Home > Blog > Penguin Young Readers Receives Eleven…

Penguin Young Readers Receives Eleven 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards

New York, NY – Penguin Young Readers has received eleven 2015 American Library Association (ALA) Youth Media Awards. The ALA announced today that BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson (Nancy Paulsen Books) has received the Newbery Honor, a Coretta Scott King author award and a Robert F. Sibert HonorI’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN byJandy Nelson (Dial Books for Young Readers) has received a Michael L. Printz Award and Stonewall Honor and GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Andrew Smith (Dutton) has received a Michael L.Printz Honor.

BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson has received the Newbery Honor for its outstanding contribution to children’s literature, a Coretta Scott King author award for demonstrating an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values and a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal for the most distinguished informational book. Winner of the 2014 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Brown Girl Dreaming (Nancy Paulsen Books; August 28, 2014; Ages 10 and up; $16.99) is celebrated author Jacqueline Woodson’s New York Times bestselling memoir of her childhood, told in stunning verse. Called “gorgeous,” (Vanity Fair), “radiantly warm,” (The Washington Post) and “captivating” (The Wall Street Journal), Brown Girl Dreaming shares the gritty and the sweet memories of Woodson’s childhood—as well as revealing the first sparks that ignited her writing career—in lyrical poems about growing up as an African American as the Civil Rights movement was gaining momentum. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. The New York Times Book Review raved, “This is a book full of poems that cry out to be learned by heart. These are poems that will, for years to come, be stored in our bloodstream.” Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s spirit as she searches for her place in the world.

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson (Dial Books for Young Readers) has received the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature and a Stonewall Honor for exceptional merit relating to the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender experience. The novel tells the story of once-inseparable twins Noah and Jude. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways . . . What the twins don’t realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. This New York Times bestselling, critically-acclaimed novel about first love, loss, betrayal, family, and forgiveness has earned four starred reviews, was the #1 Autumn 2014 Kids Indie Next Pick, appeared on numerous “Best of 2014” lists, and garnered praise across the board. School Library Journal declared it “a resplendent novel,” and Entertainment Weekly, that “to read it is a coming-of-age experience in itself.” The Boston Globe called it “an exquisite surrender to wonder and possibilities,” and The New York Times Book Review raved, “Nelson is bold, even breathtaking. You get the sense her characters are bursting through the words, breaking free of normal metaphors and constructions, jubilantly trying to rise up from the prison of language.”

GRASSHOPPER JUNGLE by Andrew Smith (Dutton) has been awarded a Michael L. Printz Honor. One of 2014’s most lauded books, this “raunchy, bizarre, smart and compelling” (Rolling Stone), “intricately structured” and “profound” (The Washington Post) and “wildly original” (The San Francisco Chronicle) novel explores sexual identity, Polish ancestry, and science gone wrong through a series of strange events in a small, dying Iowa factory town. 16-year-old Austin Szerba has always filled notebooks with the “histories” of his family and the narrative of his daily life, but his story takes an unexpectedly epic, dangerous turn when he and his best friend, Robby, accidently bring about the end of humanity by unleashing an unstoppable army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises on their small Iowa hometown. While struggling with their own confusing love triangle, the boys piece together the origin of the unstoppable soldiers from stories that have been locked away in an absurd underground bunker for decades.

Christopher Myers has been awarded the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for FIREBIRD (Putnam Books for Young Readers)Written by Misty Copeland, Firebird tells the story of a young girl–an every girl–whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl’s faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.

HOW I DISCOVERED POETRY written by Marilyn Nelson and illustrated by Hadley Hooper (Dial Books for Young Readers) has received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor. In this powerful and thought-provoking Civil Rights era memoir, Newbery Honor winner and National Book Award finalist Marilyn Nelson looks back on her childhood in the 1950s and tells the story of her development as an artist and young woman through fifty eye-opening poems. Readers are given an intimate portrait of her growing self-awareness and artistic inspiration along with a larger view of the world around her: racial tensions, the Cold War era, and the first stirrings of the feminist movement.

