2020 Medal Winner
New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft, published by Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
Jordan Banks can’t help seeing privilege when he transfers to Riverdale Academy Day School for seventh grade. As one of the few African American students in the school, he regularly deals with racism and microaggressions. Craft creates an intimate, relatable world inviting readers in, and holds them there.
“This distinct, timely, and honest story respects children and gives its readers a glimpse into what it means to be other,” said Newbery Medal Committee Chair Krishna Grady.
2020 Honor Books
The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, and published by Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
The Undefeated “is for us.” Written in sparse poetic verse, the contributions of African Americans are celebrated and explored. The reader is invited on a journey of dreaming, of persevering, and of bravery. The past intersects with the present, leaving readers forging their own paths of discovery. America, this is for you.
Scary Stories for Young Foxes, written by Christian McKay Heidicker, illustrated by Junyi Wu, and published by Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.
Seven foxes, in the dark and twisted Antler Wood, want to hear scary stories. And, they will. Imagine a character with gooey eyes. Imagine trying to slink away from the Golgathursh’s grin. And imagine Beatrix Potter as a villain. Adventure, survival, and humor all celebrate the importance of story …even scary ones.
Other Words for Home, written by Jasmine Warga, published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
This book follows Jude and her mother, both Muslim, who flee war-torn Syria for a new life in America. This novel in verse is an inspiring story of resilience. It explores themes of family, prejudice, and what home truly means in a timely and honest manner.
Genesis Begins Again, written by Alicia D. Williams, published by Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Atheneum Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing
This book tells the story of 13-year-old Genesis, struggling with colorism and self-loathing. Her dark skin is just one of the 96 things she does not like about herself. This powerful novel deals with family struggles and internalized racism. A hopeful ending will leave both Genesis and readers seeing the possibility of self-worth.
2020 Medal Winner
The Undefeated, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, written by Kwame Alexander and published by Versify, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
Kadir Nelson’s rich illustrations amplify Kwame Alexander’s poetic tribute to the resiliency, strength, and perseverance of the historical and present-day Black experience. Gripping, realistic oil portraits use light and forward movement to portray the deep humanity and contributions of Black brilliance in America.
“Through color and composition, Kadir Nelson’s daring visuals erupt off the page. They challenge our emotional capacity in this layered journey of heroes,” said Caldecott Medal Committee Chair Julie Roach.
2020 Honor Books
Bear Came Along, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, written by Richard T. Morris, and published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
“Oh, what a ride!” After tumbling into a river, Bear is swept into an epic journey, collecting woodland companions along the way. The river comes to life with Pham’s energetic lines, gradual increase of vivid color, and surprising page turns to form a rollicking adventure and bonding connections.
Double Bass Blues, illustrated by Rudy Gutierrez, written by Andrea J. Loney, and published by Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House Children’s Books, an imprint of Random House Children’s Books.
Ignited by an electrifying snap of the string bass, Nic navigates between the symphony of two worlds: music and community. Syncopated rhythms, musical harmony and familial love are vibrantly expressed through riotous color, dynamic lines, and kinetic movement. This inventive composition visually illuminates the auditory experience that is the blues.
Going Down Home With Daddy, illustrated by Daniel Minter, written by Kelly Starling Lyons, and published by Peachtree Publishing Company Inc.
An African American family reunion gives a boy a chance to connect to his vibrant roots. Featuring a warm, rich color palette, every spread has multiple, complex layers. Earthy imagery and Adinkra symbols help tell a story of intergenerational love and ancestral memory.