Beyond the Caldecott & the Nobel: Diverse Literary Award Winners 2018

the magic of a book. via Giphy

For two years, I have put together a master list of all the diverse literary awards I could find, and all the winners—and, when I can find them, the finalists and honor books as well. This year, in a time of terror and fear, this is a tiny thing to do—and yet I would argue that it is more important than ever.

And so, in time, I hope, for your holiday shopping, here is a list of 2018’s diverse literary award winners, books that will drop you into your own world, just an angle of it that may (or may not) be your own.

Beyond the Caldecott & the Nobel: Lists

American Indian Youth Literature Award, 2018

The American Indian Youth Literature Awards have been presented every two years since 2006; they were presented in 2018 and will be presented again in 2020. They are intended to showcase and celebrate “the very best writing and illustrations by and about American Indians.” All winners, going back to 2006, can be found at the main link. 2018 winners are discussed in this press release as well as at the main link.

Picture Book

  • Winner: Shanyaak’utlaax: Salmon Boy illustrated by Michaela Goade & edited by Johnny Marks, Hans Chester, David Katzeek, Nora Dauenhauer & Richard Dauenhauer (Tlingit linguist)
  • Honor Books

Middle School

  • Winner: Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers, Vol. 1 edited by Arigon Starr (Kickapoo, creator of Super Indian)and including contributions by  Theo Tso (Las Vegas Paiute), Jonathan Nelson (Diné), Kristina Bad Hand (Sičháŋǧu Lakota/Cherokee), Roy Boney Jr. (Cherokee), Lee Francis IV (Laguna Pueblo), Johnnie Diacon (Mvskoke/Creek), Weshoyot Alvitre (Tongva), Renee Nejo (Mesa Grand Band of Mission Indians), & Michael Sheyahshe (Caddo)
  • Honor Book: The Wool of Jonesywritten & illustrated by Jonathan Nelson (Diné)

Young Adult

  • Winner: #NotYourPrincess: Voices of Native American Women edited by Lisa Charleyboy (Tsilhqot’in) & Mary Beth Leatherdale
  • Honor Books
    • The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (Métis)
    • Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An Indigenous LGBT Sci-Fi Anthology edited by Hope Nicholson & including the work of Grace L. Dillon (Anishinaabe), Niigaan Sinclair (Anishinaabe), Nathan Adler (Anishinaabe), Richard Van Camp (Dene/Tłı̨chǫ), Cherie Dimaline (Métis), David A. Robertson (Swampy Cree), Daniel Heath Justice (Cherokee), Darcie Little Badger (Lipan Apache), Gwen Benaway (Annishinabe/Mètis), Mari Kurisato (Ojibwe Nakawē), & Cleo Keahna (Ojibwe/Meskwaki).
    • Fire Starters by Jen Storm (Ojibwe) & illustrated by Scott B. Henderson & Donovan Yaciuk

Arab-American Book Award, 2018

The Arab-American Book Award has been presented yearly since 2007 to books celebrating the Arab-American experience. Reading guides are available for some titles. Celebrated titles include adult works (from the scholarly to the popular) as well as works for teens and little folks. Past award winners can be found through the links at the bottom of the main page.


Winner: Salt Houses by Hala Alyan

The Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Award

The George Ellenbogen Poetry Award

Batchelder Awards, 2018

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. Emphasis is put on publishing houses here, which lets readers know who is supporting literature in translation and, by extension, a wider understanding of our world.


The Murderer’s Ape written & illustrated by Jakob Wegelius & translated from the Swedish by Peter Graves. Published by Delacorte Press/Random House Children’s/Penguin Random House.


  • Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education, written by Raphaële Frier, illustrated by Aurélia Fronty, & translated from the French by Julie Cromier. Published by Charlesbridge.
  • You Can’t Be Too Careful! written & illustrated by Roger Mello & translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. Published by Elsewhere Editions.
  • When a Wolf is Hungry written by Christine Naumann-Villemin, illustrated by Kris Di Giacomo, & translated from the French by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers. Published by Eerdmans Books for Young Readers.