PORTRAITS OF HISPANIC AMERICAN HEROES written by Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Raúl Colón (Dial Books for Young Readers) has received a Pura Belpre Author Honor for a work that best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. An inspiring tribute to Hispanic Americans who have made a positive impact on the world, this visually stunning book showcases twenty Hispanic and Latino American men and women who have made outstanding contributions to the arts, politics, science, humanitarianism, and athletics.  Gorgeous portraits complement sparkling biographies of Cesar Chavez, Sonia Sotomayor, Ellen Ochoa, Roberto Clemente, and many more. Complete with timelines and famous quotes, this tome is a magnificent homage to those who have shaped our nation.

Susan Guevara has received a Pura Belpre Illustrator Honor for LITTLE ROJA RIDING HOOD written by Susan Middleton Elya (Putnam Books for Young Readers). While Roja picks flowers on the way to her grandma’s, a mean wolf sneaks away with her cape to surprise Abuelita. But Grandma’s no fool and Roja’s no ordinary chica. They send that hungry lobo packing with a caliente surprise! This sassy retelling of Little Red Riding Hood has accessible Spanish rhymes and fresh illustrations, with hip cultural details throughout.

Hailed by The New York Times Book Review for its “positive attitude in the face of these real-world challenges,” POPULAR follows Maya Van Wagenen in her eighth grade year as she works through a 1950’s popularity guide, Betty Cornell’s Teen-Age Popularity Guide, applying the quaint-yet-timeless instructions to her contemporary life and exploring what it truly means to be popular. This “gem of a first novel” (Kirkus, starred review) revealed “a talent to watch” (BCCB) in Maya Van Wagenen. The New York Times bestselling author started her memoir when her family moved to Brownsville, Texas. The convergence of her awkward adolescence, culture shock, and the violent drug war in this colorful border town inspired Maya to begin her unique social experiment.


Jacqueline Woodson is the 2014 National Book Award Winner for her memoir Brown Girl Dreaming. The author of more than two dozen books for young adults, middle graders and children, among many awards, she is also a three-time Newbery Honor winner, a three-time National Book Award finalist, and a Coretta Scott King Award winner. Her books include THE OTHER SIDE, EACH KINDNESS, BENEATH THE METH MOON, the Caldecott Honor Book COMING ON HOME SOON, FEATHERS and MIRACLE’S BOYS,which received the Los Angeles TimesBook Prize and was adapted into a miniseries directed by Spike Lee. Jacqueline is also the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement for her contributions to young adult literature, the winner of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, and was the 2013 United States nominee for the Hans Christian Andersen Award. She lives with her family in Brooklyn, New York.

Jandy Nelson, like characters Noah and Jude in I’ll Give You the Sun, comes from a superstitious lot. She was tutored from a young age in the art of the four-leaf clover hunt; she knocks on wood, throws salt, and carries charms in her pockets. Her debut novel, The Sky is Everywhere, was on multiple Best Books of the Year lists, was a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, earned numerous starred reviews, has been translated widely, and continues to enjoy great international success. A former literary agent, she holds a BA from Cornell, an MFA in poetry from Brown, and another MFA in writing for children and young adults from the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Currently a full-time writer, Jandy lives and writes in San Francisco, California—not far from the settings of her books.

Andrew Smith is the award-winning author of several Young Adult novels, including the critically acclaimed Grasshopper Jungle (2014 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award) and 100 Sideways Miles (2014 National Book Award Long List). He is a native-born Californian who spent most of his formative years traveling the world. His university studies focused on Political Science, Journalism, and Literature. He has published numerous short stories and articles. His ninth novel, The Alex Crow comes out March 10, 2015. He lives in Southern California.

Christopher Myers is the award-winning author and illustrator of Caldecott honoree Harlem and Coretta Scott King Honorees Black Cat and H.O.R.S.E. Chris has also won three Boston Globe-Horn Book Honors and a New York Times Best Illustrated Award.

Marilyn Nelson is a three-time National Book Award Finalist, has won a Newbery Honor, a Printz Honor and several Coretta Scott King Honors, and has received several prestigious poetry awards, including the Poets’ Prize and the Robert Frost Medal “for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry.” She has recently been a judge of poetry applicants at the National Endowment for the Arts and Yaddo, and has received three honorary doctorates.

Juan Felipe Herrera, the son of migrant farmworkers, grew up to become a prominent Mexican-American poet, and is currently the California Poet Laureate.  The award-winning author of many books of poetry, he is also an actor, a musician, and a popular professor at the University of California, Riverside. He lives in Redlands, California.

Susan Guevara (susanguevara.com) won the Pura Belpre Award for Illustration for her work in Chato’s Kitchen andChato and the Party Animals. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Maya Van Wagenen is sixteen years old. When she was eleven, her family moved to Brownsville, Texas, the setting of Popular. When not hunched over a desktop writing, Maya enjoys reading, British television, and chocolate. She now lives with her parents and two siblings in rural Georgia. She is a junior in high school but still shares a room with her sixth grade brother. Remarkably, they have not yet killed each other.


Dial Books for Young Readers, established in 1961, is a hardcover division publishing approximately 75 titles a year for children of all ages. One of the first houses to publish high-quality board books and an early leader in multicultural publishing, Dial continues to focus on books that combine artistic excellence and kid-relevance. Its list of acclaimed authors and illustrators includes Richard Peck, Nancy Werlin, Marilyn Nelson, Holly Goldberg Sloan, Ingrid Law, Jerry Pinkney, Jon Agee, Kadir Nelson, David Small, David Soman and Jacky Davis, and Judy Schachner.

Dutton Children’s Books is one of the oldest continually operating children’s book publishers in the United States. Established more than 150 years ago, the imprint is home to such perennial classics as Winnie the Pooh, Judy Blume’s Fudge novels, Newbery Award-winners such as The Westing Game and My Side of the Mountain, and Printz winners and honor books including Looking for Alaska and An Abundance of Katherines by John Green and Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith. Recent bestsellers include The Fault in Our Stars by John Green, theMatched trilogy by Ally Condie, A Tale Dark & Grimm by Adam Gidwitz, and the Theodore Boone series by John Grisham.

Nancy Paulsen Books launched its first hardcover list in Fall 2011. The imprint publishes approximately fifteen books a year and focuses on picture books that are eye-opening and often funny, and fiction from diverse and distinct voices, especially stories that are inventive and emotionally satisfying. These are the kinds of books that are adopted by book clubs and that appear on state lists, generated by the votes of children.

Recent picture books include Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winning Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson and EB Lewis, New York Times Best Illustrated Book The Baby Tree by Sophie Blackall, Looking at Lincoln by Maira Kalman, Strega Nona’s Gift by Laura Ingalls Wilder Award winner Tomie dePaola, and ‘Ol Mama Squirrel by Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein. Recent fiction includes National Book Award Winning Brown Girl Dreaming by  Jacqueline Woodson, and the highly praised One For The Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods.

Putnam was established in 1838 and published its first children’s title in 1925. The imprint publishes roughly fifty trade hardcover books a year—from lively, accessible picture books to some of today’s strongest voices in fiction.  The home of classics such as Little Toot by Hardie Gramatky and Millions of Cats by Wanda Gág, Putnam is now home for esteemed and popular authors including Marie Lu, Rick Yancey, Katherine Howe, Maile Meloy, and Betty Birney, as well as illustrators Jan Brett, Keiko Kasza, Dan Santat, and David Catrow.

Penguin Random House (http://global.penguinrandomhouse.com/) is the world’s most global trade book publisher. It was formed on July 1, 2013, upon the completion of an agreement between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin, with the parent companies owning 53% and 47%, respectively.  Penguin Random House comprises the adult and children’s fiction and nonfiction print and digital trade book publishing businesses of Penguin and Random House in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, and Penguin’s trade publishing activity in Asia and Brazil; DK worldwide; and Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial’s Spanish-language companies in Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, and Chile. Penguin Random House employs more than 10,000 people globally across almost 250 editorially and creatively independent imprints and publishing houses that collectively publish more than 15,000 new titles annually. Its publishing lists include more than 70 Nobel Prize laureates and hundreds of the world’s most widely read authors.

Back to Top