Beyond the Caldecott (and the Nobel)

There are a number of very famous literary awards out there, from the Caldecotts and Newberys of children’s literature fame to the Man Bookers, the Hugos, and the Pulitzers—not to mention the Nobels—of adult literature. They award many great authors; they sometimes make incredibly bizarre choices (see the Nobel award for “literature,” 2016). They often do not, however, do a grand job of selecting representative fiction—which is to say, of course, that, despite problems in the industry, far more than men (often of one race, writing about other men) write great literary works. (There are some bright spots: Paul Beatty won the 2016 Man Booker prize for a novel about race in America! The National Book Awards celebrated diverse voices!)

However, there are also literary prizes out there which seek to recognize everything from literature celebrating the Arab-American experience to literature offering strong representations of characters with disabilities. I have tried to pull together as many of these diverse literary award winners in one space as I could; perhaps they can be among your 2017 reading challenges. The awards here include those specifically focusing upon adult’s and children’s literature, as well as awards which celebrate both.

I will edit the list with additional awards as I find them.

Beyond the Caldecott & the Nobel: Lists

American Indian Youth Literature Awards, 2016 Winners

According to their website, the American Indian Youth Literature Awards have been presented every two years since 2006; they were presented in 2016 and will be presented again in 2018. They are intended to showcase and celebrate “the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.”

  • Winners
  • Little You by Richard Van Camp
  • In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III
  • House of Purple Cedar by Tim Tingle

Batchelder Award, 2016

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award has been presented yearly since 1968 to outstanding children’s books in English translation. All winners since 1968 can be found here.

  • Winner: The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna, and translated from the French by Claudia Zoe Bedrick
  • Honor Books
  • Adam and Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld and translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green
  • Grandma Lives in a Perfume Village by Fang Suzhen, iIllustrated by Sonja Danowski, and translated from the Chinese by Huang Xiumin
  • Written and Drawn by Henrietta written, illustrated, and translated from the Spanish by Liniers

Amelia Bloomer List, 2016

The Amelia Bloomer List, which honors the indomitable early feminist Amelia Bloomer, curates a yearly list of recommended feminist literature for all ages. The compiler will list all of the Bloomer List’s Top 10; she recommends that you check out the entire list, available here, as well as prior years’ lists.

  • We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • African-American Women: Photographs from the National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • The Born Frees: Writing with the Girls of Gugulethu by Kimberly Burge
  • Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
  • Swing Sisters: The Story of the International Sweethearts of Rhythm by Karen Deans
  • The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
  • Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
  • Devoited by Jennifer Mathieu
  • Sally Ride: A Photobiography of America’s Pioneering Woman in Space by Tam O’Shaughnessey
  • Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford

Children’s Africana Book Awards (CABA) 2016 Winners

The CABA awards have been presented yearly since 1992. They celebrate the best in literature about Africa for children. Past winners for young children can be found here; past winners for middle graders and teens are available here.

  • Winners
  • Chicken in the Kitchen by Nnedi Okorafor and Mehrdokht Amini
  • Wangari Maathai : The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prévot
  • Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein
  • Who is King? Ten Magical Stories from Africa by Beverly Naidoo

Américas Award (CLASP), 2016 Winners

The Américas Award has been presented yearly since 1993; the next award will be presented in 2017. It celebrates “quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.” All past winners can be found here. Teaching resources are available here.


  • Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

Honorable Mentions

  • Growing Up Pedro: How the Martínez Brothers Made it from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues by Matt Tavares
  • Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuah

Commended Titles

  • A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
  • Dream Things True by Marie Marquardt
  • Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
  • Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
  • Finding the Music/En Pos de la Música by Jennifer Torres
  • Island Treasures by Alma Flor Ada
  • Maya’s Blanket/La manta de Maya by Monica Brown
  • My Tata’s Remedies/Los remedios de mi tata by Roni Capin Rivera-Ashford
  • Sala: Un poema para cocinar/A Cooking Poem by Jorge Argueta
  • The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
  • The Lightning Queen by Laura Resau
  • Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature 2015-’16 Winners

The APALA Awards have been presented yearly since 2003. They recognize excellence in literature about Asian/Pacific Americans. Adult and youth literatures are recognized.

