National Book Award for Young People's Literature Winners, Finalists

Every November, the National Book Foundation's panel of judges awards the National Book Award to authors in several categories, including Young People's Literature. The judges consider books written by American citizens published in the United States by American publishers between December 1 of the previous year and November 30 of the current year. Check out our list of children's and young adult books that were recent winners or finalists, with the most recent listed at the top of the list.

King and the Dragonflies Poster Image
BOOK

King and the Dragonflies

age 10+

Beautifully told coming-of-age tale full of grief and hope.

By: Kacen Callender (2020)
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When Stars Are Scattered Poster Image
BOOK

When Stars Are Scattered

age 10+

Uplifting graphic novel refugee tale inspires compassion.

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The Way Back Poster Image
BOOK

The Way Back

age 12+

Dark, complex, wise fantasy is steeped in Jewish folklore.

By: Gavriel Savit (2020)
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We Are Not Free Poster Image
BOOK

We Are Not Free

age 12+

Powerful tale of Japanese American resilience during WWII.

By: Traci Chee (2020)
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Every Body Looking Poster Image
BOOK

Every Body Looking

age 14+

Teen explores identities in brave novel in verse.

By: Candice Iloh (2020)
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Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks Poster Image
BOOK

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks

age 10+

Moving, interwoven stories of Black middle schoolers.

By: Jason Reynolds (2019)
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1919 The Year That Changed America Poster Image
BOOK

1919 The Year That Changed America

age 11+

Riveting tale of racial, labor protests, women's vote, more.

By: Martin W. Sandler (2019)
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Pet Poster Image
BOOK

Pet

age 13+

Girl hunts for a monster in strange, beautiful fantasy.

By: Akwaeke Emezi (2019)
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Patron Saints of Nothing Poster Image
BOOK

Patron Saints of Nothing

age 14+

Heartrending tale explores grief, Philippines' war on drugs.

By: Randy Ribay (2019)
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Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All Poster Image
BOOK

Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All

age 14+

Haunting and unforgettable novel of love, loss, and hope.

By: Laura Ruby (2019)
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The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle Poster Image
BOOK

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle

age 8+

Riveting, poignant drama explores kindness, friendship.

By: Leslie Connor (2018)
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The Journey of Little Charlie Poster Image
BOOK

The Journey of Little Charlie

age 9+

Tense, powerful novel of boy and slave catcher in 1858.

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The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge Poster Image
BOOK

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge

age 10+

Funny, creepy tale of elf and goblin's uneasy friendship.

By: M.T. Anderson (2018)
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The Poet X Poster Image
BOOK

The Poet X

age 13+

Powerful, haunting story of finding your voice and power.

By: Elizabeth Acevedo (2018)
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Hey, Kiddo Poster Image
BOOK

Hey, Kiddo

age 14+

Big-hearted memoir of rocky childhood with addicted mom.

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Clayton Byrd Goes Underground Poster Image
BOOK

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

age 8+

The blues and forgiveness fuel emotional family grief tale.

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Far from the Tree Poster Image
BOOK

Far from the Tree

age 13+

Beautifully written story about finding your family.

By: Robin Benway (2017)
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I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Poster Image
BOOK

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter

age 14+

Empowering, stereotype-shattering coming-of-age story.

By: Erika L. Sanchez (2017)
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American Street Poster Image
BOOK

American Street

age 16+

Raw and gritty immigrant story best for mature teens.

By: Ibi Zoboi (2017)
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When the Sea Turned to Silver Poster Image
BOOK

When the Sea Turned to Silver

age 8+

Rich folklore-fantasy blend makes a great read-aloud.

By: Grace Lin (2016)
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