The Oscars of Youth Lit: YMAs 2024

If you love award shows like the Oscars, Tonys, or Emmys and also have a passion for youth literature, then the annual Youth Media Awards (YMAs) are for you! This prestigious event celebrates outstanding achievements in youth literature, from books for young children to those tailored for teens. Awards can recognize authors and illustrators, or individual books. In this article, we’ll explain more about the YMAs and share resources for those who want to check out this year’s winners!

The Youth Media Awards

The Youth Media Awards are a collection of esteemed awards for youth literature. Each award has its own criteria. The most well-known include the Newbery Medal, the Printz Award, and the Coretta Scott King awards. Committees made up of librarians and other media professionals identify the most exceptional works published in the previous year, which are announced at an awards ceremony.

The YMA ceremony is an annual event held in late January, coinciding with the American Library Association (ALA) conference. The excitement is not limited to conference attendees; the event is also live-streamed on ALA’s Facebook page, allowing book lovers worldwide to witness the announcement of the winners and honorable mentions.

A smiling potato holds a large sword. An angry donut floats menacingly toward the potato. A blue castle is in the background.

Promoting creativity and quality

The purpose of the Youth Media Awards is to motivate authors and illustrators to produce creative, high-quality works for young readers. This encouragement is not only beneficial for the creators but also enriches the literary landscape for young readers, fostering a love for reading and storytelling.

Why peruse the list?

For readers, educators, parents, and literary enthusiasts, the YMAs provide a curated list of high-quality reads that captivate and inspire. Whether you’re a young reader or an adult, the YMAs offer a unique opportunity to discover the best and brightest in youth literature.

Want to learn more?

To explore the 2024 winners and honorees, check out the 2024 YMA book list in the MCPL catalog. We’ve also got a list specifically for the Coretta Scott King award winners, which celebrate works by African American authors and illustrators. For descriptions of all awards included in the YMA, visit the ALA website. Visit the ALA’s I Love Libraries blog to find the official announcement of winners and honor selections.

-Allycia Smith / Library Specialist

Marathon County Public Library

Marathon County Public Library (MCPL)