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Reading Lists

Looking for an award winning book?
You’ve come to the right place!

Here are some selections for 2021 Children’s Books…
Come check them out at the library!

The Caldecott Medal has been awarded annually since 1938 by the Association for Library Service to Children, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children. The winner for 2021 is We Are Water Protectors by Michaela Goade.

The Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award now offers 4 age appropriate categories of award-winning books each year: Elementary (Grades 2-4), Intermediate (Grades 4-6),  Teen (Grades 7-8) and High School (Grades 9-12). Above are the 2021 winners: We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins (elementary), New Kid by Jerry Craft (intermediate), Restart by Gordon Korman

The Coretta Scott King Award goes to “authors and illustrators of African descent whose distinguished books promote an understanding and appreciation of the ‘American Dream.'” Separate awards go to authors and illustrators; there are Award winners and Honor books. The 2021 Author Award winner is Jacqueline Woodson for Before the Ever After. The 2021 Illustrator Award winner is Frank Morrison for R-E-S-P-E-C-T, Aretha Franklin the Queen of Soul.

The John Newbery Medal  has been awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children to the author of “the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children” since 1922. The award is in honor of the eighteenth-century British bookseller John Newbery.  The winner for 2021 is When You Trap a Tiger, written by Tae Keller.

The John Steptoe New Talent Award is awarded to new talent to offer them visibility in excellence in writing and/or illustrating. The 2021 author winner is Legendborn by Tracy Deonn. 

The Mildred L. Batchelder Award is for an outstanding children’s book that was originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States. The 2019 winner is Telephone Tales written by Gianni Rodari, illustrated by Valerio Vidali, and translated by Antony Shuggar.


The Pura Belpré Award established in 1996, goes to “a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.” It was first given every two years, so there are no entries for 2007 or 2005, for example. In 2009, it became an annual award. Like the Coretta Scott King Award, there are awards for both authors and illustrators. The 2021 Author Award goes to Ernesto Cisneros for Efron Divided. The 2021 Illustrator Award goes to III Rual the Third for Vamos! Lets Go Eat.

The Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award is given annually “to the author of the most distinguished informational book published during the preceding year.” There is an award winner and honor books. The 2021 winner is Honeybee by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann.

The Schneider Family Book Award honors an author or illustrator for a book that embody an artistic expression of the disability expeirence for child and adolescent audience. The 2021 winner for young children is I Talk Like a River written by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith. The 2021 winner for middle grade is Show Me a Sign written by Ann Clare LeZotte.

The Scott O’Dell Award was established in 1982 by the noted writer of historical fiction, who hoped to increase interest in the genre. It is awarded annually to “a meritorious book published in the previous year for children or young adults. To be eligible, “a book must have been published as a book intended for children or young people, set in the New World, published in the United States, and written in English by a citizen of the United States.” The 2021 winner is All He Knew, by Helen Frost.

The Theodor Seuss Geisel Award  is given annually to the author(s) and illustrator(s) of the most distinguished American book for beginning readers. The award is named for the world-renowned children’s author, Dr. Seuss. The 2019 winner is See the Cat, written by David LaRochelle and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka.

Children’s Department 
(860) 447-1411 ext.103

Children’s Librarian
Tori Congdon

860-447-1411 ext. 104

Children’s Librarian Assistant
Dana Santillana