Serving Up the 2020 Youth Media Awards

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Matthew and Nicole discuss the results of the 2020 Youth Media Awards, highlight some of their favorite books recognized, and how this awards year could impact the future of publishing. Joining is special guest Dr. Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez, who served on the 2018 Pura Belpré Award committee.

This episode is sponsored by:

Get Booked

Middle School Bites by Steven Banks with illustrations by Mark Fearing, published by Holiday House

Book Riot Insiders

Subscribe to the podcast via RSS, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or Stitcher.

To get even more kidlit news and recommendations, sign up for our The Kids Are All Right newsletter!


2020 Youth Media Award Winners

Dr. Emily R. Aguiló-Pérez


Picture Books:

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Kadir Nelson (Caldecott Medal)

Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi’idim by Brenda J. Child (Red Lake Ojibwe), translated into Ojibwe by Gordon Jourdain (Lac La Croix First Nation), illustrated by Jonathan Thunder (Red Lake Ojibwe) (American Indian Youth Literature Award Picture Book Winner)

When Aidan Became a Brother, written by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Stonewall Book Award Winner)

Just Ask! Be Different, Be Brave, Be You, written by Sonia Sotomayor, illustrated by Rafael López (Schneider Family Book Award for Young Children)

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal (Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award Winner)

Middle Grade:

New Kid, written by Jerry Craft (John Newbery Medal)

Other Words for Home, written by Jasmine Warga (Newbery Honor)

Award-Winning Books from Past Guests

Gittel’s Journey, by Lesléa Newman, illustrated by Amy June Bates (The Sydney Taylor Book Award Honor)

Stargazing, written by Jen Wang and published by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group (Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Children’s Literature Winner)

An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States for Young People, written by Debbie Reese (Nambé Owingeh) and Jean Mendoza, adapted from the adult book by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (American Indian Youth Literature Award Young Adult Book Honor)

My Papi Has a Motorcycle, illustrated by Zeke Peña, written by Isabel Quintero (Pura Belpré Award Honor)

Genesis Begins Again, written by Alicia D. Williams (Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Author Award, Newbery Honor)

Let us know what books or topics you’ve been sharing this week, or if you have a suggestion or book recommendation for an upcoming episode. Find us on email ( or Twitter (@MatthewWinner and @ittybittyny).