YALSA 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant YA Readers

YALSA, the Young Adult Library Services Association, has released their 2021 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers list. The list has 64 titles on it selected from 81 nominations. The list is specifically aimed at titles that encourage reading among teens who dislike reading for any reason. I find that this list contains titles you won’t see on other award lists that teens will love and read. Here is the selected Top Ten:

Be Not Far from Me by Mindy McGinnis

Found by Joseph Bruchac

Golden Arm by Carl Deuker

Heartstopper Vol. 1 by Alice Oseman

Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Danica Novgorodoff

The Loop by Ben Oliver

#NoEscape by Gretchen McNeil

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yuself Salaam

Snapdragon by Kat Leyh

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

2021 Walter Dean Myers Awards

We Need Diverse Books has announced the winner and honor books for the 2021 Walter Dean Myers Awards for Outstanding Children’s Literature. The awards are given in two categories: Teen (ages 13-18) and Younger Readers (ages 9-13). Each category has one winner and two honor books:

TEEN WINNER

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

TEEN HONOR BOOKS

Almost American Girl by Robin Ha

We Are Not Free by Traci Chee

YOUNGER READERS WINNER

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

YOUNGER READERS HONOR BOOKS

Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender

Newbery Medal

HONOR BOOKS

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team Cover

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Michele Wood

Fighting Words by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

We Dream of Space by Erin Entrada Kelly

A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat

WINNER

When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller

Caldecott Medal

HONOR BOOKS

A Place Inside of Me by Noa Denmon, written by Zetta Elliott

The Cat Man of Aleppo by Yuko Shimizu, written by Irene Latham and Karim Shamsi-Basha

Me & Mama by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Outside In by Cindy Derby, written by Deborah Underwood

WINNER

We Are Water Protectors by Michaela Goade, written by Carole Lindstrom

Geisel Award

The Geisel Award is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers published in English in the United States during the preceding year.

HONOR BOOKS

The Bear in My Family by Maya Tatsukawa

Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom! by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Nina Mata

What About Worms!? (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!) Cover

What About Worms!? by Ryan T. Higgins

Where’s Baby? by Anne Hunter

WINNER

See the Cat: Three Stories about a Dog by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

Early Learning Digital Media Award

HONOR TITLE

Sesame Street Family Play: Caring for Each Other

WINNER

The Imagine Neighborhood

Sibert Medal

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal is awarded annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished informational book published in the United States in English during the preceding year. 

HONOR BOOKS

How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure by John Rocco

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys' Soccer Team Cover

All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team by Christina Soontornvat

WINNER

Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming

Mildred L. Batchelder Award

The Batchelder Award is awarded to a United States publisher for a children’s book considered to be the most outstanding of those books originating in a country other than the United States and in a language other than English and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States during the preceding year.

HONOR BOOK

Catherine’s War by Julia Billet, illustrated by Claire Fauvel

WINNER

Telephone Tales by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali