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Winners of International Literacy Association’s 2022 Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards Announced

By ILA Staff
 | Jul 06, 2022

The International Literacy Association (ILA) announced today the winners of its 2022 Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards, a program that honors emerging authors whose work exemplifies the best from rising stars in the literature landscape.

The 13 titles from this year’s honorees represent a wide variety of genres, themes and topics. They include mind-grabbing examinations of nature and science, authentic and truthful portrayals of history and tales of resilience in the face of prejudice and injustice.

“At ILA, we know that book recommendations are a valuable resource to our network of literacy practitioners, and we are proud to announce the winners of this year’s ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards,” said Kenneth Kunz, president of the ILA Board of Directors. “These titles celebrate diversity, equity and inclusion, and provide teachers across the grades with stories that highlight diverse experiences and topics through rich character development and building background. I look forward to hearing the many ways in which teachers bring these titles to life through intentional literacy instruction in classrooms and schools.”

The 2022 award winners are as follows:

Primary Fiction

  • Winner: Isabel and Her Colores Go to School. Alexandra Alessandri. Sleeping Bear Press.
  • Honor: Archie Celebrates Diwali. Mitali Banerjee Ruths. Charlesbridge.

Primary Nonfiction

  • Winner: Mimic Makers: Biomimicry Inventors Inspired by Nature. Kristen Nordstrom. Charlesbridge.
  • Honor: Areli Is a Dreamer: A True Story by Areli Morales, a DACA Recipient. Areli Morales. Random House Children’s Books.

Intermediate Fiction

  • Winner: Starfish. Lisa Fipps. Penguin Young Readers.
  • Honor: Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna. Alda P. Dobbs. Sourcebooks.

Intermediate Nonfiction

  • Winner: It Takes Guts: How Your Body Turns Food Into Fuel (and Poop). Jennifer Gardy. Greystone Kids.
  • Honor: Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer. Donna Sandstrom. Ill. Sarah Burwash. Kids Can Press.
  • Honor: Why Longfellow Lied: The Truth About Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride. Jeff Lantos. Charlesbridge.

Young Adult Fiction

  • Winner: Both Sides Now. Peyton Thomas. Penguin Random House Young Readers.
  • Honor: Where I Belong. Marcia Argueta Mickelson. Lerner.

Young Adult Nonfiction

  • Winner: No Way, They Were Gay? Hidden Lives and Secret Loves (Queer History Project). Lee Wind. Lerner.
  • Honor: We Are Not Broken. George M. Johnson. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.

For more than 45 years, ILA’s annual book awards have recognized newly published authors who exhibit exceptional promise in the children’s and young adult literature fields; eligible titles must be the author’s first or second, and if the book is also the illustrator’s first or second, then the author and illustrator share the award. Past winners include several authors who went on to achieve notable success and high acclaim—Patricia Polacco, Lois Lowry, and Juana Martinez-Neal, to name a few.

“All of these titles are must-haves on classroom and library bookshelves, making this list a perfect starting point for educators and parents alike who are looking to build up their collection,” said Raven Cromwell, chair of the ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards Committee and assistant professor at Marietta College in Ohio. “The list is bursting with windows and mirrors representing both diverse and universal human experiences; unique close-up looks at anatomy and nature to inspire future scientists; and journeys toward acceptance that celebrate identity, friendship and culture along the way.”

Find out more about our ILA Children’s and Young Adults’ Book Awards and how to join the awards committee.

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