Picks for Kids

Award Winners
  • Caldecott Medal

    The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.
    The 2019 Caldecott Award winner is Hello Lighthouse, illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.


  • Newbery Medal

    The Newbery Medal was named for eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery. It is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

The 2019 Newbery Medal was awarded to Merci Suárez Changes Gears, written by Meg Medina, published by Candlewick Press.

  • Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Awards

    Rebecca Caudill Young Readers’ Book Award is an annual award given to the author of the book voted most outstanding by students in grades four through eight in participating Illinois schools.

    • Rebecca Caudill 2020 nominee list

      The award is named in honor of Rebecca Caudill, who lived and wrote in Urbana, Illinois, for nearly 50 years. The award is given in recognition for her literary talent and the universal appeal of her books which have touched the hearts of many children and young adults.

  • The Monarch Award: Illinois’ K-3 Readers’ Choice Award

    The Monarch Award is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children’s books, authors and illustrators. The program is open to all K-3 age children in Illinois.

    • Monarch 2020 nominee list

      In April 2003, ISLMA approved the establishment and support of The Monarch Award: Illinois’ K-3 Readers’ Choice Award. The name Monarch was chosen because of its familiarity to K-3 children and to symbolize the growth, change and freedom that becoming a reader brings.

  • The Bluestem Award

    In the spring of 2008, the ISLMA board approved establishing a committee to explore the possibility of a new book award that would fit between the Monarch and Rebecca Caudill Awards. The ISLMA board approved the Bluestem Award at their October meeting.

    • Bluestem 2020 nominee list

      The award is designed for students in grades 3-5 who are ready for longer titles than found on the Monarch list, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles. Named in honor of Big Bluestem, which is the state prairie grass, the award may include both timeless classics and current titles, as well as books that have appeared on Monarch and Rebecca Caudill lists.

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