The Apache Pow Wow

American Library Association’s Youth Media Award

Jeslyn Chou, Staff Writer

Everyone has had the predicament of finding a good book that will keep you engaged and interested. Whether it’s for English class or just for your free time, it can be difficult to find a book you can’t put down. The American Library Association (ALA) recently announced the top books, videos and audiobooks for children and young adults and your next best read may be on this list.

Before we dive into the award-winning books, let’s take a look into what ALA is. This association was founded on Oct. 6, 1876, making it the oldest and largest library association in the world. Some of their core values include, but are not limited to, “extending and expanding library services in America and around the world” and “equity, diversity, and inclusion”.

The Youth Media Awards are an annual celebration of books, videos, and other outstanding materials for children and teens. This announcement also celebrates the esteemed Newbery, Caldecott, Printz, and Coretta Scott King Book Awards. The winners are selected by various librarians and other literature and media experts across the country and the announcements were held on Jan. 28 in the Washington State Convention Center.

Our very own librarian, Ms. Lesley Ogle, is very familiar with the award-winning books and has her favorites and recommendations. One of her favorite books from the list is Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo.  This book won the Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults. According to Ms. Ogle, this award recognizes the best young adult novel of the year, and may be the most highly regarded award on the list. Poet X follows the story of a young girl in Harlem, New York, struggling to find her own voice, identity, and religion, free of her mother’s own sentiments. The book is written in verse, similar to a poem or a song. She also describes the novel as a fast read, so for those that tend to lose interest in lengthier books, this is definitely a good suggestion. This book is currently available for borrowing in the AHS library.

Another novel recommended by Ms. Ogle is Sadie written by Courtney Summers. Unlike the book mentioned before, Sadie is an audiobook that won the Odyssey Award for best audiobook produced for children and young adults. The story is based on a girl named Sadie and her determination to find the person responsible for her sister’s death. Throughout the audiobook, there are various interviews, songs, and even ads that play that further immerse the listener into the plot. The audiobook is available on Amazon and popular audiobook services such Audible.

Although Ms. Ogle has not read this novel, she recommends Darius the Great Is Not Okay written by Adib Khorram. The coming-of-age novel is about a young boy named Darius and his struggles to please his family and fit into American and Iranian culture.The book won the 2019 Morris Award, and according to Ms. Ogle, it’s worth a read. The book is also currently available for check out in the AHS library.

While it can be difficult to find a good book to read, hopefully these recommendations and the list of award-winning books can aid in your journey to find a captivating story!

Photo courtesy of ALA.ORG

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American Library Association’s Youth Media Award