Staff Picks: 2018 Award-Winning Children’s Books to Read Again and Again

| October 2, 2018

The highest accolade that a piece of children’s literature can receive is a chorus of voices shouting “Again! Again!” when the story is finished. Measuring what makes a book stick out to children isn’t always easy, but awards panels try their best to strike a balance between books that are most likely to be read front and back, over and over, and books that are most likely to make a lasting impression for readers of all ages.

This year, I have been given the honor of presenting the most recognized children’s books of 2018. The materials on display come from long lines of winners and honorable mentions before them, many of which have gone on to become classroom staples and timeless classics. They represent awards and book lists that focus on excellence in literature and illustration spanning over genres and reading levels, with the intention of making reading and learning enjoyable for everyone.

There is no greater joy than sharing these stories with you as a librarian and educator.

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Books featured in our collection have been recognized by one or more of the following organizations. Information about the awards and book lists are available through the links included:

Randolph Caldecott Medal
The Caldecott Medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

John Newbery Medal
The Caldecott medal is awarded to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

Coretta Scott King Book Award
The Coretta Scott King Book Award is presented to books that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. One author and one illustrator also receive the Coretta Scott King – John Steptoe Award for New Talent, which affirms new talent and offers visibility to excellence in writing or illustration at the beginning of a career of a published book creator.

Ezra Jack Keats Book Award
The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator.

Pura Belpré Medal
The Belpré Medal 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.

Mildred A. Batchelder Award
The Batchelder Award is given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.

Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Literature
The Margaret Wise Brown Prize in Literature is an annual award showcasing the best picture book manuscript. It is presented by Hollins University.

Theodore Seuss Geisel Award
The Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.

Schneider Family Book Award
The Schneider Family Book Award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of a disability experience.

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature honors books about Asian/Pacific Americans and their heritage.

Stonewall Book Award
The Stonewall Book Award honors books relating to the GLBT experience.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
The Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded to the authors and illustrators of the most distinguished informational book publishers in the United States, for books published in English.

American Indian Youth Literature Award
The American Indian Youth Literature Award honors the best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.

Lambda Literary Award
The Lambda Literary Award identifies and honors the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books.

Amelia Bloomer Book List
The Amelia Bloomer Book List identifies books with significant feminist content.

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award
The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.

ALA Notable Children’s Book List
The ALA Notable Children’s Book List identifies the best of the best in children’s books.