Amelia Bloomer List, 2018

The Amelia Bloomer List, which honors the indomitable early feminist Amelia Bloomer, curates a yearly list of recommended feminist literature for all ages. This year, I will list the books, noting if one is in the Top Ten, rather than separating them out.

Amelia Bloomer List 2018

Early Readers: Fiction

Early Readers: Non-Fiction

Middle-Grade: Fiction

Middle-Grade: Non-Fiction

Young Adult: Fiction

Young Adult: Non-Fiction

Note that many of these books are crossovers—they are shelved anywhere from middle grades to young adult to adult collections, and can be read and enjoyed by many ages.

Américas Award (CLASP), 2018

The Américas Award has been presented yearly since 1993; the next award will be presented in 2019. It celebrates “quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.” All past winners are listed at Award Winners, and you can peruse this annotated bibliography of 2018 winners (it’s a pdf). Resources for teachers (also useful for librarians and parents!) are available. You can also follow the Américas Award on Facebook.


Honorable Mention

Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, 2018

The Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, aka 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

Adult Non-Fiction

Young Adult Literature

Children’s Literature

Picture Book

CSMCL Best Books of the Year, 2017

The Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature has, since 2013 (or maybe earlier—that’s the earliest I found on their website), compiled a list of the very best in multicultural children’s literature, from picture books through books for teens. It appears that the list is presented the following year; hence, there is as yet no 2018 list, while the 2017 is available, and listed here. Submission guidelines are posted, and the list can also be downloaded as a pdf (check the bottom left corner of the 2017 page). The original list includes considerably more information, so I strongly suggest heading on over. The CSMCL is an amazing resource, and I totally suggest following it—through its website, its Facebook page, its Twitter, and its Pinterest. You won’t regret it.

And, in this case, you get three extras: three “accidental” links on the original, all of which were meant to lead to one of the books on this list but which instead lead to these three, which are also excellent:

Children’s Africana Book Award (CABA), 2018

The CABA awards have been presented yearly since 1992. They celebrate the best in literature about Africa for children. Past winners for young children are listed going back to ’92; past winners for middle graders and teens are available as well. This year, an adult book has joined the awards party—welcome, adult books!

Best Books: Young Children

Honor Books: Young Children

Older Readers

Best New Book: Adults

Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue (Cameroon)

Coretta Scott King Book Awards, 2018

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards, which commemorate Coretta Scott King and Dr. Martin Luther King, have been presented yearly since 1970. A complete list of past winners since ’70 is available. The awards honor outstanding work by African-American authors and illustrators.

Author Award

Illustrator Award

The John Steptoe Award for New Talent

Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

Eloise Greenfield, poet and author

Dolly Gray Children’s Literature Award, 2018

The Dolly Gray Children’s Book Awards honor books “that appropriately portray individuals with developmental disabilities.” It is presented biennially by the Division on Autism and Other Disabilities of the Council for Exceptional Children. 2018 winners are listed below.

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award, 2018

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 of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.” Prior award winners can be found via several access points, all linked off the award’s landing page. And, in case you’re wondering: the website has moved! And the language used has changed, just slightly.

Books for Younger Children

Books for Older Children

Ezra Jack Keats Book Award, 2018

The Ezra Jack Keats Book Award honors outstanding emergent illustrators and authors of children’s books. Since its inception as a yearly award in 1985, it has grown to include the New Illustrator Award (2001) and to include Honor Books in 2012. Previous award winners are listed, and you can follow the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation on Facebook and Twitter.

New Writer Award

New Illustrator Award

Lambda Literary Award (aka the Lammys), 2018

The Lambda Literary Awards have been awarded yearly since 1989 for excellence in LGBTQ literature. A complete list of all 2018 award winners is available, as is complete list of 2018 finalists is available, so happy Lammy reading!