Adult Fiction

  • Winner: Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Honor: Don’t Let Him Know by Sandip Roy

Adult Non-Fiction

  • Winner: The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee
  • Honor: From Canton Restaurant to Panda Express: A History of Chinese Food in the United States by Haiming Liu
  • Honor: The Good Immigrant: How the Yellow Peril Became the Model Minority by Madeline Y. Hsu

Young Adult

  • Winner: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  • Honor: Ink and Ashes by Valyanne E. Maetani


  • Winner: Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
  • Honor: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Picture Book

  • Winner: Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk
  • Honor: Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle

Coretta Scott King Book Awards, 2016 Winners

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards, which commemorate Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, have been presented yearly since 1970.  A list of past winners can be found here. They honor outstanding work by African-American authors and illustrators.

  • Author Award
  • Winner: Rita Williams-Garcia, Gone Crazy in Alabama
  • Honor: Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, All American Boys
  • Honor: Jason Reynolds, The Boy in the Black Suit
  • Honor: Ilyasha Shabazz with Kekla Magoon, X: A Novel

Stonewall Book Awards, 2016 Winners

The Stonewall Book Awards, which celebrate “hallmark works in GLBT publishing,” have been awarded yearly since 1971; all honored books since 1971 can be found here.

  • Barbara Grittings Literature Award: The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis
  • Israel Fishman Non-Fiction Award: Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial by Kenji Yoshino
  • Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award
  • Children’s Award: George by Alex Gino
  • Young Adult Award: The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg

NAACP Image Awards, 2016 Winners

The NAACP Image Awards have been presented yearly since 1967. The winners and nominees listed below are from the 47th Annual Image Awards Ceremony. The 48th Annual NAACP Image Awards Ceremony will take place on February 11, 2017.

  • Outstanding Literary Work: Fiction
  • Winner: Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray
  • Nominees
    • Driving the King by Ravi Howard
    • Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due
    • Mama’s Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley
    • Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

Carter G. Woodson Book Award, 2016 Winners

The Carter G. Woodson Book Awards have been presented annually since 1974. The awards celebrate excellence in literature for young people. All winners can be found here.

  • Elementary
  • Winner: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
  • Winner: The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch by Chris Barton
  • Honors: Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama by Hester Bass

Lambda Literary Award, 2016 Winners

The Lambda Literary Awards have been awarded yearly since 1989 for excellence in LGBTQ literature. All award winners can be found here.

  • Lesbian Fiction
  • Winner: Under the Udala Trees by Chineo Okparanta
  • Finalists
    • Apocalypse Baby by Virginie Despentes
    • Blue Talk and Love by Mecca Jamilah Sullivan
    • The Cherokee Rose by Tiya Miles
    • The First Bad Man by Miranda July
    • Jam on the Vine: A Novel by LaShonda Katrice Barnett
    • Like a Woman by Debra Busman
    • Thérèse and Isabelle by Violette Leduc

Tomás Rivera Book Award, 2016 Winners

The Tomás Rivera Book Award has been awarded yearly since 1995. It honors the “authors and illustrators who create literature that depicts the Mexican-American experience.” All award winners can be found here.

  • Younger Readers: Funny Bones: Posada and his Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuah
  • Older readers: Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Pérez

South Asia Book Award, 2016 Winners

The South Asia Book Award seeks to recognize quality children’s and young adult literature about South East Asians. The award has been given yearly since 2012. Past award winners can be found here.

  • Award Books
  • Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins
  • Dear Ms. Naidoo by Mathangi Subramanian

New Voices Award 2015, Lee & Low Books

The New Voices Award is presented in January for the previous year; hence, I will provide the 2015/2016 winner, rather than the soon-to-be-announced 2016 winner. Information on the award can be found here and on this pdf. Lee & Low, the publishers, specialize in diverse materials and are an excellent choice to follow for those intereseted in representative works.

  • Winner: Lisa Braithwaite for Show and Tell: The Story of Eunice Johnson and the Ebony Fashion Fair
  • Honor: Li Yun Alvardo for A Star Named Rosita: The Rita Moreno Story

Scholastic Asian Book Award, 2016

The Scholastic Asian Book Award, a collaborative effort of the National Book Development Council of Singapore and Scholastic Asia, seeks to honor the excellence and diversity of fiction pertaining to Asia. Winners can be found  here. Shortlisted titles for 2016 are available as a pdf here.

  • Grand Prize Winner: Codex: The Lost Treasure of the Indus by Aditi Krishnakumar
  • 1st Runner Up: Chasing Freedom by Tina Cho
  • 2nd Runner Up: Island Girl by Stephanie Ho Li Ling
  • Shortlisted titles
  • Dragonflies, Jigsaws and a Rainbow by Varsha Seshan
  • The Budding Traveller by Golda Mowe

Schneider Family Book Award, 2016

The Schneider Family Book Awards, which “honor an author or illustrator for for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences,” have been awarded yearly since 2004. All winners can be found here. The award further maintains a “Select Bibliography of Children’s Books About the Disability Experience,” available at the link as a downloadable pdf. (As someone with a learning disability, this matters a lot to the compiler of this list.)

