The American Library Association has announced the awards for this year’s best books for children and young adults.

A list of some of the top winners:

Children at a storytime in Oxford, Miss. earlier this month. (Bruce Newman/AP/Oxford Eagle)

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature:

Dead End in Norvelt,” written by Jack Gantos, (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2011).


Randolph Caldecott Medal for the most distinguished American picture book for children:

A Ball for Daisy,” illustrated and written by Chris Raschka, (Schwartz & Wade Books, 2011).


Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults:

Where Things Come Back,” written by John Corey Whaley, (Atheneum Books, 2011).


Coretta Scott King (author) Book Award recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults:

Kadir Nelson, author and illustrator of “Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans,” (Balzer + Bray, 2011).


Coretta Scott King (illustrator) Book Award:

Shane W. Evans, illustrator and author of “Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom,” (Neal Porter Book, 2011).

Schneider Family Book Award for books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience:

Two books were selected for the middle school award (ages 9 to 13): “Close to Famous,” written by Joan Bauer (Viking, 2011).

Wonderstruck,” written by Brian Selznick, (Scholastic Press, 2011).

The teen (ages 14 to 18) award winner is “The Running Dream,” written by Wendelin Van Draanen, (Alfred A. Knopf, 2011).


Andrew Carnegie Medal for excellence in children’s video:

Paul R. Gagne and Melissa Reilly Ellard of Weston Woods Studios, Inc., producers of “Children Make Terrible Pets.” The video is based on the book written by Peter Brown.


Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States:

Rotters,” produced Listening Library. The book is written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne.


More information about the winners, other awards and finalists are described on the, ALA Web site.

In a later post, I will talk with Mary Fellows, president of the Association for Library Service to Children, about trends in children’s and young adult literature and how parents choosing books for their kids can distinguish between good and great.

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