Award Winning YA Books and Audiobooks

Do you like to read or listen to award-winning books? American Library Association announced the top books, digital media, and audio books for young adults of 2021! 

Michael L. Printz Award for excellence in literature written for young adults: 

Everything Sad Is Untrue (a true story) by Daniel Nayeri, is the 2021 Printz Award winner! The Michael L. Printz Award is an American Library Association literary award that annually recognizes the “best book written for teens, based entirely on its literary merit.”

This story is about a boy who flees Iran as a small child, detours through a refugee camp in Italy, then winds up in middle school in Oklahoma, where he is met with both curiosity and suspicion.

The four Printz Honor titles were:

“Apple (Skin to the Core),” by Eric Gansworth, “Dragon Hoops,” created by Gene Luen Yang, color by Lark Pien, “Every Body Looking,” by Candice Iloh and “We Are Not Free,” by Traci Chee.

The 2021 winner of Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for young adults is Kekla Magoon! Margaret A. Edwards was an educator and librarian who was at the forefront of the movement for young adult services in the 20th century. Some of the winner Kekla Magoon’s books are: “X: A Novel,” co-written by Ilyasah Shabazz “How It Went Down,” “The Rock and the River” and “Fire in the Streets.”

The Odyssey Award is an annual award given for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The winner of the 2021 Odyssey Award is “Kent State,” by Deborah Wiles and narrated by Christopher Gebauer, Lauren Ezzo, Christina Delaine, Johnny Heller, Roger Wayne, Korey Jackson, and David de Vries.

Kent State is a free-verse novel that explores the killing of four American students who were protesting the Vietnam War.

Here are the other teen Odyssey Honor Audiobooks that were also selected:

“Clap When You Land,” written by Elizabeth Acevedo and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo and Melania-Luisa Marte; “Fighting Words,” written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley and narrated by Bahni Turpin; “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You,” written by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and narrated by Jason Reynolds

YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults

YALSA stands for Young Adult Library Services Association. “The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh,” written by Candace Fleming, is their 2021 Excellence in Nonfiction winner.

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh is the biography of an American hero who was deeply flawed.

The four other books that were finalists for the award were:  

“All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team,” written by Christina Soontornvat, “The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival,” written by Amra Sabic-El-Rayess with Laura L. Sullivan, “How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure,” written and illustrated by John Rocco and “You Call This Democracy?: How to Fix Our Democracy and Deliver Power to the People,” written by Elizabeth Rusch.

The William C. Morris Award is for a debut book published by a first-time author writing for teens.

The 2021 winner was “If These Wings Could Fly,” written by Kyrie McCauley.

If These Wing Could Fly is about a girl dealing with domestic violence, first love and her town in chaos due to thousands of crows.

Four other books were finalists for the award:  

“Black Girl Unlimited: The Remarkable Story of a Teenage Wizard,” written by Echo Brown, “The Black Kids,” written by Christina Hammonds Reed, “It Sounded Better in My Head,” written by Nina Kenwood and “Woven in Moonlight,” written by Isabel Ibañez.

If you enjoyed this list, check out the rest of the award winning books here.