2012 Newbery, Caldecott Awards for Best Children's Books Announced

Pin It

The top books, video and audiobooks for children and young adults for 2012 have been announced!

It is a shocker!

The best of the best! You will be excited to learn about these great new books chosen by the American Library Association (ALA) at its mid-winter meeting in Dallas today.

Some of the 2012 award winners that caught my eye are:

  • Most outstanding contribution to children's literature (John Newbery Medal):
Dead End in Norvelt
(author: Jack Gantos, publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux)

Two Newbery Honor Books were also named: 

Inside Out and Back Again
(author: Thanhha Lai, publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books)

Breaking Stalin’s Nose
(author and illustrator: Eugene Yelchin, publisher: Henry Holt and Company)

  • Most distinguished American picture book for children (Randolph Caldecott Medal): 

A Ball For Daisy
(author and illustrator: Chris Raschka, publisher: Schwartz and Wade Books)

Three Caldecott Honor Books were also named: 

(author and illustrator: John Rocco, publisher: Hyperion Books)

Grandpa Green
(author and illustrator: Lane Smith, publisher: Roaring Brook Press)

Me . . . Jane
(author and illustrator: Patrick McDonnell, publisher: Little, Brown and Company)

  • Most distinguished informational book for children (Robert F. Sibert Medal):

Balloons over Broadway: 
The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade 
(author and illustrator: Melissa Sweet, publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children)

  • Most distinguished beginning reader book (Theodor Seuss Geisel Award):

Tales for Very Picky Eaters
(author and illustrator: Josh Schneider, publisher: Clarion Books)

Three Geisel Honor Books also were named: 

I Broke My Trunk!
(author and illustrator: Mo WIllems, publisher: Hyperion Books for Children)

I Broke My Trunk!
(author and illustrator: Jon Klassen, publisher: Candlewick Press)

See Me Run
(author and illustrator: Paul Meisel, publisher: Holiday House)

  • Outstanding children's book translated from a language other than English (Mildred L. Batchelder Award):

Soldier Bear 
(author: Bibi Dumon Tak, publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers)

  • Excellence in literature written for young adults (Michael L. Printz Award):

Where Things Come Back 
(author: John Corey Whaley, publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers)

Four Printz Honor Books also were named: 

Why We Broke Up 
(author: Daniel Handler, publisher: Hachette Book Group)

The Returning 
(author: Christine Hinwood, publisher: Hachette Book Group)

Jasper Jones 
(author: Craig Silvey, publisher: Random House Children's Books)

The Scorpio Races 
(author: Maggie Stiefvater, publisher: Scholastic)

  • Best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults (Odyssey Award):

(written by Daniel Kraus and narrated by Kirby Heyborne,
produced by Listening Library)

  • African American author of outstanding books for children and young adults (Coretta Scott King [Author] Book Award):

goes to Kadir Nelson
author and illustrator of 

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
(published by Balzer + Bray)

  • African American illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults (Coretta Scott King [Illustrator] Book Award):
goes to Shane W. Evans
illustrator and author of 

Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom
(a Neal Porter Book, published by Roaring Brook Press)

  • Books that embody an artistic expression of the disability experience (Schneider Family Book Award):

Children ages 0 – 8
Not Awarded

Middle School award 
(two awarded books)

Close to Famous 
(author: Joan Bauer, publisher: Viking)

(author: Brian Selznick, publisher: Scholastic)

Teen award 
The Running Dream
(author: Wendelin Van Draanen, publisher: Alfred A. Knopf)

  • Best nonfiction book published for young adults (YALSA Award):

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: 
A True Story of Adventure, Heroism and Treachery
(author: Steve Sheinkin, publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press)

Four Books were also finalists for the Yalsa Award: 

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science
(authors: Marc Aronson,Marina Tamar Budhos, publisher: Clarion Books)

Bootleg: Murder, Moonshine, and the Lawless Years of Prohibition
(author: Karen Blumenthal, publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook Press)

Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way)
(author: Sue Macy, publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books)

Music Was It: Young Leonard Bernstein
(author: Susan Goldman Rubin, publisher: Charlesbridge)

Simply irresistible list, isn't it? But, there is more - check out all the youth media awards winners on the ALA web site.

Read Aloud Dad offers a free email newsletter with:

* Advice for improving your read-aloud sessions.
* Focused articles on the best children's books
* Reviews of great book sets, illustrated editions, chapter and picture books
* How-to tips on everything from becoming a read-aloud ninja to helping your boy or girl to read

Subscribe for free.


  1. Today is one of my favorite days to be a reader! My "To Be Read" pile just grew by leaps and bounds!

  2. Thanks so much for letting us know about these award winning books!  I'm putting a  number of them on my list of books to read.  I must say that I'm surprised Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt didn't get a Newbery award.  Maybe the books that received that distinction are even better.  

    By the way, I noted that the price of Mary Had a Little Lamp has gone down to $10.85 on Amazon, which is probably as low as the price will go.  I do think it's a book worth having in one's home library.

  3. A great list. So many good books to check out!

  4. Congrats to everyone involved: authors, publishers, illustrators, friends and family! Can't wait to read these books!!

  5. Thanks for the list and what an abundance of talent!

  6. A favorite day indeed Stacey!

    It seems like it is an event just for today - but so many children and adults will be reading these books in the future. Just because of today's decision. 

    I love the fact that the awards are difficult to guess, I don't think that many people guessed the winners this time around!

    You said it well, our "To Be Read" piles have just grown by leaps and bounds!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Stacey Loscalzo 

  7. Hi Kimberly,

    So happy you enjoyed the list. It is always fun to learn about great books - my "to read" list just got bigger today too!But before I mention the winners - that book is now a steal indeed. I just checked, Mary Had A Little Lamp (http://amzn.to/AoypEB) is going for $10.85 today as you said. This is a discount of 32%. Not bad!
    Second, I was equally surprised that Okay for Now did not win! I thought that it was a given... well it just serves to prove how little can be predicted. 
    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @8d9f8481627970a1e7de2dbc449849c7 

  8. Hi Darlene!

    Indeed! So many great books .. I love the breadth of all these categories. There is something for everyone - and that is maybe one of the best things about the ALA Youth Media Awards. 

    Have fun reading!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: @8310eb5503078d5f7dcae477607de4bd 

  9. Thanks for this post! I'd read the list but this is soooo much more fun...to see the covers. I eagerly await the announcement every year. I love the Newberrys!

  10. Hi Stacey,

    So glad that you enjoyed the list! Ahhh yes, the "To Be Read" pile keeps growing and growing!

    Incredible how our kids always have more "room" for new books in their smart heads!

    Hope you are having a blast reading old and new favorites to your kid(s)!

    Read Aloud Dad

    Re: Stacey Loscalzo 

  11. Hi @twitter-100818788:disqus

    Oooops! Read Aloud Dad is blushing...

    An unexplained glitch in Google's Feedburner service resulted in the sending of a one-year old email from me to my email subscribers by mistake yesterday (Jan 22, 2013) - entitled "2012 Newbery, Caldecott Awards for Best Children's Books Announced".

    Feedburner somehow reposted my post from twelve months ago - to the day (Jan 22, 2012)

    I think that you will be happy to know that Read Aloud Dad will give out a free copy of a 2013 Newbery or Caldecott Medal or Honor book on 31 January to one of my loyal email subscribers - just as a way of saying thank you.

    Oh and look forward to finding out the 2013 winners of the Newbery and Caldecott Medals for the most outstanding contribution to children's literature and best picture book early next week!

    Meanwhile, I prmise I wnt makee any mor mistakees!