Award-Winning Books for Kids, Teens & Adults

Illinois Readers’ Choice Awards

Monarch (Grades K–3)

The Illinois School Library Media Association’s Monarch Award is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children’s books, authors and illustrators.

Bluestem (Grades 3–5)

The Illinois School Library Media Association’s Bluestem Award is designed for students who are ready for longer titles than the Monarch Awards recognizes, but not quite ready for the sophistication of some of the Rebecca Caudill titles.

Rebecca Caudill (Grades 4–8)

The Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Award recognizes 20 outstanding books per year for Grades 4–8. Rebecca Caudill was an Illinois writer who won many awards and honors. Her children’s books are known for their authentic depictions of settings and characters, and for evoking the lives of pioneers during eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America.

Abraham Lincoln (Grades 9–12)

The Illinois School Library Media Association’s Abraham Lincoln Award is awarded to the book that earns the highest number of student votes. This award is designed to encourage high school students to read for pleasure and to become lifelong readers.

National Awards

Caldecott Medal (Kids)

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.

Newbery Medal (Kids)

The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association. The award is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

National Book Award (All Ages)

The National Book Award is an American literary prize administered by the National Book Foundation. Prizes are awarded in Fiction, Nonfiction, Poetry, and Young People’s Literature.

Printz Award (Teen)

The Michael L. Printz Award annually honors the best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit, each year. In addition, the Printz Committee names up to four honor books, which also represent the best writing in young adult literature.

Pulitzer Prize (Adult)

The Pulitzer Prize’s beautiful website details its history as well as its yearly awards.

  • Fiction recognizes distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.
  • History recognizes a distinguished and appropriately documented book on the history of the United States.
  • Biography and Autobiography recognizes a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author.
  • General Non-Fiction recognizes a distinguished book of non-fiction by an American author.
  • Poetry recognizes a distinguished volume of original verse by an American author.