The Curriculum Center Awards books are winners of one or more of the following awards for excellence in children’s literature: Caldecott Medal, Carter G. Woodson Award, Charlotte Zolotow Award, Coretta Scott King Award, E.B. White Read Aloud Award, Jane Addams Award, National Book Award, Newbery Medal, Printz Award, Robert F. Sibert Medal, Schneider Family Book Award, Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Stonewall Book Award, and Theodor Seuss Geisel Medal.
The Caldecott Medal is one of the best-known awards for children’s literature. It is an annual award for artists who illustrate picture books for children and administered by the American Library Association. It is named in honor of Randolph Caldecott (1846-1886), an influential illustrator of children’s books whose illustrations adorn the medal itself. This award was first given in 1938, and in 1971 the committee awarding the medal began to recognize additional books for “Honors” so that for the years from 1971 on there may be several Caldecott Honor books in addition to the Medal winner.
The Carter G. Woodson Book Award was established in 1974 by the National Council for the Social Studies to honor social science books for young readers that depict ethnicity in the United States. The purpose of this award is to encourage the writing, publishing, and dissemination of outstanding social science books for young readers that treat topics related to ethnic minorities and relations sensitively and accurately. Each year, three books, one elementary (K-6), one middle (5-8) and one secondary (7-12), receive the Carter G. Woodson Book Award and three outstanding runner-up books will be designated as Carter G. Woodson Honor Books. The award is named in honor of Carter Godwin Woodson (1875-1950), and American historian, journalist, and founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History.
The Charlotte Zolotow Award is awarded each year to the author of a picture book for young children (up to age 7) written in English and originally published in the U.S. It was establish in 1998 by Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a children’s literature library of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. It is named in honor of author and editor Charlotte Zolotow (1915-2013).
The Coretta Scott King Award is given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults. Awardees are honored for showing an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award was founded in 1970 to commemorate the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. and honor the work of his wife Coretta Scott King. Beginning in 1995, an award for authors and/or illustrators with three or fewer publications has also been given in most years as the John Steptoe New Talent Award. Updates are given at the award’s blog.
The Association of Booksellers for Children (ABC) established the E.B. White Read Aloud Award in 2004 to honor books that embody the read-aloud standard set by beloved author E.B. White (best known for the novel Charlotte’s Web). Beginning in 2006, two awards were given: one for picture books and one for older readers. Because voting for the award is by done by all members at the ABC’s annual meeting, in some years there have been ties resulting in two awards in a given category.
The Jane Addams Peace Association recognizes 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.” The award was established in 1953 by the Women’s International League for Peace (WILP) as a single annual award. In 1989 the award was first given to multiple titles, and in most years since there have been two awards, one for younger and one for older readers. Noted pacifist Jane Addams (1860-1935) was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and the first president of the WILP.
The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature “honors the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit”. A committee selected by the Young Adult Library Services Association chooses a winner and up to four honor books each year. The award was established in 1999 and is named for a school librarian at Topeka West High School, an active member of YALSA and advocate for YA books.
National Book Award: Young People’s Literature category
The National Book Awards, which celebrate the best writing in America, were established in 1950, and have been administered by the National Book Foundation since 1989. There are several categories of literature which may receive the award (Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, Translated Literature, and others over the years) but the Curriculum Center collects the winners of the Young People’s Literature category. A panel of five judges is assembled each year, based on nominations from past winners, finalists, and judges. Eligible books must have been written by an American citizen or resident who has lived in the U.S. for at least 10 years and, if legally able, actively pursuing citizenship. The judges choose a “longlist” of ten titles, from whom five “finalists” and a then a winner are chosen.
The Newbery Medal, established in 1921, is the oldest award granted to children’s books. It is awarded by the Children’s Librarians Section of the American Library Association with the stated purpose: "To encourage original creative work in the field of books for children. To emphasize to the public that contributions to the literature for children deserve similar recognition to poetry, plays, or novels. To give those librarians, who make it their life work to serve children's reading interests, an opportunity to encourage good writing in this field." The award committees could also recognize additional titles as “Newbery Honor” books, and there are Honors awarded for most, but not all, years. The award is named in honor of John Newbery (1713-1767), an English publisher and bookseller known as the “Father of Children’s Literature” for his innovations in making children’s literature a profitable part of the literary market.
