The Nutmeg Steering Committee is proud to announce the 2019 Nutmeg Book Award Winners:
2019 Elementary Award Winner:
The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey
2019 Intermediate Award Winner:
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
2019 Teen Award Winner:
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
2019 High School Award Winner:
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
2019 Medal Winner
Merci Suárez Changes Gears, written by Meg Medina, published by Candlewick Press. Using humor and grace, Merci, a charming and plucky protagonist, cycles through life’s challenges with the support of her intergenerational family. This richly nuanced novel tackles the complexity of navigating a multicultural identity amidst changing family dynamics. “Meg Medina’s warm and honest novel masterfully depicts one Cuban-American family’s life with authenticity and empathy,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Ellen M. Riordan.
2019 Honor Books
The Night Diary, written by Veera Hiranandani and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, Penguin Young Readers Group, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.Following introspective Nisha and her family as they flee their homeland for an uncertain future, Hiranandani illuminates the 1947 partition of India with unprecedented balance and sensitivity. Through spare evocative diary entries addressed to her late mother, Nisha discovers the complex beauty of her Hindu-Muslim identity.
The Book of Boy, written by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, illustrated by Ian Schoenherr, and published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. From Murdock’s first line, readers are swept into an epic quest across Europe in 1350 with Boy and a mysterious pilgrim, adventuring to recover seven relics of St. Peter. Layered characters from goats to nuns, lyrical language, and multiple reveals combine to create this powerful story of redemption.
2019 Medal Winner
Hello Lighthouse, illustrated and written by Sophie Blackall, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc.Masterful ink and watercolor illustrations illuminate the story of a lighthouse and the family inside. Stunning images of the lighthouse in all kinds of weather alternate with views of intimate interior detail and circular motifs. Blackall’s skill with composition, line and close attention to detail have created an exquisite book. “Children will delight in immersing themselves in the captivating discoveries each new look at Hello Lighthouse will bring,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Mary Fellows.
2019 Honor Books
Alma and How She Got Her Name, illustrated and written by Juana Martinez-Neal, published by Candlewick Press. When Alma’s father shares family stories about the origins of her long beautiful name, she gains an appreciation for its uniqueness and connection to her history. Martinez-Neal uses smudgy graphite and colored pencil to convey a soft palette that gently transports readers into Alma’s rich ancestral past.
A Big Mooncake for Little Star, illustrated and written by Grace Lin, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. Lin’s detailed compositions and palette create a wholly original fable imbued with traits of the Chinese Moon Festival. A mischievous child and her mother bake a mooncake and the temptation of sweet treats unfolds nightly against an inky black sky. The phases of the moon have never been so tasty!
The Rough Patch, illustrated and written by Brian Lies, published by Greenwillow Books, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. “Evan and his dog did everything together” until “one day, the unthinkable happened”. With compelling compositions and mastery of light and shadow, Brian Lies illustrates an emotional arc of loss, grief, healing, and hope.
Thank you, Omu!, illustrated and written by Oge Mora, published by Little, Brown and Company, a division of Hachette Book Group, Inc. The scent of Omu’s thick red stew drifts through the neighborhood, bringing community members to the door for a taste. Through mixed media and paper collage, Mora tells a story of coming together to give and receive. Rich colors and textures celebrate generosity, community, and the rewards of sharing.