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Quirky and Fun Awards for Kid’s Books

awards for kids books

Here are six quirky, fun awards for kid’s books. The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award and the E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards are given to books that are fun to read with kids. The horror writers and mystery writers associations award kid’s titles in their genres. These awards even sound fun: the Nerdies celebrate the love of books and the Undies highlight the design of book jackets and case wraps. The Mock Newbery isn’t an award, strickly speaking. It is a blog about all things related to the Newbery Award, and they try to predict which title will win the honor.


The Anna Dewdney Read Together Award

Given by: Every Child a Reader and Penguin Young Readers

This annual prize is for a picture book that is fun to read aloud and sparks “compassion, empathy and connection.” It is named in honor of the late Anna Dewdney (1965–2016), author and illustrator of the Llama Llama series. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • picture book
  • read aloud

Past Winners

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld (Penguin Young Readers/Dial Books),
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat (Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group/Roaring Brook Press)


Bram Stoker Award

Given by: Horror Writer’s Association

In honor of Dracula author Bram Stoker, any work of horror first published in English can be considered for an award during the year in which it was first published. The exact categories can change. Books can be nominated by a Horror Writer’s Association member, or can be nominated by a member of the jury. Active members of the association will vote to produce a list of nominees, and then the winners. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • horror
  • graphic novel
  • YA

Past Winners

Oware Mosaic by Nzondi (Omnium Gatherum) ,
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White (Delacorte Press)


E.B. White Read Aloud Award

Given by: American Booksellers Association

“Yearly award given to a book that is most likely to be sold to a customer asking ‘Can you suggest something that my family and I can read together?’” Members of the ABA can recommend one title. An award is given for a picture book and a middle reader. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • middle grade reader
  • picture book
  • read aloud

Past Winners

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion),
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illus.) (Candlewick)


The Edgar Awards

Given by: Mystery Writers of America

Each spring, Mystery Writers of America present the Edgar Awards, named for writer Edgar Allen Poe. Mystery, crime, suspense, and intrigue books are eligible. They must have been published for the first time in the U.S. during the previous calendar year. Books from non-U.S. publishers are eligible if they are widely available in bookstores in the U.S. (Special order titles would not qualify). More about the award ▹

Focus

  • early reader
  • hardcover
  • middle grade
  • mystery
  • paperback
  • YA

Past Winners

The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster by Cary Fagan (Penguin Random House),
Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer (Tom Doherty Associates - Tor Teen)


Nerdy Book Awards

Given by: The Nerdy Book Club

The Nerdy Book Club is a group blog site and podcast by and for people who love children’s books. Anyone can nominate up to five books in each of eight categories by filling out a form. The books must have been published during the award year. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • early reader
  • graphic novel
  • fiction
  • middle grade
  • nonfiction
  • picture book
  • poetry
  • YA

Past Winners

A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers),
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker, illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (Henry Holt and Co.)


Heavy Medal, a Mock Newbery Blog

Given by: SLJ/Heavy Medal Blog

Not an award, but a blog on School Library Journal's website about the Newbery Award. From September to January they discuss the award and the possible contenders. The members of the Heavy Medal Committee select a Mock Newbery winner from blog reader's nominations. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • children’s books
  • middle grade
  • picture books

Past Winners

Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow Books),
Endling: The Last by Katherine Applegate (Harper Collins Children's Books)


The Undies

Given by: Carter Higgins & Travis Jonker

Author/Illustrator Higgins and Author/Librarian Jonker select a list of books from the current year whose case covers reveal a surprising design when the dust jacket is removed. They open the list up for a popular vote to choose the best of the year. More about the award ▹

Focus

  • design
  • hardcover
  • picture book

Nominated in 2020

In A Jar, by Deborah Marcero (Penguin Random House),
Ducks! by Deborah Underwood; illustrations by T. L. McBeth (Henry Holt & Company)


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