Candlewick Press titles win 2016 American Library Association Youth Media Awards

Numerous Candlewick authors and illustrators recognized with Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Honor, John Steptoe Illustrator Award, Pura Belpré Honors, Sibert Honor, Scott O’Dell Award, and more

SOMERVILLE, MA – January 11, 2016– Candlewick Press authors and illustrators received a number of awards today as the American Library Association (ALA) announced top books for children and young adults at its Midwinter Meeting, held January 8‒12 in Boston.


“Everyone at Candlewick Press is so honored to have our tremendously talented authors and illustrators recognized by the most astute readers and experts of children’s literature,” said Karen Lotz, President and Publisher of Candlewick Press and Managing Director of the Walker Books Group. “The ALA Youth Media Awards are truly like the Oscars of the children’s publishing industry, and it is thrilling to see such a varied group of titles of fiction and nonfiction garner this kind of recognition from our list.”


The Randolph Caldecott Awards committee, which recognizes artists for the most distinguished American picture books for children, honored Ekua Holmes, a debut picture-book illustrator and fine artist from Boston, for her work on Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement.


Holmes was also given the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe New Talent Award for illustration, established to offer visibility to excellence in writing and/or illustration and to encourage the artistic expression of the African American experience via literature and the graphic arts by African American authors and illustrators.


In addition, Voice of Freedom author Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrator Ekua Holmes were awarded a Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Honor.  Voice of Freedom combines stirring poems with stunning mixed-media collage illustrations to celebrate the life of Hamer, a champion of equal voting rights.


The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, recognizing an African American author of outstanding books for children or young adults, was given to Kekla Magoon and Ilyasah Shabazz, authors of X: A Novel, a riveting and revealing account of the formative years of Malcolm X, a man whose words and actions shook the world.


The Pura Belpré Awards Committee selected Mango, Abuela, and Me as a Pura Belpré Honor book for both author and illustrator. The tender story of how love and patience transcend language for a young girl and her far-away grandmother who comes to stay, Mango, Abuela, and Me was written by Meg Medina and illustrated by Angela Dominguez. This is Medina’s second Pura Belpré recognition; she won in 2014 for her novel Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass.


Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson was recognized as a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. Anderson’s sweeping history of the first half of the twentieth century in Soviet Russia and his focus on the life of the slight, bespectacled composer is dramatic, challenging, and immersive. Meticulous research and a captivating narrative celebrate courage, perseverance—and music.


Also, The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz, last week received the 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction. A moving yet comedic tour de force, The Hired Girl tells the story of fourteen-year-old Joan Skraggs’s journey from a hardscrabble Pennsylvania farm to the sophistication of city life in Baltimore.


The Scott O’Dell Award, created by Scott O’Dell and Zena Sutherland in 1982 and now administered by Elizabeth Hall, carries with it a prize of $5000, and goes annually to the author of a distinguished work of historical fiction for young people published by a U.S. publisher and set in the Americas.


About Candlewick Press:

Candlewick Press is an independent publisher based in Somerville, Massachusetts. For over twenty years, Candlewick has published outstanding children’s books for readers of all ages, including books by award-winning authors and illustrators such as the former National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Kate DiCamillo, M. T. Anderson, Jon Klassen, and Laura Amy Schlitz; the widely acclaimed Judy Moody, Mercy Watson, and ’Ology series; and favorites such as Guess How Much I Love You, Where’s Waldo?, and Maisy. Candlewick is part of the Walker Books Group, together with Walker Books UK in London and Walker Books Australia. The Walker Books Group has a unique ownership structure that includes all of its employees worldwide. Visit Candlewick online at Candlewick can be found on Twitter @Candlewick. 




Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

By Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

$17.99 U.S. / $23.99 CAN – ISBN: 9780763665319 - Non-fiction Picture Book / Hardback

56 pages – 10 years and up


X: A Novel

By Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

$16.99 U.S. / $19.00 CAN – ISBN:  9780763669676 - Young Adult Novel / Hardback

384 pages – 14 years and up


Mango, Abuela, and Me

By Meg Medina, illustrated by Angela Dominguez

$15.99 / $19.00 – ISBN: 9780763669003 - Picture Book / Hardback

32 pages – 5-8 years


Symphony for the City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and the Siege of Leningrad

By M. T. Anderson

$25.99 / $29.00 – ISBN: 9780763668181- Nonfiction / Hardback

464 pages – 14 years and up


The Hired Girl

By Laura Amy Schlitz

$17.99 / $23.99 – ISBN: 9780763678180 - Middle-grade Novel / Hardback

400 pages – 12 years and up 


Quick facts

Candlewick Press wins several American Library Association Youth Media Awards!
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Caldecott Honor, Coretta Scott King Honor, John Steptoe Illustrator Award among the many awards Candlewick Press garnered at the American Library Association Youth Media Awards
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Caldecott Honor awarded to Ekua Holmes for her work on VOICE OF FREEDOM: FANNIE LOU HAMER, SPIRIT OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT.
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