Lesbian Fiction

Gay Fiction

Bisexual Fiction

Transgender Fiction

LGBTQ Non-Fiction

Bisexual Non-Fiction

Transgender Nonfiction

Lesbian Poetry

Gay Poetry

Transgender Poetry

Lesbian Mystery

Gay Mystery

Lesbian Memoir/Biography

Gay Memoir/Biograpy

Lesbian Romance

Gay Romance

LGBTQ Anthology

LGBTQ Children’s/Young Adult


LGBTQ Erotica

LGBTQ Graphic Novels


LGBTQ Studies

NAACP Image Awards, 2018

The NAACP Image Awards have been presented yearly since 1967. The winners and nominees listed below are from the 49th Annual Image Awards Ceremony, which took place on Martin Luther King Day, 2018. I list only literary winners but do suggest checking out the entire spread, provided here by Hollywood Reporter (with winners, nominees included) and here by the NAACP (nominees).

Outstanding Literary Work: Fiction

Outstanding Literary Work: Nonfiction

Outstanding Literary Work: Début Author

Outstanding Literary Work: Biography/Autobiography

Outstanding Literary Work: Instructional

Outstanding Literary Work: Poetry

Outstanding Literary Work: Children

Outstanding Literary Work: Young Adult

National Jewish Book Awards, 2017

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 are listed (it’s quite a list).

2018 award winners have yet to be announced (submissions close in early October). All winners listed below are 2017 winners and finalists. There appears to have been no JBC Modern Jewish Literature Award this year; instead, a Mentorship Award was given, to Gary Rosenblatt.

Jewish Book of the Year: Everett Family Foundation Award

Lioness: Golda Meir and the Nation of Israel by Francine Klagsbrun

American Jewish Studies: the Celebrate 350 Award

Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir: The Krauss Family Award in Memory of Simon & Shulamith (Sofi) Goldberg

Book Club Award: The Miller Family Award in Memory of Helen Dunn Weinstein and June Keit Miller

Children’s Literature

Contemporary Jewish Life and Practice: The Myra H. Kraft Memorial Award

Debut Fiction: The Goldberg Prize

Education and Jewish Identity: In Memory of Dorothy Kripke

Fiction: the JJ Greenberg Memorial Award

History: The Gerrard and Ella Berman Memorial Award

Holocaust: In Memory of Ernest W. Michel

Modern Jewish Thought and Experience: Dorot Foundation Award in Memory of Joy Ungerleider Mayerson

Poetry: the Berru Award in Memory of Ruth and Bernie Weinflash

Scholarship: Nahum M. Sarna Memorial Award

Sephardic Culture: Mimi S. Frank Award in Memory of Becky Levy

Visual Arts

Women’s Studies: Barbara Dobkin Award

Writing Based on Archival Materials: The JDC-Herbert Katzki Award

Young Adult

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Middle Eastern Book Award, 2018

I am ashamed to say I just discovered this one this year, while doing collection development. It honors children’s and young adult books that “contribute meaningfully to understanding of the Middle East” (and check their page for the full definition of what constitutes “Middle East” for this award) and has been presented yearly since 1999 by the Middle East Outreach Council. Its sister awards—the Américas Award, the CABA, and the South Asia Book Award—have been on this list since the first year I did it; you’ll find them here as well. A list of all winners can be downloaded as a pdf from the site.

New Voices Book Award for Authors of Color 2017Lee & Low

The New Voices Award is presented in January for the previous year; hence, I will provide the 2017-2018 winner, rather than the soon-to-be-announced 2018 winner. Information on the award is available. Publishing house and award-giver Lee & Low specialize in diverse materials and are an excellent choice to follow for those interested in representative works.

  • New Voices Award Winner: Maham Khwaja for The Journey
  • New Voices Award Honor: Kelly J. Baptiste for The Electric Slide

Notable Books for a Global Society, 2018

Notable Books for a Global Society is an offshoot of the Children’s Literature & Reading Special Interest Group of the International Literacy Association. It honors books which encourage understanding of the world’s people and cultures. All winners, including prior years, are available through this landing page. Lists are in pdf format. The 2018 list (also a pdf) includes annotations for each book; it is definitely worth a look. Books are listed alphabetically and pertain to multiple different age ranges. Links below are to Goodreads pages.

Pura Belpré Award, 2018

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, biennial from 1996-2008 and annual since 2009, are listed.

2018 Author Award

2018 Illustrator Award

Rainbow Book List, 2018

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.” Booklists since 2008 (the first year the list was compiled) are available; for whatever reason, the 2018 is house in a different spot.

Tómas Rivera Book Award, 2018

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 (beginning in 1995) are available as a list; they can also be downloaded as a Microsoft Word document. Awards are given for younger readers, older readers: middle grade category, and older readers: young adult.

Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature, 2018

The Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature has been awarded yearly since 2006 by the Jewish Book Council. It celebrates “outstanding writing of Jewish interest.” A list of all winners is available.

Schneider Family Book Award, 2018

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. Due to changes at the American Library Association, it is no longer quite as easy to find previous winners; however, at least some can be accessed through this new database tool (this one might even take you right there, although the ALA’s links do not, alas, always work). The award further maintains a “Select Bibliography of Children’s Books About the Disability Experience,” available at the link as a downloadable pdf. No finalists or honor books are listed for the Schenider Family Book Award. (As I have discussed previously, and will discuss again, I am dyslexic from a long line of dyslexics; this award is very personally important to me.)

Scholastic Asian Book Award

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. It is generally awarded every two years; however, despite searching multiple places and spaces for the 2018 winners (or even for a longlist!), I have been unable to turn up anything. 2016 winners are listed in Beyond the Caldecott & the Nobel: Diverse Literary Award Winners 2017; if (or when) I locate this year’s winners, I will update.

Skipping Stones Honor Award

The books on the Skipping Stones Honors List have won Skipping Stones’ honor award; selected books encourage a better understanding of the world’s people, cultures, and places. Given the focus of this list, I am including only these “Multicultural & International Books.” This portion of the list can also be accessed as a jpg. The books, below, are organized alphabetically by author’s surname (or, in the event that no author is listed, by the first word of the title).

South Asia Book Award (SABA), 2018

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. A list of past award winners is available. I’ve broken up this year award’s into picture books, middle grade books, and young adult, listing winners, honor books, and highly commended books in the same thread; because I’m a librarian, it makes more sense to me, though it might not make sense to everyone.

Stonewall Book Awards

The Stonewall Book Awards, which celebrate “hallmark works in GLBT publishing,” have been awarded yearly since 1971; all honored books since 1971 are listed on this massive page (you can sort it, kinda). They are awarded by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table of the American Library Association.

Barbara Gittings Literature Award 2018

Israel Fishman Nonfiction Award

Mike Morgan & Larry Romans Children’s & Young Adult Literature Award

Sydney Taylor Book Award

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 are listed on downloadable pdfs, linked from the main page. 2018 winners and notable books are listed on this pdf. (They really love pdfs.)

Younger Readers

Older Readers (aka Middle-Grade)

Teen Readers

James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award

The James Tiptree, Jr. Literary Award (named for the science fiction writer James Tiptree, Jr., who was known for deeply understanding women, which might have 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.

2018 award winners will be announced in spring 2019; listed winners are from 2017. Information on the winner is available; you can also check out the honor list (previously called the shortlist), the long list, and, finally, a complete list of all contenders.

Walter Awards, 2018

The Walter Awards, now in their third year, are named for the prolific, multiple-award-winning writer Walter Dean Myers and run by the We Need Diverse Books initiative. For those interested in nominations and what qualifies a book to be a Walter contender, check out WNDB’s Walter Award FAQ. An archive of newspaper coverage is available. In immensely exciting news, the award is still growing: plans are afoot to bring it to middle grade and eventually picture books as well.

Teen Category

Younger Readers Category

Carter G. Woodson Book Award

The Carter G. Woodson Book Awards have been presented annually by the National Council for the Social Studies since 1974. The awards celebrate excellence in literature for young people. A list of all winners and honor books is available.

Elementary Level

Middle Grade

Secondary Level

Prior Years

More Information, &ct

A coda

I’ll try to get out some suggestions, including lots of light-weight diverse books that I have enjoyed this year.