Books are also named annually. We Need Diverse Books defines “diverse” to be one or more of the following: a person of color, Native American, LGBTQIA, a person with a disability, and/or a member of a marginalized religious or cultural minority in the United States.

2020 Teen Winner

2020 Honor Books

2020 Middle Grade Winner

2020 Middle Grade Honor Books

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