Since 2001, The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal has been awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. It is given for a distinguished factual book published in the United States in English. Both the author(s) and illustrator(s) named on the title page are awarded the medal, and additional books are distinguished with an “Honor” award. The medal is given to factual, as opposed to fiction books, and the committee deciding winners are directed to consider the quality of the book’s “overall accuracy, documentation, organization, visual material, and book design”. Sibert was the president of book-binding service, and the award recognizes his contributions to establishing standards for book-binding.
This annual award, given by the American Library Association, was established in 2004 and honors authors and illustrators for excellence in the portrayal of disability in children’s or young adult literature. It is named for philanthropist and advocate Dr. Katherine Schneider, who funds the award. Schneider was the first blind student to graduate from the Kalamazoo Public School system. To be eligible for the award, the book “must portray some aspect of living with a disability, whether the disability is physical, mental, or emotional.” The complete award criteria and more background on the award is detailed in the award manual here: https://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/schneiderawardmanual-2-2.pdf
Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction
The Scott O’Dell award is been given for outstanding historical fiction for children and young adults. It was established by Scott O’Dell in 1982, and first awarded in 1984. Scott O’Dell (1898-1989) wanted to promote historical fiction as a genre, and was himself the recipient of the Newbery Award in 1961 for his book The Island of Blue Dolphins. O’Dell was honored by various organizations and Universities for other books as well.
The Stonewall Book Awards have been awarded since 1971 to books with exceptional merit relating to the LGBTIA+ experience. The Bierce Curriculum Center collects the Stonewall Book Award-Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award (as opposed to the separate Stonewall Awards for adult literature and adult non-fiction). A committee of the American Library Association’s Rainbow Round Table judges nominated books selects five finalists in each category. The Children’s and Young Adult Literature Awards were established in 2010 and changed in 2012 to the “Stonewall Book Award-Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award” in honor of the couple’s gift to the endowment. Some years have had two winners, distinguishing a Children’s and YA award, but other years have had a single winner.
Beginning in 2006, the Geisel Award has been given each year to the authors and illustrators of the most distinguished book for beginning readers. The award is sponsored by the ALA’s ALSC, and the eligibility requirements are that the authors and illustrators must be citizens or residents of the United States and the book must be an original work for beginning readers. It is named in honor of Theodor Geisel, best known under the pen name Dr. Seuss. Additional books may win honors each year as well.
Jane Addams Peace Association. “What is the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award,” accessed July 21, 2021. https://www.janeaddamschildrensbookaward.org/book-award/
 American Library Association. “The Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature,” accessed August 9, 2021. https://www.ala.org/yalsa/printz
 American Library Association. “John Newbery Medal,” accessed August 9, 2021. https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/newbery
 Association for Library Service to Children. “Robert F. Sifert Informational Book Medal,” accessed 9/8/2021. https://www.ala.org/alsc/awardsgrants/bookmedia/sibert
 Schneider Family Book Award Manual. American Library Association, June 2014. https://www.ala.org/aboutala/sites/ala.org.aboutala/files/content/schneiderawardmanual-2-2.pdf
The winning books are arranged in the first range of shelves in the Curriculum Center and can be readily identified by the blue call number labels.
In the UA Libraries Catalog, these awards are all identified as added titles. Searching for each award as a title will show you a list of the awards by year. The awards are designated in the UAL Catalog as shown below. Clicking the terms in the second column will open a search in the catalog for easy browsing.
|Award||Title search to use in UAL Catalog|
|Caldecott award books|
|Carter G. Woodson Award||Carter G. Woodson award books|
|Charlotte Zolotow Award||Charlotte Zolotow award books|
|Coretta Scott King Award||Coretta Scott King award books|
|E.B. White Read Aloud Award|
|Jane Addams Award||Jane Addams award books|
|Michael L. Printz Award||Michael L. Printz award books|
|National Book Award||National Book award books|
|Newbery Medal||Newbery award books|
|Robert F. Sibert Medal|
|Schneider Family Book Award||
Schneider Family award books (young children)
Schneider Family award books (middle grade)
|Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction||Scott O'Dell award books|
|Stonewall Book Award||Stonewall award books|
|Theodor Seuss Geisel Award|