2020 Adult and Youth Award Books

For a full list of the ALA winners, click here and contact us at 559-438-1561 for purchase information.

photo Lost Children Archive (2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction)
written by Valeria Luiselli

Intense and timely, Valeria Luiselli’s novel tracks husband-and-wife audio documentarians as they travel cross-country with their two children and deep into the painful history of the Apache people and the present immigration crisis on the Southwest border, while freshly exploring themes of conquest and remembrance, and powerfully conveying the beauty of the haunted landscape.

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photo Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World's Greatest Nuclear Disaster (2020 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction)
written by Adam Higginbotham

A a thoroughly researched, fast-paced, engrossing, and revelatory account of what led up to and what followed the explosion of Reactor Four at the Chernobyl nuclear-power plant on April 26, 1986, focusing on the people involved as they faced shocking circumstances that are having complex and significant global consequences.

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photo New Kid (2020 Newbery Medal)
written by Jerry Craft

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

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photo Undefeated (2020 Caldecott Medal)
illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text by author Kwame Alexander is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.

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