  • Middle School Winners
  • Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
  • The War that Saved My Life by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley

Sydney Taylor Book Award, 2016

The Sydney Taylor Book Award has been presented yearly since 1968 by the Association of Jewish Libraries. It honors “quality Judaic literature” for young folks. It is rather a thorough kind of award; past winners can be found in an annotated form here or in a just-the-titles-sir form here.

  • Younger Readers
  • Winner: Ketzel, The Cat Who Composed by Lesléa Newman
  • Honor Books
    • Everybody Says Shalom by Leslie Kimmelman
    • Shanghai Sukkah by Heidi Smith Hyde
  • Notable Books for Younger Readers
    • Hanukkah Cookies with Sprinkles by David A. Adler
    • The Parakeet Named Dreidel by Isaac Bashevis Singer translated by Suzanne Raphael Berkson
    • Sadie and Ori and the Blue Blanket by Jamie Korngold

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards, 2016

In keeping with the spirit of the lady for whom they are named, the Jane Addams Book Awards, given yearly since 1953, honor “children’s books that engage young people in thinking creatively about peace, social justice, world community, and racial and gender equity.” Prior award winners can be accessed via several access points, including a limited database (2000-present) and a pdf with every winner since 1953.

  • Books for Younger Children
  • Winner: New Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer
  • Honor Books
    • Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter
    • Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat
    • The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

Arab American Book Award, 2016

The Arab American Book Award has been awarded yearly since 2007 to books celebrating the Arab-American experience. Reading guides are available for some titles. Titles for young people are sometimes included in the awards.

  • Fiction
  • Winner: A Curious Land: Stories of Home by Susan Muaddi Darraj
  • Honor: In the Language of Miracles by Rajia Hassib

Pura Belpré Award, 2016

The Pura Belpré Awards are named for the trailblazing Puerto Rican American librarian Pura Belpré, who was the first Latina to serve as a librarian in New York City. The award which honors her “is presented 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.” Past winners of the award, which has been given yearly since 1996, can be found here. 2016 author acceptance speeches are available here as a downloadable pdf.

  • Author/Narration Award
  • Winner: Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
  • Honor Books:
    • The Smoking Mirror by David Bowles (middle grades)
    • Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina (picture book)

Walter Dean Myers Award (the “Walter”), 2016

The Walter Dean Myers Award is a new award named for the prolific writer Walter Dean Myers and run by the We Need Diverse Books initiative. Its inagural winners were announced in 2016.

  • Young adult
  • Winner: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  • Honor Books
    • Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle
    • X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award, 2015

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award (named for the science fiction writer James Tiptree, Jr., known for deeply understanding women…which likely had something to do with the fact that his real name was Alice B. Sheldon) is awarded to science fiction and fantasy works that explore gender. It has been awarded yearly since 1995, when it was founded at a feminist sci-fi convention. The 2016 award winners will be announced in early 2017; listed winners are from 2015.

  • The New Mother by Eugene Fisher
  • Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz

Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, 2016

The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honors outstanding emergent illustrators and authors of children’s books. Previous award winners can be found here.

2016 Ezra Jack Keats Book Award

  • New writer award: Don Tate for Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
  • New illustrator award: Phoebe Wahl for Sonya’s Chicken
  • Honor Books
  • New Writer Honors
    • Megan Dowd Lambert for A Crow of His Own
    • Julia Sarcone-Roach for The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
  • New Illustrator Awards
    • Ryan T. Higgins for Mother Bruce
    • Rainbow Watkins for Rude Cakes

Notable Books for a Global Society, 2016

Notable Books for a Global Society is an offshoot of the Children’s Literature & Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association. It honors books which encourage understanding  of the world’s people and cultures. Previous winners can be found here.

2016 Winners

  • Juna’s Jar by Jane Bahk
  • Maya’s Blanket/La manta de Maya by Monica Brown
  • Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin
  • Two White Rabbits by Jairo Buitrago
  • Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans by Don Brown
  • My Story, My Dance: Robert Battle’s Journey to Alvin Ailey by Lesa Cline-Ransom
  • Game Changer: John McClendon and the Secret Game by John McCoy
  • Audacity by Melanie Crowder
  • Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper
  • Red by Jan de Kinder, translated by Laura Watkinson
  • Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña
  • George by Alex Gino
  • In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall, III
  • Tiger Boy by Mitali  Perkins
  • Breakthrough: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jimy Murphy
  • Tucky Jo and Little Heart by Patricia Polacco
  • Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People by S.D. Nelson
  • Wangari Maathi: The Woman who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prévot
  • Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • The Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations edited by Sylvia Vardell and Janet Wong
  • Orbiting Jupiter by Gary B. Schmidt
  • Voice of Freedom: Fanny Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carol Boston Weatherford
  • Funny Bones: Posada and his Day of the Dead Calaveras by Duncan Tonatiuh
  • Stone Angel by Jane Yolen

