It’s time to get lit!
The American Library Association (ALA) announced its recipients for the top children’s books this year, including the winners for the Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, Printz, and Newbery awards. While all of the books honored are equally worthy winners, perhaps most notable is the award for the 2020 John Newbery Medal: New Kid by Jerry Craft. It’s the first time ever that a graphic novel has taken home the top prize for its contribution to children’s literature.
New Kid follows 12-year-old African-American boy Jordan Banks, who lives in the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City and who of attending art school. Instead, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics. He’s one of the few students of color in his entire grade. The honest graphic novel follows Jordan, who is torn between the two worlds of his posh school and his diverse neighborhood — and doesn’t really fit into either one.
New Kid, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, also received the Coretta Scott King Book Award. The award is given annually to “outstanding African-American authors and illustrators of books for kids and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African-American culture and universal human values,” according to the ALA.
Click here to read the full list of the bookish honorees.