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NEW YORK – Amina Luqman-Dawson’s “Freewater,” a middle-grade novel about a secret community of formerly enslaved people, has won the John Newbery Medal for the year’s best children’s book. Doug Salati’s “Hot Dog,” about the summertime wanderings of an urban pet, was given the Randolph Caldecott Medal for outstanding illustrations.
The Newbery and Caldecott are two of the oldest and most prestigious children’s book awards, each dating back more than 80 years.
Luqman-Dawson also won the Coretta Scott King prize for best children’s story by a Black author. The King prize for illustration was awarded to Frank Morrison for “Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual,” written by Carole Boston Weatherford.
A children’s book co-authored by former Olympic gold medalist Tommie Smith and based on his famous protest at the 1968 summer games, “Victory. Stand! Raising My Fist for Justice,” won the YALSA Award for best nonfiction for young adults, and was a finalist for the King award for both author and illustrator.
Jason Reynolds, author of “Ghost” and “The Boy in the Black Suits,” and Claudette McLinn, founder of the Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature, each received lifetime achievement honors.
The awards were announced Monday by the American Library Association, currently gathered in New Orleans for LibLearnX: The Library Learning Experience.
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