Dolly Gray Children’s Book Award, 2016

The Dolly Gray Children’s Book Awards honor books “that appropriately portray individuals with developmental disabilities.” It is presented yearly by the Division on Autism and Other Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children.


National Jewish Book Award Winners

The National Jewish Book Awards, awarded yearly since 1949, celebrate and encourage “outstanding literature in the field” and continued literary production on themes of interest to the Jewish community.” All past winners can be found here (it’s quite a list).

2016 awards have yet to be announced. All winners listed below are 2015 winners and honor books.

  • Jewish Book of the Year: Anonymous Soldier: The Struggle for Israel, 1917-1947 by Bruce Hoffman
  • JBC Literary Achievement Award: Ann Goldstein
  • American Jewish Studies
    • Winner: Beyond Sectarianism: The Realignment of American Orthodox Judaism by Adam S. Ferziger
    • Finalists
      • Roads Taken: The Great Jewish Migrations to the New World and the Peddlers Who Forged the Way by Hasia R. Diner
      • Young Lions: How Jewish Authors Reinvented the American War Novel by Leah Garrett
      • Lincoln and the Jews: A History by Jonathan D. Sarna and Benjamin Shapell
  • Anthologies and Collections
    • Winner: Dear Mendl, Dear Reyzl: Yiddish Letter Manuals from Russian and America by Alice Nakhimovsky and Roberta Newman
    • Finalists
      • The Literature of the Holocaust edited by Alan Rosen
      • The New Diaspora: The Changing Landscape of American Jewish Fiction by Victoria Aarons, Avinoam J. Patt, and Mark Shechner
  • Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
    • Winner: After the Holocaust, the Bells Still Ring by Joseph Polak
    • Finalists
      • A Brief Stop on the Road From Auschwitz  by Goran Rosenberg; translated by Sarah Death
      • The Seven Good Years: A Memoir by Etgar Keret
  • Children’s Literature
    • Winner: Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Tanya Simon and Richard Simon
    • Finalists
      • Farmer Kobi’s Hanukkah Match by Karen Rostoker-Gruber and Rabbi Ron Isaacs
      • Adam and Thomas by Aharon Appelfeld and translated by Jeffrey Green
      • The Safest Lie by Angela Cerrito
  • Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice
    • Winner: All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir by Shulem Deen
    • Finalists
      • Jews and Genes: The Genetic Future in Contemporary Jewish Thought edited by Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff and Dr. Laurie Zoloth
      • Wise Aging: Living with Joy, Resilience, and Spirit by Rachel Cowan and Linda Thal
  • Debut Fiction
    • Winner: The Boatmaker by John Benditt
    • Finalists
      • After Abel and Other Stories by Michal Lemberger
      • The Empire of the Senses by Alexis Landau
  • Education and Jewish Identity
    • Winner: Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli by Ted Merwin
  • Fiction
    • Winner: The Last Flight of Poxl West by Daniel Torday
    • Finalists
      • The Ambassador by Yehuda Avner and Matt Rees
      • The Book of Aron by Jim Shepard
      • A Reunion of Ghosts by Judith Claire Mitchell
      • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • History
    • Winner: Doomed to Succeed: The U.S.-Israel Relationship from Truman to Obama by Dennis Ross
    • Finalist: Killing a King: The Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin and the Remaking of Israel by Dan Ephron
  • Holocaust
    • Winner: The Crime and the Silencing: Confronting the Massacre of Jews in Wartime Jedwabne by Anna Bikont and translated by Alissa Valles
    • Finalists
      • KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann
      • Jewish Honor Courts: Revenge, Retribution, and Reconciliation in Europe and Israel after the Holocaust edited by Laura Jockusch and Gabriel N. Finder
  • Modern Jewish Thought and Experiences
    • Winner: Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks
    • Finalists
      • The Secret of Chabad: Inside the World’s Most Successful Jewish Movement by David Eliezrie
      • The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible by Aviya Kushner
      • Leaving the Jewish Fold: Conversation and Radical Assimilation in Modern Jewish History by Todd M. Endelman
  • Poetry
    • Winner: Gabriel: A Poem by Edward Hirsch
    • Finalists
      • The Glad Hand of God Points Backwards: Poems by Rachel Mennies
      • The Invention of Influence by Peter Cole
      • In the Illuminated Dark: Selected Poems of Tuvia Ruebner by Tuvia Ruebner and edited by Rachel Tzvia Back
  • Scholarship
    • Winner: What’s Divine About Divine Laws? Early Perspectives by Christine Hayes
    • Finalists
      • Rabbis, Sorcerers, Kings, and Priests: The Culture of the Talmud in Ancient Iran by Jason Sion Mokhtarian
      • Revelation and Authority: Sinai in Jewish Scripture and Tradition by Benjamin S. Sommer
      • Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts edited by Marc Michael Epstein
  • Sephardic Culture
    • Winner: Double Diaspora in Sephardic Literature: Jewish Cultural Production Before and After 1492 by David A. Wacks
    • Finalist: Jews and Islamic Law in Early 20th Century Yemen by Mark S. Wagner
  • Visual Arts
    • Winner: Skies of Parchment, Seas of Ink: Jewish Illuminated Manuscripts edited by Marc Michael Epstein.
    • Finalists
      • Ben Shahn’s New Deal Murals: Jewish Identity in the American Scene by Diana L. Linden
      • The Power of Pictures: Early Soviet Photography, Early Soviet Film by Susan Tumarkin Goodman, Jens Hoffmann, and Alexander Lavrentiev
      • Roman Vishniac Rediscovered by Maya Benton
  • Women’s Studies
    • Winner: Birth, Sex, and Abuse: Women’s Voices Under Nazi Rule by Beverley Chalmers
  • Writing Based on Archival Material
    • Winner: The Burdens of Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France by Ethan B. Katz
    • Finalist: The Archive Thief: The Man who Salvaged French Jewish History in the Wake of the Holocaust by Lisa Moses Leff
  • Young Adult
    • Winner: The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
    • Finalists
      • Somewhere There is Still a Sun: A Memoir of the Holocaust by Michael Gruenbaum with Todd Hasak-Lowy
      • Audacity by Melanie Crowder
      • Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman

Rainbow Book List, 2016

The Rainbow Book List, compiled by the Rainbow Book List Committee of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Roundtable of the American Library Association, provides a list of “quality books with significant and authentic GLBTQ content.” It is presented yearly. Booklists since 2008 (the first year the list was compiled) can be accessed here. Titles in bold are the Rainbow List Top 10.

  • Picture Books
    • Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
    • Heather Has Two Mommies by Lesléa Newman
    • Families by Shelly Rotner and Sheila M. Kelly
    • Stella Brings the Family by Miriam Schiffer
    • Zak’s Safari by Christy Tyner
  • Juvenile Fiction
    • George by Alex Gino
    • Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
    • The Marvels by Brian Selznick
  • Juvenile Nonfiction
    • Gay and Lesbian History for Kids: The Century-Long Struggle for LGBT Rights by Jerome Pohlen
    • Sex is a Funny Word: A Book About Bodies, Feeling, and YOU by Cory Silverberg
  • Young Adult Fiction
    • Under the Lights by Dahlia Adler
    • Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
    • Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak
    • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
    • Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
    • Stranger by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith
    • Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman
    • The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson
    • The History of Us by Nyrae Dawn
    • Willful Machines by Tim Floreen
    • No One Needs to Know by Amanda Grace
    • None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio
    • The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley by Shaun David Hutchinson
    • Poz by Christopher Koehler
    • The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg
    • Hold Me Closer: The Tiny Cooper Story by David Levithan
    • About a Girl by Sarah McCarry
    • Cut Both Ways by Carrie Mesrobian
    • Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
    • We Are All Made of Molecules by Susan Nielsen
    • When Everything Feels Like the Movies by Raziel Reid
    • Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
    • Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
    • LIzard Radio by Pat Schmatz
    • More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
    • Forgive Me If I’ve Told You This Before by Karelia Stetz-Waters
    • What We Left Behind by Robin Talley
    • Anything Could Happen by Will Walton
    • Playing a Part by Daria Wilke
  • Young Adult Nonfiction
    • Breakthrough by Jack Andraka with Matthew Lysiak
  • Graphic Novels and Graphic Nonfiction
    • Adrian and the Tree of Secrets by Hubert, illusrated by Marie Calliou, translated by David Homel
    • SuperMutant Magic Academy by Jillian Tamaki
    • Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash

More coming soon.

Interested in Finding Representative Literature?

There are ways and places—and a lot of good books out there! Some of the resources I use include the following: