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.

View Our Monarch Nominee Collection

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.

View Our Bluestem Nominee Collection

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.

View Our Caudill Nominee Collection

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.

Coretta Scott King Award (Kids & Teens)

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values. The award commemorates the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and honors his wife, Mrs. Coretta Scott King, for her courage and determination to continue the work for peace and world brotherhood.

Pura Belpré Award (Kids & Teens)

The award is named after Pura Belpré, the first Latina librarian at the New York Public Library. The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented annually to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking, an ALA affiliate.

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.