NEW YORK — Kwame Alexander's "The Crossover," a novel in verse about basketball and coming of age, has won the John Newbery Medal for the year's best children's book. Author-illustrator Dan Santat's "The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend," which features an island for pretend playmates, received the Randolph Caldecott Medal for best picture book.
The awards were announced Monday in Chicago by the American Library Association, currently hosting its annual midwinter meeting. The Newbery and Caldecott awards are widely regarded as the highest honors in children's publishing, near-guarantors of increased sales and lasting places on school and library shelves.
Another coming-of-age story in verse, Jacqueline Woodson's "Brown Girl Dreaming," won the Coretta Scott King author prize for outstanding work by an African-American. Woodson, last fall's winner of the National Book Award, was a finalist Monday for the Newbery medal and the Sibert medal for "most distinguished informational book."
Other honors Monday included lifetime achievement awards for Sharon M. Draper and Donald Crews. Marjorie Agosin's "I Lived on Butterfly Hill" received the Belpre author award for best Latino book, while the Belpre illustrator prize went to Yuyi Morales' "Viva Frida."
Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See," one of last year's top literary novels, was among 10 winners of the Alex prize for adult books with the most appeal to readers aged 12-18.